The glorious history of how Middle-earth would change—and become the world readers recognize in The Lord of the Rings
As friends and fellow members of the literary circle known as The Inklings, J. R. R. Tolkien and C. S. Lewis embarked on a challenge. Lewis was to write on “space-travel” and Tolkien on “time-travel.” Lewis’s novel Out of the Silent Planet became the first book of a science fiction trilogy. Tolkien’s unfinished story “The Lost Road” chronicles the original destruction of Númenor, a pivotal event of the Second Age of Middle-earth.
In this intriguing volume, Christopher Tolkien traces the vivid history of Middle-earth, bringing the land—its topography and ever-clashing forces—to the state readers recognize from The Lord of the Rings. Entertaining and informative, The Lost Road and Other Writings shares fresh insights into the evolution of one of the world’s most enduring fantasies.
Poems and prose, maps and chronologies, detours and diversions along the road to Middle-earth . . . Christopher Tolkien has gathered archival materials that his late father, J. R. R. Tolkien, used to create the world and the history behind his classic stories.
This fourth volume of The History of Middle-earth presents early versions of those first tales, from the creation myth to the fall of Morgoth. Writings include a chronology of the events in Beleriand, the first Silmarillion map, and the only known description of the physical nature of Middle-earth’s universe. Detailed annotations highlight changes ranging from the spelling of Elvish names to pivotal emendations whose effects reach even to the war of the ring.
The Shaping of Middle-earth presents a solid framework by which to trace the development of the early lore of Middle-earth. It is a truly indispensable reference work for those familiar with the history of that endlessly beloved land—and fascinating reading for those just entering that world.
Tales told through the ages of quests and curses, enduring love and immeasurable tragedy
“The power of Tolkien’s central characters—tragic, cursed Túrin; the lovers Beren and Lúthien—shines through.”—Library Journal
Gathering together two of the most crucial stories in Tolkien’s world—those of Túrin, a hero living under a ruinous family curse, and Lúthien, an elven princess whose love for a mortal man is mirrored ages later in Arwen and Aragorn—The Lays of Beleriand sheds light on the creation of the mythology of Middle-earth.
Journey through darkness with Túrin Turambar as he searches for his long-missing father in The Lay of the Children of Húrin, and join Beren and Lúthien on their quest to cut a Silmaril from Morgoth’s crown in The Lay of Leithian. Both narratives appear here in alliterative verse and are accompanied by Christopher Tolkien’s commentary on the evolution of the history of the Elder Days. Also included is critical analysis by C. S. Lewis of The Lay of Leithian.
“Tolkien devotees will no doubt rejoice. . . . Christopher Tolkien shows himself to be his father’s son, delving into the question of Elvish genealogies. . . . He gives the reader histories of each character’s name as it evolved in the course of Tolkien’s revisions.”—The New York Times Book Review
This fascinating second part of The Book of Lost Tales features the tales of Beren and Lúthien, Túrin and the Dragon, and the only full narratives of the Necklace of the Dwarves and the Fall of Gondolin. Essential reading for Middle-earth aficionados, each tale is followed by commentary from editor Christopher Tolkien. Also included is extensive information on the names and vocabulary in the earliest Elvish languages.
“The Tales will be appreciated by those who have read The Silmarillion and wish to examine how Tolkien improved his story and style from their original form, and how eventually The Lord of the Rings came to stand independently with only a few hints from the early mythology.”—British Book News
The extraordinary history of Middle-earth, edited by Christopher Tolkien
The Book of Lost Tales stands at the beginning of the entire conception of Middle-earth and Valinor. Embedded in English legend and English association, they were set in the narrative frame of a great westward voyage over the Ocean by a mariner named Eriol (or Ælfwine) to Tol Eressëa, the Lonely Isle, where Elves dwelt; from them he learned their true history, the Lost Tales of Elfinesse. In the Tales are found the earliest accounts and original ideas of Gods and Elves; Dwarves and Orcs; the Silmarils and the Two Trees of Valinor; Nargothrond and Gondolin; and the geography and cosmology of the invented world.
Praise for Book of Lost Tales 1
“In these tales we have the scholar joyously gamboling in the thickets of his imagination. . . . A commentary and notes greatly enrich the quest.”—The Daily Telegraph
“Affords us an almost over-the-shoulder view into the evolving creative process and genius of J.R.R. Tolkien in a new, exciting aspect . . .The superb, sensitive, and extremely helpful commentary and editing done by Christopher Tolkien make all of this possible.”—Mythlore