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Our Book of the Month: Unfinished Tales
This month Wayne Dixon, Museum Team Manager at Sarehole Mill picks a book that journeys deep into Middle-earth.
Unfinished Tales takes a deeper delve into the world created by Tolkien. It’s a collection of stories from the First Age right up to the War of the Ring in The Lord of the Rings.
The book gives an insight into the events in The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings as well as an account of all Five of the Wizards of Middle-earth and the events that happen ‘off camera’ in The Lord of the Rings.
It includes a fascinating commentary from Christopher Tolkien on how his father, J.R.R Tolkien, wrote the tales. It’s a must for Tolkien fans.
I’ve been a fan of Tolkien ever since I discovered his books one icy day in December 2002. Aside from the main novels, Unfinished Tales is an essential read on the history of Middle-earth and the stories that are only hinted at elsewhere. The depth of the stories makes you feel you are reading a long-lost history and the chapter ‘Disaster at the Gladden Fields’ is beautifully tragic in its account of how the One Ring only answers to its Master.
For fans looking to dip their toes into the wider Middle-earth, this collection is by far the greatest introduction as it includes familiar faces and new characters who are as old as Arda itself.
Unfinished Tales of Numenor and Middle-Earth
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 Ring, and provides those who have read The Lord of the Rings with a whole collection of background and new stories from the twentieth century's most acclaimed popular author.
The book concentrates on the realm of Middle-earth and comprises such elements as Galdalf's lively account of how it was that he came to send the Dwarves to the celebrated party at Bag-End, the emergence of the sea-god Ulmo before the eyes of Tuor on the coast of Beleriand, and an exact description of the military organisation of the Riders of Rohan.
Unfinished Tales also contains the only story about the long ages of Numero before its downfall, and all that is known about such matters as the Five Wizards, the Palantiri and the legends of Amroth. The tales were collated and edited by JRR Tolkien's son and literary heir, Christopher Tolkien, who provides a short commentary on each story, helping the reader to fill in the gaps and put each story into the context of the rest of his father's writing.