J. R. R. Tolkien: The History of Middle-Earth

The History of Middle-Earth is a 12-volume series of books edited by Christopher Tolkien that provides a detailed look at the development of J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle-Earth mythology. The series includes unpublished manuscripts, drafts, and notes that provide readers with a unique and fascinating glimpse into the creative process of one of the greatest writers of the 20th century.


number of pages: 5000
literary period: MODERNISM
literary genre: FANTASY
1st edition: 1983 - 1996
years of writing: 1910 - 1973


Each volume of The History of Middle-Earth provides a different perspective on Tolkien’s writing and world-building process. Some volumes explore the early drafts of The Lord of the Rings, while others examine the evolution of Tolkien’s language and mythology, as well as his ideas about the origins of Middle-Earth and its various creatures and cultures.

One of the key features of the series is the level of detail it provides about Tolkien’s writing process. Readers are treated to a wealth of previously unpublished material, including early versions of some of the most iconic characters and events in Tolkien’s mythology. This includes detailed notes and annotations that give insight into the creative decisions that led to the final versions of Tolkien’s works.

Another important aspect of The History of Middle-Earth is the context it provides for Tolkien’s writing. The series includes commentary and annotations by Christopher Tolkien that provide historical and literary background for his father’s work, as well as insight into the influences that informed Tolkien’s writing. This helps to deepen readers’ understanding of Tolkien’s mythology and the themes and ideas that underpin it.


Eru Ilúvatar

The supreme creator and god of Middle-Earth.


A fallen angel who seeks to dominate and corrupt Middle-Earth.


A powerful angelic being who serves as the lord of the winds and skies.


A powerful servant of Melkor/Morgoth who seeks to gain power over Middle-Earth.

Beren And Lúthien

Two lovers who embark on a perilous quest to recover a powerful jewel from the hands of the dark lord Morgoth.

Túrin Turambar

A tragic hero who is cursed by fate and struggles to overcome his destiny.


A mariner who seeks to aid the people of Middle-Earth in their war against Morgoth.

Frodo Baggins

A hobbit who is tasked with destroying the One Ring and bringing an end to the power of Sauron.


A wise and powerful wizard who aids Frodo and his companions in their quest.


A brave and noble human who is destined to become the king of Middle-Earth.

Tom Bombadil

A mysterious and enigmatic character who is said to have existed before the creation of the world and possesses great power and knowledge.


An elven queen who possesses great wisdom and magical abilities.


An elf who creates the powerful jewels known as the Silmarils and is consumed by his desire to possess them.


A noble and powerful elf who aids the forces of good in their struggles against Morgoth and Sauron.


The lord of Rivendell, a wise and powerful elf who plays a key role in the events of Middle-Earth.

Finrod Felagund

A wise and powerful elf who becomes a close friend and ally of the human hero Beren.


The dark lord who seeks to control Middle-Earth and is opposed by the forces of good throughout the history of the world.


The powerful dragon who hoards treasure in The Hobbit, a novel that takes place within the world of Middle-Earth.


A shape-shifting man who aids the protagonists of The Hobbit in their quest to defeat the dragon Smaug.

Well, here at last, dear friends, on the shores of the Sea comes the end of our fellowship in Middle-Earth. Go in peace! I will not say: do not weep; for not all tears are an evil.



  • Early Versions of Characters and Events: The series includes early versions of some of the most iconic characters and events in Tolkien’s mythology, providing insight into the creative process that led to the final versions.
  • Language and Writing: Several volumes explore Tolkien’s writing process and the evolution of his language, providing a deep understanding of the creation of Middle-Earth.
  • The Silmarillion: The series includes several volumes that focus specifically on the evolution of Tolkien’s masterwork, The Silmarillion.
  • Historical and Literary Context: Christopher Tolkien provides detailed commentary and annotations that give historical and literary context for his father’s work, helping to deepen readers’ understanding of Middle-Earth.
  • Creation Myths: The series includes detailed explorations of Tolkien’s creation myths and the origins of Middle-Earth.
  • Alternate Versions: The series includes alternate versions of some of the most important stories in Tolkien’s mythology, providing insight into the creative choices that led to the final versions.
  • Editing and Publishing: The series includes detailed information about the editing and publishing process for Tolkien’s works, providing insight into the ways in which his work was shaped for publication.
  • Appendices: The series includes extensive appendices that provide additional context and information about the history and mythology of Middle-Earth.
  • Maps and Illustrations: The series includes a wealth of maps and illustrations that help to bring Middle-Earth to life and deepen readers’ understanding of its geography and cultures.
  • A Comprehensive Look at Tolkien’s Creative Process: Taken as a whole, The History of Middle-Earth provides a comprehensive and fascinating overview of the evolution of Tolkien’s imaginative world and the creative process that led to some of the most beloved and enduring works of fantasy literature. It is an essential resource for fans of Tolkien’s work and for anyone interested in the art of writing and world-building.

The History of Middle-Earth is an essential resource for fans of Tolkien’s work, as well as for anyone interested in the art of writing and world-building. It provides a fascinating look into the creative process of one of the most influential writers of the 20th century, and helps to deepen our understanding of the rich and complex world of Middle-Earth.



J.R.R. Tolkien, full name John Ronald Reuel Tolkien, was an English writer, poet, and academic who is best known for his fantasy novels The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. He was born in Bloemfontein, South Africa on January 3, 1892, but moved to Birmingham, England with his family when he was three years old. His father, Arthur Tolkien, was an English bank manager and his mother, Mabel Tolkien, was a talented artist and musician.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *