October has been a busy month, and November isn’t shaping up to be much better, so my commentary is a bit reduced – and in some cases links to interesting articles are just given without commentary.
This month it has suited my purposes to sort the contents under the following headlines:
3: Essays and Scholarship
5: Reviews and Book News
7: Tolkienian Artwork
8: Other Stuff
9: Rewarding Discussions
10: Web Sites
11: The Blog Roll
|Smaug leaves the mountain
by Joe Gilronan
Ian Spittlehouse, Thursday, 1 October 2015, ‘Tolkien links with Leeds in 2015’
Germain Lussier, io9, Friday, 16 October 2015, ‘Vin Diesel Explains How J.R.R. Tolkien’s Silmarillion Shaped His Views on Death’
Mostly about Diesel’s own upcoming film, but it’s interesting that the Tolkien connection is the one to steal the headline.
Lily Rothman, Wednesday, 21 October 2015, ‘See the J.R.R. Tolkien Fan Letter That Changed Middle-Earth Mythology’
A follow-up on last month’s story about the letter that presumably documents the moment of the invention of Meriadoc Brandybuck’s wife. A bit of overselling in the headline, but with a high-resolution scan of the text.
by Jenny Dolfen
Alison Flood, The Guardian, Friday, 23 October 2015, ‘Tolkien’s annotated map of Middle-earth discovered inside copy of Lord of the Rings’
To the best of my knowledge, it was Alison Flood’s article in The Guardian that broke the story about the discovery of the Lord of the Rings map (the large Map of the West of Middle-earth) that Tolkien annotated for Pauline Baynes when she was about to do her own Middle-earth map, and which she herself further annotated. As David Bratman points out on his blog, we have long known the correspondance that Tolkien had with Baynes, but the actual map is new.
I assume that the story is sufficiently well-known to all, so that any precis I might do would be superflous. After, the story has been repeated in dozens of outlets.
See also Daniel Helen, Saturday, 24 October 2015, ‘Map annotated by Tolkien found in Pauline Baynes’s copy of The Lord of the Rings’
This one has pictures of each corner of the full map, making it possible to read most of the annotations. I will just point out that Tolkien’s notes makes it obvious that the latitude references he gives is for Pauline Baynes to be able to better judge the climate and the flora and fauna of the locations, and this says absolutely nothing about whether he was in any other ways inspired by these locations.
For anyone interested in looking at the huge amount of articles and posts about this, try looking at this Google News search …
Eriq Gardner, The Hollywood Reporter, Wednesday, 28 October 2015, ‘Warner Bros. Can Sue Tolkien Estate For Breaching ‘Hobbit’ Contract’
The latest development in the long history of legal harrassments, counter-harassment, counter-counter-harassment, and countern-harassments that surround particularly the rights held by Middle-earth Enterprises (they have often been very keen to sue – most of the infamous threats to inns, pubs, sandwich-bars etc. come from Middle-earth Enterprises and Warner Bros). Though I very much like to play Lord of the Rings On-line (albeit I don’t have the time for it that I’d like to have), my sympathies are very much with the Tolkien Estate in this case.
Info on upcoming events (as of 1 November)
14 November 2015, University of Leicester, ‘60 Years of The Lord of the Rings, and Panel Discussion: ‘What’s the Point of Fantasy Fiction?’’ – This event is free and open to the public! (But PLEASE make a report and send me the link for inclusion in my transactions.)
5 December 2015, Birmingham, ‘Yulemoot 2015, The Tolkien Society
Shaun Gunner, Tuesday, 6 October 2015, ‘Join the Tolkien Society for Yulemoot 2015 – 5th December in Birmingham’
5 – 7 December 2015, ‘Italian Ringers Con 2015’
