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The Book of Lost Tales 2 (The History of Middle-Earth, Vol. 2) viii, 391 pp. "The Book of Lost Tales was the first major work of imagination by J.R.R. Tolkien, begun in 1916, when he was twenty-five years old, and left incomplete several years later. It stands at the beginning of the entire conception of Middle-earth and Valinor, for the Lost Tales were the first form of th The Book of Lost Tales 2 (The History of Middle-Earth, Vol. 2) viii, 391 pp. "The Book of Lost Tales was the first major work of imagination by J.R.R. Tolkien, begun in 1916, when he was twenty-five years old, and left incomplete several years later. It stands at the beginning of the entire conception of Middle-earth and Valinor, for the Lost Tales were the first form of the myths and legends that came to be called The Silmarillion. Embedded in English legend and association, they are set in the narrative frame of the great westward voyage of a mariner named Eriel (or AElfwine). His destination is Tol Eressea, the Lonely Isle where Elves dwell; from them he learns their true history, the Lost Tales of Elfinesse. The Tales include the earliest accounts 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 cosmography of their invented world. The Book of Lost Tales is published in two volumes. The first contains the Tales of Valinor; and this second past includes Beren and Luthien, Turin 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, together with associated poems, and each volume contains extensive information on names and vocabulary of the earliest Elvish languages. Additional books in this series will extend the history of Middle-earth as it was refined and enlarged in later years and will include the long Lays of Beleriand, the Ambarkanta or Shape of the World, the Lhammas or Account of Tongues, annals, maps, and many other previously unpublished writings of J.R.R. Tolkien."Keywords: FANTASY SCIENCE FICTION HISTORY MIDDLE EARTH JRR TOLKIEN BOOK OF LOST TALES


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The Book of Lost Tales 2 (The History of Middle-Earth, Vol. 2) viii, 391 pp. "The Book of Lost Tales was the first major work of imagination by J.R.R. Tolkien, begun in 1916, when he was twenty-five years old, and left incomplete several years later. It stands at the beginning of the entire conception of Middle-earth and Valinor, for the Lost Tales were the first form of th The Book of Lost Tales 2 (The History of Middle-Earth, Vol. 2) viii, 391 pp. "The Book of Lost Tales was the first major work of imagination by J.R.R. Tolkien, begun in 1916, when he was twenty-five years old, and left incomplete several years later. It stands at the beginning of the entire conception of Middle-earth and Valinor, for the Lost Tales were the first form of the myths and legends that came to be called The Silmarillion. Embedded in English legend and association, they are set in the narrative frame of the great westward voyage of a mariner named Eriel (or AElfwine). His destination is Tol Eressea, the Lonely Isle where Elves dwell; from them he learns their true history, the Lost Tales of Elfinesse. The Tales include the earliest accounts 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 cosmography of their invented world. The Book of Lost Tales is published in two volumes. The first contains the Tales of Valinor; and this second past includes Beren and Luthien, Turin 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, together with associated poems, and each volume contains extensive information on names and vocabulary of the earliest Elvish languages. Additional books in this series will extend the history of Middle-earth as it was refined and enlarged in later years and will include the long Lays of Beleriand, the Ambarkanta or Shape of the World, the Lhammas or Account of Tongues, annals, maps, and many other previously unpublished writings of J.R.R. Tolkien."Keywords: FANTASY SCIENCE FICTION HISTORY MIDDLE EARTH JRR TOLKIEN BOOK OF LOST TALES

30 review for The Book of Lost Tales, Part Two

  1. 5 out of 5

    Ahmad Sharabiani

    The Book of Lost Tales, Part Two (The History of Middle-Earth #2), J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (Editor) The Book of Lost Tales is a collection of early stories by English writer J. R. R. Tolkien, published as the first two volumes of Christopher Tolkien's 12-volume series The History of Middle-earth, in which he presents and analyzes the manuscripts of those stories, which were the earliest form of the complex fictional myths that would eventually comprise The Silmarillion. Each of the Ta The Book of Lost Tales, Part Two (The History of Middle-Earth #2), J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (Editor) The Book of Lost Tales is a collection of early stories by English writer J. R. R. Tolkien, published as the first two volumes of Christopher Tolkien's 12-volume series The History of Middle-earth, in which he presents and analyzes the manuscripts of those stories, which were the earliest form of the complex fictional myths that would eventually comprise The Silmarillion. Each of the Tales is followed by notes and a detailed commentary by Christopher Tolkien. For publication the book was split into two volumes: The Book of Lost Tales 1 (1983) and The Book of Lost Tales 2 (1984), but this is simply an editorial division. Both volumes are separated into several "Lost Tales". This is the second part of the Book of the Lost Tales of Elfinesse which Eriol the Mariner learned from the Elves of Tol Eressëa, the Lonely Isle in the western ocean, and afterwards wrote in the Golden Book of Tavrobel. Herein are told the Tales of Beren and Tinúviel, of the Fall of Gondolin and the Necklace of the Dwarves. Book 2: The Tale of Tinúviel —first version of the tale of Beren and Lúthien Turambar and the Foalókë —first version of the Túrin saga The Fall of Gondolin —the only full narrative of the Fall of Gondolin The Nauglafring — tale of the Dwarven necklace known as the Nauglamír The Tale of Eärendel —the only full narrative of Eärendil's travels The History of Eriol or Ælfwine and the End of the Tales—an essay about the changes in the framework, and the "unwritten" tales. تاریخ نخستین خوانش: روز بیست و ششم ماه فوریه سال 2010 میلادی عنوان: داستانهای فراموش شده (قسمت دوم)؛ نویسنده: جی.آر.آر. تالکین؛ ادیتور: کریستوفر تالکین؛ دومین جلد از سری «تاریخ سرزمین میانه»، که نخستین بار: در ماه آگوست سال 1984 میلادی، در انگلستان، و در ماه نوامبر سال 1984 میلادی، در آمریکا، به چاپ رسید، عنوان جلد دوم سری «تاریخ سرزمین میانه»، با عنوان: «داستانهای فراموش شده (قسمت دوم)» نام دارد، و همانند کتاب نخستین از این سری، شامل نسخه های نخستین بخشهای گوناگون داستانهای منتشر شده ی «تالکین»: افسانه ها، و اسطوره های دوران اول است، که حتی برخی از آنها، نسخه های بسیار ویژه، و یکتایی هستند. پس از هر داستان، یک نقد، در قالب یک مقاله ی کوتاه، با قلم: «کریستوفر تالکین»، پسر «جی. آر. آر. تالکین»، به همراه اشعار، توضیحاتی در مورد نامها، و نحوه ی تلفظ، و نکات مهم دیگری در مورد آن داستان، برای خوانشگران پیدا و آشکار میشود. ا. شربیانی

