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The Complete History of Middle-Earth: Part 2 [Hardcover]

Christopher Tolkien , J. R. R. Tolkien
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
RRP: £60.00
Price: £39.00 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

6 Jan 2003

A new one-volume edition of the four books which comprise The History of The Lord of the Rings.

J.R.R. Tolkien is famous the world over for his unique literary creation, exemplified in The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings and The Silmarillion. What is less well known, however, is that he also produced a vast amount of further material that greatly expands upon the stories that were published, and which herein gives added life to the tales of the hobbits, Gandalf and the quest of the Fellowship as told in The Lord of the Rings.

It was to this enormous task of literary construction that Tolkien’s youngest son and literary heir, Christopher, applied himself to produce the monumental and endlessly fascinating series of twelve books, The History of Middle-earth.

This brand new hardback edition brings together volumes VI – IX of The History of Middle-earth – The Return of the Shadow, The Treason of Isengard, The War of the Ring and Sauron Defeated – into one volume. Together these books give a fascinating and complete account of the writing of The Lord of the Rings, and provide the reader with numerous additional scenes, together with rare maps and illustrations, which never made it into the final book, including the epilogue in its entirety.

Epic in scope and extent, this second hardback volume of a planned trilogy will present the reader with a unique opportunity: to collect a complementary set of each hardback volume in The Complete History of Middle-earth series.

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Product details

  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: HarperCollins; New Ed edition (6 Jan 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007149166
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007149162
  • Product Dimensions: 15.7 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 246,497 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

J.R.R. Tolkien was born on 3rd January 1892. After serving in the First World War, he became best known for The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, selling 150 million copies in more than 40 languages worldwide. Awarded the CBE and an honorary Doctorate of Letters from Oxford University, he died in 1973 at the age of 81.

Product Description

Amazon Review

Tolkien completists will just have to have this beautiful History of Middle Earth II in their collection. This luxuriously presented limited edition book is the middle part of the History of JRR Tolkien's vast fantasy epic Lord of the Rings and contains early drafts, alternative versions of events that took place in the story along with maps and illustrations not found in the original. Exhaustive research by Tolkien's son Christopher has resulted in a rich and detailed account of the most popular book ever written and this edition, presented in an embossed slip case and printed on gold-edged india paper, does true justice to the lasting nature of the subject matter. It may seem pricey and is really only for Tolkien completists, but this handsome edition will be treasured for years to come. Part One of the History is already available and Part Three is publishing in Autumn 2001. --Jonathan Weir --This text refers to the Library Binding edition.


‘One marvels anew at the depth, breadth and persistence of J.R.R. Tolkien’s labour. No one sympathetic to his aims – the invention of a secondary universe – will want to miss this chance to be present at the creation.’
Publishers Weekly

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
28 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Series Overview 4 July 2010
NOTE: The individual volumes in the 12-volume History of Middle-Earth series are also published in three large 'Parts' in a series inconsistently titled either The Complete History of Middle-earth and The History of Middle-earth

Part 1 contains volumes I-V from the single-volume series.
Part 2 contains volumes VI to IX from the single-volume series.
Part 3 contains volumes X-XII from the single-volume series.

Which you might buy depends on your taste and how you plan to use the books. Would you rather have three bulky volumes of about 1500 pages each or twelve volumes that are typically 450 pages long?


Collections of an author's work are often confusing, particularly when what the author has created is as complex as Tolkien's writings. Here's an overview of the twelve-volume History of Middle-earth, which was edited by his son Christopher Tolkien. Hopefully, it will help you select which book or books to buy.

Keep something in mind. In the U.S. Houghton Mifflin publishes Tolkien's authorized works in hardback and trade paperback editions, while Ballantine Books publishes them as cheaper mass-market paperbacks. For some reason, Ballantine doesn't always make it clear that some of their titles are part of the same History of Middle-earth series as those published by Houghton Mifflin. If the title is the same, the content is the same. Which you buy depends on your taste in books and finances. I have copies of both.


