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The History of Middle-earth

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HarperCollins paperback edition of The History of Middle-earth

The History of Middle-earth is a 12 volume series of books compiled and edited by J.R.R. Tolkien's son, Christopher Tolkien. In the volumes, Christopher Tolkien presents and discusses manuscripts by his father related to the stories of The Silmarillion and The Lord of the Rings. Some of the material is revealed for the first time, while some consists of earlier versions of already published material.

The first two books introduce us to The Book of Lost Tales, which eventually became The Silmarillion. The third volume deals with long poems concerning major characters in the First Age. The following two books follow developments from The Book of Lost Tales to The Silmarillion. Volumes 6 through 9 discuss the development of The Lord of the Rings, while the second half of book 9 discusses the tale of Númenor. Books 10 and 11 discuss the Annals of Beleriand and Annals of Aman, which served as source material for The Silmarillion. The final book entails the development of The Lord of the Rings Appendices, followed by a few assorted essays J.R.R. Tolkien wrote in the last years of his life.

  1. The Book of Lost Tales Part One (1983)
  2. The Book of Lost Tales Part Two (1984)
  3. The Lays of Beleriand (1985)
  4. The Shaping of Middle-earth (1986)
  5. The Lost Road and Other Writings (1987)
  6. The Return of the Shadow (The History of The Lord of the Rings v.1) (1988)
  7. The Treason of Isengard (The History of The Lord of the Rings v.2) (1989)
  8. The War of the Ring (The History of The Lord of the Rings v.3) (1990)
  9. Sauron Defeated (The History of The Lord of the Rings v.4) (1992)
  10. Morgoth's Ring (The Later Silmarillion v.1) (1993)
  11. The War of the Jewels (The Later Silmarillion v.2) (1994)
  12. The Peoples of Middle-earth (1996)

A thirteenth volume was published in 2002, The History of Middle-earth Index. This book has completely integrated all the indices from the set in one large index.

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The History of Middle-earth
The Book of Lost Tales Part One · The Book of Lost Tales Part Two · The Lays of Beleriand · The Shaping of Middle-earth · The Lost Road and Other Writings · The Return of the Shadow · The Treason of Isengard · The War of the Ring · Sauron Defeated · Morgoth's Ring · The War of the Jewels · The Peoples of Middle-earth · Index