  2. 4 out of 5

    Terry

    In the Book of Lost Tales, volumes 1 and 2, we have a more or less full picture of the earliest work Tolkien did in the development of his personal mythology that was to grow into the tales of Middle Earth. It was a mythology meant to provide his country England with something he felt it sorely needed, a foundation myth, and it was a vehicle which allowed him to explore and expand upon his own fascination with the world and stories of Faery and his love for the invented languages of his youth. T In the Book of Lost Tales, volumes 1 and 2, we have a more or less full picture of the earliest work Tolkien did in the development of his personal mythology that was to grow into the tales of Middle Earth. It was a mythology meant to provide his country England with something he felt it sorely needed, a foundation myth, and it was a vehicle which allowed him to explore and expand upon his own fascination with the world and stories of Faery and his love for the invented languages of his youth. The frame of the entire mythology at this point centred on the character of an English mariner (initially called Eriol and later Aelfwine each with varying origin stories) who was shipwrecked upon the isle of Tol Eressëa, the last bastion of the Elves who have all but fled the mortal world. Here are recounted to him the ‘lost tales’ of the Elves from prior to their departure from the wider world of men. While it always remained the case that Tolkien envisioned his Middle-Earth stories to be tales about the earliest, unknown histories of our own world as opposed to stories set on some completely alien fantasy world, the two Book of Lost Tales volumes really point out just how strongly Tolkien initially envisioned this link to be. In the first volume we were presented with some of the more cosmogonic myths: stories of the Valar and the creation of the world, the creation of the two Trees of Valinor and the Silmarils, the creation of the sun and moon, and the ultimate exile of the Elves from Valinor to the wider world. In the second volume things get a little closer to the ground as we hear tales of heroes and their deeds in their attempt to fight against the forces of Melko who would overthrow all that is good and beautiful in the world. I have to admit that volume 2 had a bumpy start for me with the Tales of Beren & Tinúviel and Turambar & the Foalókë being distinctly inferior to what they were to become in their fuller, more developed forms. In Beren and Luthien two things stood out as road blocks to my enjoyment: Beren as first envisioned was actually an elf of the Noldor and to me this robs the tale of his love of the immortal Tinúviel of much of its tragic grandeur, though it must be admitted that some does still remain; added to that was the fact that Melko’s lieutenant in the tale, and the main opponent to the heroes, was not Sauron of the Ainur and lord of the isle of werewolves, but Tevildo Prince of Cats! It might just be me, but a giant house cat (no matter how large and mean) is a slightly less intriguing villain than one of the greatest of the gods. As I noted in my review of book 1, Tolkien was still working within a model that was much more based on traditional ‘fairy tales’ than what his stories of the First Age of Middle-Earth were to become so this element isn’t exactly unexpected, just not my particular cuppa. As to Turambar, there wasn’t anything specific I could point to as the deciding factor in my relative lack of enthusiasm, but having read what this tale was to become it certainly pales in comparison. For me that can pretty much sum up the points at which I was disappointed in both volumes: these are much paler, thinner, and in some ways shadowy versions of the tales I know. That being said, they have the virtue of being able to show me just how much the constant work and revision, the lifetime of unceasing development, love and thought that went into them truly turned what were inspired, but limited stories into things that truly were comparable to the mythic workings of a people. The depth and reality of the tales of Middle-Earth all started here with something much smaller and simpler, but which would prove to be the seeds of something so much greater. The layers that one can see were built upon these first canvasses give a fascinating glimpse into a creative process that was truly monumental. So on to what I did like in this volume: the tale of the Fall of Gondolin was almost all I could have hoped for. While I still weep at the unrealized potential of the rewrite to this story that Tolkien had started but abandoned far too early as presented in Unfinished Tales of Númenor and Middle-Earth, I at least was able to see the story of Tuor and his flight to the doomed city of Gondolin just as it is about to be overcome by the forces of Melko in a complete, and I must say rather satisfying, version. Tied in with this is the story of the Nauglafring, or the necklace of the Dwarves, which in itself is a rousingly Germanic tale of greed, curses, and doom that also allows for two of the great love stories of Tolkien’s mythology to this point (that of Beren and Tinúviel on the one hand and of Tuor and Idril on the other) to dovetail into each other and become the genesis for the tale of Eärendel which was in many ways the very heart of Tolkien’s mythology from the beginning. Eärendel himself was the child of Tuor and Idril who falls in love with Beren & Tinúviel’s granddaughter Elwing and whose great mission is to be the only mariner able to sail to the land of Valinor. Interestingly in some early versions of the tale as presented here Eärendel is sometimes either unable to make his way to Valinor or finds that his journey there proved unnecessary and ultimately this is another case where Tolkien’s later development of the tale proved to be more satisfying than what we initially find, but it is still an intriguing (and more importantly a fuller) glimpse into what would otherwise be little more than some bare bones references in later works. The final chapter of the volume is made up of scattered notes and poems that relate explicitly to the frame narrative and the life story of the mariner Eriol/Aelfwine. To me the greatest value these fragments hold is in showing how strongly Tolkien initially wanted to tie in his tales of Faery with the history of our own world (and specifically with England). I myself don’t worry too much about this aspect of Tolkien’s work, but it was obviously hugely important to him. Even in the later development of the tales of Middle-Earth which seem rather distant from any kind of mythological history of England we can see that the ‘historical’ element remains: specifically in the frame narrative of the ‘Red Book of Westmarch’ which lies as the pseudo-historical source of all of the published tales of Tolkien. All in all while a bit uneven, this book gave some intriguing glimpses into Tolkien’s art, especially in places where a later development of a given tale was either never done or where what does exist is only fragmentary. Definitely something of primary interest to the Tolkien aficionado.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Shadowdenizen

    Finished at last! While I'm Tolkien/Middle Earth enthusiast, and this book is generally pretty insightful about the creation and mythology of the Elder Days, I found it a bit of a slog, honestly. However, this book is (almost) redeeemed by the bits on the Fall of Gondolin (which is pretty compelling stuff!) and the Nauglarung (Necklace of the Dwarves.) I'm hoping my enthusiam for the series stays high, overall; I'm diving right into Book 3 ,but if that's a slog, too, a break may be in order after Finished at last! While I'm Tolkien/Middle Earth enthusiast, and this book is generally pretty insightful about the creation and mythology of the Elder Days, I found it a bit of a slog, honestly. However, this book is (almost) redeeemed by the bits on the Fall of Gondolin (which is pretty compelling stuff!) and the Nauglarung (Necklace of the Dwarves.) I'm hoping my enthusiam for the series stays high, overall; I'm diving right into Book 3 ,but if that's a slog, too, a break may be in order after that.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Jay

