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This article is about first Part. For Part Two, see The Book of Lost Tales Part Two.


The Book of Lost Tales Part One is the title of the first volume of Christopher Tolkien's 12-volume series The History of Middle-earth, in which he analyses the unpublished manuscripts of his father J.R.R. Tolkien.

It was completed in 1983. The Book of Lost Tales Part Two is its sequel and other half, which came a year later.


"This...discussion is an attempt to explain my primary motives for offering The Book of Lost Tales for publication. It is the first step in presenting the 'longitudinal' view of Middle-earth and Valinor: when the huge geographical expansion, swelling out from the centre and (as it were) thrusting Beleriand into the west, was far off in the future; when there were no 'Elder Days' ending in the drowning of Beleriand, for there were as yet no other Ages of the World; when the Elves were still 'faeries', and even Rúmil the learned Noldo was far removed from the magisterial 'loremasters' of my father's later years."
Christopher Tolkien, towards the end of the Foreword to the book


The Book of Lost Tales contains the first versions of the stories which would later become The Silmarillion, and is notable because, while very primitive in style and content, it is very close to the later work in many ways. Each of the Tales is followed by notes and a detailed commentary by Christopher Tolkien.

While many of the names in the book are identical or close to those in the later versions, some of them bear almost no resemblance to their final forms. J.R.R. Tolkien changed names rather frequently, sometimes with several new variants (rejected in turn) written in a single manuscript. Confusingly, sometimes the name applied to one thing is later used to refer to a different thing, the original use abandoned. As an example, the house of Elves called "Teleri" in The Book of Lost Tales is not the same as that in The Silmarillion (see Teleri). The original usage of "Teleri" would eventually change until the name became "Vanyar". Meanwhile, the house of Elves called "Solosimpi" would inherit the name "Teleri".

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.

There are more changes visible within the book, and it is not internally consistent, partially because even while still writing it, Tolkien began rewriting earlier parts as his ideas about the world changed. The Tales were eventually abandoned, but they were resurrected in part as the "Sketch of the Mythology" which would become The Silmarillion.

For publication, the book was split into two volumes: The Book of Lost Tales Part One and The Book of Lost Tales Part Two, but this is simply an editorial division. Both volumes are separated into several "Lost Tales", as chapters.

Table of Contents[]

  1. "The Cottage of Lost Play" — the "framework" story, recounting Eriol's arrival to the place where the following stories are told
  2. "The Music of the Ainur" — the first version of what would become the Ainulindalë
  3. "The Coming of the Valar and the Building of Valinor" — later the Valaquenta and the first chapters of the Quenta Silmarillion
  4. "The Chaining of Melko"
  5. "The Coming of the Elves and the Making of Kôr"
  6. "The Theft of Melko and the Darkening of Valinor"
  7. "The Flight of the Noldoli"
  8. "The Tale of the Sun and Moon"
  9. "The Hiding of Valinor"
  10. "Gilfanon's Tale: The Travail of the Noldoli and the Coming of Mankind" (which contains the first and only reference to the enigmatic "wizard" fay, )

Comparison with The Silmarillion[]

The following is a direct comparison between the contents of the early Book of Lost Tales and the later sketches that became The Silmarillion.

Although one of the Lost Tales often corresponds to more tales from The Silmarillion, still the narrative in the Lost Tales is more extended (typically, 50% pages more).

In J.R.R. Tolkien's notebooks, the fourth and fifth tales were a single one, told by the character Meril-i-Turinqi, but Christopher Tolkien decided to separate them because of their length. The same applies to the sixth and seventh tales, told by Lindo.

