HomeGroupsTalkMoreZeitgeist
Search Site
This site uses cookies to deliver our services, improve performance, for analytics, and (if not signed in) for advertising. By using LibraryThing you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your use of the site and services is subject to these policies and terms.
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Loading...

The Lost Road and Other Writings

by J. R. R. Tolkien

Other authors: Christopher Tolkien (Editor)

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: The History of Middle-Earth (5)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,56658,665 (3.69)10
At the end of the 1937 J.R.R. Tolkien reluctantly set aside his now greatly elaborated work on the myths and heroic legends of Valinor and Middle-earth and began The Lord of the Rings. This fifth volume of The History of Middle-earth, edited by Christopher Tolkien, completes the presentation of the whole compass of his writing on those themes up to that time. Later forms of the Annuals of Valinor and the Annals of Berleriand had been composed, The Silmarillion was nearing completion in a greatly amplified version, and a new map had been made; the myth of the Music of the Ainur had become a separate work; and the legend of the Downfall of Numenor had already entered in a primitive form, introducing the cardinal ideas of the World Made Round and the Straight Path into the vanished West. Closely associated with this was the abandoned time-travel story, The Lost Road, which was to link the world of Numenor and Middle-earth with the legends of many other times and peoples. A long essay, The Lhammas, had been written on the ever more complex relations of the languages and dialects of Middle-earth; and an etymological dictionary had been undertaken, in which a great number of words and names in the Elvish languages were registered and their formation explained - thus providing by far the most extensive account of their vocabularies that has appeared.… (more)
Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 10 mentions

Showing 5 of 5
Read "The Lost Road" section for a a course at The Mythgard Institute. It was good, but I'm always a little put off by Christopher Tolkien's commentary and notes. Christopher gets a little hard to follow when he starts talking about variations in different manuscripts. Definitely will take some additional reading.

I look forward to reading other sections, in particular the Etymologies, but will likely need to put them off until I have more Time. ( )
  octoberdad | Dec 16, 2020 |
Again, one of these days. I really need to spend some time reading all of these.
  threadnsong | Jun 18, 2016 |
At one point, Lewis observed to Tolkien that since there weren't enough stories being writtten of the sort that they wanted to read, they'd have to write them themselves. Lewis committed to writing a book about space travel, Tolkien about time travel; Lewis' commitment developed into his Space Trilogy (/Out of the Silent Planet/, /Perelandra/, /That Hideous Strength/), while Tolkien's project -- to be titled /The Lost Road/ -- never managed to come together. This is the debris of that project: interesting reading, but you can see why it never quite worked...
  ex_ottoyuhr | May 8, 2014 |
http://nwhyte.livejournal.com/1785921.html

Getting to the end of the books about how the Silmarillion was (and wasn't) written now, this volume includes several interesting insights into how Tolkien's works reached us. At the core is the rather slim pickings of The Lost Road, the time travel novel which Tolkien began at around the same time C.S. Lewis began his Ransome trilogy. Tolkien abandoned it, and it wasn't really going in the right direction; what we have here is too episodic to be coherent, and in particular, the framing narrative has a set of slightly odd father-son dynamics going on - Tolkien's own parents were absent, largely through being dead, and the same is true of most of his more successful characters (Bilbo's parents are never heard of, he in turn abandons Frodo in the first chapter of LotR, Húrin is a distant captive while his son and daughter fall in love with each other) though there are exceptions (mostly father-figures who are over-controlling - Théoden, Denethor, Thingol).

The importance of father-son dynamics extends also to the making of this book, and I was particularly interested in a passage on page 302 where Christopher Tolkien expresses his regrets that the Silmarillion as originally published was not better; he reflects on the role played by Guy Gavriel Kay in assembling the texts but in the end takes full responsibility for it himself. I was not surprised to read that the story he feels was worst served is the tale of Beren and Lúthien.

