The Book of Lost Tales is a collection of early stories by 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 analyses 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".ConceptThough they cover a broadly similar history, the Tales are very different from The Silmarillion. Firstly the Tales are more complex and detailed, written in an archaic style and include many obsolete words and phrases. Secondly, the interaction between the different elf-races is profoundly different from the Silmarillion: The exiled Noldoli (or "Gnomes", the Noldor of the later histories) suffer decisive defeat much earlier and become slaves of the enemy they had sought to punish. When Thingol feels disdain for Beren, it is because the latter is a gnome (not a mortal human) and therefore a thrall of Melkor.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".