Go on a fascinating journey through the history of Middle-earth! The Lord of the Rings is commonly regarded as a work of fantasy. Yet Tolkien himself saw his work as a body of myth with an inherent veracity at its core, not an invention, but a recovered truth. In the Middle-earth of The Lord of the Rings, Tolkien created not an imaginary world, but an imaginary history of our own world. The World of Tolkien draws out the analogies within The Lord of the Rings that render this epic a timeless mythology for the modern age. Here is the most comprehensive guide to uncovering the "real-world" inspiration behind the gods and demigods, races of men, elves and dwarves, wizards and hobbits, creatures and monsters, cities, geography, battles and major events in the history of Middle-earth. Essential reading for Tolkien enthusiasts of all generations. Stunningly illustrated with 65 color and 35 black and white illustrations.