Or Fantasy, Reality, and the Places They Choose to Meet

You wouldn’t likely recognize the name Laurie Battle, but you’d be familiar with her work. Laurie has managed Tolkien Enterprises through thick and thin, storm and fair weather, for the last three decades, and probably knows more about the ins and outs of Tolkiendom than most.

So, of course when she replied enthusiatically to my slightly timid request concerning the eventual possibility of maybe considering the idea of one day doing a guest newsletter, I was delighted. Laurie has written about magical borders, clearly demonstrating that myth is never wholly a question of geographical boundaries.


Certain special books draw us into a place and time when life had a leisurely pace and people lived in close contact with the natural world. The Lord of the Rings is, of course, an outstanding example. There’s an epic feel to J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle-earth that is amplified by his suggestion that the events related in The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings have a historical basis in an era lost in the mists of time. As the story goes, a copy of an ancient manuscript known as The Red Book of Westmarch was passed down through the ages, with its significance only being recognized and appreciated in relatively recent times (this just so happens to bear a striking similarity to the history of the famous Anglo-Saxon poem Beowulf). By a stroke of good fortune, the manuscript landed in Tolkien’s hands—whereupon he transcribed and edited the narrative accounts written long ago by the hobbits Bilbo and Frodo Baggins and found a suitable publisher. More…