New Tolkien Book for May 2021: The Nature of Middle-earth

2020 has been an… interesting… year thus far, but a bit of news out today suggests that 2021 is something to look forward to. Specifically, we’re getting another Tolkien book, and for a change it’s going to be a meaty one on Middle-earth, rather than a slender overpriced volume of non-Middle-earth material:


Whomever wrote the promotional blurb is taking a few liberties, of course. Unfinished Tales (1980) predates the twelve volumes of The History of Middle-earth (1983-1996), making it a Zeroth volume more than a thirteenth one. And arguably we already have the unofficial thirteenth and fourteenth volumes in the form of John Rateliff’s History of the Hobbit (2007).

Rather, I’d suggest this is more a sequel to Unfinished Tales, which also has an entire section on Númenor. But that’s just quibbling. I am genuinely excited about this, not least because I was unsure whether there was much material actually left to publish (apart from Tolkien’s essay on James Joyce, which we know exists, and which should be fascinating if it ever sees the light of day).

So there is more Middle-earth stuff. Yay!

(I’d still sell Gollum’s grandmother for an expanded Letters though).

4 thoughts on “New Tolkien Book for May 2021: The Nature of Middle-earth

    • It actually came out earlier this month (September, not May). For Covid reasons, my copy has still not arrived, so I haven’t read it.

      From the reviews I’ve seen, this one should be read after HOME volumes 10-12.


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