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The Book of Lost Tales Part II (History of Middle-Earth) [Hardcover]

J. R. R. Tolkien , Christopher Tolkien
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)

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Book Description

26 Nov 1984 History of Middle-Earth (Book 2)

The second of a two-book set that contains the early myths and legends which led to the writing of Tolkien’s epic tale of war, The Silmarillion.

This second part of The Book of Lost Tales includes the tale of Beren and Lúthien, Túrin and the Dragon, and the only full narratives of the Necklace of the Dwarves and the Fall of Gondolin, itself the finest and most exciting depiction of a battle that Tolkien ever wrote. Each tale is followed by a commentary in the form of a short essay, together with texts of associated poems, and contains extensive information on names and vocabulary in the earliest Elvish languages.

This series of fascinating books has now been repackaged to complement the distinctive and classic style of the ‘black cover’ A-format paperbacks of The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, The Silmarillion and Unfinished Tales.

--This text refers to the Paperback edition.


Product details

  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Company (26 Nov 1984)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0395366143
  • ISBN-13: 978-0395366141
  • Product Dimensions: 23.1 x 15.1 x 3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 318,184 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

J.R.R. Tolkien was born on 3rd January 1892. After serving in the First World War, he became best known for The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, selling 150 million copies in more than 40 languages worldwide. Awarded the CBE and an honorary Doctorate of Letters from Oxford University, he died in 1973 at the age of 81.

Product Description

Review

‘Christopher Tolkien shows himself to be his father’s son… Tolkien devotees will rejoice’ The New York Times Book Review

‘In these Lost Tales we have the scholar joyously gambolling in the thicket of his imagination… a Commentary and Notes greatly enrich the quest’ Daily Telegraph

‘The Tales will be appreciated by those who have read The Silmarillion andwish to examine how Tolkien improved his story and style from their original form, and how weventually The Lord of the Rings came to stand independently with only a few hints from the early mythology’ British Book News

--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

From the Back Cover

This second part of 'The Book of Lost Tales' includes the tales of Beren and Lúthien, Túrin and the Dragon, and the only full narratives of the Necklace of the Dwarves and the Fall of Gondolin. Each tale is followed by a commentary in the form of a short essay, together with the texts of associated poems, and contains extensive information on names and vocabulary in the earliest Elvish languages.

"Christopher Tolkien shows himself to be his father's son, delving into the question of Elvish genealogies…he gives the reader histories of each of the character's names as it evolved in the course of Tolkien's revisions…Tolkien devotees will rejoice."
THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW

"The 'Tales' will be appreciated by those who have read 'The Silmarillion' and wish to examine how Tolkien improved his story and style from their original form, and how eventually 'The Lord of the Rings' came to stand independently with only a few hints from the early mythology."
BRITISH BOOK NEWS

--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Self obsessed but interesting book 23 May 2003
By Jane Aland VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback
This book continues straight on from the first volume of early versions of the Silmarillion stories.
While the first volume was mostly concerned with the gods of Valinor, here the emphasis is on a more human scale with tales of Turamber, the fall of Gondolin etc… Unfortunately this book is if anything even more inaccessible than its predecessor, due to the increasingly fractured nature of the surviving material (the last two of which consist of little more than fragments) and the editors increasing obsession with the minutiae of these drafts. There really is no need to be informed of every single deviation between drafts unless it is a change of substance – (for example, what benefit is it for us to know that the phrase “ man of greater stature” was originally “a man of great size”?) – and this slows the books reading down to a crawl.
Despite this there is still some very illuminating material here that was greatly compressed in the Silmarillion, so despite the stilted tone this is still worth wading through.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
Christopher Tolkien give a splendid recount on his fathers' early editions of the days in Beleriand, and shows the promise of The Silmarillion in greater depth as Tolkien develops the imagination of the Fall of Gondolin and other histories of middle earth. Read about the power that elves. man and dwarf all faced together, the power of the dark vesus the light with adversity all around.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tolkienian Archaeology 10 Dec 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
2nd volume of two 'archaeological' exploration of JRRT's mythology, conducted by his son and literary executor Christopher Tolkien.
For the hard core Tolkienian this and its companion volume are ESSENTIAL reading. They give an insight unavailable elsewhere into the early prehistory of what would become the published Tolkien mythos, and an insight that is nothing short of riveting into the evolution of a 'sub-creative' imagination like no other.
Here, you will find early versions of stories later published in almost unrecognisably different forms; nomenclature abandoned by JRRT long before any of his works saw the light of day, yet which gives vital clues to the genesis of the world of Arda and Valinor; and clues to the evolution of his Elvish languages - not originally Quenya and Sindarin, but Qenya and ... Gnomish.
Yes, the Noldor were Gnomes once. Perhaps it is as well that JRRT abandoned this term, but the Noldor remained spirits of Earth, manipulators of the physical elements, in the published works, so it is not irrelevant even to one who is only interested in the later redaction.
Readers who have only encountered the original five volumes (Hobbit - LOTR - Silmarillion) may be in for some shocks, and may even be distressed by some elements. For instance, it's evident from material in the Books of Lost Tales that Tolkien did not merely dislike cats, he really did hate them; the prototype of Sauron was a cat-lord. He came distressingly close to calling the Queen of Doriath 'Wendolene', before deciding that her name was in fact Melian. And, perhaps most disturbing of all (to me), Eriador used to be called Aryador.
Think about it.
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