    This is the second in the set of five books in which J.R.R. Tolkien's son, Christopher, has collected and edited his father's unpublished works--or in several cases, unpublished earlier versions of stories that later were published in different form. This volume consists of: * The Tale of Tinúviel, a much longer and much different version than is published in the Silmarillion as "The Tale of Beren and Lúthien." While many of the elements of the story here are interesting, I do like the published v This is the second in the set of five books in which J.R.R. Tolkien's son, Christopher, has collected and edited his father's unpublished works--or in several cases, unpublished earlier versions of stories that later were published in different form. This volume consists of: * The Tale of Tinúviel, a much longer and much different version than is published in the Silmarillion as "The Tale of Beren and Lúthien." While many of the elements of the story here are interesting, I do like the published version better--for one thing, its plot is much tighter and easier to follow. * Turambar and the Foalókë, an earlier telling of the story of Turin Turambar from the Silmarillion. Again, the earlier version published here is much longer, and much more rambling. Most of the essential plot points are the same, or similar, though there are a few major differences (such a Turin and the outlaws' encounter with Mim the Dwarf and his sons); but the edited published version is a much better read. * The Fall of Gondolin--this, now, is a masterpiece, and a shame it's not as widely known as some of the Professor's other works. The version in the Silmarillion is much shorter. The version here gives great detail about the layout and organization of the hidden city of Gondolin; the various military units that defended it (down to details of heraldry and uniforms); and the ebb and flow of battle when the forces of Melko discovered the location of the city and forced their way through its defenses. It's a gripping tale beautifully told. * The Nauglafring, or the Necklace of the Dwarves. This is a chronologically direct follow-on to the Fall of Gondolin, describing the flight of a handful of survivors from the sack of that city. It's unpolished and rambling, and apparently went through many revisions, and it's hard to know which details Tolkien eventually meant to be canonical. * The Tale of Earendël, an earlier and much harder-to-follow version of the Earendil the Mariner story and poems from the Silmarillion and LOTR. In places the narrative here becomes almost incomprehensible, and Earendël's pergrinations all over the oceans between Beleriand (although it is not named as such) and Tol Eressëa and Valinor (also not named as such) are well nigh impossible to follow. * The History of Eriol or Aelfwine and the End of the Tales, which is something even the most devout Tolkien fan (I am one) will be glad to hear by this point. This section mainly deals with how Tolkien originally intended the Lonely Island of Tol Eressëa to be England, but the thread of reasoning slips back and forth from actual terrestrial geography to various incarnations of Middle Earth geography and back again, that even having just read it I am challenged to summarize it. I don't blame Christopher for the mess that most of these chapter are. He was working with (sometimes literally) scraps of paper with his father's scribblings on them, or manuscripts that had been written in pencil, then erased and overwritten in ink, then typed but then emended by hand. His mission was to set out the evolution of his father's conceptions in chronological order, then present the most evolved version as his father might have wanted it published; but in order to show that evolution, he has by necessity included so many versions of names and events and places and altered plots that it becomes an utter chore to read, and to try to remember who and what is where and when. I'm glad I read this book just so I can claim to be a "Tolkien scholar" of the lowest order, but unless I ever need to look up some obscure fact--or enjoy "The Fall of Gondolin" again--I'm relieved to be through it. Sorry, Professor, and sorry, Christopher.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Brian

    The book contains six stories found in the Silmarillion, but at the origin of conception. I skipped the commentary. The Tale of Tinuviel: This tells the story of Beren and Luthien, different from The Silmarillion, but no less pleasurable. Beren seeks Tinuviel’s love by approaching her father on his throne. The king and his Elves laugh him to scorn and the king tells him in jest he can have her if he goes to Morgoth (a rebellious deity in Illuvitar’s creation) and retrieves the Silmaril from his c The book contains six stories found in the Silmarillion, but at the origin of conception. I skipped the commentary. The Tale of Tinuviel: This tells the story of Beren and Luthien, different from The Silmarillion, but no less pleasurable. Beren seeks Tinuviel’s love by approaching her father on his throne. The king and his Elves laugh him to scorn and the king tells him in jest he can have her if he goes to Morgoth (a rebellious deity in Illuvitar’s creation) and retrieves the Silmaril from his crown. Beren, so in love, goes to accomplish it, despite the impossibility. Turambar and the Faoloke: A tragic and sad story. Hurin, a great warrior in The Battle of Unnumbered Tears, becomes captive to Morgoth. Balrogs (if you're new to this, Balrogs are demons of fire who strike with whips) torture Hurin but he will not give them information nor join them, so Morgoth places him on a mountain pinnacle and gives him the sight of the gods, to see all. Morgoth curses his son, Turin, and dooms Hurin to watch his tragic life in helpless, bound captivity. Turin faces disaster after disaster. The story ends with a fight with a dragon (the Faoloke), which leads to another terrible crisis. The Fall of Gondolin: This overwhelmed me with awe. Multiple Balrogs ride on serpents of fire to Gondolin, with orcs and other creatures and a massive battle unfolds at the end. It starts with the travels of Tuor, and his meeting with Ulmo, the god of the sea, and Ulmo’s message through him to Gondolin. He warns them they must leave the city before an ivevitable fall. The people don’t believe him, laugh at him and refuse to leave, but Tuor continues with the people, until the end. Earendil, Tuor’s boy, flees to escape in the battle. The Naugarfring: At the end of Turambar’s tale, he takes the dragon’s gold, with a curse on it, to an Elven king for vengeance. He pretends loyalty and gratitude. The gold turns the heart to greed, lust and violence and works in the people to tragic ends (like Sauron’s ring). The Tale of Earendale: Earendale becomes a major part of the history but Tolkien write scattered pieces about him. They are difficult to understand. The History of Eriol: Again, these offered scattered, incomplete narratives and were difficult to read (considering I skipped all commentary). The stories made my heart burn with awe. It reminded me how I felt as a child reading and listening to fantasy stories and fairy tales. As it consumed the mind then, as an enormous, real, believable place, so Tolkien’s stories accomplished this for me now, at forty. I have a desire from Tolkien to read mythology, folklore, legends, and Arthurian tales. It makes me rethink my literary path. The stories have awakened a slumbering love and passion for the fantastic. “If we find ourselves with a desire that nothing in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that we were made for another world.” -C.S. Lewis (close friend of Tolkien) The Tale of Turambar and The Fall of Gondolin almost broke me to tears. The have great power and passion. This made me wonder at what point in Tolkien’s life he began to hate tragedy. These were both tragic stories he borrowed from mythology. He spent his life writing the essay “On Fairy-stories,” in which he denounced tragedy (and Shakespeare in particular) in favor of what he called Euchatastrophe (good overcoming evil). Yet, in view of the entire history, he ends it with a tiny hero and a friend carrying a ring alone through darkness and despair.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Connor

