|Author||J. R. R. Tolkien|
|Publisher||George Allen & Unwin (UK)|
|1983 to 1996|
|Media type||Print (hardback and paperback)|
|Preceded by||The Monsters and the Critics, and Other Essays|
The History of Middle-earth is a 12-volume series of books published between 1983 and 1996 that collect and analyse material relating to the fiction of J. R. R. Tolkien, compiled and edited by his son, Christopher Tolkien. The series shows the development over time of Tolkien’s conception of Middle-earth as a fictional place with its own peoples, languages, and history, from his earliest notions of a “mythology for England” through to the development of the stories that make up The Silmarillion and The Lord of the Rings. It is not a “history of Middle-earth” in the sense of being a chronicle of events in Middle-earth written from an in-universe perspective; it is instead an out-of-universe history of Tolkien’s creative process. In 2000–01, the twelve volumes were republished in three limited edition omnibus volumes. Non-deluxe editions of the three volumes were published in 2002.
- The Book of Lost Tales , Part I (1983)
- The Book of Lost Tales, Part II (1984)
- The Lays of Beleriand (1985)
- The Shaping of Middle-earth (1986)
- The Lost Road and Other Writings (1987)
- The Return of the Shadow (The History of The Lord of the Rings Volume 1) (1988)
- The Treason of Isengard (The History of The Lord of the Rings Volume 2) (1989)
- The War of the Ring (The History of The Lord of the Rings Volume 3) (1990)
- Sauron Defeated (includes The History of The Lord of the Rings Volume 4) (1992)
- Morgoth’s Ring (The Later Silmarillion Volume 1) (1993)
- The War of the Jewels (The Later Silmarillion Volume 2) (1994)
- The Peoples of Middle-earth (1996)
A combined index was published six years after the series was completed as The History of Middle-earth: Index (2002).
A shorter version of volume 9, omitting material not related to The Lord of the Rings, was published as The End of the Third Age; this is usually sold as a boxed set along with volumes 6, 7 and 8 as The History of the Lord of the Rings.