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The Shaping of Middle-earth: The Quenta, the Ambarkanta, and the Annals, Together With the Earliest 'Silmarillion' and the First Map (History of Middle-Earth) Hardcover – November 14, 1986


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Product Details

  • Series: History of Middle-Earth (Book 4)
  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt; First Edition edition (November 14, 1986)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0395425018
  • ISBN-13: 978-0395425015
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 5.7 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #633,495 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

This volume in the History of Middle-earth presents the earliest version of the Silmarillion as well as the "Quenta," which further develops this material. The "Annals" are a chronological presentation of the major events in Tolkien's vast mythology. There is also a copy of the earliest map Tolkien created of Middle-earth. Original material is followed by copious annotations relating each part to the others as well as to material presented in other volumes. This collection will be most useful to scholars interested in tracing the development of Tolkien's work. A small group of serious and sophisticated fans of fantasy may also be interested. Suggested for comprehensive literature collections. Beth Ann Mills, New Rochelle P.L., N.Y.
Copyright 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Review

'Illustrates the development, depth and richness of J R R Tolkien's personal mythology' Vector --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

J.R.R. Tolkien (1892.1973), beloved throughout the world as the creator of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, was a professor of Anglo-Saxon at Oxford, a fellow of Pembroke College, and a fellow of Merton College until his retirement in 1959. His chief interest was the linguistic aspects of the early English written tradition, but even as he studied these classics he was creating a set of his own.

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Undoubtedly it is essential reading for Tolkien fans.
John Kwok
Many of the fragments rework the same material, so you find yourself reading the same story over again, in slightly different words.
B. Marold
The Annals and the Sketch do a great job of summarizing and shortening the overall story in a way that was refreshing.
Dominick T Marrazzo

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 25 people found the following review helpful By olorin69@hotmail.com on September 25, 1998
Format: Mass Market Paperback
In the third volume in The History of Middle Earth series, Christopher Tolkien picks up where he left off with The Book Lost Tales. In this volume you will see the central themes in Middle Earth evolve a little closer to what we see in the Silmarillion. You will see the early Silmarillion and the Annals of both Valinor and Beleriand. Also incuded are maps drawn by Tolkien himself showing his early ideas for the geography of Middle Earth and Numenor. Moreover, in his attempt to make the Silmarillion seem more like a real history (which it is in some of our hearts) Tolkien has translated parts of the Annals and the Silmarillion into the native language of Elfwine, Old English. I recommend this book for anyone who loves Tolkien's works.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By B. Marold HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWER on July 30, 2005
Format: Mass Market Paperback
`The Shaping of Middle-Earth' is the fourth volume of Christopher Tolkien's exegesis of his father, J.R.R. Tolkien's unpublished writings which were done before, during, and after the writing of `The Hobbit' and `The Lord of the Rings'. It is important to realize that beginning with Volume III, `The Lays of Beleriand', these volumes are prepared according to the date on which the elder Tolkien wrote the documents. That this `real world' chronology is roughly parallel to the great ages of middle earth is simply a happy coincidence.

One little niggle I have about the emphasis of `Middle Earth' in the title of both this volume and the series as a whole is that the land, middle earth, is just one part of the whole world in which this mythology is played out. It is basically a great continent, roughly similar to Eurasia in size, surrounded by a single great ocean which is, in turn, bounded by the undying lands. This fact is eminantly clear in the crude maps by Tolkien senior presented in this volume.

What is also eminantly clear in most of these fragments is the great difference in both geography and physics between our world and the world in which middle earth is embedded. There is no sun and no stars, until the stars are created by some of the `gods', the Valar, who are in turn created by `the one', Iluvatar.

The fragments in this volume are mostly early versions of the mythology which was to become the postumously published `The Silmarillion'. As such, it deals with my very favorite character outside of `The Lord of the Rings', the elven lord Feanor who, in a rough parallel to both Adam and Prometheus, disobeys the Valar based on the promptings of the ultimate bad guy in these stories, Morgoth.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By "mokkan" on January 3, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The Shaping of Middle-Earth concentrates some part of it to actually physically describing the layout of Arda (the World) with some interesting maps drawn by Tolkien in the middle of the book. The book also includes information behind the fall of Morgoth at the end of the First Age.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By David Zampino VINE VOICE on February 4, 2007
Format: Mass Market Paperback
. . . continues in this, the fourth volume of "The History of Middle-Earth" series.

Christopher Tolkien, in his 12-volume "History of Middle-Earth" series presents the notes, stories, fragments, and legends of what was to eventually become "The Silmarillion" in two stages. This book is the final stage of what scholars would consider "The Early Silmarillion"; continuing on the work presented in the two volumes of "The Book of Lost Tales".

If the Tolkien fan is interested in seeing how the mind of the Master developed and progressed his stories, this volume is absolutely indispensable. It is especially interesting to compare "The Shaping of Middle-Earth" with "Morgoth's Ring" and the other volumes of what Christopher calls "The Later Silmarillion".

Once again, thanks is due to Christopher for his labor of love so that we can delve more deeply into Middle-Earth.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Once again I feel like I am rereading part of JRR Tolkien's Silmarrillion for the umpteenth time. I read these books to get some stories that somehow never made it to publication. What I get are differing versions of the same stories sometimes with similar event and at other times with different event. Though the names may change the song remains the same.
In this volume Christopher gives us a tales from the Early Silmarilion, the Quenta, Ambarkanta, Earliest annals of Valinor and the Earliest Annals of Beleriend. This volume takes us all the way till the end of the first age. Starting with the Valar coming down to Arda and Melkor's rebellion. We are taken through the capturing of Melkor by Tulkas and the awakening of the Elves an being lead to Valinor by Orome the Vala of the Hunt. We are told how when Melkor was released he deceives the Noldoli called Gnomes into turning against the Valar. Oh by the way there were three groups of elves that came to Valinor. The Quenda, who were lead by Ingwe, Teleri, and the Noldoli, who were lead by Finwe. By the way with the Noldoli there are enough names beginning with F to remember that it can get rather confusing. In any case after Melkor is freed he goes about destroying the two trees with the help of Ungoliant. From them the Silmarrion are created. He covets those as well and steals them. Later on when Ungoliant and Melkor feud over splitting the Silmarils, Melkor slays Ungoliant. Melkor holes up in Angaband creating Orcs, Balrogs and Dragon.
Feanor who crafted the Jewels wants them back so he and his Noldoli steal ships from the Teleri and go there. The Gods try to stop them and make them ask for pardon but to no avail. They reach the northern wastelands and wage war against Angaband.
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