The Book of Lost Tales Storyteller The Silmarillion
Book I
1. The Cottage of Lost Play Vairë -
2. The Music of the Ainur Rúmil Ainulindalë
3. The Coming of the Valar and the Building of Valinor Rúmil Valaquenta
1. Of the Beginning of Days
- 2. Of Aulë and Yavanna
4. The Chaining of Melko
5. The Coming of the Elves and the Making of Kôr
Meril-i-Turinqi 3. Of the Coming of the Elves and the Captivity of Melkor
4. Of Thingol and Melian
5. Of Eldamar and the Princes of the Eldalië
6. The Theft of Melko and the Darkening of Valinor
7. The Flight of the Noldoli
Lindo 6. Of Fëanor and the Unchaining of Melkor
7. Of the Silmarils and the Unrest of the Noldor
8. Of the Darkening of Valinor
9. Of the Flight of the Noldor
8. The Tale of the Sun and Moon
9. The Hiding of Valinor
11. Of the Sun and Moon and the Hiding of Valinor
10. Gilfanon's Tale: The Travail of the Noldoli and the Coming of Mankind
unwritten; 2 fragments and 2 outlines only
Gilfanon 10. Of the Sindar
12. Of Men
13. Of the Return of the Noldor
14. Of Beleriand and its Realms
15. Of the Noldor in Beleriand
16. Of Maeglin
17. Of the Coming of Men into the West
18. Of the Ruin of Beleriand and the Fall of Fingolfin
Book II
1. The Tale of Tinúviel Vëannë 19. Of Beren and Lúthien
- 20. Of the Fifth Battle: Nirnaeth Arnoediad
2. Turambar and the Foalókë Eltas 21. Of Túrin Turambar
3. The Fall of Gondolin Ilfinion 23. Of Tuor and the Fall of Gondolin
4. The Nauglafring Ailios 22. Of the Ruin of Doriath
5. The Tale of Eärendel
unwritten; 3 outlines and 4 poems only
- 24. Of the Voyage of Eärendil and the War of Wrath
6a. The End of the Tales
unwritten; 1 outline, 4 notes, epilogue only
6b. The History of Eriol or Ælfwine
unwritten; 2 outlines (based on 19 notes), 2 poems, 1 fragment only
- -

The History of Middle-earth Series (1983 - 2002)

The Book of Lost Tales Part One | The Book of Lost Tales Part Two | The Lays of Beleriand | The Shaping of Middle-earth: The Quenta, The Ambarkanta, and The Annals | The Lost Road and Other Writings | The Return of the Shadow: The History of the Lord of the Rings, Part One | The Treason of Isengard: The History of the Lord of the Rings, Part Two | The War of the Ring: The History of the Lord of the Rings, Part Three | Sauron Defeated: The History of the Lord of the Rings, Part Four | Morgoth's Ring: The Later Silmarillion, Part One: The Legends of Aman | The War of the Jewels: The Later Silmarillion, Part Two | The Peoples of Middle-earth | The History of Middle-earth: Index


