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Reading Order - chronological

3 Dec, 2022 (edited)
2022-12-3 11:45:21 AM UTC

Hi all
I am familiar with the main works of Middle-Earth and as a result wanted to find a chronological order to read the books as events happen within the legendarium.
I found what appears to be a really excellent list here

However, this does not include some recent works and I have tried to replicate the list and have added in e.g. The Fall of Numenor etc. into the schedule as well as some of the 'Readers Guides' which for me are also on my radar. I think I now have a relatively complete reading order for my own purposes but thought I'd share this in case it's useful or anyone has any comments or suggestions. Note that I could not possibly have created this without the guidance of the link above and claim no credit for this list, it is purely created for me.

Chronological-MiddleEarth-Reading-List v2.pdf
4 Dec, 2022
2022-12-4 4:58:42 AM UTC
You're including a few duplicates on that list.

Narn, Of Tuor, and The Numenorean Chapters of TLR are all near entirely contained inside of CoH, FoG, and FoN.

And for a list which excludes the vast majority of HoMe, I wonder why you're including HotH and NoMe.
4 Dec, 2022
2022-12-4 3:59:45 PM UTC
I love reading the legendarium this way. Great list! Your list is missing some great texts though... and 'letters' is a bit out of place in an in-legendarium chronology.
4 Dec, 2022
2022-12-4 5:50:15 PM UTC
Cheers ibid. I wonder if this is due to the original list being before e.g. FOG and FON being published. I'll almost certainly be refining this as I go and have never read HOME so don't know what I'm missing so thanks for the pointers
4 Dec, 2022
2022-12-4 5:52:06 PM UTC
Thank you also Northman. I am a learner in the fuller legendarium and thought I had read somewhere that the letters give an insight into some of Tolkien's thinking on some texts. As above, I'll be learning as I go and will be adapting and revising - it's all part of the fun!
4 Dec, 2022
2022-12-4 6:12:22 PM UTC
ps ibid, I cannot seem to find a definitive summary of whether HoME contains a lot of additional text which adds to the story or if it is simply an explanation of the logic and process used by Tolkien. I'll be buying them at some point next year and I suppose I'll find out for myself but would appreciate your guidance. For reference, I only included specific references in the original list as I presumed that these were the main ones that add to the story in chronological order. I am very keen to read all that I can about this amazing world.
4 Dec, 2022
2022-12-4 8:37:50 PM UTC
HoMe for the most part is a journey through Tolkien's manuscripts in the order he wrote them. Almost entirely new texts, but many of those are preceding drafts of published texts and/or not compatible with the continuity of the published writings. NoMe and HotH can be looked at as extensions to HoMe, focusing on areas Christopher left out.
4 Dec, 2022
2022-12-4 9:00:41 PM UTC
Cheers for that ibid. I'm convinced! I like the idea of individual volumes so there's another 12-13 books to look forward to 80)
5 Dec, 2022
2022-12-5 6:55:09 AM UTC
The First Age

I think the best way is to read The Silmarillion (through the end of the ‘Quenta Silmarillion’ proper) to get an overview, and then go back and read the “full versions” of the tales in the following manner. E = early; L = late. Roman numerals for volume of HoMe. Other abbreviations hopefully obvious.

E - Ælfwine of England (II)
E - The Cottage of Lost Play (I)

E - The Music of the Ainur (I)
E - The Coming of the Valar and the Building of Valinor (I)
E - The Chaining of Melko (I)
L - The Awaking of the Quendi (XI)
E - The Coming of the Elves and the Making of Kôr (I)
L - Finwë and Miriel (X)
E - The Theft of Melko and the Darkening of Valinor (I)
E - The Flight of the Noldoli (I)
E - The Tale of the Sun and Moon (I)
E - The Hiding of Valinor (I)
E - Gilfanon’s Tale: The Travail of the Noldoli and the Coming of Mankind (I)
L - Athrabeth Finrod ah Andreth (X)

E - The Tale of Tinúviel (II)
L - The Lay of Leithian (III)
L - Narn i Chîn Húrin (CH)
L - Of Tuor and his Coming to Gondolin (UT; FG “The Last Version”; best inserted after ch. 12 of CH)
E - The Lay of the Children of Húrin (III)
L - The Wanderings of Húrin (XI)
E - The Nauglafring (II - start with last few pages of “Turambar and the Foalókë”)
E - The Fall of Gondolin (II; FG “The Original Tale”)
5 Dec, 2022
2022-12-5 7:10:33 AM UTC
The Second Age

The Notion Club Papers (IX)

The Tale of Years (FN main narrative)
Tal-Elmar (XII; best inserted before 3175)
The Númenórean Chapters from The Lost Road (FN appendix; best inserted before 3310)

(Not entirely sure about those placements.)
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