|Crossing the Helcaraxë
by Jenny Dolfen
3 January 2016, International, ‘Tolkien Birthday Toast 2016’, The Tolkien Society – save the date!!
21 – 25 March 2016, Seattle, WA, USA, ‘PCA/ACA National Conference, PCA/ACA’
25 March 2016, Worldwide, ‘Tolkien Reading Day, The Tolkien Society’
28 May 2016, East Yorkshire, ‘Tolkien Tour: East Yorkshire’, The Tolkien Society
17 – 19 June 2016, Leiden | Den Haag, ‘Lustrum 2016: Unlocking Tolkien, Unquendor – The Dutch Tolkien Society’
September? 2016, Oxford, ‘Oxonmoot 2016’, The Tolkien Society — an Oxonmoot will be held …
Tommy Kuusela, Approaching Religion, Vol 4, No 1 (2014), ‘In Search of a National Epic: The use of Old Norse myths in Tolkien’s vision of Middle-earth’
In the article / paper, Kuusela investigates “some aspects of Tolkien’s work with regard to his relationship to folklore and nationalism”. Excellent article!
Wayne G. Hammond & Christina Scull, Wednesday, 7 October 2015, ‘Tolkien Notes 12’
With notes on The Art of The Lord of the Rings, on Tolkien spoken word recordings, The Lay of Aotrou and Itroun, and on Tolkien’s letters to Sterling Lanier.
|Éowyn (at the Houses of Healing)
by Joe Gilronan
Andreas H. Jucker, Thursday, 8 October 2015, ‘Courtesy and Politeness in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight’
An analysis based on the language of the Middle English poem.
Jason Fisher, Wednesday, 21 October 2015, ‘Scattered Leaves’
Jason Fisher shares some results of his excavations into the contents of Tolkien’s library, much of which is scattered in various libraries – with some of the books in Oxford having been scanned and put on-line. Though there are also many of Tolkien’s books, which are in private collections, getting some kind of overview of what is assessible to scholars, and where, is an indispensible resource. Thank you Jason!
Charlotte and Denis Plimmer, The Telegraph, Wednesday, 21 October 2015, ‘JRR Tolkien: ‘I never expected a money success’’
Originally published on 22 March 1968 as ‘The Man Who Understands Hobbits’, The Telegraph has re-released the original interview that the Plimmers did with J.R.R. Tolkien. Re-reading the letter Tolkien sent to the Plimmers after being sent a draft of this (no. 294 in The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien, ed. by Humphrey Carpenter) might be a good way to get some perspective, though it does seem that the Plimmers did, in the end, address a number of the points that Tolkien raised.
Linda Bridges, National Review, Thursday, 3 September 2015, ‘Tolkien, Lewis, and the Great War’
Michael Witwer, TOR.com, Monday, 12 October 2015, ‘The Bane of Banality: Frodo Baggins’
I don’t really know what to make of this, which, of course, in itself makes me find it interesting.
Jenny Dolfen, Sunday, 18 October 2015, ‘Songs of Sorrow And Hope – Artbook available for pre-order!’
See also Shaun Gunner, The Tolkien Society, Sunday, 25 October 2015, ‘Jenny Dolfen announces new Tolkien art book’
Daniel Helen, Thursday, 8 October 2015, ‘“The Art of The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien” published’
Announcing the publication of The Art of the Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien by Wayne G. Hammond and Christina Scull.
|The Vanyar Leave for War
by Jenny Dolfen
Andrew Higgens, Journal of Tolkien Research, Friday, 9 October 2015, ‘A Companion to J.R.R. Tolkien, ed. Stuart D. Lee, reviewed by Andrew Higgins’
Andrew Higgens delivers a thorough and very positive review of the 2014 Companion to J.R.R. Tolkien, edited by Stuart D. Lee. I still wish that the price would be lower, for I do very much want to get this volume!
Thomas Honegger, Journal of Tolkien Research, Wednesday, 14 October 2015, ‘“The Hobbit” and Tolkien’s Mythology (2014), ed. Bradford Lee Eden’
Thomas Honegger’s review of “The Hobbit” and Tolkien’s Mythology: Essays on Revisions and Influences by Bradford Lee Eden (ed.) finds a variable quality, and some texts with “too many typos and formatting slips”. Still, it would seem that this book would be worthwhile to get out of the library for at least some of the papers there.
Daniel Helen, The Tolkien Society, Tuesday, 20 October 2015, ‘60th Anniversary of The Return of the King’
Perhaps hardly news as such, but still …. 🙂 Congratulations to the world of readers!
