Tolkien scholar John Garth examines the the facts behind a newly discovered photograph dating to 1907 that shows a fifteen-year-old J.R.R. Tolkien with his school cadet corps.Posted in Green Books, J.R.R. Tolkien, Tolkien
Archive for the ‘Green Books’ Category
Ten facts you probably know about Middle-earth. I’m not entirely sure they make one a “super fan” (which is, frankly, the sort of exclusionary title wielded to make others feel that they’re not real fans). Enjoying Tolkien is surely not some sort of contest to prove one is the biggest fan.
Still it is a nice little list with plenty of nods to some lesser-known but important characters from Tolkien such as Celebrimbor, Feanor, Gothmog and Oropher. So read and enjoy! Minor nitpick: there are more than two Elvish languages (at least conceptually), but Sindarin and Quenya were probably the best developed. (more…)Posted in Fellowship of the Ring, Green Books, Hobbit Book, J.R.R. Tolkien, Languages, Lord of the Rings, LotR Books, Other Tolkien books, Return of the King, Silmarillion, The Hobbit, The Two Towers, Tolkien
If you’ve never visited the Tolkien Collection or are unaware of the contents of the archive, this two-part report from Tolkienist and Norse mythologist Dr Karl Seigfried documents just some of the literary treasures it holds. (more…)Posted in Christopher Tolkien, Fellowship of the Ring, Green Books, Hobbit Book, J.R.R. Tolkien, Lord of the Rings, LotR Books, Other Tolkien books, Return of the King, The Hobbit, The Two Towers, Tolkien, Tolkien Estate
Readers are undoubtedly aware of the five-page handwritten letter from J.R.R. Tolkien to H. Cotton Minchin that recently went on auction. If you missed it, The Guardian picks the eyes out of it, while Tolkien Library has assembled a transcript of the entire contents.
However, Tolkien scholar John Garth has also recently blogged about what the letter reveals about the Great War inspiration behind Sam Gamgee. Read on to learn more!Posted in Green Books, J.R.R. Tolkien, Languages, Lord of the Rings, Other Tolkien books, Silmarillion, Tolkien
TORN’s latest library piece tries to uncover the origins of the Ringwraiths.
Some of Tolkien’s most mysterious and alluring characters in Middle-earth, the Nazgûl have remained in the shadows (no pun intended) ever since their appearance in The Lord of the Rings.
The following article has examines many of Tolkien’s sources in an attempt to “map out” the possible locations where the Nazgûl may have originally come from. (more…)Posted in Fellowship of the Ring, Green Books, J.R.R. Tolkien, Lord of the Rings, LotR Books, Return of the King, Silmarillion, The Two Towers, Tolkien
TORN’s latest library piece tackles the tantalizingly-enigmatic event of the Dagor Dagorath. Perhaps one of the most intriguing aspects of Tolkien’s fantasy world is its literal creation and ultimate destruction.
The Last Battle has found itself scattered in many of the author’s works but never before has it been compiled together as one tale. The following article has attempted such a task …Posted in Christopher Tolkien, Green Books, J.R.R. Tolkien, Lord of the Rings, Other Tolkien books, Silmarillion, The Hobbit, Tolkien
The service revolver worn by J.R.R. Tolkien at the Battle of the Somme is now on display at the Imperial War Museum in Greater Manchester.
The revolver is part of a several pieces being displayed ahead of a large exhibition that is planned to mark the centenary World War One. The exhibition, called From Street To Trench: A War That Shaped a Region opens at the war museum in April.
Tolkien gained a commission as a second lieutenant on his graduation from the University of Oxford in June 1915, and served with The Lancashire Fusiliers in the war. His Webley Mk V was the standard British service revolver at the outbreak of the conflict. (more…)Posted in Events, Exhibits, Green Books, J.R.R. Tolkien, Tolkien
Tolkien scholar and researcher John Garth writes about how the roots of Tolkien’s Middle-earth made their first public appearance exactly 100 years ago (plus a few days). It’s not in the form you might expect — but it is quite fascinating.
One hundred years of Middle-earth
by John Garth
Tolkien’s Middle-earth began in 1914. That may come as a surprise, considering The Lord of the Rings was published in 1954–5 and even The Hobbit appeared no further back than 1937. But the fact is that before and beneath those two books there already existed a huge foundation of creative work: the vastly ambitious cycle of stories that became The Silmarillion, as well as annals, cosmographical description, poetry, illustrations, maps and, of course, several invented languages and writing systems.
The first identifiable fragment of Middle-earth emerged on 24 September 1914, when Tolkien (pictured here in June) was staying as a guest at his aunt’s Nottinghamshire farm. War had just broken out in Europe, the whole world seemed in ferment, and Tolkien set foot on the path he would follow for the rest of his life. But we’ll come to that in due course.
Today, 26 January 2014, is the 100th anniversary of the first known public reading of Tolkien’s epic prose. It’s not what you might expect: there are no cavalry charges here, nor mythological monsters, nor swordplay. These are the official minutes of a college meeting – a session of Stapeldon Society, the body of undergraduates attending Exeter College, Oxford.Posted in Green Books, J.R.R. Tolkien, Today in Middle-earth, Tolkien, Tolkien Estate
Let ‘forge the golden dwarf’, join ‘jump the shark’, and ‘nuke the fridge’ in our lexicon for describing when a once-great creative force reveals itself truly spent.
The Desolation of Smaug, and the Hobbit trilogy as a whole, only makes sense as the world’s most expensive satire on the vast canvas of a contemporary film industry increasingly supported by so-called ‘tentpole blockbusters’. In true Kiwi fashion, the trilogy achieves this through an amazing capacity to laugh at itself… but quite literally at the audience’s expense.Posted in Green Books, Headlines, Hobbit Book, Hobbit Movie, Lord of the Rings, LotR Movies, Peter Jackson, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, Tolkien
In our latest Library feature, Robert Repici writes about the narrative and thematic force in Peter Jackson’s The Fellowship of the Ring.Posted in Green Books, Headlines, Lord of the Rings, LotR Movies, Movie Fellowship of the Ring
In this piece, Matt Lebovic of The Times of Israel explores the eternally fascinating question of the parallels between Tolkien’s dwarves and the Jewish people. Allegory is almost certainly too strong a word for the relationship, the quotes that Lebovic draws from Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien and various interviews make clear Tolkien’s dislike of the allegorical style (although Leaf by Niggle makes one wonder and Letters #241 and #153 provide conflicting evidence there), and his sincere admiration of the Jewish people.
Edit to quote from Letter #153:
…I might say in my myth I have used ‘subcreation’ in a special way (not the same as ‘subcreation’ as a term in criticism in art, though I tried allegorically [emphasis mine] how that might come to be taken up into Creation in some plane in my ‘purgatorial’ story Leaf by Niggle (Dublin Review 1945))…
Couple of quick points of nit-picking: the Company has 13 dwarves, not 12, it’s Middle-earth not Middle Earth, and arguably Khazad-dûm (Moria) is more accurately the spiritual home of the Dwarves (especially of the Longbeards of Durin’s line) rather than Erebor. As a point of trivia, the Dwarves eventually reclaim Khazad-dum under Durin VII sometime in the Fourth Age. As for the Arkenstone, some people hold that, within the Legendarium, it might have been a Silmaril, but that seems unlikely to this writer. (more…)Posted in Fellowship of the Ring, Green Books, Hobbit Book, J.R.R. Tolkien, Languages, Lord of the Rings, LotR Books, Other Tolkien books, Return of the King, Silmarillion, The Hobbit, The Two Towers, Tolkien