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The Shaping of Middle-Earth: The Quenta, the Ambarkanta and the Annals, Together with the Earliest 'Silmarillion' and the First Map (Anglais) Broché – 18 août 1993

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Before giving the ‘Sketch of the Mythology’, the earliest form of the prose ‘Silmarillion’, there are some brief prose texts that can be conventiently collected here.


Among loose papers there is an early piece, soon abandoneed, entitled Turlin and the Exiles of Gondolin. It will be seen that it relates closely to the beginning of the tale of The Fall of Gondolin (II. 149) but at the same time contains much that is new. That it was the beginning of a later version of the tale is clear at once from the name Mithrim, for this only replaced Asgon by emendation in the final text of The Fall of Gondolin (II. 202). This brief text reads as follows. At the first three occurrences of the name Turlin in the narrative (but not in the title ) it was emended to Turgon; at the fourth and fifth Turgon was so written from the first. I give Turgon throughout.

‘Then’ said Ilfiniol son of Bronweg }know that Ulmo Lord of Waters forgot never the sorrows of the Elfin kindreds beneath the power of Melko, but he might do little because of the anger of the other Gods who shut their hearts against the race of the Gnomes, and dwelt behind the veiled hills of Valinor heedless of the Outer World, so deep was their ruth and regret for the death of the Two Trees. Nor did any save Ulmo only dread the power of Melko that wrought ruin and sorrow over all the Earth; but Ulmo desired that Valinor should gather all its might to quench his evil ere it be too late, and him seemed that both purposes might perchance be achieved if messengers from the Gnomes should win to Valinor and plead for pardon and for pity upon the Earth; for the love of Palúrien and Oromë her son for those wide realms did slumber still. Yet hard and evil was the road from the Outer Earth to Valinor, and the Gods themselves had meshed the ways with magic and veiled the encircling hills. Thus did Ulmo seek unceasingly to stir the Gnomes to send messengers unto Valinor, but Melko was cunning and very deep in wisdom, and unsleeping was his wariness in all things that touched the Elfin kindreds, and their messengers overcame not the perils and temptations of that longest and most evil of all roads, and many that dared to set forth were lost forever.

Now tells the tale how Ulmo despaired that any of the Elfin race should surpass the dangers of the way, and of the deepest and the latest design that he then fashioned, and of those things which came of it.

In those days the greater part of the kindreds of Men dwelt after the Battle of Unnumbered Tears in that land of the North that has many names, but which the Elves of Kôr have named Hisilómë which is the Twilit Mist, and the Gnomes, who of the Elf-kin know it best, Dor-Lómin the Land of Shadows. A poeople mighty in numbers were there, dwelling about the wide pale waters pf Mithrim the great lake that lies in those regions, and other folk named them Tunglin of folk of the Harp, for their joy was in the wild music and minstrelsy of the fells and woodlands, but they knew not and sang not of the sea. Now this folk came into those places after the dread battle, being too late summoned thither from afar, and they bore no stain of treachery against the Elfin kin; but indeed many among them clung to such friendship with the hidden Gnomes of the mountains and Dark Elves as might be still for the sorrow and mistrust born of those ruinous deeds in the Vale of Niniach. Turgon was a man of that folk, son of Peleg, son of Indor, son of [Ear>] Fengel who was their chief and hearing the summons had marched out of thte deeps of the East with all his folk. But Turgon dwelt not much with his kindred, and loved rather solitude and the friendship of the Elves whose tongues he knew, and he wandered alone about the long shores of Mothrim, now hunting in its woods, now making sudden music ibn the rocks upon his rugged harp of wood strung with the sinews of bears. But he sang not for the ears of Men, and many hearing the power of his rough songs came from afar to hearken to his harping; [?but] Turgon left his singing and departed to lonely places in the mountains.

