News from Bree and other random discussions

Seeking knowledge in, of, and about Middle-earth.
N.E. Brigand
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Re: News from Bree and other random discussions

Post by N.E. Brigand »

N.E. Brigand wrote: Thu Aug 05, 2021 5:11 am Not sure about the slipcase, but in the J.R.R. Tolkien Encyclopedia (2006) entry on The Treason of Isengard, John F.G. Magoun writes:

"At least one edition of The Lord of the Rings has since been published as six individual books, with book 3 bearing the original title" (675).
For a number of years after I purchased my copy of the J.R.R. Tolkien Encyclopedia, I hauled it with me to every Tolkien conference I attended, and thereby acquired the autographs of about 60 of the 125+ contributors (most recently in 2016). Sadly, skimming over those pages, I am reminded that at least four of those signatories have since died (one from complications due to Covid). Another contributor had died even before the book was published, and at least two others that I never met passed on some time after its publication. I think not one of those seven had reached the current average life expectancy in their respective countries.
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Voronwë the Faithful
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Re: News from Bree and other random discussions

Post by Voronwë the Faithful »

Just for kicks.

J. R. R. Tolkien Encyclopedia: A Reader's Diary

I could never bring myself to purchase a copy, given the price. Not that it wasn't worth it.
"Among the tales of sorrow there are yet some in which amid weeping there is joy and under the shadow of death light that endures."
N.E. Brigand
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Re: News from Bree and other random discussions

Post by N.E. Brigand »

Voronwë the Faithful wrote: Thu Aug 05, 2021 5:40 pm Just for kicks.

J. R. R. Tolkien Encyclopedia: A Reader's Diary

I could never bring myself to purchase a copy, given the price. Not that it wasn't worth it.
There's lots of valuable material in that encyclopedia, but I don't believe it was worth the price. Scull & Hammond's double-decker came out at almost exactly the same time with more information for less than a third the cost.

Some encyclopedia contributors whom I approached for autographs asked if i was aware of the "diary" website. One woman told me if she ever met the people who criticized her work there, she punch them on the nose. I was wearing a name tag, but since my face remained unbloodied, I think she didn't make the connection.

The J.R.R. Tolkien Encyclopedia: A Reader's Diary has been cited just once in scholarly studies, to my knowledge. It was in Tolkien Studies, in a book review of some other work, and it appeared to me almost to have been an addition not by the reviewer but by his editor. The reviewer had cited one of the articles in the Encyclopedia itself as being of value; the citation to the Diary came in an endnote that said, basically, "on the other hand, see also this."
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Re: News from Bree and other random discussions

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N.E. Brigand wrote: Thu Aug 05, 2021 9:29 pmThere's lots of valuable material in that encyclopedia, but I don't believe it was worth the price. Scull & Hammond's double-decker came out at almost exactly the same time with more information for less than a third the cost.
There definitely is a lot of overlap, but their is value to having many different perspectives as opposed to that of two people (albeit, two very knowledgeable people). Still, I did feel that the Scull & Hammond book was sufficient for my needs. I will say that the Encyclopedia was cheap compared to what was asked for Stuart Lee's Collection (even though it did include an excerpt from my book): https://www.bookdepository.com/J-R-R-To ... 1138889774
Some encyclopedia contributors whom I approached for autographs asked if i was aware of the "diary" website. One woman told me if she ever met the people who criticized her work there, she punch them on the nose. I was wearing a name tag, but since my face remained unbloodied, I think she didn't make the connection.
That's hilarious and sad at the same time. I would certainly opine that most of the over the top criticisms in the diary are NOT by you.
The J.R.R. Tolkien Encyclopedia: A Reader's Diary has been cited just once in scholarly studies, to my knowledge. It was in Tolkien Studies, in a book review of some other work, and it appeared to me almost to have been an addition not by the reviewer but by his editor. The reviewer had cited one of the articles in the Encyclopedia itself as being of value; the citation to the Diary came in an endnote that said, basically, "on the other hand, see also this."
Assuming it was in the past ten years or so, I could make a pretty good guess at which Tolkien Studies editor might have added that.
"Among the tales of sorrow there are yet some in which amid weeping there is joy and under the shadow of death light that endures."
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Túrin Turambar
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Re: News from Bree and other random discussions

Post by Túrin Turambar »

Over the last few lockdowns I’ve finally made the point of reading the rest of Tolkien’s books (Roverandom, Leaf, etc) and the recent editions of The Children of Húrin and Tuor and the Fall of Gondolin.

I’m left with conflicted feelings on Christopher’s editorial approach to the later works (which I think isn’t unusual among fans). On one hand, I appreciate his desire to preserve the originals as closely as possible. I’m reminded of Tolkien’s own line in the foreword to LotR on Frodo’s editorial approach to Bilbo’s writing, where he is “unwilling to actually delete anything written by the old hobbit”. On the other, I was left frustrated by what could have been had he not taken an academic approach to the original manuscripts.

