Book Haul: The History of Middle-earth

It took five sets and an extra two weeks after the release date, but I finally, finally got it.

I pre-ordered this book set from my indie bookshop in July and proceeded to wait for the October 6 release date, but when the first four sets arrived damaged, the bookseller was not about to give me a damaged set after I’d paid so much money for it, so I waited.

But it’s finally here.

The History of Middle-earth, by J.R.R. Tolkien, edited by Christopher Tolkien, in a three-volume hardback edition with a decorative box covered in faux-leather with J.R.R. Tolkien’s sigil imprinted on the sides.

The first volume contains:

The second volume contains:

The third volume contains:

What is The History of Middle-earth? It contains hundreds of pages of stories, drafts, and notes that Tolkien wrote during the decades when he built the world of Arda, the ancient lands where The Silmarillion, The Hobbit, and The Lord of the Rings took place. I’ve already read several of these books, but it has been a long time, and the more I delve into the background of Middle-earth, the more I want to dig into these books once more. Right now, I am planning to make it a reading project for 2021, once I finish my yearly re-read of The Lord of the Rings.

I hope you’re ready for some extreme geeking out over Tolkien. It’s going to be great.

14 thoughts on “Book Haul: The History of Middle-earth

  1. So glad to see this finally arrived, and in good condition! It’s a beautiful thing when a book, or set of books, can make you smile just by sitting on the shelf. 🙂 Perhaps I’ll take your goal as inspiration and also attempt to read it in 2021.

  2. Congratulations on acquiring these lovely books. I have read The Silmarilion and some of the story of Beren and Luthien but goodness it can be quite academic. The Children of Hurin is pretty depressing. As you say, serious geeking out.

  3. I’m not sure how I’ll deal with them. The only thing I’ve really thought about is a reading schedule. There are 13 books in the whole history, so I think I’ll read one book each month (except for one month where I’ll have to read 2, which will probably be January). I might just do reading logs like I did once upon a time when I read SJM’s Heir of Fire. That was fun, even though the book was awful.

  4. Yeah, but I have a feeling if you DO do reading logs that it won’t be anything like Heir of Fire. Wasn’t that mostly “Here are the 8 billion problems with SJM’s writing and this book in particular.” ? I doubt Tolkien will get the same treatment. Perhaps the opposite… XD

  5. Yeah, that Heir of Fire log was a lot of errors and me being entirely frustrated with the myriad issues of this book, which somehow made it to the printer as is and then was a bestseller….

    It definitely will not be a problem with History of Middle-earth. Even Tolkien’s dashed off thoughts are of better quality than SJM’s work.

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