The Complete History of Middle Earth, Vol. 1 Hardcover – Jan 9 2003
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'One marvels anew at the depth, breadth and persistence of J.R.R. Tolkien's labour. No one sympathetic to his aims - the invention of a secondary universe - will want to miss this chance to be present at the creation.' Publishers Weekly
About the Author
Christopher Tolkien, born on 21 November 1924, is the third son of J.R.R. Tolkien. During the Second World War he served in the Royal Air Force and the Fleet Air Arm as a pilot. At the end of the war he returned to Oxford University, and became a fellow of New College and tutor in English in 1964, lecturing in the University on early English and northern literature. Appointed by J.R.R. Tolkien to be his literary executor, he has devoted himself since his father's death in 1973 to the editing and publication of unpublished writings, notably The Silmarillion and the collections entitled Unfinished Tales and The History of Middle-earth. Since 1975 he has live in France with his wife Baillie.
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Top Customer Reviews
Part 1 contains volumes I-V from the single-volume series.
Part 2 contains volumes VI to IX from the single-volume series.
Part 3 contains volumes X-XII from the single-volume series.
Which you might buy depends on your taste and how you plan to use the books. Would you rather have three bulky volumes of about 1500 pages each or twelve volumes that are typically 450 pages long?
Collections of an author's work are often confusing, particularly when what the author has created is as complex as Tolkien's writings. Here's an overview of the twelve-volume History of Middle-earth, which was edited by his son Christopher Tolkien. Hopefully, it will help you select which book or books to buy.
Keep something in mind. In the U.S. Houghton Mifflin publishes Tolkien's authorized works in hardback and trade paperback editions, while Ballantine Books publishes them as cheaper mass-market paperbacks. For some reason, Ballantine doesn't always make it clear that some of their titles are part of the same History of Middle-earth series as those published by Houghton Mifflin. If the title is the same, the content is the same. Which you buy depends on your taste in books and finances. I have copies of both.
GROUP ONE, VOLUMES I - V, EARLY TALES
These five volumes deal primarily with Tolkien's writings before the publication of The Hobbit (1937) and The Lord of the Rings (1954-55). In them, Tolkien was struggling as a still unknown author to create his first history of Middle-earth.Read more ›
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
I recommend it as it is easier and cheaper than paying for harder-to-find out of print original hardcovers of the first 5 books.