Teemu Laaksonen, Monday, 26 October 2015, ‘The career of author J. R. R. Tolkien started from the tragic Finnish hero Kullervo’
An article from the Finnish national radio and TV, YLE, essentially giving us a Finnish perspective on Tolkien’s inspiration from the Kalevala, and his Story of Kullervo.
Vivian Hughbanks, Thursday, 8 October 2015, ‘Robert Hardy on Lewis, Tolkien, and World War II’
An interview with the actor, Robert Hardy, which includes a nice little anecdote about Tolkien.
Joe Gilronan, Monday, 5 October 2015, ‘Smaug leaves the mountain’
Tomás Hijo, Tuesday, 6 October 2015, ‘The Chieftain flies right now to meet his wonderful new owner….’
Jenny Dolfen, Thursday, 8 October 2015, ‘Crossing the Helcaraxë’
Wow! Just wow!
Tomás Hijo, Friday, 9 October 2015, ‘Hey! It looks like my Prancing Pony is the next image cover for Mallorn’
Looking forward to receiving the 2015 issue of Mallorn …
Lynn Edwards, Miruvor, Saturday, 10 October 2015, ‘Idril Celebrindal’
Jenny Dolfen, Tuesday, 13 October 2015, ‘Calendars for 2016!’
Jenny now also offers calendars for 2016
Tomás Hijo, Tuesday, 13 October 2015, ‘Sketch for ‘The Battle of the Pelennor Fields’ ready!’
by Jenny Dolfen
Graeme Skinner, Wednesday, 14 October 2015, ‘Away with the fairies’
A nice faerie ring … “with a clear light for eyes to see that can.”
Jenny Dolfen, Saturday, 17 October 2015, ‘The Vanyar Leave for War’
Jenny Dolfen, Thursday, 22 October 2015, ‘Éowyn’
Joe Gilronan, Friday, 23 October 2015, ‘Éowyn (at the Houses of Healing)’
In a curious coincidence, the same subject, albeit in another scene, published just a day after Jenny Dolfen’s picture.
Joe Gilronan, Friday, 23 October 2015, ‘Merry and Pippin Deeper Into Fangorn’
Joe Gilronan, Tuesday, 27 October 2015, ‘Samwise the Gardner’
Andrew Wells, Saturday, 10 October 2015, ‘A lucky find’
Proving that even in 2015 you can get lucky in an antiquarian bookshop …
Tolkienseminariet, October 2015, ‘Four meetings’
I have previously praised the high quality reviews and comments that are gathered from Tolkienseminariet in Stockholm. For most of my readers, it is of course a shame that they are in Swedish, but for those who can read this language, they are still very highly recommended. In October 2015, reports have been posted of four meetings: 15 May 2014, 23 October 2014, 20 November 2014, 7 May 2015, and 15 October 2015
LotR Plaza, ‘Thread: How Tall Were Orcs?’
A curious thread, but with some interesting investigations of the textual evidence (despite my own insistence on intruding statistics on the proceedings).
And now for something completely different, but since I know that many Tolkienists also have a great interest for history, I wanted advertise this site. An interactive timeline of Time, covering time from the Big Bang to the current year, and based on historical events recorded in Wikipedia, from where it is updated daily.
These are blogs you really should be following yourself if you’re interested in Tolkien …
Contents from these blogs will only be reported here if there is something that I find particularly interesting, or posts that fit with a monthly theme. However, you will find below links to monthly archives of posts for months where the blog has featured interesting posts with at least some Tolkien connection. In some cases you may find a headline for a post, if I wish to recommend it particularly.
|Merry And Pippin Deeper Into Fangorn
by Joe Gilronan
Various (Bradford Eden, ed.)
Journal of Tolkien Research (JTR)
Archive of contributions for the on-going volume 2, issue 1
Archive of posts from October 2015 – including discussions of the chapter ‘Treebeard’, but also a greeting from Italy and some of the papers that were read at their very own Wessexmoot
Taruithorn, the Oxford Tolkien Society, ‘’
Archive of posts from October 2015
No new sources in October 2015
For older sources, see http://parmarkenta.blogspot.com/p/sources.html