Blog: Michael Flowers
Find all of Michael's blog posts
← Back to Blog

In Tolkien’s Genuine Footsteps

The Eagle and Child, Oxford. (c) 2013 Lyn Wilshire. A popular meeting place of the Inklings.

The Eagle and Child, Oxford. (c) 2013 Lyn Wilshire. A popular meeting place of the Inklings.

Tourism is an important source of income for any city, region, or country. It was estimated that in 2013 tourism was “worth £106bn to England’s economy”(1). It should therefore come as no surprise that there is such a thing as a Tolkien tourist industry. For several decades Tolkien’s readers have been making private pilgrimages to Oxford; posing for photographs outside one of his residences; visiting the various colleges at which he studied, or where he later became a tutor and lecturer; paying their respects at his graveside, or even dropping in to ‘The Eagle and Child,’ one of his favourite pubs, for a drink. The tourist industry is now galvanising its resources and offering dedicated Tolkien Tours. In April this year Birmingham produced a new Tolkien Trail leaflet, which recommends visits to Sarehole Mill, Moseley Bog, the houses where Tolkien once lived, and the places he worshipped. This is an invaluable resource for those wishing to visit all the genuine sites associated with Tolkien in the area in which he grew up. However, a more pernicious aspect of tourism is also beginning to rear its head; locations which have only a tangential Tolkien connection, or in extreme cases with absolutely no link to the author are attempting to jump on the tourist bandwagon.

(more…)

A Hemlock by any other name…

The leaves were long, the grass was green,
The hemlock-umbels tall and fair,
And in the glade a light was seen
Of stars in shadow shimmering.

[The Fellowship of the Ring, ‘A Knife in the Dark’, p. 191]

(more…)

About the Author: Michael Flowers
I am a self-employed wildlife guide. I take people to beautiful places to learn about their local nature.

I've been reading Tolkien from the age of 9, and have recently become interested in Tolkien's time in East Yorkshire during WW1
This website uses cookies
By continuing to use the Tolkien Society website, you agree to our use of cookies.
Learn more