on 5 September 2002
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. But those who love Middle-earth and want to marvel at Tolkien's work, this is a must-have purchase. It's a very rare opportunity to see the creation of a work of such massive import to our international societies. Tolkien's commitment to this birthing process of a beautiful work of art truly stands out as one of the great efforts of Man to give homage to his God, as Tolkien saw it (read his essay on Faerie Stories), and I see it as well. Get it and become immersed - though beware this detailing the construction of this elaborate universe, which means these are rough drafts and various other things that didn't make it into publication in Tolkien's time, adding a huge amount of material to Tolkien's fandom to consider. Christopher's editorial notes are a must have. Thanks to the Tolkien family and to Christopher for their support of their father (who died in 1973) and of his son for the publication of this work. A very unique moment in literary history indeed.
on 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!!
on 27 August 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!
on 1 April 2014
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.
This was fascinating reading, for example to discover that it was Bingo, not Frodo, the initial ring-bearer as well as other sometimes major name changes or plots which got chopped out during editing. Where the first volume concerned the First Age and The Silmarillion stories - and, truth be told, was quite heavy reading sometimes - this volume focuses wholly on the Lord of the Rings, so people who are new to Middle-earth or have just read The Hobbit, or Lord of the Rings, will thoroughly enjoy this.
on 21 September 2013
Trying to find all twelve original volumes of "The History of Middle-Earth" is a though enterprise. If you are really interested in how a man could accomplished so much in his lifetime, you may want to treat yourself with this collection of three volumes that collects the complete 12-part monument. Part 2 was published in 2000 (reprinted in 2002) and contains what has been called "The History of The Lord of the Rings" in four volumes: Volume VI: "The Return of the Shadow" (1988), Volume VII: "The Treason of Isengard" (1989), Volume VIII: "The War of the Ring and Volume IX: "Sauron Defeated" (1992).
on 7 July 2014
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 discover other tales about Tolkien's universe, another way than 'The Hobbit", "The Lord of the Rings", and"The Silmarillion".
on 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!)