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The Book of Lost Tales: Part I (History of Middle-Earth) Library Binding – 1 Apr 1992

4.7 out of 5 stars 54 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Library Binding: 345 pages
  • Publisher: Perfection Learning (1 April 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0780715462
  • ISBN-13: 978-0780715462
  • Product Dimensions: 10.4 x 3 x 17.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (54 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 637,529 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Review

"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 by Christopher Tolkien makes all this possible." -- Mythlore --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Inside Flap

THE BOOK OF LOST TALES, I, stands at the beginning of the entire conception of Middle-earth and Valinor. Here is the whole, glorious history of Middle-earth that J.R.R. Tolkien brought to mythic and dramatic life with his classic fantasy novels of the Ring Cycle.

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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I'm a great fan of the Silmarillion and the Unfinished Tales and now I am in the end of The Book of Lost Tales part 1. This book is one of a kind, yet unfortunately it is a very specialised book. Only people who are already introduced to Prof. Tolkien's universe will understand what this book is about. The Book of Lost Tales, similarly to The Unfinished Tales, has two perspectives: the analytical, external observer's perspective, and the story itself. Here we have a details insight of how Prof. Tolkien conceived the whole world he invented, from it's most primitive origins in the form of poetry regarding dreams and fairies, through the evolving perspective of elven immortality and their tragic estrangement and fall from grace, to the first conception of the silmarils and the characters that take part and shape the stories we know from the Silmarillion.

The original drafts of what would become the Silmarillion unfold the stories as a device of another story: a sailor with apparent ancient saxon roots named Eriol finds himself in an Island called Tol Eressëa (an alternate Britain), where he meets the exiled fairies (later transformed into the elves) known as the Noldoli (early version of the Noldor). There he learns about their history and how they left the immortal lands of Valinor only to find themselves trapped in their bittersweet destiny in Middle Earth.

The stories in this book are well different in many aspects, yet the main motifs are the same, and they are very detailed, as unfortunately they never made into the Silmarillion. There is, for example, a detailed description of how were the silmarils created and how were the houses of the Valar, the position of the Trees of Valinor and a description of the Solosimpi (Teleri) havens when the Noldoli/Noldor left.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
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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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Excelent!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Arrived quickly, excellent quality
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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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