    This review will go over both of the Lost Tales parts This is for those who just can't get enough of Tolkien's works. If you have not read or did not enjoy The Silmarillion, do not even bother reading The Book of Lost Tales. I would actually recommend reading The Silmarillion a couple of times before reading these books. The Book of Lost Tales seems to be a first draft of The Silmarillion. Lost Tales is more convoluted and probably drier, and is full of Christopher Tolkien's commentary (about the This review will go over both of the Lost Tales parts This is for those who just can't get enough of Tolkien's works. If you have not read or did not enjoy The Silmarillion, do not even bother reading The Book of Lost Tales. I would actually recommend reading The Silmarillion a couple of times before reading these books. The Book of Lost Tales seems to be a first draft of The Silmarillion. Lost Tales is more convoluted and probably drier, and is full of Christopher Tolkien's commentary (about the last 3rd of each chapter) that you probably have to slog through. Also I felt the tale of Eriol and "The Cottage of Lost Play" was a bit irrelevant. I kept The Silmarillion with me for reference as I read due to the name differences. Many of the names in Lost Tales are significantly different than those in The Silmarillion. Some of the stories that you may know and love are also different. If you want more details, you'll just have to read for yourself. Overall, I did thoroughly enjoy these books. It was a cool spin on The Silmarillion. I will probably just stick with The Silmarillion though if I want to reread about the First Age of Middle Earth.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Molly

    Tolkien was such an amazing person 😭😭😭

  8. 5 out of 5

    C.E.

    Wow! All I can say after completing this volume...and the 1st...is that Tolkien had an incredible, complex, ultra-creative mind! "The Book of Lost Tales 2" was interesting in its slowest sections and downright epic in its faster ones! Indeed, it seemed to have a lot more action than the first volume. From an alternate telling of Luthien and Beren to the siege of Gondolin to Aelfwine, this is a must-read for any fellow Tolkienite! Wow! All I can say after completing this volume...and the 1st...is that Tolkien had an incredible, complex, ultra-creative mind! "The Book of Lost Tales 2" was interesting in its slowest sections and downright epic in its faster ones! Indeed, it seemed to have a lot more action than the first volume. From an alternate telling of Luthien and Beren to the siege of Gondolin to Aelfwine, this is a must-read for any fellow Tolkienite!

  9. 5 out of 5

    Anna C

    Tevildo Prince of Cats is the best villain in the Legendarium. None other need apply.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Melissa

    As with Part One lots depth and early development of what would eventually become the Silmarillion, from brainstorming to outlines, to early and discarded drafts & entirely reworked ideas, all researched and expertly presented by Christopher Tolkien. As always great history into Middle Earth, but even more so into the writing process and the writer’s working evolution as they craft their unique story.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Schuyler

    While The Book of Lost Tales 2 encompasses 6 tales, I'm going to spend this review focusing on two. Several of them are early drafts of tales (Beren and Luthen, and The Tale of Turambar) that are covered in more detail in The Silmarillion and The Children of Hurin. You may find it interesting to compare the first draft to the later ones, and how Tolkien's ideas grew over time. But if you're not a die-hard Tolkien aficionado, then I wouldn't start with this book. It's a tough nut to crack, and so While The Book of Lost Tales 2 encompasses 6 tales, I'm going to spend this review focusing on two. Several of them are early drafts of tales (Beren and Luthen, and The Tale of Turambar) that are covered in more detail in The Silmarillion and The Children of Hurin. You may find it interesting to compare the first draft to the later ones, and how Tolkien's ideas grew over time. But if you're not a die-hard Tolkien aficionado, then I wouldn't start with this book. It's a tough nut to crack, and some of the later stories, where we have less and less structure to work with, can be mind-numbing with the effort they require to read. But two tales in particular linger in my mind with fondness as I shut this book. One is The Fall of Gondolin, and the other is The History of Eriol or AElfwine. The Fall of Gondolin The Fall of Gondolin was the biggest reason I started with Part 2 of Lost Tales instead of Part 1. Gondolin was a hidden city in Middle Earth, the one that could always elude and withstand the evil war of Melko. But even Gondolin fell in the tragic war between Melko and the elves, and its fall was heartstirring and glorious. The last stand of Turgon on the walls, the valiant wisdom of Idril, wife of Tuor, the tragic shield brother action of Tor and Ecthelion as they defended each other in battle, and best of all, sightings of Legolas and Glorfindel in the same story, (two of my favorite elves) make for an epic combination. The History of Eriol or AElfwine The history of AElfwine lingers with a tugging of the heartstrings. The beginning half as Tolkien tried to fit this legend into English history is a bit slow and unbelievable, but a later draft of the legend that doesn't contain as much English history is a stirring, grand tale. At the peril of life, AElfwine and his companions sail in search of the island of the elves. In a heart-wrenching twist of fate, most of them catch a glimpse of it. But only one man attains elf land, and the others are blown in the mist all the way back home. The tragedy leaves you breathless. You might be wondering, is The Book of Lost Tales for me? Here's a good way to go with Tolkien's books: Read The Hobbit. Everyone reads the Hobbit first. Then read Lord of the Rings. If you love LOTR so much your soul starts singing in the language of elves (a normal and natural reaction) then go on to The Silmarillion. Once you're done with Sil, if you're still interested, then feel free to delve into Lost Tales and The Children of Hurin. Why this order, Schuyler? Well, because that's the way I did it. But in all seriousness, I think that's a pretty decent order to go in. I'm a sucker for punishment, so I'm going on to The Unfinished Tales next, and hopefully I'll read Lost Tales Part 1 someday. I think one particular reason why I appreciate reading a tough Tolkien book is the mental exercise it requires. You use a lot of the same skills you would use to read real history, so it translates well. Plus, starting and finishing it is like starting and finishing an intense physical workout. It exercises different parts of your brain (genealogies, geography, and history) and keeps it sharp. So if you want a mind puzzle, or some glorious moments of valor and heart-wrenching, then give Book of Lost Tales 2 a try.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Dru

