The Nature of Middle-earth

From Tolkien Gateway
The Nature of Middle-earth
Publication Information
AuthorJ.R.R. Tolkien
EditorCarl F. Hostetter
Released2 September 2021
FormatHardcover; deluxe edition
Preceded byThe Fall of Gondolin (2018)
Followed byThe Fall of Númenor (2022)

The Nature of Middle-earth is a compilation of minor writings by J.R.R. Tolkien, edited by Carl F. Hostetter and published in 2021 in a single book.

Its many texts discuss a variety of topics related to Middle-earth, such as its "nature" and landscapes, the characteristics of different races, theology, and many other miscellaneous matters in Tolkien's legendarium. Most of them were previously unpublished material, but some had been already published in the linguistic journals Parma Eldalamberon and Vinyar Tengwar.

From the publisher

The first ever publication of J.R.R. Tolkien's final writings on Middle-earth, covering a wide-range of subjects, and the perfect next read for those who have enjoyed Unfinished Tales and the History of Middle-earth series and are hungry for more.

The Nature of Middle-earth comprises numerous late (c. 1959-73) and previously unpublished writings by J.R.R. Tolkien on the "nature" of Middle-earth, in both chief senses of that word: both metaphysical and natural/historical.
It is for Tolkien fans, readers, and scholars interested in learning more about Tolkien's own views on Middle-earth. It will appeal in particular to those readers who enjoyed Unfinished Tales, and some of the later volumes of the History of Middle-earth. Indeed, many of the texts to be included are closely associated with materials published in those places, and were sent to Hostetter, specifically, in photocopy by Christopher Tolkien for potential publication.
Much as Unfinished Tales forms an unofficial thirteenth volume of the History of Middle-earth, this new book will sit very nicely alongside as an unofficial 14th volume. Of particular note, given the impending Amazon series, are several texts detailing the lands, flora, and fauna of Númenor, and the lives of Númenóreans.[1]


  • Foreword
  • Editorial Practices
  • Part One: Time and Ageing
    • Introduction
    1. The Valian Year
    2. Valinorian Time-Divisions
    3. Of the Time in Arda
    4. Time-scales
    5. Natural Youth and Growth of the Quendi
    6. The Awaking of the Quendi
    7. The March of the Quendi
    8. Eldarin Traditions Concerning the "Awakening"
    9. Time-scales and Rates of Growth
    10. Difficulties in Chronology
    11. Ageing of Elves
    12. Concerning the Quendi in their Mode of Life and Growth
    13. Key Dates
    14. Calculation of the Increase of the Quendi
    15. A Generational Scheme
    16. Note on the Youth of Growth of the Quendi
    17. Generational Schemes
    18. Elvish Ages & Númenórean
    19. Elvish Life-cycles
    20. Time and its Perception
    21. Notes on Elvish Time-reference
    22. A Fragment from The Annals of Aman
    23. A Fragment from The Grey Annals
  • Part Two: Body, Mind, and Spirit
    • Introduction
    1. Beauty and Goodness
    2. Gender and Sex
    3. Eldarin Hands, Fingers, and Numerals
    4. Hair
    5. Beards
    6. Descriptions of Characters
    7. Mind-Pictures
    8. Knowledge and Memory
    9. Ósanwe-kenta
    10. Notes on Órë
    11. Fate and Free Will
    12. The Knowledge of the Valar
    13. Spirit
    14. The Visible Forms of the Valar and Maiar
    15. Elvish Reincarnation
    16. From The Statute of Finwë and Míriel
    17. Death
  • Part Three: The World, its Lands, and its Inhabitants
    • Introduction
    1. Dark and Light
    2. The Primal Impulse
    3. Powers of the Valar
    4. The Making of Lembas
    5. Note on Elvish Economy
    6. Dwellings in Middle-earth
    7. The Founding of Nargothrond
    8. Manwë's Ban
    9. Elvish Journeys on Horseback
    10. Rider to "The White Rider"
    11. Lives of the Númenóreans
    12. The Ageing of Númenóreans
    13. Of the Land and Beasts of Númenor
    14. Note on the Consumption of Mushrooms
    15. The Númenórean Catastrophe & End of "Physical" Aman
    16. Galadriel and Celeborn
    17. Silvan Elves and Silvan Elvish
    18. Note on the Delay of Gil-galad and the Númenóreans
    19. Note on Dwarvish Voices
    20. Note on the Dwarf Road
    21. From The Hunt for the Ring
    22. The Rivers and Beacon-hills of Gondor
  • Appendices
    • Metaphysical and Theological Themes
    • Glossary and Index of Quenya Terms
  • Index

