HarperCollins is to publish a previously unseen collection of writings about Middle Earth by its creator JRR Tolkien.  Presented for the first time in one volume entitled The Nature of Middle-earth it will be edited by Carl F Hostetter, a computer scientist at NASA and a long-standing expert on Tolkien’s invented languages.

The publisher says the book “will transport readers back to the world of The Silmarillion, Unfinished Tales and The Lord of the Rings”.  Chris Smith, HarperCollins Deputy Publishing Director, says: “It is well known that J.R.R. Tolkien published The Hobbit in 1937 and The Lord of the Rings in 1954– 5. What may be less known is that he continued to write about Middle-earth in the decades that followed, right up until the years before his death [in 1973].

“For him, Middle-earth was part of an entire world to be explored, and the writings in The Nature of Middle-earth reveal the journeys that he took as he sought to better understand his unique creation. From sweeping themes as profound as Elvish immortality and reincarnation, and the Powers of the Valar, to the more earth-bound subjects of the lands and beasts of Númenor, the geography of the Rivers and Beacon-hills of Gondor, and even who had beards!

“This new collection is a veritable treasure-trove offering readers a chance to peer over Professor Tolkien’s shoulder at the very moment of discovery: and on every page, Middle-earth is once again brought to extraordinary life.”

The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings have each become beloved classics and international bestsellers in more than 70 languages.  Collectively they have sold more than 150m copies worldwide.  HarperCollins will publish The Nature of Middle-earth  on 24 June 2021.