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Archive for the ‘Christopher Tolkien’ Category

The official word on publication of Tolkien’s Beowulf translation

BeowulfFollowing on from staffer Kili’s post, here’s the official word from UK publisher Harper Collins on the upcoming release of Tolkien’s translation of Beowulf.  The Harper Collins article contains comment from Tolkien’s son, Christopher, on how he has gathered, along side his father’s translation of the Old English poem, text from lectures given at Oxford by J R R Tolkien.  These show his fascination for Beowulf, Grendel and, in particular, the lure and power of treasure – which of course we see reflected in The Hobbit, in Thorin’s struggles against, as Richard Armitage has called it, ‘gold lust’.

This new publication will also contain Sellic Spell,  ‘a story written by Tolkien suggesting what might have been the form and style of an Old English folk-tale of Beowulf, in which there was no association with the “historical legends” of the Northern kingdoms.’  This further insight into Tolkien’s desire to create English native myth, unadulterated by Norse or Germanic legends, is an exciting prospect.  Fans of Tolkien, of Anglo-Saxon, and of legendary battles, will be able to get their hands on this edition of Beowulf from 22nd May.

Read the full article from Harper Collins here, and the Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (US Publisher) version here.

 

Posted in Books, Books Publications, Christopher Tolkien, Headlines, Hobbit Book, J.R.R. Tolkien, Richard Armitage, The Hobbit, Tolkien

Tolkien’s Beowulf translation to be published in May

beowulfopening


“Ac se wonna hrefin | But the black raven
fus ofer fægum | eager over the doomed
fela reordian, | speaking many things
earne secgan | telling the eagle
hu him æt æte speow, | how he is succeeding in eating,
þenden he wið wulf | when he with the wolf
wæl reafode.” | despoiled the slain.
Thus reads a section of the Anglo-Saxon epic poem Beowulf, or at least, thus reads my translation of the section from my university studies. The epic is written in Old English, or Anglo-Saxon, the language of the invaders of Britain. Modern English (and German) is a direct descendant of this language because a people speak the language of their conquerors.
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Posted in Christopher Tolkien, J.R.R. Tolkien, Languages, The Hobbit, Tolkien, Uncategorized

An interview with Simon Tolkien

Simon Tolkien In my wanderings around the internet, I recently stumbled across this great little interview with Simon Tolkien on the Mythopoeic Society website.

Simon is, of course, the son of Christopher Tolkien and the grandson of J.R.R. Tolkien, and a published author in his own right. He has written four novels. The most recent, Orders from Berlin was published in November 2012.

In the interview, which originally appeared in the Society’s journal Mythprint in June 2010, Simon speaks of his memories of his grandparents, his own writing process and his father’s work compiling The Silmarillion. Enjoy!

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Posted in Christopher Tolkien, Green Books, J.R.R. Tolkien, Lord of the Rings, Silmarillion, Tolkien, Tolkien Family

A field trip to the Marquette University Tolkien archives

Raynor Memorial Library at Marquette University. Credit: Marquette University. Creative Commons.

Raynor Memorial Library at Marquette University. Credit: Marquette University. Creative Commons.

The Raynor Memorial Library at Marquette University in Milwaukee is home to original manuscripts and working drafts for three of the J.R.R. Tolkien’s most celebrated works: The Hobbit, Farmer Giles of Ham, and The Lord of the Rings. It also holds the original copy of the children’s book Mr. Bliss and has, over the years, grown to become one of the largest repositories of secondary works on Tolkien and his writing.

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

How would ‘The Silmarillion’ fare as a film trilogy?

The SilmarillionIt’s the film project that many of us fear we may never see. Yet surely, with time, all may be possible. In this article, Rud the Spud takes a look at how a trilogy based on Professor Tolkien’s The Silmarillion might be constructed – should such a project ever come to fruition – and discusses whether or not it could possibily live up to the Professor’s massive collection of stories. (more…)

Posted in Christopher Tolkien, Fans, Hobbit Movie, J.R.R. Tolkien, Miscellaneous, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, Tolkien, Tolkien Estate, Tolkien Family

‘The Lay of the Children of Hurin’ Illuminated Manuscript: Q&A with artist Steven Umbrello

Lay of the Children of Hurin FrontpageStarting a couple of months ago, Steven Umbrello began work on an immense project. What you see before you, in the pictures on this page, is an illuminated manuscript of the first part of Professor Tolkien’s The Lay of the Children of Hurin from The Lays of Beleriand.

Having been in love with the tales of Middle-earth since he was a child, as well as being a collector of books, Steven was determined to complete this work. Over the past couple of months, he has been toiling away: writing by hand, illustrating, painting, binding – all while keeping readers of his blog The Leather Library updated on his progress.

