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The Book of Lost Tales Part One: 1 (History of Middle-Earth) Hardcover – 22 Feb 1984


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Hardcover, 22 Feb 1984
£75.58 £0.35
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


Product details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH); Book Club (BCE/BOMC) edition (22 Feb. 1984)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0395354390
  • ISBN-13: 978-0395354391
  • Product Dimensions: 23.1 x 14.5 x 2.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,743,201 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 an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Back Cover

'The Book of Lost Tales' stands at the beginning of the entire conception of Middle-earth and Valinor for the 'Tales' were the first form of the myths and legends that came to be called 'The Silmarillion'. Embedded in English legend and English association, they are set in the narrative frame of a great westward voyage over the Ocean by a mariner named Eriol (or Aelfwine) to Tol Eressëa, the Lonely Isle, where Elves dwelt; from them he learned their true history, the 'Lost Tales of Elfinesse'. In the 'Tales' are found the earliest accounts and original ideas of Gods and Elves, Dwarves, Balrogs and Orcs; of the Silmarils and the Two Trees of Valinor; of Nargothrond and Gondolin; of the geography and cosmology of the invented world.

"In these 'Lost Tales' we have the scholar joyously gambolling in the thickets of his imagination…a Commentary and Notes greatly enrich the quest."
THE DAILY TELEGRAPH

"affords us an almost over the shoulder view into the evolving creative process and genius of J.R.R. Tolkien in a new, exciting aspect…the superb, sensitive and extremely helpful commentary and editing done by Christopher Tolkien makes all this possible."
MYTHLORE

--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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26 of 26 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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24 of 24 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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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By torquayfan@hotmail.com on 3 Oct. 2000
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 By Simon Wells on 5 Feb. 2013
Format: Paperback
Tolkien was the first to write an amazing fantasy book, but at first that hadn't been his intention, if you read up on a lot of it you will find that the Hobbit was a book for his children, and Lord of the Rings was never meant to be as epic as it became, it just got carried away with him (wouldn't it be great if your bit of carrying away made your children rich beyond your dreams. I love Tolkien, I read the Lord of the Rings as a child after trying several time, but I kept going back to it, knowing how grand and amazing it was. What I couldn't get over was the size of it, this was a book that was bigger than any other I'd seen (even though now it is small compared to many fantasy books). This was (until HBO made Games of Thrones) the only fantasy book that reading snobs would pick up, but they're idiots because they've missed amazing tales. Lord of the Rings isn't the best fantasy book out there, I know that is going to get a lot of people rilled, but it isn't, what it is is just amazing. The poetry, description and language of this book surpasses anything else out there, and I know that you're getting ready to say I've contradicted myself but woah. The plot is stolen from norse myth, and the story is a nice simple plot that is easy to follow where other fantasy books have created a vast plot that takes almost as long as the books themselves to explain. Tolkien has made a simple base tale, but better than anyone else ever could.

The book of Lost Tales are fragments of Tolkien's works from long before he wrote either of his bestsellers, and his son follows each tale with a commentary.
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