There's also a lot of meaty material on the languages - an essay called the Lhammas and a set of Elvish etymologies, which brought home to me that for Tolkien his invented structure was much more than just Quenya and Sindarin, it also included half a dozen other languages spoken by different branches of the Elves, barely mentioned in the stories. I have dabbled enough in philology to sense the uniqueness of this achievement - very few sf or fantasy writers come anywhere near Tolkien's level of detail in his invented names and words, and some (eg Robert Jordan) are so bad at it that it's painful.

Apart from that, we have the Fall of Númenor, and yet another rehash of the main text of the Silmarillion. I am looking forward to the next volume which is about the early versions of LotR. ( )
2 vote nwhyte | Jul 28, 2011 |
There is little in this volume to interest any but the most dedicated of Tolkien enthusiasts.

Part I, The Lost Road, presents draft fragments of an ambitious mythological fantasy, intended to span the centuries backwards from the Oxford of the 20th century, through unfolding layers of Germanic history and legend, to the fall of Atlantis, following pairs of father and son figures through the generations. (Kipling's Puck of Pook's Hill must surely have been an inspiration.) After two pairs of short chapters it peters out. The Atlantis story at its heart was eventually to emerge as the tale of Numenor in The Silmarillion. The attempt to frame this tale within a modern character's dreams (of an implausibly linguistic nature) resurfaced in The Notion Club Papers. The germs of some interesting ideas are here embedded in a narrative of stunning turgidity. Tolkien's tendency towards archaizing chronicle is here exacerbated by having much of the action recounted in stilted dialogue between the characters, who are transparently projections of aspects of Tolkien's own personality and obsessions. It might seem amazing that the author of this awkward, pale, post-pre-Raphaelite thee-and-thou prose managed to transform himself into a formidable writer of modern English, though it is hardly fair to judge a writer on the basis of some initial and ultimately abortive sketches. The section most worthy of note is a 150-line piece of alliterative verse called "King Sheave", marginal to the main text but evocative. Another, "The Nameless Land" or "The Song of Aelfwine", is complex in verse-structure, modelled on the medieval poem Pearl, but the content is low-grade "elfin" stuff.

Part II consists of draft sections of the Silmarillion which add little to the published text. Part III, The Etymologies, will excite only those who would read a dictionary of Sumerian for fun. MB 21-vi-2007 ( )
1 vote MyopicBookworm | Jun 21, 2007 |
Showing 5 of 5
no reviews | add a review

» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Tolkien, J. R. R.primary authorall editionsconfirmed
Tolkien, ChristopherEditorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Howe, JohnCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Epigraph
Dedication
First words
In February 1968 my father addressed a commentary to the authors of an article about him (The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien no.294).
Quotations
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS
Canonical LCC

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (3)

At the end of the 1937 J.R.R. Tolkien reluctantly set aside his now greatly elaborated work on the myths and heroic legends of Valinor and Middle-earth and began The Lord of the Rings. This fifth volume of The History of Middle-earth, edited by Christopher Tolkien, completes the presentation of the whole compass of his writing on those themes up to that time. Later forms of the Annuals of Valinor and the Annals of Berleriand had been composed, The Silmarillion was nearing completion in a greatly amplified version, and a new map had been made; the myth of the Music of the Ainur had become a separate work; and the legend of the Downfall of Numenor had already entered in a primitive form, introducing the cardinal ideas of the World Made Round and the Straight Path into the vanished West. Closely associated with this was the abandoned time-travel story, The Lost Road, which was to link the world of Numenor and Middle-earth with the legends of many other times and peoples. A long essay, The Lhammas, had been written on the ever more complex relations of the languages and dialects of Middle-earth; and an etymological dictionary had been undertaken, in which a great number of words and names in the Elvish languages were registered and their formation explained - thus providing by far the most extensive account of their vocabularies that has appeared.

No library descriptions found.

Book description
Haiku summary

Popular covers

Quick Links

Rating

Average: (3.69)
0.5
1 2
1.5 1
2 9
2.5 2
3 46
3.5 7
4 61
4.5 3
5 28

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

 

About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 162,292,390 books! | Top bar: Always visible