The Book of Lost Tales is the first two books of the 12 volume collection of The History of Middle Earth. This is a compilation of material written by J.R.R. Tolkien put together by Christopher Tolkien.
The content of The Book of Lost Tales was written 60-70 years prior to when it was published at 1983. J.R.R. Tolkien began writing these tales at 1916-17 and is basically a forerunner to The Silmarillion. Like Silmarillion and Unfinished Tales, these books, were put together and published by Christopher Tolkien due to an intent to release his fathers work so that the puclic who had already accepted the Middle Earth world as something worth to know more about and study. The books are not easily read because they lack the dramatic narrative, based on quests, like The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. The Book of Lost Tales consists of chapters with different tales accompanied by commentary by Christopher Tolkien and there are also appendixes with more useful information.
In The Book of Lost Tales the idea is that there is a framework story of Eriol who have voyaged over the ocean who meet elves that tell him these tales and stories of the histories. I will go more into this when I give summary of the first chapter of The Book of Lost Tales.
The Book of Lost Tales consists of these stories:
- “The Cottage of Lost Play”
- “The Music of the Ainur”
- “The Coming of the Valar and the Building of Valinor”
- “The Chaining of Melko”
- “The Coming of the Elves and the Making of Kôr”
- “The Theft of Melko and the Darkening of Valinor”
- “The Flight of the Noldoli”
- “The Tale of the Sun and Moon”
- “The Hiding of Valinor”
- “Gilfanon’s Tale: The Travail of the Noldoli and the Coming of Mankind”
- “The Tale of Tinúviel”
- “Turambar and the Foalókë”
- “The Fall of Gondolin”
- “The Nauglafring”
- “The Tale of Eärendel”
- “The History of Eriol or Ælfwine and the End of the Tales”
(This text is mainly based on the foreword to The Book of Lost Tales, p. 1-11)