Second in a series of hardcover box sets celebrating the literary achievement of Christopher Tolkien, featuring double-sided dust jackets--one side featuring artwork by John Howe, and the original graphic treatment on the other. Set 2 contains The Lays of Beleriand, The Shaping of Middle-earth, and The Lost Road (Books 3-5 of The History of Middle-earth).
The Lays of Beleriand gives us a privileged insight into the creation of the mythology of Middle-earth, through the alliterative verse tales of two of the most crucial stories in Tolkien's world--those of Turin and Luthien. Accompanying the poems are commentaries on the evolution of the history of the Elder Days. Also included is the notable criticism of The Lay of Leithian by C.S. Lewis, who read the poem in 1929.
In The Shaping of Middle-earth, the chronological and geographical structure of the legends of Middle-earth and Valinor is spread before us. We are introduced to the hitherto unknown Ambarkanta or "Shape of the World," the only account ever given of the nature of the imagined Universe, accompanied by maps and diagrams of the world before and after the cataclysms of The War of the Gods and the Downfall of Numenor.
The Lost Road completes the examination of Tolkien's writing before he began The Lord of the Rings, presenting later forms of the annals of Valinor and Beleriand, the legend of the downfall of Numenor, and the abandoned "time-travel" story "The Lost Road," linking the world of Numenor and Middle-earth with the legends of many other times and peoples.
Published together for the first time, these three books collect a fascinating period of Christopher Tolkien's forty-year career devoted to presenting his father J.R.R. Tolkien's writings on Middle-earth, a unique accomplishment that celebrates the greatest invented world in all of fantasy literature.