Foreign Language Translated name
Afrikaans Die Boek van verlore na sprokies Deel een
Albanian Libri i Përrallave të humbura
Amharic የጠፉ ተረቶች መጽሐፍ ?
Arabic كتاب الحكايات المفقودة الجزء الأول
Armenian Կորցրած հեքիաթների առաջին մասը
Azerbaijani İtirilmiş nağıllar kitabı Birinci hissə
Belarusian Cyrillic Кніга згубленых паданняў Частка першая
Basque Galdutako ipuinen liburua, zatia bat
Bengali লস্ট টেলস অফ বুক
Bosnian Prvi dio knjige izgubljene priče
Bulgarian Cyrillic Книгата на изгубени приказки част първа
Burmese ပျောက်ဆုံးပုံပြင်များ၏စာအုပ်
Catalan El llibre dels Contes Perduts I
Cebuano Ang Libro sa Nawala nga mga sugilanon Bahin Usa
Chichewa Bukhu la nkhani anataya
Chinese 遗失的故事书第一部分
Croatian Knjiga izgubljenih pripovijesti 1
Czech Kniha ztracených pověstí - Část 1
Danish Tolkiens Bog med Glemte Fortællinger - 1. Del
Dutch Het Boek met Verloren Verhalen Deel een
Esperanto La Libro de Perdita Rakontoj
Estonian Kaotatud teadete esimene osa
Fijian Na iVola i buli yali
Filipino Ang Aklat ng nawalang kuwento
Finnish Kadonneitten tarujen kirja
French Le Livre des Contes Perdus I
Frisian It Boek fan Ferlern Ferhalen
Galician O Libro de Contos Perdidos
Georgian დაკარგული მოთხრობების წიგნი 1
German Das Buch der Verschollenen Geschichten Teil 1
Greek Το Βιβλίο των Χαμένων Ιστοριών, μέρος Ι
Gujarati લોસ્ટ ટેલ્સ ઓફ બુક
Hausa Littafin rasa tãtsũniyõyin
Hawaiian Ka Buke o Ka Wa Kahiko kaʻao
Hebrew הספר סיפורי אבודים
Hindi खोई दास्तां पार्ट वन की किताब
Hungarian Az elveszett mesék könyve I
Icelandic Bókin um Glatað Sögur Hluti einn
Indonesian Buku Kisah yang Hilang Bagian Pertama
Irish Gaelic Leabhar na Scéalta Caillte Cuid a ceann
Italian Il libro dei racconti persi la prima parte
Japanese 失われた物語パート1の本
Javanese Kitab crita ilang
Kannada ದಿ ಬುಕ್ ಆಫ್ ಲಾಸ್ಟ್ ಟೇಲ್ಸ್ ಪಾರ್ಟ್ ಒನ್
Kazakh Жоғалған ертегілер кітабы Бірінші бөлім (Cyrillic) Joğalğan ertegiler kitabı Birinşi bölim (Latin)
Korean 잃어버린 이야기의 제 1 부 ?
Kurdish Kitêba çîrokan a ji dest da (Latin)
Kyrgyz Cyrillic жоголгон жомоктору китеби
Latin Liber de Perierat Fabulas
Latvian Pirmā daļa zaudēta pasaku grāmata
Lithuanian Prarastųjų istorijų knyga, I dalis
Macedonian Cyrillic Книга за изгубени приказни Прв дел
Malagasy Ny Bokin' ny Tantara Very dia Ampahany Iray
Malaysian Buku Kisah Hilang Bahagian Satu
Malayalam ലോസ്റ്റ് ടെലസ് ഭാഗം ഒന്ന്
Maltese Il-Ktieb ta 'tales mitlufa
Marathi गमावले गोष्टी समजून घेतल्या पुस्तक
Mongolian Cyrillic Алдагдсан үлгэрийн номыг нэгдүгээр хэсэг
Nepalese हराएको कहानिहरु पुस्तकका
Norwegian Bok av tapt historier Del én
Persian کتاب داستان های از دست رفته قسمت اول
Polish Księga zaginionych opowieści Część pierwsza
Portuguese O livro dos contos perdidos parte um
Punjabi ਗੁੰਮੇ ਕਿੱਸੇ ਦੀ ਕਿਤਾਬ ਦੇ
Romanian Cartea poveștilor pierdute 1
Russian Книга утраченных сказаний Том Первый
Samoan O le Tusi o Tala fatu leiloa
Scottish Gaelic Tha an leabhar de sgeulachdan chall
Serbian Књига Изгубљених прича, први том (Cyrillic) Knjiga Izgubljenih priča, prvi tom (Latin)
Sindhi گم ٿي قصا جي ڪتاب
Sinhalese ලොස්ට් කතාන්දර පොත
Slovak Kniha stratených príbehov, časť prvá
Slovenian Knjiga izgubljenih zgodb Prvi del
Somali Buuga warkii laga badiyay
Spanish El libro de los cuentos perdidos 1
Sundanese Kitab dongeng leungit ?
Swahili Kitabu cha Hadithi Waliopotea Moja ya sehemu
Swedish De förlorade sagornas bok Del Ett
Tajik Cyrillic китоби афсонаҳои даст ?
Tamil லாஸ்ட் டேல்ஸ் பாகம் ஒன் புத்தக
Telugu ది బుక్ ఆఫ్ లాస్ట్ టేల్స్ పార్ట్ వన్
Thai ตำนานอันสาบสูญ เล่ม 1
Turkish Kayıp Öyküler Kitabı Birinci Bölüm
Turkmen Ostitirilen Hekaýalar kitaby Birinji bölüm
Ukrainian Cyrillic Книга Втрачених сказань, том 1
Urdu گم شدہ کہانیوں کی کتاب حصہ اول
Uzbek йўқолган афсонасидан китоби (Cyrillic) yo'qolgan afsonasidan kitobi (Latin)
Vietnamese Cuốn sách câu chuyện bị mất phần một
Welsh Llyfr o straeon a gollwyd
Yiddish דער ספר פון לאָסט טאַלעס חלק איינער