Many strange things he learned there, broken tidings of far off things, and longing came upon him for deeper lore, but as yet his heart turned not from the long shores, and the pale waters of Mithrim in the mists. Yet he was not fated to dwell for ever in those places, for ’tis said that magic and destiny led him on a day to a cavernous opening in the rocks down which a hidden river flowed from Mithrim. And Turgon entered that cavern seeking to learn its secret, but having entered the waters of Mithrim drave him forward into the heart of the rock vand he might not win back into the light. This men said was not without the will of Ulmo, at whose prompting may be the Gnomes had fashioned that deep and hidden way. Then came the Gnomes to Turgon and guided him along the dark passages amid the mountains until he came out once more into the light.

The text ends here (though manuscript pages written at the same time continue on another subject, see (iii) below).

Turlin must have been a passing shift from Tuor (cf. The form Tûr that appears in texts of The Fall of Gondolin, II. 147), and Turgon likewise; in the Tale Turgon is of course the name of the King of Gondolin. This curious passing reference of a primary name in the legends may be compared with the brief substitution of Celegorm for Thingol and Maglor for Beren in the Lay of Leithian (III. 159).

Particularly interesting is the account here of the origins of Tuor’s people; they came out of the East to the Battle of Unnumbered Tears, but they came too late. This can hardly be wholly unconnected with the coming of the Easterlings before the battle in the later story. The geneology of Tuor (Turlin, Turgon) is here ‘son of Peleg, son of Indor son of Fengel’. In The Fall of Gondolin he is ‘son of Peleg son of Indor’ (II. 160); in the fragment of the Lay of the Fall of Gondolin he is the son of Fengel, and in associated notes Tuor is himself called Fengel (III. 145). His people are here the Tunglin, the folks of the Harp, whereas in The Fall of Gondolin (ibid.) he belongs to ‘the house of the Swan of the sons of the Men of the North’.

Also noteworthy is the opening of the present text where Ulmo’s desires and devisings are described: his unceasing attempts to persuade the Gnomes to send messengers to Valinor, his isolation from the other Valar, his wish that the power of Valinor should go against Melko in time. There does not appear to be any other mention of Ulmo’s attempting to arouse the Gnomes to send messages to Valinor; and though his isolation in his pity for the Gnomes in the Great Lands appears strongly at the beginning of the talke of The Hiding of Valinor (I. 209), there Manwë and Varda beside Ulmo were opposed to the withdrawal of Valinor from the fate of ‘the world’.

Lastly, ‘the Vale of Niniach’ must be the site of the Battle of Unnumbered Tears; cf. ‘the Vale (Valley) of Weeping Waters’ in the outlines for Gilfanon’s Tale (I. 238—40). Niniach never occurs again in this application, though the way by which Tuor went down to the sea came to be called Cirith Ninniach, the Rainbow Cleft. --Ce texte fait référence à l'édition Poche .

Présentation de l'éditeur

Poems and prose, maps and chronologies, detours and diversions along the road to Middle-earth . . . Christopher Tolkien has gathered archival materials that his late father, J. R. R. Tolkien, used to create the world and the history behind his classic stories.
This fourth volume of The History of Middle-earth presents early versions of those first tales, from the creation myth to the fall of Morgoth. Writings include a chronology of the events in Beleriand, the first Silmarillion map, and the only known description of the physical nature of Middle-earth's universe. Detailed annotations highlight changes ranging from the spelling of Elvish names to pivotal emendations whose effects reach even to the war of the ring.
The Shaping of Middle-earth presents a solid framework by which to trace the development of the early lore of Middle-earth. It is a truly indispensable reference work for those familiar with the history of that endlessly beloved land--and fascinating reading for those just entering that world. --Ce texte fait référence à l'édition Poche .

