||This is the twelfth volume of previously unpublished works in Tolkien's prehistory of Middle Earth, the setting of his famous "The Lord of the Rings" and "The Hobbit", among others.
||When in 1937 J. R. R. Tolkien laid aside The Silmarillion, the extension of his original mythology into later Ages of the world had scarcely emerged. Tolkien himself noted that he knew nothing of the peoples and history of these Ages until he "met them on the way". It was in the appendices to The Lord of the Rings that there emerged a comprehensive historical structure and chronology of the Second and Third Ages, embracing all the diverse strands that came together in The War of the Ring. Tolkien's difficulty - bordering on despair - in providing these appendices, leading to delay in the publication of The Return of the King, is well known. In The Peoples of Middle-earth, however, Christopher Tolkien shows that the work had in fact been achieved years before, in essays and records differing greatly from the published forms. A number of other writings by J. R. R. Tolkien are also included in this book; they derive chiefly from his last years, when new insights and constructions freely arose as he pondered the history that he had created.
|Editors Note 2
||Throughout this vast and intricate mythology, says Publishers Weekly, "one marvels anew at the depth, breadth, and persistence of J.R.R. Tolkien's labor. No one sympathetic to his aims, the invention of a secondary universe, will want to miss this chance to be present at the creation." In this capstone to that creation, we find the chronology of Middle-earth's later Ages, the Hobbit genealogies, and the Western language or Common Speech. These early essays show that Tolkien's fertile imagination was at work on Middle-earth's Second and Third Ages long before he explored them in the Appendices to The Lord of the Rings . Here too are valuable writings from Tolkien's last years: " The New Shadow," in Gondor of the Fourth Age, and" Tal-elmar," the tale of the coming of the N?men-rean ships.
|Editors Note 3
||A collection of essays shows how the author began the story of Middle-earth's Second and Third ages