Publication history and gallery

2021 hardcover
2021 hardcover  
2021 hardcover deluxe edition
2021 hardcover deluxe edition  
2023 paperback
2023 paperback  

External links


  1. "The Nature of Middle-earth", HarperCollins (accessed 1 September 2021)
A J.R.R. Tolkien book guide
Books by or mainly by Tolkien
On Arda Authored by
J.R.R. Tolkien
The Hobbit · The Lord of the Rings
(i.The Fellowship of the Ring · ii.The Two Towers · iii.The Return of the King) ·
The Adventures of Tom Bombadil · The Road Goes Ever On · Bilbo's Last Song
Edited by Christopher Tolkien The Silmarillion · Unfinished Tales · The History of Middle-earth series
(i.The Book of Lost Tales: Part One · ii.The Book of Lost Tales: Part Two · iii.The Lays of Beleriand · iv.The Shaping of Middle-earth · v.The Lost Road and Other Writings · vi.The Return of the Shadow · vii.The Treason of Isengard · viii.The War of the Ring · ix.Sauron Defeated · x.Morgoth's Ring · xi.The War of the Jewels · xii.The Peoples of Middle-earth · Index) ·
The Children of Húrin · Beren and Lúthien · The Fall of Gondolin
Edited by others The Annotated Hobbit · The History of The Hobbit · The Nature of Middle-earth · The Fall of Númenor
Not on Arda Short stories
and others
Leaf by Niggle · Farmer Giles of Ham · Smith of Wootton Major · Letters from Father Christmas ·
Mr. Bliss · Roverandom · Tree and Leaf (compilation) · Tales from the Perilous Realm (compilation)
Fictional works The Legend of Sigurd and Gudrún · The Fall of Arthur · The Story of Kullervo · The Lay of Aotrou and Itroun
Translations and academic works Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Pearl, and Sir Orfeo · The Old English Exodus · Finn and Hengest ·
The Monsters and the Critics, and Other Essays · Beowulf and the Critics · Tolkien On Fairy-stories ·
Beowulf: A Translation and Commentary · A Secret Vice · The Battle of Maldon
Letters & poems The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien · The Collected Poems of J.R.R. Tolkien
academic works
A Middle English Vocabulary · Sir Gawain and the Green Knight · Ancrene Wisse
Books by other authors
Books on Arda The Complete Guide to Middle-earth · The Lord of the Rings: A Reader's Companion ·
The Maps of Middle-earth
Tolkien biographies J.R.R. Tolkien: A Biography · The Inklings · Tolkien and the Great War
Scholarly books The Road to Middle-earth · The Keys of Middle-earth · The J.R.R. Tolkien Companion and Guide ·
The Ring of Words · A Companion to J.R.R. Tolkien · Tolkien's Lost Chaucer · Tolkien's Library · Tolkien on Chaucer, 1913-1959
Scholarly journals Tolkien Studies · (The Chronology)
Other works by Tolkien
Linguistic journals Vinyar Tengwar various issues · Parma Eldalamberon issue 11-22
Collections of artwork
and manuscripts
Pictures by J.R.R. Tolkien · J.R.R. Tolkien: Life and Legend · J.R.R. Tolkien: Artist and Illustrator ·
The Art of The Hobbit · The Art of The Lord of the Rings · Tolkien: Maker of Middle-earth ·
Tolkien: Treasures · J.R.R. Tolkien: The Art of the Manuscript
This list is only a selection, for a fuller bibliography of Tolkien see here or here. See also a timeline and an index.