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Détails sur le produit

  • Broché: 400 pages
  • Editeur : HarperCollins Publishers Ltd; Édition : New Ed (18 août 1993)
  • Collection : The History of Middle-Earth
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ISBN-10: 0261102184
  • ISBN-13: 978-0261102187
  • Dimensions du produit: 12,8 x 2,6 x 19,7 cm
  • Moyenne des commentaires client : 4.5 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (2 commentaires client)
  • Classement des meilleures ventes d'Amazon: 116.969 en Livres anglais et étrangers (Voir les 100 premiers en Livres anglais et étrangers)
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Né en 1892 à Bloemfontein (Afrique du Sud), de parents anglais, John Ronald Reuel Tolkien passe son enfance, après la mort de son père en 1896, à Sarehole près de Birmingham (Angleterre), dont sa famille est originaire. Diplômé d'Oxford, il sert dans les Lancashire Fusiliers pendant la Première Guerre mondiale, puis travaille en 1919 au célèbre Dictionnaire d'Oxford. Il obtient ensuite un poste à Leeds, puis une chaire de langue ancienne à Oxford de 1925 à 1945 et, enfin, une chaire de langue et littérature anglaises de 1945 jusqu'à sa retraite, en 1959. Spécialiste de philologie faisant autorité dans le monde entier, J.R.R. Tolkien a publié en 1937 Bilbo le Hobbit, considéré comme un classique de la littérature enfantine ; il tient en 1939 une conférence qui deviendra l'essai Du conte de fées. Paru en 1949, Le fermier Gilles de Ham a séduit également enfants et adultes. J.R.R. Tolkien a travaillé quatorze ans à la trilogie du Seigneur des Anneaux : La Communauté de l'Anneau (1954), Les Deux Tours (1954) et Le Retour du Roi (1955), œuvre magistrale qui s'est imposée dans tous les pays.
Dans Les aventures de Tom Bombadil (1962), Tolkien déploie son talent pour les assonances ingénieuses. En 1968, il enregistre sur disque les Poèmes et chansons de la Terre du Milieu, tirés des Aventures de Tom Bombadil et du Seigneur des Anneaux.
John Ronald Reuel Tolkien est décédé en 1973.

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6 internautes sur 6 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile  Par François-ji le 12 septembre 2004
Format: Broché
La série "History Of Middle-Earth" est supervisée par Christopher Tolkien, le fils de l'auteur du "Seigneur Des Anneaux" et du "Silmarillion". Elle est souvent désignée par son acronyme anglais HOME.
Si vous êtes "accro" à l'oeuvre de Tolkien et si vous aimez les suppléments dans les DVD, vous trouverez votre bonheur dans ces 12 volumes ou tout au moins, selon vos préférences dans l'univers de Tolkien (Premier, Deuxième ou Troisième Age?), dans une sélection plus réduite.
Si vous ne connaissez pas du tout la série HOME, soyez prévenus que ses volumes ne se lisent pas aussi facilement que les romans et les nouvelles de Tolkien, en raison du système d'annotations et de commentaires adopté par Tolkien Junior en surcharge des textes de son père. Sachez aussi que sur la longueur, leur contenu vous semblera probablement inégal.
Pour autant, ils ne sont pas aussi arides que le seraient, sur le même thème, des articles publiés dans une revue de linguistique hyper-spécialisée (pas d'offense !).
Si vous faites l'impasse sur HOME, vous ne perdez rien car l'oeuvre de Tolkien se suffit à elle-même (avec les merveilleuses illustrations qu'elle a inspirées chez les frères Hildebranbt, Ted Nasmith, John Howe et Alan Lee pour ne citer que les peintres les plus connus).
Inversement, il faut avoir lu "Le Silmarillion" et le connaître presque par coeur pour apprécier les volumes de HOME qui traitent du Premier Age, dont celui-ci. Une carte "moderne" détaillée du Beleriand et de Valinor sera un plus.
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2 internautes sur 2 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile  Par Michael W. Perry le 6 décembre 2008
Format: Relié
Collections of an author's work are often confusing, particularly when what the author has created is as complex as Tolkien's writings. Here's an overview of the twelve-volume History of Middle-earth, which was edited by his son Christopher Tolkien. Hopefully, it will help you select which book or books to buy.

