The Nature of Middle-earth
For everyone who has enjoyed all of Tolkien’s works, The Nature of Middle-Earth is a great addition to your collection. This is a book of previously unpublished notes from J.R.R. Tolkien as he developed his stories. Edited by Carl F. Hostetter, one of the leading experts on Tolkien’s writings, we are given look into the process of creating a new world.
The book compiles Tolkien’s detailed and complex notes about the mythology of Middle Earth. He discusses how Elves age compared to human years and their life cycle and uses elaborate tables to explain generational schemes, including weddings and births. We get to see how he builds his characters: who gets beards and who doesn’t, and even the features of their hands. His notes go beyond the descriptions of elves, men, and dwarfs, as he describes with precision how certain villains should look. Hint: a lot of thought went into the appearances of Gollum and Shelob.
Tolkien goes into much more detail than just building the mythology and history of the peoples we have all grown to love (and hate). If there was a course on Middle-Earth, this would be the textbook that professor J.R.R. Tolkien would lecture from. This is not a book for anyone looking for the next saga, but for those who really want deeper insight into the mind of an unparalleled genius.
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