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5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating Development of a Fantasy World, 27 Dec 2012
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This review is from: The Book of Lost Tales 1 (The History of Middle-earth, Book 1): Pt. 1 (Kindle Edition)
I'm sure that there are many, like me, who eagerly devoured all the Middle Earth material available to them, graduating from the Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings to the Silmarillion and the fragmented Unfinished Tales, and yet still wanted more. Sure, too, that there are students of writing, of linguistics and of mythology who have wondered how such a triumph of the imagination as the aforementioned works came together.

Luckily, J.R.R. Tolkein was in the habit of keeping his early drafts, his notes and his prototype story. And due to the hard work and dedication of his son Christopher, we can take a journey into the mind of the great man as, over the course of his life, he developed the classic stories we know and love.

This initial volume collects the very earliest work on the world of Arda, and those readers who have enjoyed the Silmarillion will find much of it familiar; here are the prototype tales for the first half of that book, although some names and events vary considerably. At this early stage, Tolkein was intending a mythological history for the British Isles, so the stories are framed with a narrative device involving a travelling sailor visiting the elves and hearing of their travails. Also thrown in are works of verse that tie in to a certain extent with this period.

Each segment of fiction is followed with an explanatory section by Christopher Tolkein, explaining further how these ideas developed, and more about his father's life and franme of mind as he wrote them.

While not one for the casual Middle-Earth reader, for serious lovers of the world, and particularly students of literature, this is a fascinating and well put-together exploration of the birth of a modern mythology.
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