    This will be my 12-volume write-up of the entire series "The History of Middle Earth". -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- This series is ONLY for the hardcore Tolkien fanatic. Predominantly written by JRR's son, based on JRR's notes on the creation of The Silmarilion and The Lord of the Rings (much less on The Hobbit). It is somewhat interesting to see the evolution of the story (for example, "Strider" was originally conceived as a Hobbit (one of This will be my 12-volume write-up of the entire series "The History of Middle Earth". -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- This series is ONLY for the hardcore Tolkien fanatic. Predominantly written by JRR's son, based on JRR's notes on the creation of The Silmarilion and The Lord of the Rings (much less on The Hobbit). It is somewhat interesting to see the evolution of the story (for example, "Strider" was originally conceived as a Hobbit (one of those who "went off into the blue with Gandalf" as alluded to in The Hobbit). But the downside to this is that it isn't very fun to read. You can only read yet another version of Beren and Luthien so many times before you're tired of seeing the miniscule changes from one version to the next. So, overall, I slogged through this over about a year. I'd say it was worth it in the end for someone like me who loves Tolkien and his entire created world of Arda (and Ea in general). But I'll never re-read them. They come off too much as seeming like Christopher Tolkien just bundled every scrap of paper he could find, rather than thinning them down into a logical consistency.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Ashley

    I really tried to get through this. In all honesty, all of these “lost and unfinished” tales books have all the same stories in them. The tales of Turin or Beren and Luthien are all great stories, but I don’t need to read them five times.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Timothy

    I won't lie. Christopher Tolkien's literary analysis of the background notes for his father's legendary works is not an easy or quick read. While the actual tales themselves are enjoyable fantasies from out of faerie land, innumerable end notes and discussion of fine points (such as the state of the hand written notebooks from which the current work is sourced, or his father's biography at the time he wrote in the aforementioned notebooks) is nothing less than a slog. That having been said; Tolki I won't lie. Christopher Tolkien's literary analysis of the background notes for his father's legendary works is not an easy or quick read. While the actual tales themselves are enjoyable fantasies from out of faerie land, innumerable end notes and discussion of fine points (such as the state of the hand written notebooks from which the current work is sourced, or his father's biography at the time he wrote in the aforementioned notebooks) is nothing less than a slog. That having been said; Tolkien, to my mind at least, is one of the reigning champions of successful world-building. I know I may be in the minority with that opinion, but my subsequent re-reads of the Lord of the Rings emphasized to me that there was less of the drier material than I remembered as a child (though it was present in parts). More importantly, Tolkien was a professor of the English language and his knowledge of both Old English and the history and of Northern Europe, including his beloved Isles, infused his writing with an authenticity that is, in my opinion, sadly lacking from much of the epic fantasy that has been written since then. So why read it, if it only rates two stars? Well, as a fan of his other writings (LOTR, The Hobbit, The Silmarillion) I thought it was worth the time to try and understand the amount of work that went into developing this master-craft exemplar of world building. The most critical lession that I think an aspiring writer can gain from these is that in the preparation of a novel (or any material you want to publish), more is written, edited, modified, discarded, and re-written than is ever seen by the public. Look at the long years that went into developing a coherent series of myths, just to form the background for later stories to look back to. And these were written and re-written two to three times each, and by hand. Don't expect it to happen overnight. Like him or hate him, every aspiring and successful writer of epic fantasy has been informed by J.R.R. Tolkien. But perhaps fewer have had the in-depth grounding that allowed a fantasy world to not only live vividly in our imaginations, but to haunt our hearts with echoes of our own real world. His syntax, place names, songs, and poems drip with it, offering honey to the soul of the reader. Do you need to read the History of Middle-Earth to enjoy Middle-Earth? Not in the slightest. But if you have the time and patience, you will find jewels here and there to pique your interest. And if you are either a serious fan (devotee?) of Tolkien's world, or in learning more about the process of developing epic fantasy and world building, then you might consider perusing these notes. Tolkien was after all the grand-daddy of epic fantasy architects.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Marwan Emad

    Another Tolkien Leaf in his Niggle tree. 5 Tales, I’ll be reviewing each seperatly. 1) Beren and Luthien (4/5) I have read this Story over and over again in “The Silmarillion”, “Beren & Luthien” and now in “The Lost Tales”. Did I get bored? A Little. Did it stop me from reading it again? Hell No ! Did it slow me down a little bit? Definetly Yes. However this will forever be my favourite fictional love story I have ever read. 2) Children of Hurin (4/5) Same as with “Beren and Luthien”, having read Another Tolkien Leaf in his Niggle tree. 5 Tales, I’ll be reviewing each seperatly. 1) Beren and Luthien (4/5) I have read this Story over and over again in “The Silmarillion”, “Beren & Luthien” and now in “The Lost Tales”. Did I get bored? A Little. Did it stop me from reading it again? Hell No ! Did it slow me down a little bit? Definetly Yes. However this will forever be my favourite fictional love story I have ever read. 2) Children of Hurin (4/5) Same as with “Beren and Luthien”, having read this Novel more than once made me slack a little bit when reading it for the 3rd time, but it definetly didn’t lose it its glamour. It remains the story bringng the deepest grief to my heart whenever I talk about or read. 3) The Necklace of the Dwarves (5/5) A Tale showing the power of greed, Morgoth’s strongest weapons from my own point view. How it’s evil leaked to reach the hearts of the first-born, and how the dwarves were carved by that greed by then. Yet we can argue that the Dwarves were only asking for their right to cherish their own making, but I believe even with that lies their greed. A sorrowful tale, linking The Tale of Beren and Luthien with the Tale of Earendel, giving a full picture of the History of Gnomes and Dwarves on Middle Earth. 4) Fall of Gondolin (4.5/5) I did miss the rush of a Battle that is Tolkien written. That feeling of being in the middle of the battlefield, seeing this being killed, running with that from the field, striking with that through the Shield, bleeing with that from his wound. You can sense every single feeling a War Frenzy brings to its warriors. A Battle that remains to be one of the most important one in Middle Earth. 5) The Tale of Earendel (2/5) I am at a loss of words. We’ve lost a tale that might have been the Core Link between the History of Middle earth and The Lord of the Rings. It is very sad that Tolkien died before finishing/drafting this tale in a rather more complete manner, yet what Christopher could gather shows us how masterly Tolkien has planned for Earendel to be part of his world.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Cassandra L. Manna

