Tolkien readers would have to be living under a stone not to be aware that Beren and Lúthien was published on 1 June 2017.
What follows is a round-up of some of the reviews, interviews, films, and media attention, which has appeared in the last week or so. Most of it is about the new book, but some of it is about other aspects of Tolkien.
It may not be long now ere you hear that the Entwives have at long last been found. If you are a member of the Tolkien Society Facebook group then you may already know to what I refer. A quora user named Pip Willis published a partial image of a map he says his father drew and shared with J.R.R. Tolkien in 1971. Willis says that Tolkien wrote on the map, “Here may be Entwives”, which you can see in the picture he shared. And now the debates will begin. Is the map authentic? Is the writing Tolkien’s? Does it mean anything significant? (more…)
One hundred years ago Edith Tolkien sang and danced for her husband in a “hemlock glade” at or near Roos in East Yorkshire. Unfortunately, unless some more information becomes available we cannot be sure of the precise date, but examination of the flora Tolkien mentions suggests a date in May or very early June 1917. Tolkien refers to the understory in the glade as ‘hemlock’, but it is much more likely that the plant he was referring to is commonly known as Cow Parsley. You may read more about the various members of the umbellifer family and their flowering times here.
Once all the reporting is done, there are always the finishing touches to put in – pictures, checking that there is no descriptions left merely as “description” (the default used in the macro I use), and not least writing up these opening comments, usually complaining about my lack of time ….
Given the delay of these transactions, it will be no surprise that I am keeping busy with other, non-Tolkienian, matters. The last month or so up to Easter was quite more than usually busy at work, and Easter felt deeply well-deserved 🙂 For that reason, I continue to cut down on my personal commentary, and largely just provide links to articles that I find interesting – or which have intrigued me with the promise of being interesting if I had the time to read them…
As an author, J.R.R. Tolkien remains one of the most popular writers in the world, with book sales in the 250-300 million range and earning a position where he is widely regarded as the father of modern fantasy. Those book sales have not only touched millions of people the world over – and led to the creation of this Society – but spawned two blockbuster film trilogies which caused Forbes to declare Tolkien as the third highest-earning “dead celebrity” behind Michael Jackson and Elvis Presley. (more…)