These five volumes deal primarily with Tolkien's writings before the publication of The Hobbit (1937) and The Lord of the Rings (1954-55). In them, Tolkien was struggling as a still unknown author to create his first history of Middle-earth.
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37 of 42 people found the following review helpful
Format:Library Binding
With this mammoth release, we get the literary backstory, so to say, of J. R. R. Tolkien's turmoil and travails of the composition of one of the most complex fantasies every constructed. Gather all twelve previously published volumes into three huge books, these tell the final story of Tolkien's world, in all its grandeur and heart breaking beauty. The hefty price tag that is attached is to be expected, seeing it covers twelve expensive single volumes. The first two volumes deal with the earliest form of THE SILMARILLION, the next are the epic LAYS that were never completed, and showing Tolkien was a poet of very accomplished calibre. THE SHAPING deals with the geography and physical history, while THE LOST ROAD shows us an unfinished novel and several other unearthed treasures. The real meat, to literary historians who are not specialized in Tolkien and to the causal fan, is the volumes VI-IX, which deal with the creation of THE LORD OF THE RINGS, one of the most significant volumes ever released the world, online with Homer, Virgil, and Dante. This is a graduate level look at what goes in the making of a literary masterpiece. The last of the volumes deal with Tolkien's attempt to recast THE SILMARILLION in sometimes radical departures from the accepted structure. The last volume is THE PEOPLES OF MIDDLE-EARTH, which are the appendices of THE LORD OF THE RINGS, and several interesting tidbits, included a Numenor story and THE NEW SHADOW, the aborted sequel to THE LORD OF THE RINGS.
This publication is for the serious student and lover of J. R. R. Tolkien's work. The causal fan will find this much too expensive and much too expansive. For those only marginally interested the volumes dealing with THE LORD OF THE RINGS trilogy novel should be looked at.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars At last the missing parts!! 1 May 2003
If you have read the Silmarillion,Hobbit and Lord of the rings and still need to know more about the history of Middle Earth then this is for you! Do not be put off, this book contains 481 pages of carefully edited work covering the whole of middle Earth, ranging from: alternative beginings to lord of the rings, whole sections covering the Shire and its people, the house of Elrond, the mines of Moria and the journey of the ring south. Some of the main events in lord of the rings and the Silmarillion are given more depth and character, which in turn gives an insight to J.R.R Tolkin's vast imagination and lingistic brilliants. This series of three books is a must have for any true Tolkin fan and you will not be dissapointed!!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars For students and for pleasure - but watch out 27 Aug 2011
The long road from the first drafts to the finished work. Philologic in Christopher Tolkien's part, literary and interesting in his father's drafts.
Just watch out: the first volume of the set is really hard to find and if you find it it's really expensive. So check for the first before buying the others, if you want the set to be complete! Otherwise... buy the 12 volumes, in paperback or also with the "print on demand" service by the editor. The inside of the three or twelve volumes editions is identical (not so in others "deluxe" Tolkien editions).
But if you really want to read the entire "History" - about 3000 pages - surely you're prepared to have some adventures to get it!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredible! 12 July 2011
I am absolutely amazed at the quality of this book! It is fantastic!
I am in Australia and this book and its two companions were the only ones missing from my Tolkien collection and are exceedingly expensive over here! The great prices and fast postage from Amazon made me love this book even more!

As other reviewers have said, the pages are thin and not really up to frequent use for reference etc. but for myself just to complete my collection they are perfect!
I can't wait until I find the time to read them! (I'm currently at university full-time, working part-time and in the middle of reading the Silmarillion again so they are next on my to-do list!)
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 1 day ago by ERIC HEENEY
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the Three Volumes of "the History of Middle-Earth" ...
One of the Three Volumes of "the History of Middle-Earth", to be able to at last grasp the whole work of Tolkien to build his colossal cycle of the Middle-Earth, to... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Morgane
5.0 out of 5 stars A Master in Fantasy
Compact edition, beautifully done...and the greatest author of all times...what to say more ? I can only recommend this edition to all Tolkien lovers
Published 5 months ago by Weissgerber Fabien
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent
In the second volume of the History of Middle-earth, Christopher Tolkien explores the first initial drafts of the Lord of the Rings and its subsequent plot developments. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Jack D
5.0 out of 5 stars A Unique opportunity to own a Massive Collection of Tolkien's Work.
Trying to find all twelve original volumes of "The History of Middle-Earth" is a though enterprise. Read more
Published 11 months ago by Alexis Ramon Paez
5.0 out of 5 stars Confusion in the History of Middle Earth!
Careful in reading these reviews, they are all interesting but they refer to two different books! One is the beautiful-but-silly-price limited edition of the History of ME, the... Read more
Published on 27 Sep 2009 by Alan Murray
5.0 out of 5 stars The History Of Middle Earth Part 2
This is a truely amazing book which provides a rare insight to the creation of a classic work of fiction. Read more
Published on 8 Mar 2007 by M. Levine
4.0 out of 5 stars this book is good
i liked this book because it was about interesting stuff, like background stuff to that movie, wasitcalled, lord of the rings by that person. Read more
Published on 18 Mar 2003
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