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The Book of Lost Tales: Pt. 1 (History of Middle-Earth) Paperback – 4 Mar 1985


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Product details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers Ltd; New edition edition (4 Mar 1985)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0048232815
  • ISBN-13: 978-0048232816
  • Product Dimensions: 19.6 x 11.7 x 2.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,029,459 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.


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Lindo said to him: 'Know then that today, or more like 'twas yesterday, you crossed the borders of that region that is called Alalminore or the "Land of Elms", which the Gnomes call Gar Lossion, or the "Place of Flowers". Read the first page
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24 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Sally-Anne on 7 Feb 2004
Format: Paperback
In real mythologies the tales change and develop over time: names, times and places change with the constant retelling and embellishing by the story-tellers. In real mythologies, accounts often become fragmented and there may be several differing accounts of a single event. It's the same with the mythology of Middle Earth and Valinor. The way Tolkien develops the stories over the course of his life-time is analogous to the way real heroic events become legend and the legends become myths and all sorts of changes reshape them. Real life examples would be 1) the story of Beowulf who may have been a real but mortal hero of his people, but in the telling and retelling of the tale over the centuries, he was able to swim for 2 weeks in the freezing seas of Northern Europe wearing mail and he was able to do battle under water; 2) the Arthurian legends where the hero has been claimed to have lived and had his court at a dozen or more locations in Britain; 3) the Merlin legends where Merlin may or may not have been associated with Arthur 4) The Robin Hood legends where again, Robin has been claimed to have been based at various locations. And so on.
Lost Tales Part 1 is a collection of accounts of the origins of the world of Middle Earth and Valinor, concentrating mainly on the gods and the elves. The stories overlap those in Silmarillion but differ in many instances. Names, characters and places had been changed by the time Tolkien finalised the material that went into The Silmarillion. It's fascinating to see the character and story development with notes and commentary from Christopher Tolkien drawing attention to the changes and stating (where the reasons were known to him) and providing convincing speculations (where specific information was not known) why these changes were made.
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Michael W. Perry on 6 Dec 2008
Format: Hardcover
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.

GROUP ONE, VOLUMES I - V, EARLY TALES

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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36 of 38 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 7 Oct 2000
Format: Paperback
This book is really great. It has some stories which don't appear in the sillmarillion yet are really interesting if you have read the silmarillion. You have to concentrate quite hard to understand it all but it is worth it, some of the stories are fantastic. I would recommend this to anyone who has read the silmarillion and wants get deeper into the tolkien mythology. Christopher Tolkien does a superb job of making it all understandable, by linking the stories and refering to the silmarillion.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Michael W. Perry on 6 Dec 2008
Format: Paperback
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.

GROUP ONE, VOLUMES I - V, EARLY TALES

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).
Read more ›
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