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.
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.
Preceded by The Book of Lost Tales, part 1. Edited by Christopher Tolkien.