In one of his many letters, J.R.R. Tolkien expressly wrote “I have never been able to enjoy Pickwick…” (Tolkien, 1990, p. 349). He was, of course, referring to the main character who gave his name to one of Charles Dickens’ most famous works: The Pickwick
Uninteresting as it may have been to him, it is clear that particular aspects from the book have somehow found a way into Tolkien’s own method of writing: often incorporating similar dialogue styles and character qualities; not to mention particular moments that elicit the same emotional resonance within its readers. (more…)

Map showing the route (top left) from Thirtle Bridge to Edith's lodgings in Withernsea - to the bottom right of the lighthouse
Map showing the route (top left) from Thirtle Bridge to Edith’s lodgings in Withernsea – to the bottom right of the lighthouse

I am aware that my latest blog post may be a little controversial, but before anyone rushes to condemn it out-of-hand, please either obtain an OS Explorer map of East Yorkshire (292), or use the StreetMap I’ve included on this blog.  From this you should be able to see that what is now the B1242 heads from Thirtle Bridge in the top left hand corner of the map south-east down towards Withernsea.  Edith’s lodgings are in the bottom right-hand corner of the map.  The proximity of the massive white structure of Withernsea Lighthouse to Edith’s lodgings is evident on the map.


June 2015

All the usual disclaimers apply about newness, completeness and relevance (or any other implication of responsibility) 🙂


May 2015

As I have become more involved with Scouting and Guiding (it’s the same thing, anyway) both at the national and the international level, my obligations there are keeping me busy. There is no complaint from me because of this – I just wish to mention it to acknowledge that this blog, and my Tolkien writings in general, for me are at a lower priority than my Scouting, and so delays must be expected, as also this month.


Tolkien is not exactly known for his brevity: The Lord of the Ring ranks with War and Peace, The Count of Monte Cristo and Gone With The Wind as the butt of jokes for its length; whilst Tolkien beats the Bard in terms of word-count. Without even including The History of Middle-earth or academic texts, the works of the Professor surpass over one million words. It may seem strange that I would wish for some more, but I do. (more…)

Every now and then I stumble across a Web discussion about some fictional world where someone, attempting to explain the inexplicable points of the fiction, sums up their argument with a variation of, “And as always, in a fictional world the author’s logic always works.”

That’s an important lesson for people who want to hold their fiction to a rigid scientificist realism: the author may not have the science down right, but (s)he sees the story unfolding and makes a best effort to write it all down before the facts slip away.  We the readers must accept and infer from the author’s efforts what seems like a reasonable supposition: in a fictional world, if the author says eggs bake themselves, then eggs bake themselves. (more…)