    As in Part I of The Book of Lost Tales, this book is a little difficult to read because it is drafted as an academic study on the evolution of the History of Middle Earth. I enjoyed it because it’s interesting to see how the legends of Tolkien originated and how much change went to into getting them to the final version. I did notice there were a lot of comments by the editor about what was “obvious” and “the only possible conclusion” which I found a little too personal and opinionated for an ac As in Part I of The Book of Lost Tales, this book is a little difficult to read because it is drafted as an academic study on the evolution of the History of Middle Earth. I enjoyed it because it’s interesting to see how the legends of Tolkien originated and how much change went to into getting them to the final version. I did notice there were a lot of comments by the editor about what was “obvious” and “the only possible conclusion” which I found a little too personal and opinionated for an academic study. Would only recommend for a big Tolkien-buff. Rate Procedure: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ - I loved the book so much I would reread it again and would recommend to a friend. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ - Thoroughly enjoyed the book, could not put it down, would recommend to a friend, but do not need to read again. ⭐️⭐️⭐️ - Probably a good book that I enjoyed but there was something about it I did not love (e.g. The writing style, the POV, etc.). I would only recommend to a friend if it was their "type" of book. ⭐️⭐️ - A book I have below average feelings for and it would not come with a recommendation from me but I would mention it in conversation if related to the book topic at issue. ⭐️ - I finished the book but I hated every second of it.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Patricia

    It took me like a month but I did it! I enjoyed the different versions of familiar stories - Beren and Luthien (though clearly JRRT was not a fan of cats, boo on him), the Fall of Gondolin, the Nauglafring, and the Tale of Earendel. I don't think I'll ever enjoy reading about disaster-man Turin and I did not care at all for Eriol's tale and the whole, let's try and make this England, glad JRRT seemed to let go of a lot of that as time went on. It took me like a month but I did it! I enjoyed the different versions of familiar stories - Beren and Luthien (though clearly JRRT was not a fan of cats, boo on him), the Fall of Gondolin, the Nauglafring, and the Tale of Earendel. I don't think I'll ever enjoy reading about disaster-man Turin and I did not care at all for Eriol's tale and the whole, let's try and make this England, glad JRRT seemed to let go of a lot of that as time went on.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Moritz

    A nice introduction to all three great tales for those not familiar with them. But the highlight is certainly “The History of Eriol or Ælfwine and the End of the Tales.” This is arguably where the early conceptions most drastically differed from the later ones, making this a particularly interesting stage of the mythology’s evolution.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Andrew

    Here Tolkien gets to his four epics. These are the stories that will whisper to and haunt him for the rest of his life. These versions are made to fit his frame story of Eriol being told the Faërie stories of old. That being said, unfortunately Earendil is only a few competing outlines which makes for an unsatisfying conclusion. The book tails off into the chaos of the divers notes and poesy Tolkien left behind. We still get the early versions of Beren and Luthien, Turin Turambar, and The Fall of Here Tolkien gets to his four epics. These are the stories that will whisper to and haunt him for the rest of his life. These versions are made to fit his frame story of Eriol being told the Faërie stories of old. That being said, unfortunately Earendil is only a few competing outlines which makes for an unsatisfying conclusion. The book tails off into the chaos of the divers notes and poesy Tolkien left behind. We still get the early versions of Beren and Luthien, Turin Turambar, and The Fall of Gondolin. It should be noted if you purchased the recent copies of two of those titles, you will have the versions of the stories found here along with later varieties. It really remains a tragedy there is no extant form of substantial narrative for Earendil. Even in its Silmarillion form it is diminished and far less a thing than it should be given its significance.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Skylar Phelps

    At about 250 pages in, I packed this one away in a box during a move and forgot about it... for 4 and a half years. Only read this if you are a Tolkien addict with a yearning to become a middle earth scholar. Otherwise stick to the Silmarillion and you’ll be glad you did.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Sean

    I don't know that I have anything new to say about Part Two of The Book of Lost Tales that I didn't already say in my review of Part One. The insights and context that Cristopher Tolkien provides alongside these very early works of J.R.R. Tolkien are fascinating, and the book as a whole deepens my love and appreciation for everything that The Professor has created. I would certainly recommend that any devoted fans of Tolkien read these books, especially if they enjoy The Silmarillion, to see dig I don't know that I have anything new to say about Part Two of The Book of Lost Tales that I didn't already say in my review of Part One. The insights and context that Cristopher Tolkien provides alongside these very early works of J.R.R. Tolkien are fascinating, and the book as a whole deepens my love and appreciation for everything that The Professor has created. I would certainly recommend that any devoted fans of Tolkien read these books, especially if they enjoy The Silmarillion, to see dig into the foundations of the entire mythology of Arda. One thing I will make a note of, though, is the version of The Fall of Gondolin contained in this book. I hadn't read such a fleshed out version of this tale, and I was completely enthralled by it as I read it here. I would absolutely recommend reading The Book of Lost Tales just to read this version of The Fall of Gondolin, which I found to be gripping and exciting.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Silvana

    Well, the reason I read this book is because Richard Armitage, the actor who plays Thorin in The Hobbit, has read it. If he is fluent in Tolkien lores, then why can't I? :-) The story that I wanted to read is actually the Nauglafring (Necklace of the Dwarves). But it was interesting as well to read a more thorough version (at least from the version told in The Silmarillion) of Beren-Luthien's and Turin Turambar's stories. I found out that Beren was a gnome (don't freak out yet, gnome here apparen Well, the reason I read this book is because Richard Armitage, the actor who plays Thorin in The Hobbit, has read it. If he is fluent in Tolkien lores, then why can't I? :-) The story that I wanted to read is actually the Nauglafring (Necklace of the Dwarves). But it was interesting as well to read a more thorough version (at least from the version told in The Silmarillion) of Beren-Luthien's and Turin Turambar's stories. I found out that Beren was a gnome (don't freak out yet, gnome here apparently means that he was one of the Noldors) and that he was helpless without Luthien went to rescue him and left her kingdom shattered, broke her parents' hearts and her brother lost. Spoiled brat. Melian should have put her girdle around that girl. Anyway, Turin's story is awesome, it's always is. Children of Hurin, if you haven't read it then fly you fools to the nearest book store! Sad, extremely harrowing. Tolkien at his best. And then came the story of Nauglafring. A bit shorter that what I expected but alright. It explained to me the origin of the enmity between the elves and the dwarves. Both sides were wrong, that's the gist. The elves were ungrateful SOBs and the dwarves clearly overreacted. Alliance with the orcs? Seriously, guys. Then the book went downhill for me. The Tale of Earendil was really boring. Or maybe because there were just so many versions of it in one chapter so it became hellishly repetitive. And I still didn't understand why he got separated from Elwing and why she drowned. The weirdest part from the book to me is not the scholarly remarks and analysis given by Christopher Tolkien on various subjects from etymology of names to different versions of poems, but it was the fact that Elves became fairies. So while Men were getting more evil and stuff, Elves were fading, became transparent and smaller, until finally Men could not see them. I had a feeling by then that there would be some connection made with the real (our) world. And I was right. So apparently Tol Eressea is now the modern day England! Weird huh? So that confirms the theory that Middle Earth is now the modern day continental Europe. Ha! Can you guess which country is Hobbitton? Mordor? Anyway, this is not a book for everyone. You have to at least read The Silmarillion first. And you gotta love Tolkien alot.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Regitze