What has resulted from his efforts is an incredible achievement. Steven is quick to point out that this is the first time he’s done something artistic of this nature, but you’d be hard pressed to believe him. Needless to say, his work here impressed us mightily – and it’s a testament to his passion and dedication. (more…)

Posted in Books, Christopher Tolkien, Creations, Fans, J.R.R. Tolkien, Miscellaneous, Other Tolkien books, Tolkien

The Tale of the Dagor Dagorath – the Last Battle of Arda

The Doors of Night by John Howe

Vingilot leaving The Doors of Night by John Howe.

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 …

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Posted in Christopher Tolkien, Green Books, J.R.R. Tolkien, Lord of the Rings, Other Tolkien books, Silmarillion, The Hobbit, Tolkien

Why Smaug still matters

Smaug, The Hobbit Lauren Davis from SF webzine io9 explores why, “in a media landscape overstuffed with dragons, do we still care so much about Smaug?”.

This was first published last month, and I missed it at the time, but it’s a very worthwhile read that delves into (among other things) the literary origins of Tolkien’s dragons — the story of Fafnir, and, of course, Beowulf. Follow the link at the bottom to read the complete article.


Why Smaug still matters

“A dragon is no idle fancy,” J.R.R. Tolkien wrote in his lecture “Beowulf: The Monsters and the Critics.” Whatever may be his origins, in fact or invention, the dragon in legend is a potent creation of men’s imagination, richer in significance than his barrow is in gold.”

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Posted in Christopher Tolkien, Green Books, Headlines, Hobbit Movie, J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit, Tolkien

Christmas, Eru and Middle-earth. A look at The Debate of Finrod and Andreth

Finrod Felagund and the people of Bëor; art by Ted Nasmith.

Finrod Felagund and the people of Bëor; art by Ted Nasmith.

In this new TORn Library feature, Dr Timothy Furnish explores a lesser-known, but important, philosophical treatise from The History of Middle-earth and speculates whether J.R.R. Tolkien may have doing more than “merely” evoking Christian myth.

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Posted in Christopher Tolkien, Green Books, J.R.R. Tolkien, Other Tolkien books, Silmarillion, Tolkien

On the Finding of Thror’s Map and the Key to the Lonely Mountain

Unexpected PartyIn expanding on Professor Tolkien’s text in his film adaptation, director Peter Jackson allows us to follow Gandalf the Grey into areas that remain secret to us within the text of The Hobbit. As we look forward seeing these events unfold before our eyes next month, this essay by Tedoras examines Gandalf’s journey into the dark fortress of Dol Guldur, what he found there, and the impact that this event had on the fate of Middle-earth. (more…)

Posted in Books, Characters, Christopher Tolkien, Green Books, Hobbit Book, Hobbit Movie, J.R.R. Tolkien, Lord of the Rings, LotR Books, MGM, Miscellaneous, New Line Cinema, Other Tolkien books, Peter Jackson, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, The Hobbit: There and Back Again, Tolkien, Warner Bros.

The Somme and the ‘animal horror’ that inspired J.R.R. Tolkien

Tolkien_2692769b J.R.R. Tolkien, one of the world’s most celebrated fantasy writers, was inspired by time spent on the bloodsoaked battlefield. John Garth, author of Tolkien and the Great War reports.


A world away from subtle, magnificent Smaug of The Hobbit, Tolkien’s first dragons are surreal hybrids of beast and machine. They lumber against the elf-city of Gondolin, spouting fire and clanking, with orctroops hidden inside. (more…)

Posted in Christopher Tolkien, Green Books, Hobbit Book, J.R.R. Tolkien, Lord of the Rings, Other Tolkien books, Silmarillion, The Hobbit, Tolkien

Was the Elvenking of The Hobbit supposed to be Thingol?

Thranduil Anyone who’s read both The Silmarillion and The Hobbit will have noted the strong similarities between the Elvenking of Mirkwood and Thingol Greycloak. In this article, Tolkien scholar Michael Martinez examines whether, at the time Tolkien was writing The Hobbit, the Elvenking was intended to be Thingol himself.


John Rateliff addressed this question in The History of The Hobbit without really closing the issue, although he favors the view (based on the available evidence) that the Elvenking of The Hobbit (whom we learn is named Thranduil in The Lord of the Rings) is NOT to be equated with King Thingol in The Silmarillion. (more…)

Posted in Characters, Christopher Tolkien, Hobbit Book, J.R.R. Tolkien, Silmarillion, The Hobbit, Tolkien