Sauron Defeated, edited by Christopher Tolkien 482 pages. Published 1992.
This book has three great strengths:
1. Two versions of the delightful Epilogue to the Lord of the Rings.
This was the original end of LotR, and remained so until an advanced stage in its production, and Tolkien seems always to have wished it had remained so - but he was persuaded to delete it by some of his friends.
2. The Notion Club Papers - an extremely important unfinished novel by JRR Tolkien in a 'modern' setting but with much reference to space and time travel. This was written in the middle of composing the Lord of the Rings, so has Tolkien at the height of his powers. Also, there are many coded clues to Tolkien's own deepest, and secret, beliefs.
3. Several alternative versions of the history of Numenor, with a lot of extra (and more vivid) detail than can be found in the LotR or Silmarillion.
Without exaggeration, and speaking as a long-term Tolkien fan, this is one of the most interesting books I have ever read.
I love the Notion Club Papers. I'm rereading the twelve books right now and having a great time. So many gems and delights.
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