Unfinished Tales of Numenor and Middle-earth by J.R.R. Tolkien edited with introduction, commentary, index and maps by Christopher Tolkien
Boston : Houghton Mifflin Co., 1980. First American Edition. Hardcover. 472 pages ; 25 cm. $15.00 dust jacket. Very good copy; no underlines or markings within the pages. Satisfaction guaranteed!
Unfinished Tales is a collection of narratives ranging in time from the Elder Days of Middle-earth to the end of the War of the Rings and comprising such various elements as Gandalf's lively account of how he came to send the Dwarves to the celebrated party at Bag-End; the tale of the emergence of the sea-god ulmo, before the eyes of Tuor, on the coast of Beleriand; and an exact description of the military organization of the Riders of Rohan. The book contains the only story that survived from the long ages before Numenor's downfall, and tells all that is known of such matters as the Five Wizards, the Palantiri, and the legend of Amroth.
Writing about the Appendices to The Lord of the Rings, J. R. R, Tolkien said in 1955: "Those who enjoy the book as a 'heroic romance' only, and find 'unexplained vistas' part of the literary effect, will neglect the Appendices, very properly." Unfinished Tales is avowedly for those who, on the contrary, have not yet sufficiently explored Middle-earth, its languages, its legends, its politics, and its kings.
The collection has been edited by Christopher Tolkien, who explains in his introduction the very various treatments these writings have demanded, and provides a commentary on each of the "tales." He has redrawn the map accompanying The Lord of the Rings on a larger scale, adding new features and names, and has reproduced the only map of Numenor that J. R. R. Tolkien ever made.
Like his father, Christopher Tolkien has taught at Oxford, He has recently been devoting his time to editing the Papers of J.R.R. Tolkien.
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