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The War of the Jewels: The Later Silmarillion, History of Middle-Earth, Part 2, Vol.11 Hardcover – December 6, 1994

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Product Details

  • Series: History of Middle-Earth (Book 11)
  • Hardcover: 488 pages
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (December 6, 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0395710413
  • ISBN-13: 978-0395710418
  • Product Dimensions: 1.5 x 6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #604,633 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

J.R.R. Tolkien's fantasy novel The Silmarillion (1977), published four years after his death, continued the saga of the mythological kingdom of Middle-Earth, begun in his epic trilogy Lord of the Rings. Christopher Tolkien, son of the English novelist and medievalist, here reconstructs the evolution of The Silmarillion using his father's manuscripts and notes and adding his own extensive commentaries and annotations. Picking up where this massive study left off, he reprints the entire text of the unfinished Grey Annals (begun around 1930, reworked in the 1950s, and largely incorporated in The Silmarillion). Amid momentous battles and heroic deeds, we learn how Hurin the Steadfast, released after 28 years of captivity in Morgoth's fortress, journeys among the forest people of Brethril, spreading disaster, and follow the exploits of his son Turin Turambar and daughter Nienor. Included also are J.R.R. Tolkien's discussion of his characters' motives, his detailed maps of imaginary realism, and his essays on the origins and meanings of elvish words and the Dwarves' elaborate gestural language. For hard-core Tolkien devotees and scholars.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.


'Christopher Tolkien shows himself to be his father's son... Tolkien devotees will rejoice' The New York Times Book 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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See all 21 customer reviews
I am so excited with this series.
As with most of the other works in the History, this one requires a good memory or a good library of Tolkien or both.
Midwest Book Review
These books containing basically the source material for the LOTR is gold to me.
Michael R Colwin

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

57 of 57 people found the following review helpful By Michael Martinez on December 13, 2000
Format: Hardcover
The War of the Jewels is one of the most misunderstood and underrated volumes in the History of Middle-earth series. Although it is primarily a scholarly work which explains precisely how Christopher Tolkien brought together the various sources to produce the published Silmarillion, this book also opens up new vistas into First Age Middle-earth that readers never imagined could exist.
Casual readers will enjoy "The Wanderings of Hurin", which Christopher has editorialized to some extent. The story of what Hurin REALLY did after he left Morgoth's domain is an eye-opening experience, and it explains why the sons of Earendil and Elwing were the last heirs of the heroic chieftains of the Edain. But "The Wanderings of Hurin" also gives us the only detailed view of the Folk of Haleth, the mysterious woodmen who figured so prominently in "Narn i Chin Hurin", the tale of Turin Turambar.
Another fantastic gem lies between the covers of this book, however. Accompanying the very scholarly essay "Quendi and Eldar" is a short Elvish nursery tale which provides the only account of how the Elves awoke at Cuivienen, and who the eldest Elves actually were. Their names will surprise everyone. "Quendi and Eldar" itself is filled with a great deal of historical and cultural information although it is primarily a linguistic work. It may represent the last significant contribution Tolkien made to his mythology, even though he later changed his mind on a few details.
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48 of 58 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on July 5, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Since J.R.R. Tolkien's death in 1973, a substantial effort has been made by first Guy Gavriel Kay working with Christopher Tolkien, then Christopher Tolkien but also a host of only marginally acknowledged Tolkien scholars such\ as Taum Santoski, John Rateliff, Doug Anderson, Richard C. West and possibly others unknown to us, to make the body of J.R.R. Tolkien's lifework available to those of us wishing to watch the creative process of architecture of Tolkien's world unfold. Early on in the process, there was a parting of the ways between Guy Gavriel Kay and J.R.R. Tolkien's son, Christopher, over the form that J.R.R. Tolkien's posthumously-published lifework would be presented. G.G. Kay opted for a posthumous collaboration format which would allow for the presentation of much of the work in a finished form. Christopher Tolkien chose a more scholarly option. Each approach has its advantages and audiences. While The History of Middle Earth in its currently eleven volumes (projected for twelve) is perhaps a unique event in publishing history, useful to the scholar but also prized by a wider group of readers, one wonders what the effect might have been of presenting this body of work as works of fiction. Phil suspects that it may have supplanted a whole generation of bad imitators of the works, style and subject matter of Tolkien. Especially if the themes were handled at a level of artfulness consistent with the will of J.R.R. Tolkien. We can only speculate whether that would even be possible without Tolkien's own hand - a core question in any discussion of individual creativity. However, since J.R.R. Tolkien thought of himself as a chronicler rather than a creator, it might be argued that a writer such as G.G.Read more ›
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By on October 9, 1998
Format: Hardcover
In the eleventh volume of the History of Middle Earth Christopher Tolkien continues from where he left off in "Morgoth's Ring". It spans the time from the Siege of Angband to the Tale of Maeglin. Also included are the Grey Annals, which are a timeline of the events in Beleriand, and The Wanderings of Hurin, which is an interesting story about Hurin after his release from Angband. This is a must have for those that have read the previous HoME volumes or for any Tolkien fan.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Vaevictis Asmadi on August 15, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Volume XI of the History of Middle-Earth contains JRR Tolkien's writings of the First Age after the Lord of the Rings was published. Most texts date from the 1950s, but some were written as late as 1970, in the last years of his life. This volume contains the history of Beleriand.

Not everyone who has read The Silmarillion will enjoy this work, but if you read The Silmarillion and Unfinished Tales and still hunger for more stories and information about the First Age, this book is a wonderful treat. If you don't care for the commentaries, there are still the stories themselves. Even folks who aren't interested in old versions of Tolkien's Middle-Earth writings, as published in the earlier History of Middle-Earth volumes, may enjoy this book, which like the Unfinished Tales mostly contains texts contemporary with or written after the texts that made it into the Lord of the Rings and The Silmarillion.

Unlike most other volumes of the History of Middle-Earth, much of Volume XI is *NEW* material that is published nowhere else. It also includes some of the actual texts that Christopher Tolkien used to construct the standard version of The Silmarillion.

"The Wanderings of Húrin" can be considered the greatest gem of Volume XI, continuing the tragic tale of the Children of Húrin in the tradition of the Narn i Chîn Húrin, and further developing Húrin's character. It is a completely new narrative, describing in almost novelistic prose the story of Húrin after he was released from Angband: his travel to Hithlum, and the disastrous fallout of his visit to Brethil. This is a nearly complete story, similar to the narratives in Unfinished Tales.
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