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The History of the Lord of the Rings: Box Set (The History of Middle-Earth) Paperback – 2 Apr 2002


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Product details

  • Paperback: 1696 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins; (Reissue) edition (2 April 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0261103709
  • ISBN-13: 978-0261103702
  • Product Dimensions: 20 x 13.8 x 11.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 842,393 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

From the Back Cover

A boxed set of four paperbacks detailing the creation of The Lord of the Rings from its inception to its finished form, featuring brand new cover art.

J.R.R. Tolkien’s ' The Lord of the Rings, ' now firmly acknowledged as the most popular book of the twentieth century, has captivated generations of readers with the ‘reality’ of its fantasy. In ' History of The Lord of the Rings, ' the author’s son and literary heir, Christopher Tolkien, examines the creation of ' The Lord of the Rings ' from its inception to its finished form. At the core of these books are a great many early drafts and unpublished passages by Tolkien which add greatly to one’s understanding of his great masterpiece.

Combining his father’s unique imagination with his own privileged insight, ' The History of The Lord of the Rings ' is a series of four volumes – including one edition unique to this collection – no fan of ' The Lord of the Rings ' can afford to overlook.

“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

About the Author

Christopher Tolkien is J.R.R.Tolkien’s third son and literary executor. In an unprecedented feat of literary study spanning 15 years, he has brought together his father’s many unpublished stories and background notes to form the groundbreaking The History of Middle-earth, combining his father’s unique imagination with his own privileged insight.

‘Affords us an almost over the shoulder view into the evolving creative process and genius of J.R.R.Tolkien … the superb, sensitive and extremely helpful commentary and editing done by Christopher Tolkien makes all this possible.’ Mythlore


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29 of 29 people found the following review helpful By IAN PATTISON on 29 Jan. 2002
Format: Paperback
This 4 book set takes you through the many iterations of the LotR trilogy, starting with 'Bingo Bolger-Baggins' - and at a time when Tolkien himself had no idea where the story would lead. It explores the origins of the ring's power, the black riders, the ents, and so on.
...it also gives excellent value for money. Be aware though, the 4th book is only part of 'Sauron Defeated' - the part relating to LotR - if you want the Notion Club Papers and Legend of Anadune, you'll have to buy that book separately.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Michael W. Perry on 6 Dec. 2008
Format: Paperback
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.

GROUP ONE, VOLUMES I - V, EARLY TALES

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.

Vol 1 & 2, The Book of Lost Tales Part 1 ( 1983) & 2 (1984). The Book of Lost Tales was written during the 1910s and 1920s. Wikipedia describes it this way: "The framework for the book is that a mortal Man visits the Isle of Tol Eressëa where the Elves live. In the earlier versions of the `Lost Tales' this man is named Eriol, of some vague north European origin, but in later versions he becomes Ælfwine, an Englishman of the Middle-ages."

Vol. 3, The Lays of Beleriand (1985). These are collections of poems, many of them incomplete, written between the 1920s and the late 1940s.

Vol 4, The Shaping of Middle-earth (1986).
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful By M. Hanlon on 2 Jan. 2001
Format: Paperback
The most captivating story of all time, The Lord of the Rings, continues to gain in popularity.
The amount of written material produced by the author and released posthumously, edited by his son Christopher, is staggering.
These volumes give the reader an invitation into the private papers of the author. Everything there is to know is published here. How stories developed, alternate versions, notes, all wonderfully presented.
A must for fans of the Lord of the Rings, who have read the book(s)several times, and know its charecters and nuances (such as myself). For students of fiction or aspiring authors, this is an important "how-to" work.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Yet another present for me LOTR mad son. He was absolutely delighted with it and has had many hours pleasure from it. The perfect gift for the perfect son. Many thanks.
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