The history of middle earth

Archive Home > The Books
Dor-lómin 20/Dec/2006 at 05:52 AM
Garment-crafter of Lothlorien Points: 529 Posts: 110 Joined: 20/Dec/2006
I am planning to buy the history of middle earth (the first five volumes) and wanted to know whether they are anything like the silmarillion?, are they a good read and would u recommend them for begginer Tolkien addicts.
Alcarináro 20/Dec/2006 at 06:01 AM
Banned Points: 14162 Posts: 14178 Joined: 24/Sep/2003
The first five volumes of the Histories of Middle-earth are the Silmarillion, or more correctly, they are the Silmarillion writings (and a few other things, like The Lost Road) up until Tolkien started writing the Lord of the Rings. They span the time from 1916 to the late 1930s.
I would not recommend them for beginners. If you haven’t read LotR and the Silmarillion a few times, odds are you will end up being very confused.
Dor-lómin 20/Dec/2006 at 06:39 AM
Garment-crafter of Lothlorien Points: 529 Posts: 110 Joined: 20/Dec/2006
Quote: Originally posted by Elenhir on Wednesday, December 20, 2006
The first five volumes of the Histories of Middle-earth are the Silmarillion, or more correctly, they are the Silmarillion writings (and a few other things, like The Lost Road) up until Tolkien started writing the Lord of the Rings. They span the time from 1916 to the late 1930s.
I would not recommend them for beginners. If you haven’t read LotR and the Silmarillion a few times, odds are you will end up being very confused.
Ya i hav read Lotr and the silmarillion and all the books i can get my hands on, i understand them fully and am now looking for other books like the history of middle earth. I am not easily confused and i was wondering is it all just the silmarillion or is it stuff i have not read yet?
Lord of the Rings 20/Dec/2006 at 10:41 AM
Mandos Points: 8968 Posts: 7368 Joined: 03/Dec/2005
As Elenhir has already said, it is both The Silmarillion and stuff that you have not read.

Volumes one and two, The Books of Lost Tales, are the earliest version of the Sil, from over 50 years before its publication, and the stories are often very different from what you are used to (it also was never completely finished).

Volume three contains poetic versions of some of the stories from the Sil.

Volumes four and five contain various writings and versions of the Sil mythos, ranging from short sketches to dated annals to full narratives along the lines of the Sil. They also contain some other writings, such as descriptions of the shape of the world, and an aborted novel Tolkien began about the fall of Numenor.

All the Histories contain these various writings by Tolkien, along with extensive commentary by his son, Christopher, who edited the books together. I would highly recommend reading the commentaries. They are both what distinguishes the Histories most from the published Sil, and they help tie everything together so you understand what you are reading (otherwise the writings would likely appear to be a bunch of fragmented bits of story).

They are not easy reads, but they may be the next step if you want to get more into ME. However, there is one other book I would definitely recommend reading first- Unfinished Tales. It is somewhat like the Histories lite, containing various writings by Tolkien held together by his son’s commentary, and is generally a more readable book. Plus, it contains a wealth of information about Middle-earth which is absolutely fascinating.
Dor-lómin 20/Dec/2006 at 04:10 PM
Garment-crafter of Lothlorien Points: 529 Posts: 110 Joined: 20/Dec/2006
Quote: Originally posted by Lord of the Rings on Wednesday, December 20, 2006
As Elenhir has already said, it is both The Silmarillion and stuff that you have not read.

Volumes one and two, The Books of Lost Tales, are the earliest version of the Sil, from over 50 years before its publication, and the stories are often very different from what you are used to (it also was never completely finished).

Volume three contains poetic versions of some of the stories from the Sil.

Volumes four and five contain various writings and versions of the Sil mythos, ranging from short sketches to dated annals to full narratives along the lines of the Sil. They also contain some other writings, such as descriptions of the shape of the world, and an aborted novel Tolkien began about the fall of Numenor.

All the Histories contain these various writings by Tolkien, along with extensive commentary by his son, Christopher, who edited the books together. I would highly recommend reading the commentaries. They are both what distinguishes the Histories most from the published Sil, and they help tie everything together so you understand what you are reading (otherwise the writings would likely appear to be a bunch of fragmented bits of story).

They are not easy reads, but they may be the next step if you want to get more into ME. However, there is one other book I would definitely recommend reading first- Unfinished Tales. It is somewhat like the Histories lite, containing various writings by Tolkien held together by his son’s commentary, and is generally a more readable book. Plus, it contains a wealth of information about Middle-earth which is absolutely fascinating.
Ok thnx for that, i will buy unfinished tales first
Arvellas 21/Dec/2006 at 02:43 PM
Warrior of Imladris Points: 5462 Posts: 3016 Joined: 16/May/2006
Dor-lomin-Welcome to the Plaza and to the Lore Fora!
First of all, as a side note, if you quote someone else’s post, please try to put in at least 200 characters (about 3 lines) of your own thoughts, otherwise you’re getting points for what someone else wrote.
Anyway, though I have not read said books myself, I just ordered them, along with Unfinished Tails, for I have heard a lot of good things about them.  And if you have already read LOTR, TH, and the Sil and understand them, then perhaps you’re not as much of a beginner as you think you are, so I see no reason why you should not at least give it a try.
Dor-lómin 21/Dec/2006 at 05:33 PM
Garment-crafter of Lothlorien Points: 529 Posts: 110 Joined: 20/Dec/2006
Quote: Originally posted by Arvellas on Thursday, December 21, 2006
Dor-lomin-Welcome to the Plaza and to the Lore Fora!
First of all, as a side note, if you quote someone else’s post, please try to put in at least 200 characters (about 3 lines) of your own thoughts, otherwise you’re getting points for what someone else wrote.
Anyway, though I have not read said books myself, I just ordered them, along with Unfinished Tails, for I have heard a lot of good things about them.  And if you have already read LOTR, TH, and the Sil and understand them, then perhaps you’re not as much of a beginner as you think you are, so I see no reason why you should not at least give it a try.

Maybe i’m not such a bigginer, but i’ve gotta save up one hundred and eighty dollars first  Not cheap but i bet it’s worth it. And i don’t know why people keep going on about the Sil as if it’s hard to understand, i understood it first time round. Maybe it’s just me but the sil was acturley not a hard read.

Anyway thnx Arvellas