Keep something in mind. In the U.S. Houghton Mifflin publishes Tolkien's authorized works in hardback and trade paperback editions, while Ballantine Books publishes them as cheaper mass-market paperbacks. For some reason, Ballantine doesn't always make it clear that some of their titles are part of the same History of Middle-earth series as those published by Houghton Mifflin. If the title is the same, the content is the same. Which you buy depends on your taste in books and finances. I have copies of both.


These five volumes deal primarily with Tolkien's writings before the publication of The Hobbit (1937) and The Lord of the Rings (1954-55). In them, Tolkien was struggling as a still unknown author to create his first history of Middle-earth.

Vol 1 & 2, The Book of Lost Tales Part 1 ( 1983) & 2 (1984). The Book of Lost Tales was written during the 1910s and 1920s. Wikipedia describes it this way: "The framework for the book is that a mortal Man visits the Isle of Tol Eressëa where the Elves live. In the earlier versions of the `Lost Tales' this man is named Eriol, of some vague north European origin, but in later versions he becomes Ælfwine, an Englishman of the Middle-ages."

Vol. 3, The Lays of Beleriand (1985). These are collections of poems, many of them incomplete, written between the 1920s and the late 1940s.

Vol 4, The Shaping of Middle-earth (1986).
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21 internautes sur 25 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
See the evolution of Middle Earth 25 septembre 1998
Par olorin69@hotmail.com - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Poche
In the third volume in The History of Middle Earth series, Christopher Tolkien picks up where he left off with The Book Lost Tales. In this volume you will see the central themes in Middle Earth evolve a little closer to what we see in the Silmarillion. You will see the early Silmarillion and the Annals of both Valinor and Beleriand. Also incuded are maps drawn by Tolkien himself showing his early ideas for the geography of Middle Earth and Numenor. Moreover, in his attempt to make the Silmarillion seem more like a real history (which it is in some of our hearts) Tolkien has translated parts of the Annals and the Silmarillion into the native language of Elfwine, Old English. I recommend this book for anyone who loves Tolkien's works.
14 internautes sur 16 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Early Notes for The Silmarillion, plus MAPS! Better than Vol III 30 juillet 2005
Par B. Marold - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Poche
`The Shaping of Middle-Earth' is the fourth volume of Christopher Tolkien's exegesis of his father, J.R.R. Tolkien's unpublished writings which were done before, during, and after the writing of `The Hobbit' and `The Lord of the Rings'. It is important to realize that beginning with Volume III, `The Lays of Beleriand', these volumes are prepared according to the date on which the elder Tolkien wrote the documents. That this `real world' chronology is roughly parallel to the great ages of middle earth is simply a happy coincidence.

One little niggle I have about the emphasis of `Middle Earth' in the title of both this volume and the series as a whole is that the land, middle earth, is just one part of the whole world in which this mythology is played out. It is basically a great continent, roughly similar to Eurasia in size, surrounded by a single great ocean which is, in turn, bounded by the undying lands. This fact is eminantly clear in the crude maps by Tolkien senior presented in this volume.

What is also eminantly clear in most of these fragments is the great difference in both geography and physics between our world and the world in which middle earth is embedded. There is no sun and no stars, until the stars are created by some of the `gods', the Valar, who are in turn created by `the one', Iluvatar.

The fragments in this volume are mostly early versions of the mythology which was to become the postumously published `The Silmarillion'. As such, it deals with my very favorite character outside of `The Lord of the Rings', the elven lord Feanor who, in a rough parallel to both Adam and Prometheus, disobeys the Valar based on the promptings of the ultimate bad guy in these stories, Morgoth.

