The Complete Guide to Middle-earth
|The Complete Guide to Middle-earth by Robert Foster|
|Title:||The Complete Guide to Middle-earth|
|Published:||1978 by George Allen & Unwin|
Notwithstanding the fact that it pre-dates Unfinished Tales and the History of Middle-earth series, Tolkien neophytes may find Foster's Guide a more than useful companion volume to The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings and The Silmarillion; but Wikipaedists will be better served by J. E. A. Tyler's more information-rich Complete Tolkien Companion. Foster's A to Z guide is meticulously researched, and he helpfully provides references for each entry (Tyler neglects this). He also attempts to provide etymological information for each "invented" name or term, and makes a point of indicating whether the term in question is in the "original" language or in a "translated" form. Included with the text is an "Appendix" section including Eldarin and Edainic lines of descent, plus a "Tale of Years" for the First Age.
Some of the entries (e.g. "Berúthiel") are obsolete, but Foster's book is worth picking up, nonetheless.