The History of Middle-earth is a 13-volume series of books that collect and analyse material relating to Middle-earth, compiled and edited by the son of J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien. Some of the content consists of earlier versions of already published works by Tolkien, while other portions are completely new material. These books are extremely detailed, to the point of documenting scraps of paper that have been erased multiple times with many footnotes. Christopher Tolkien has documented the history of the writing of the Middle-earth stories in as much detail as his father documented the fictional history of Middle-earth itself.
The first two books introduce readers to The Book of Lost Tales, a mythology for England from which Tolkien drew ideas that eventually became the 'Silmarillion' mythology. The next three books follow the history of the emerging early mythology usually known as The Silmarillion. The discussion of the published book is deferred until book ten. Books six through nine discuss the development of The Lord of the Rings, book nine's second half discussing the Númenor story (the first versions of which were covered in Book Five). Book ten and eleven discuss the Annals of Beleriand and Annals of Aman, which works were developed together with the Silmarillion tradition and which also served as source material for the published Silmarillion. Book twelve discusses the development of the Appendices to The Lord of the Rings, followed by some assorted essays from Tolkien's last years of life.
- The Book of Lost Tales 1 (1983)
- The Book of Lost Tales 2 (1984)
- The Lays of Beleriand (1985)
- The Shaping of Middle-earth (1986)
- The Lost Road and Other Writings (1987)
- The Return of the Shadow (The History of The Lord of the Rings v.1) (1988)
- The Treason of Isengard (The History of The Lord of the Rings v.2) (1989)
- The War of the Ring (The History of The Lord of the Rings v.3) (1990)
- Sauron Defeated (The History of The Lord of the Rings v.4) (1992)
- Morgoth's Ring (The Later Silmarillion v.1) (1993)
- The War of the Jewels (The Later Silmarillion v.2) (1994)
- The Peoples of Middle-earth (1996)
- The History of Middle-earth: Index (2002)
The thirteenth volume, The History of Middle-earth: Index, completely integrates all the indices from the other twelve books into one large index.
|J. R. R. Tolkien's Middle-earth legendarium|