Even if one buys the unique physics, cosmology, and pantheon of gods and demigods, the hardest part of this and similar writings is how to deal with Tolkien's handling of evil. How, one wonders, are eight `good' Valar duped by the ninth evil one, who is left to subvert the Valar's most favored creations, the elves, and create all sorts of mayhem in Middle Earth. Even if one introduces the arguments about `free will', one wonders how, if you posit a very real supreme being, Iluvatar (Eru), plus eight comparably powerful beings, such beings would let Morgoth get away with being the cause of all this suffering.

On a ligher note, I find this book an amazing source of poetic inspiration, even more poetic, sometimes than the overtly poetic `The Lays of Beleriand'. There are phrases and paragraphs here and there which sound like they are straight out of a song by Donoven Leitch or The Incredible String Band.

Like almost all the twelve volumes in this series, this is much more a study of fragments than a complete work. Many of the fragments rework the same material, so you find yourself reading the same story over again, in slightly different words. And yet, the power of the created world holds up through the scholarly framework. As with other volumes, there is an excellent index of names at the end of the book and the aforementioned maps are invaluable in understanding the very odd geography of this invented world.
6 internautes sur 7 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Literally, the "Shaping" of Middle-Earth 4 janvier 2002
Par Un client - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Poche
The Shaping of Middle-Earth concentrates some part of it to actually physically describing the layout of Arda (the World) with some interesting maps drawn by Tolkien in the middle of the book. The book also includes information behind the fall of Morgoth at the end of the First Age.
2 internautes sur 2 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
More variations of the core events of the Silmarillion and one unpublished poem composed by Tuor 29 mars 2015
Par Juan Pablo Martese - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Poche
Warning: a substantial portion of this book is in Old English, translations made by Tolkien of his own texts. It's a treasure for the student of Old English, but otherwise it is unintelligible.
In my opinion, the only truly interesting piece of this book is Tuor's poem “The Horns of Ylmir”, written for his son Earendil, where he describes the music Ulmo played when he appeared to him in the Land of Willows. It is the only new text present in this volume.
The rest of the book contains:
1) The Ambarkanta: one of the first descriptions of Tolkien's world, very different from later versions in the Silmarillion. Like the “Annals”, the “Ambakanta” narrates the fundamental history and events of the First Age of Tolkien's world in a very schematic way, almost like a prose time-line. In fact, Ch. Tolkien describes it as a “Sketch that my father composed extremely rapidly”.
2) First maps of Middle-Earth with list and explanations of the names that appear in them.
3) A long list of Elvish names with Old English equivalents, interesting because they shed light on the meaning of the names in elvish.
4) The earliest “Annals of Valinor” written by Pengolod the Wise of Gondolin, which tell the events spanning from the coming of the Valar to the return of Feanor to Beleriand. This is followed by a translation into Old English of the same text written by Aelfwine/Eriol.
4) Earliest “Annals of Beleriand”: it starts where the “Annals of Valinor” left off: the return of the Noldor to Middle-Earth to the end of the First Age, followed by an Old English translation of the same text.
At this stage, after reading the three first volumes of “History of Middle Earth”, I found book 4 very repetitive. It just presents another version of the tales present in the previous installments. Like I said, the only original and interesting piece here is Tour's poem. The rest is variations of the same themes.
2 internautes sur 2 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
The Early Silmarillion . . . 4 février 2007
Par David Zampino - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Poche
. . . continues in this, the fourth volume of "The History of Middle-Earth" series.

Christopher Tolkien, in his 12-volume "History of Middle-Earth" series presents the notes, stories, fragments, and legends of what was to eventually become "The Silmarillion" in two stages. This book is the final stage of what scholars would consider "The Early Silmarillion"; continuing on the work presented in the two volumes of "The Book of Lost Tales".

If the Tolkien fan is interested in seeing how the mind of the Master developed and progressed his stories, this volume is absolutely indispensable. It is especially interesting to compare "The Shaping of Middle-Earth" with "Morgoth's Ring" and the other volumes of what Christopher calls "The Later Silmarillion".

Once again, thanks is due to Christopher for his labor of love so that we can delve more deeply into Middle-Earth.
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