    The story of Lúthien Tinúviel and Beren is probably one of my favourite of Tolkien's stories. And for that reason alone, I love this book. It presents several version of the story, esentially the same but with important and characteristic differences. And a different version still it the one found in The Silmarillion, but more on that book. I think, on the whole, I like the stories in this book better than the stories in part I. But they're all connected and I think it is an important strength to The story of Lúthien Tinúviel and Beren is probably one of my favourite of Tolkien's stories. And for that reason alone, I love this book. It presents several version of the story, esentially the same but with important and characteristic differences. And a different version still it the one found in The Silmarillion, but more on that book. I think, on the whole, I like the stories in this book better than the stories in part I. But they're all connected and I think it is an important strength to this entire story of characters telling each other important myths and tales from their Peoples. You really can't read part II, without having read part I, I believe. At least you get a very different persepctive on the tales of part II, if you haven't read part I. I think the most interesting stories in part II is the ones that aren't written. The last two tales that is, they're mostly notes and outlines and plans of Tolkien's for stories he wanted to write. Some exist in the form of poems, some don't. But really, they're ridiculously interesting. And if I remember correctly, feature in The Silmarillion, but as it has been years, I can't say for sure. Christopher Tolkien does a marvelous job of stitching the tales together from various manuscripts of his father's, J . R. R. Tolkien, and with the help of a well-structured note section following each tale, as well as a commentary manages to bring back a large portion of the stories that J. R. R. Tolkien wrote in the trenches of WWI. And which was, many many years later, to become The Silmarillion, simplified: the origin on Middle-earth as we know it from LotR and the history of the elves. And thus, reading these books has made me want to reread The Silmarillion, but that probably is a way off. NB: when I simply write "Tolkien", I of course refer to J. R. R. Tolkien. For more thoughts on Lost Tales, see my review of Part I here. Also reviewed together on my blog Bookish Love Affair.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Nicole

    Things I will never tire of: 1. Luthien being the biggest badass ever, no matter how many ways Tolkien writes it (she's the best character he's ever written- fight me if you think otherwise lol) 2. Turin and his family making the worst possible life choices (along with a reminder of why I lol every time someone says that Tolkien is 'too tame' or 'too PG' for them). The Fall of Gondolin is my favourite piece that Tolkien has written. I'm not 100% sure why, but I find it fascinating and spectacular- Things I will never tire of: 1. Luthien being the biggest badass ever, no matter how many ways Tolkien writes it (she's the best character he's ever written- fight me if you think otherwise lol) 2. Turin and his family making the worst possible life choices (along with a reminder of why I lol every time someone says that Tolkien is 'too tame' or 'too PG' for them). The Fall of Gondolin is my favourite piece that Tolkien has written. I'm not 100% sure why, but I find it fascinating and spectacular- the action, the imagery, the tone, the politics, the characters...all of it. I'm so glad we got this full version of it. I love that he apparently ran out of names by the time he got to LOTR, and just recycled some from older works (can you imagine Gimli's horror if he realized his name first went to an Elf)? I'm so very happy that the characterization of the Dwarves was improved by the finished copy, because good lord was it terrible here. Cringe worthy terrible, TBH. I legitimately love these books because there's no way to totally make out Tolkien canon, which means that I can just kind of choose things I love the most and go with that. I also fully admit that I think the whole 'this is the secret history of Europe/England' thing is lame and I just ignore it. The last chapter (Story of Elfwine) just reminds me why.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Nonethousand Oberrhein

    Heroics of a young author As the narrative frame of The Cottage of Lost Play continues from the first volume, it is time to “listen” to the tales of the big heroes of the First Age. Far more naive and chaotic, while at the same time more enthralling and sparkling than the Silmarillion’s mature storytelling, this earlier account of the known legends sheds a light on Tolkien’s working process and allows a different perspective of some those famous characters. Aside from the studious dive into t Heroics of a young author As the narrative frame of The Cottage of Lost Play continues from the first volume, it is time to “listen” to the tales of the big heroes of the First Age. Far more naive and chaotic, while at the same time more enthralling and sparkling than the Silmarillion’s mature storytelling, this earlier account of the known legends sheds a light on Tolkien’s working process and allows a different perspective of some those famous characters. Aside from the studious dive into the myth building, the reader will be delighted and surprised as the narrative frame itself twists out of shape and bridges the fantastic geography of Tol-Eressea with the far more mundane one of the British Isles. A transition not to be missed!

  26. 4 out of 5

    Othy

    Though I liked the first Book of Lost Tales better, this one was still amazing. The stories in it not only give depth to the Silmarillion and The Lord of the Rings, but also as JRR Tolkien himself AND what being a human and an artist really means. Some of the work of both prose and poetry in this volume is equal in beauty to the most wonderfully beautiful pieces Tolkien himself published. Anyone who enjoys writing in any form should read these tales. Though I liked the first Book of Lost Tales better, this one was still amazing. The stories in it not only give depth to the Silmarillion and The Lord of the Rings, but also as JRR Tolkien himself AND what being a human and an artist really means. Some of the work of both prose and poetry in this volume is equal in beauty to the most wonderfully beautiful pieces Tolkien himself published. Anyone who enjoys writing in any form should read these tales.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Max

    This was quite hard to get through. There are some interesting bits, but the stuff in between them is just a tough cookie. A must-read for die-hard Tolkien fans (the whole series is) but don't expect a compelling book that grips you from start to end. This was quite hard to get through. There are some interesting bits, but the stuff in between them is just a tough cookie. A must-read for die-hard Tolkien fans (the whole series is) but don't expect a compelling book that grips you from start to end.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Daniel

