of Númenor and Middle-earth
|Author||J.R.R. Tolkien, edited by Christopher Tolkien|
|Publisher||George Allen and Unwin (UK)|
Houghton Mifflin (US)
|Released||2 October 1980 (UK)|
18 November 1980 (US)
Unfinished Tales of Númenor and Middle-earth (often referred to, and sometimes published, as just Unfinished Tales) is a collection of stories by J.R.R. Tolkien that were never completed during his lifetime, but were edited by his son Christopher Tolkien and published in 1980.
Unlike The Silmarillion, for which the narrative fragments were modified to connect into a consistent and coherent work, the Unfinished Tales are presented as Tolkien left them, with little more than names changed (the author having had a confusing habit of trying out different names for a character while writing a draft). Thus some of these are incomplete stories, while others are collections of "factual" information about Middle-earth. Each tale is followed by a long series of notes explaining inconsistencies and obscure points.
As with The Silmarillion, Christopher Tolkien edited and published Unfinished Tales before he had finished his study of the materials in his father's archive. Despite its shortcomings in editorial consistency, Unfinished Tales does provide more detailed information about characters, events and places mentioned only briefly in The Lord of the Rings. Versions of such tales including the origins of Gandalf and the Istari (Wizards), the death of Isildur and the loss of the One Ring in the Gladden Fields, and the founding of the kingdom of Rohan help expand knowledge about Middle-earth.
The commercial success of Unfinished Tales demonstrated that the demand for Tolkien's stories several years after his death was not only still present, it was growing. Encouraged by the result, Christopher Tolkien began to embark upon the more ambitious twelve-volume work entitled The History of Middle-earth which encompasses nearly the entire corpus of Tolkien's writings about Middle-earth.
Part One: The First Age:
Part Two: The Second Age:
- "A Description of the Island of Númenor"
- "Aldarion and Erendis: The Mariner's Wife"
- "The Line of Elros: Kings of Númenor"
- "The History of Galadriel and Celeborn"
Part Three: The Third Age:
- "The Disaster of the Gladden Fields"
- "Cirion and Eorl and the Friendship of Gondor and Rohan"
- "The Quest of Erebor"
- "The Hunt for the Ring"
- "The Battles of the Fords of Isen"
1st edition (1980)
- 1st Impression 1980
- 2nd Impression 1980
- 3rd Impression 1980
- 4th Impression 1981
- 5th Impression 1981
- 6th Impression 1982
- 7th Impression 1984
1st US edition (1980)
Green cloth hardcover, tipped in map, Book club edition issued 1981. ISBN 0395299179
1st Paperback edition (1982)
Published by Unicorn/Unwin Paperbacks, London. ISBN 0048232084
- 1st Impression 1982
- 2nd Impression 1983
- 3rd Impression 1983
- 4th Impression 1983
- 5th Impression 1984
- 6th Impression 1985
- 7th Impression 1986
- 8th Impression 1986
US Trade Paperback (1982)
Published by Houghton Mifflin. ISBN 0395324416
1st edition, 8th impression (1987)
Published by Unwin Hyman, London. Hardback in dustwrapper. ISBN 0048231797
1st edition, 9th impression (1987)
- 9th Impression 1987
- 10th Impression 1988
- 11th Impression 1989
Ballantine edition (1988)
1st Paperback edition, 12th impression (1990)
1991 edition 1st impression
1991 edition, 2nd impression
Published by HarperCollins, London. ISBN 026110215X. Hardback in dustwrapper.
Published by HarperCollins, London. ISBN 0261102168. Paperback. Cover illustration by John Howe. At least five impressions have been printed.
1998 edition, 1st impression
Published by HarperCollins, London. ISBN 0261103628 Paperback. Three impressions printed.
1998 edition, 4th impression
Published by HarperCollins, London. ISBN 0261103628 Paperback.
1998 edition, 6th impression
Published by HarperCollins, London. ISBN 0261103628 Paperback. Cover design based on artwork by JRRT. This edition may have been introduced as early as the 5th impression.
Published by HarperCollins, London. ISBN 026110215X. Hardback in dustwrapper. Cover illustration by J.R.R. Tolkien. At least three impressions have been printed. The ISBN isbn "0261102168" was listed in the book incorrectly, the correct ISBN is listed on the dustwrapper.
2000 Book Club edition
Published by HarperCollins for Book Club Associates, London. Paperback. Cover illustration by J.R.R. Tolkien. The ISBN for this book is listed incorrectly as 0261102168.
US 2001 edition
US 2001 Paperback edition
Published by Houghton Mifflin. ISBN 0618154051
Library Binding Edition 2001
Published by Sagebrush / Tandem. ISBN 0613999800
Ballantine Edition 2002
Easton Press (2004)
Published by Easton Press. Leatherbound with ribbed spine, AEG in 22k gold, moire endpapers, ribbon placeholder, bells, and whistles. Sold only in a set with The Book of Lost Tales Part I & The Book of Lost Tales Part II.
Published by HarperCollins, London. ISBN 026110215X Hardback in dustwrapper. Cover illustration by J.R.R. Tolkien.