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The History of Middle-earth

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The History of Middle-earth is a 12 volume series of books compiled and edited by J.R.R. Tolkien's son, Christopher Tolkien. Devoted to the true Tolkien fans, these volumes elaborate on what The Silmarillion, and The Lord of the Rings did not, as well as reveal earlier versions of already published material. Christopher has documented the pages extensively and this is not to be considered a page turner as it is a series of, as the title states, history books. The first two books introduce us to The Book of Lost Tales, which eventually became The Silmarillion. The next three books follow The Lord of the Rings. Volumes 6 through 9 discuss the development of The Lord of the Rings, while the second half of book 9 discusess 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 1 (1983)
  2. The Book of Lost Tales 2 (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.