    A J.R.R. Tolkien fan since my earliest adolescence, I have only in my middle age begun to read the notebooks his son Christopher has published in the 1980s and ‘90s as The History of Middle-earth. It is wise not to begin with these books. They do not draw us in to the great master’s enchanted realm as does The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, and most especially (for me at least) The Silmarillion. This, the second book of “Lost Tales” is no easy read, even for Tolkien geeks such as myself. The sent A J.R.R. Tolkien fan since my earliest adolescence, I have only in my middle age begun to read the notebooks his son Christopher has published in the 1980s and ‘90s as The History of Middle-earth. It is wise not to begin with these books. They do not draw us in to the great master’s enchanted realm as does The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, and most especially (for me at least) The Silmarillion. This, the second book of “Lost Tales” is no easy read, even for Tolkien geeks such as myself. The sentences are long, the words often archaic, the stories themselves often overwritten, and occasionally even convoluted. And yet, they give you incredible insight into the evolution of the master’s mythos. By the time he turned thirty, he had largely fleshed out the stories that form the backbone of The Silmarillion.In the first book, his son included the great cosmological tales up through the flight of the Noldor where a great tribe of elves breaks off from their brethren living among the deities who would become the Valar. In this the second, we see the first sketches of the stories which would become the three great tales of mortal men in the First Age of Middle-earth, Beren, Túrin, and Tuor—and through the son of that last man, the second from the Elder Days to marry an elf princess, of Eärendil and his voyage to the Undying West. This volume also includes, as its last section, “The History of Eriol or Ælfwine and the End of the Tales.” Unlike the tales of the other men, no great revised version of this part made it into The Silmarillion. But, those familiar with Tolkien’s biography will recognize it as a kind of “missing link” (if you will) between his Middle-earth and the rise of England. J.R.R. Tolkien had long sought to craft a national mythology that he had found lacking in his homeland. After attempting “to construct a narrative taking account of all the essential features” of that last tale, Christopher Tolkien writes: I claim no more for this than that it seems to be to be the only way in which these disjecta membra can be set together into a comprehensive narrative scheme. It must be admitted even so that it requires some forcing of the evidence to secure apparent agreement…. Doubtless in these jottings my father was thinking with his pen, exploring independent narrative paths; one gets the impression of a ferment of ideas and possibilities rapidly displacing one another, from which no stable narrative core can be extracted. And yet in this book, we did see such a “stable narrative core” for each of the three aforementioned tales of mortal men from the Elder Days as well as for Eärendil the Mariner and the Nauglamír (the dwarf-forged necklace referenced in The Silmarillion, referred to in this book as the Nauglafring). Even without that “narrative core,” the last story (albeit challenging to read) should engage Tolkien geeks. As his son writes, the various “’plots’, abandoned and doubtless forgotten… bear witness to truths of my father’s heart that he never abandoned.” Those notes, he adds, “were scribbled down in his [father’s] youth”. And these notes—as well as the more structured stories from Tolkien’s notebooks—show how early in his life the master has mapped out the great story he had to tell. They show another thing as well, that he had not yet found the voice with which he was to tell them.

  29. 5 out of 5

    D-day

    I will give the same warning as Part One, The Book of Lost Tales is not for the casual Tolkien fan. These are early drafts of stories that later became the Silmarillion Part Two of the Tales contains the more epic stories starting with the story of Beren & Luthien here called the Tale of Tinuviel. The earliest conception of the story is quite interesting; Beren is an Elf and Sauron (here known as Tevildo) is a giant evil cat! The second tale is Turambar and the Foaloke and is the earliest version I will give the same warning as Part One, The Book of Lost Tales is not for the casual Tolkien fan. These are early drafts of stories that later became the Silmarillion Part Two of the Tales contains the more epic stories starting with the story of Beren & Luthien here called the Tale of Tinuviel. The earliest conception of the story is quite interesting; Beren is an Elf and Sauron (here known as Tevildo) is a giant evil cat! The second tale is Turambar and the Foaloke and is the earliest version of the Turin saga, and again very interesting in its early conception. The Fall of Gondolin is really the most interesting part of the Lost Tales as it is the only full length version of this story Tolkien ever wrote. It is also one of the first stories Tolkien ever wrote and it is astonishing and extremely unfortunate that he never was able to finish an updated full version in subsequent decades. He did begin a revised version that was subsequently published in Unfinished Tales, but this was only completed to the point where Tuor comes to Gondolin. So this early version is the only version telling in detail the marriage of Tuor and Idril, the treachery of Maeglin, the sacking of the city, the death of Turgon, and the flight of the Exiles. The tale regarding the Necklace of the Dwarves is very fascinating for Tolkien’s initial conception of Dwarves. Here they are portrayed as somewhat more morally dubious than the gruff, yet lovable characters from The Hobbit. Although not actually completed even in this early version, it remains the fullest account of the Nauglamir and the Fall of Doriath. The next tale is the Tale of Earendel, and this is very sad, for what should be the climactic story of the Silmarillion was never written in full, even here in the Lost Tales there is only alternate outlines and brief summaries The final tale is the Tale of Aelfwine. This is the conclusion of the framing story (in this version explicitly tying the Tales to English history) that Tolkien, correctly in my opinion, was to abandon. So a treasure for the Tolkien fan, interesting for the details it contains but oh so frustrating for the fact that there is so much here that was never completed, which will be a common refrain from me for my reviews of all the subsequent volumes of the History of Middle Earth

  30. 5 out of 5

    Viel Nast

    the history of middle earth continues with the second part of the book of lost tales. Another “difficult” book to read and not be entertained! On the other hand the real Tolkien fan is able to watch how the stories evolved from early 1910’s when a young linguist tried his hand on writing. The stories changed, sometime significantly, during the years although the central core of the stories remained the same for more than fifty years. In the second volume we read the stories of Beren and Luthien the history of middle earth continues with the second part of the book of lost tales. Another “difficult” book to read and not be entertained! On the other hand the real Tolkien fan is able to watch how the stories evolved from early 1910’s when a young linguist tried his hand on writing. The stories changed, sometime significantly, during the years although the central core of the stories remained the same for more than fifty years. In the second volume we read the stories of Beren and Luthien and the necklace of the Dwarves, of Earendil and the fall of Gondolin and Turin and the Dragon. It also shows tales of Tol Eressea the lost island that was a mythical England before times. Because Tolkien what he really tried with his stories and his languages was to create a mythology for his beloved country and an ancient history which as a scholar who had read about ancient Greek, Egyptian and Mesopotamian myths was jealous and eager to supplant himself. The book is like the first poorly published with tight margins, small fonts and low quality paper making reading an effort but it contains information never seen before. Also Christopher as editor comments and explains every chapter heavily adding further information to the tales from his personal experiences. As usual with Tolkien’s works there is a vast index with names, events and places linguistic appendixes and a full assortment of material to delve for many hours of reading. Mostly these books will be a guide and reference for those who want to reach deeper into Middle Earth!

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