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The Nature of Middle-earth

19 Jun, 2020 (edited)
2020-6-19 3:08:17 PM UTC

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Nature of Middle-Earth Trade
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Nature of Middle-Earth Deluxe

ISBN-13: 9780358454601 (US Trade hardback)
ISBN-13: 9780008387921 (UK Trade hardback)
ISBN-13: 9780008440572 (UK Deluxe hardback)

Approximately 400 pages
Publication date September 2 2021

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The Nature of Middle-earth

William Morrow (2021-09-02)


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Tolkien, J.R.R.
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J. R. R. Tolkien (author), Carl F. Hostetter (editor)
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The Nature of Middle-Earth: Deluxe (UK, HB)

HarperCollins (2021-09-02)


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Houghton Mifflin has accidentally leaked that they are tentatively planning to release a book titled The Nature of Middle-earth in 2021. The information in their catalog is misleading

By J.R.R. Tolkien and Carl F Hostetter - An unofficial addition to The History of Middle-earth series, The Nature of Middle-earth is the first ever publication of J.R.R. Tolkien’s final writings on Middle-earth.

I will update this post as I am allowed to release more information, but Houghton Mifflin let me know about this title at the end of last year, and here is what I understand and can share:

  • The book consists of mostly previously unpublished J.R.R. Tolkien primary materials, edited (not written) by Carl Hostetter
  • It is being published by HarperCollins first with the approval of the estate, so it is in no way "unofficial"
  • Carl is not at liberty to say anything more about the work, so please don't flood him with questions.

Carl did have this statement to make:

Aelfwine wrote:

I think I can answer this, since as the Frankfurt Book Fair announcement accurately relates, he sent me (the bulk of) the material that forms this book, in photocopy. Aside from that, before he passed, he gave me his approval of my plan to produce a book based on it, and of the sample of preliminary work that I was able to send him.

Carl has kindly added the following additional information about the contents of the book:

Aelfwine wrote:

I cannot yet speak to the contents in specifics, but let me dispel this speculation now. It is true that The Nature of Middle-earth will contain some primary material that was previously published in specialist journals; but the vast majority of the material is previously unpublished. (That's why I've been at work on this in earnest and as my schedule permits for some years now.)


The below information comes from the 2019 Frankfurt Bookfair guide that HarperCollins has on their website here



On November 19, 2020, The Guardian published an official announcment from HarperCollins about this forthcoming title, which can be found here: Unseen JRR Tolkien essays on Middle-earth coming in 2021. Also, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt issued a press release for the US edition.
19 Jun, 2020
2020-6-19 3:17:49 PM UTC
thanks very much for letting us know, Uruloke. I shall look forward to it with great anticipation (if at the same time a bit of impatience)
19 Jun, 2020
2020-6-19 3:20:59 PM UTC
Very cool!
19 Jun, 2020
2020-6-19 3:21:17 PM UTC
Thanks for sharing what you can - I truly appreciate some of the details a select few about forthcoming releases, and also understand too much can't be said.

My thoughts from your post:

- good to know that HarperCollins will also be publishing. This will probably round out and finish my collection.
- I had a feeling that Hostetter would be an editor, and not a writer. Though some commentary, notes, etc can be expected; in the same sense of Rateliff to The History of The Hobbit.
- I hope that it is going well, and that the currently planned publication date can be met. I know the third edition of The Annotated Hobbit has been pushed back once or twice. That is definitely fine, as it'll be a more rewarding book because of it.
19 Jun, 2020
2020-6-19 5:15:07 PM UTC
Aelfwine Really looking forward to this when it comes out
19 Jun, 2020
2020-6-19 7:08:55 PM UTC
Oooh! How nice to have some good news (for a change!)
19 Jun, 2020
2020-6-19 7:37:46 PM UTC
Now this sounds interesting.
20 Jun, 2020
2020-6-20 1:10:16 PM UTC
The HMH page you linked to seems to have now been taken down.
20 Jun, 2020
2020-6-20 2:57:02 PM UTC
Let's hope we'll get even more decent books on Tolkien in the next couple of years!

Thanks for sharing, Jeremy!
21 Jun, 2020 (edited)
2020-6-21 3:07:08 PM UTC
Thanks for sharing, I just found out that this was announced for Frankfurt Book Fair 2019.
I upload here the catalogue I had the chance to find online (it's on page 65).

[Admin edit] Here is the link where this PDF can be downloaded from (as of June 24, 2020)
https://www.harpercollins.co.uk/corpor ... iction-rights-guide-2019/

Frankfurt-Bookfair-Fiction-Rights-Guide-2019.pdf

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