Like a lot of fans, I’d been left frustrated that Tolkien ended the final version of Tuor’s story immediately when he first catches sight of Gondolin and never finished it. I didn’t know what to expect when I started the book, but I had hoped that someone had come along Guy Kay style and finished the story using Tolkien’s earlier WWI-era version as a source. Rather, we were left with the original and the unfinished final version. Again, I appreciate that Christopher didn’t want someone to write over his father, but there remains a great story to be told by a good prose writer – even someone able to imitate the style and literary conventions Tolkien uses to great effect in LotR. As it stands, I’m not sure if there was much point in publishing content already available in HoME and UT, even with Alan Lee’s illustrations.

I don’t know if the Estate has any plans to continue with the legendarium. Or what will happen when Copyright on Tolkien's work expires.
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Jude
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Re: News from Bree and other random discussions

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This article is from 2015 so maybe it's been discussed before, but it's news to me:

Map of Middle Earth annotated by J.R.R. Tolkien uncovered in old book
Hidden in an old copy of The Lord of the Rings, a U.K. rare book store has found a map of Middle-earth annotated by J.R.R. Tolkien himself.

The map, found in a book given to Blackwell's Rare Books, has Tolkien commenting on numerous facets of the world of the popular book series. Most notably is that Hobbiton, seated within the Shire and the home of numerous Hobbits in the stories, is the same latitude as Oxford, England. Tolkien's annotations also suggest Ravenna in Italy inspired the city of Minas Tirith.

The book containing the map belonged to illustrator Pauline Baynes, who drew much of the famous maps of both Tolkien's Middle-earth and C.S. Lewis' Narnia. Baynes had taken the map from a different copy of The Lord of the Rings to work on the colour edition, later published in 1970, according to the Guardian.

Blackwell's has the map for sale in Oxford for £60,000, nearly $121,000 Cdn, where the company is also exhibiting it.

The Independent said a representative from the company called it "the finest piece of Tolkien ephemera to emerge in the last 20 years at least."
Tolkien referenced cities such as Cyprus, Jerusalem and Belgrade to describe locations in Middle-earth, among ideas for various regions' wildlife and environments for Baynes' illustrations.

"The map shows how completely obsessed he was with the details. Anyone else interfered at their peril," Sian Wainwright told the Guardian. "He was tricky to work with, but very rewarding in the end."
The article has pictures from the book.
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Frelga
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Re: News from Bree and other random discussions

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If I knew about it, I had forgotten.

Tolkien really wanted to make Middle-earth into a detailed and realistic backdrop for his story.

Ironically, Kiril Eskov was originally inspired to write his "fan" novel, The Last Ringbearer, by looking at the map of Middle-earth and saying, "Wait, mountains don't work like that."
His philosophy was a mixture of three famous schools -- the Cynics, the Stoics and the Epicureans -- and summed up all three of them in his famous phrase, 'You can't trust any bugger further than you can throw him, and there's nothing you can do about it, so let's have a drink."

Terry Pratchett, Small Gods
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RoseMorninStar
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Re: News from Bree and other random discussions

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Jude wrote: Fri Aug 13, 2021 3:42 pm
"The map shows how completely obsessed he was with the details. Anyone else interfered at their peril," Sian Wainwright told the Guardian. "He was tricky to work with, but very rewarding in the end."
It can be frustrating to work (or be) people who know exactly what they want and demand nothing less, but it is better than those who don't know what they want/are wishy-washy and end up with an inferior product.
Frelga wrote:Ironically, Kiril Eskov was originally inspired to write his "fan" novel, The Last Ringbearer, by looking at the map of Middle-earth and saying, "Wait, mountains don't work like that."
Perhaps in lands without the Ainur, specifically Melkor, mountains don't work that way.
My heart is forever in the Shire.
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Jude
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Re: News from Bree and other random discussions

Post by Jude »

Here's something I stumbled upon by accident: the earliest know recording of Tolkien speaking, in 1929. He had a job as a voice teacher in an English tutorial:



I feel this is like Merry explaining tobacco to King Théoden in minute detail.
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RoseMorninStar
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Re: News from Bree and other random discussions

Post by RoseMorninStar »

Interesting that he rolls some of his R's.
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Túrin Turambar
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Re: News from Bree and other random discussions

Post by Túrin Turambar »

That's a great find! I remember suburban tobacconists like he described in the video from when I was a kid, they sold all sorts of things. The one at my local shopping centre sold ships in bottles. Not something you see around nowadays.
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Frelga
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Re: News from Bree and other random discussions

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Today I learned.

His philosophy was a mixture of three famous schools -- the Cynics, the Stoics and the Epicureans -- and summed up all three of them in his famous phrase, 'You can't trust any bugger further than you can throw him, and there's nothing you can do about it, so let's have a drink."

Terry Pratchett, Small Gods
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