Sunday 5 June 2016

Tolkien Transactions LXIX

(April &) May 2016

As I explained a month ago, I managed to overwrite the work I had been doing on my April transactions, leaving me with just a few scraps. These, then, form the basis for this month's work, along with a few other bits and pieces from April, and, of course, what I have come across during May.

As time is still in very short supply and obligations are in excess, you will find that nearly all links are given without comments. These are links I would either have liked to have time to comment upon, or even that I would have liked to have time to read in full, but which seem interesting enough to share. In other cases, my commentary will be limited. June is promising to be even more hectic, except for the last week, so I hope to be able to use that week to return to normal.

As usual, I make no claims about newness, completeness and relevance, and refuse to accept responsibility of other than my personal idiosyncracies :-)

These transactions are posted on my blog, Parma-kenta (Enquiry into the books) and on the Tolkien Society web-site.

This time it has suited my purposes to sort the contents under the following headlines:
1: News
2: A Secret Vice
3: Kalamazoo
4: Events
5: Essays and Scholarship
6: Commentary
7: Reviews and Book News
8: Interviews
9: Tolkienian Artwork
10: Other Stuff
11: Rewarding Discussions
12: In Print
13: Web Sites
14: The Blog Roll
15: Sources
The Return of Hurin and Huor
by Peter Xavier Price


Clive Hammond, Basingstoke Gazette, Monday, 2 May 2016, ‘New musical explores the life of JRR Tolkien

Bodleian Libraries, Tuesday, 3 May 2016, ‘Bodleian Libraries acquires rare map of Middle-earth annotated by Tolkien

Maev Kennedy, Tuesday, 3 May 2016, ‘Tolkien annotated map of Middle-earth acquired by Bodleian library
This is about the copy of CJRT's map of Middle-earth with annotations by both J.R.R. Tolkien and Pauline Baynes.
See also, Christian Holub, Entertainment Weekly, Tuesday, 3 May 2016, ‘Newly discovered Middle-Earth map, with annotations by J.R.R. Tolkien, acquired by Oxford
Daniel Helen, The Tolkien Society, Wednesday, 4 May 2016, ‘

La Sociedad Tolkien Espanola, May 2016, ‘Bases del certamen de ensayo "Ælfwine" - Edición 2016 (Rules for the 2016 edition of the ‘Ælfwine’ Essay Award)
English essays are allowed, and the rules can be downloaded at the site in English also.

A Secret Vice

by Jenny Dolfen
Curiously, there has been less noise about this book, than I had expected based on my own excitement, but what I have found is listed here.

Daniel Helen, The Tolkien Society, Thursday, 7 April 2016, ‘“A Secret Vice: Tolkien on Invented Languages” published

Vivien Stocker, Monday, 11 April 2016, ‘Interview of Dimitra Fimi and Andrew Higgins

John Garth, New Statesman, Friday, 15 April 2016, ‘Teach yourself Dwarvish: behind Tolkien's invented languages

Various, Amazon, , ‘Costumer reviews
At the time of writing this, there are five reviews, most of which are helpful, and most of which are very positive.


The annual Medieval Congress in Kalamazoo is a huge event that draws a lot of the finest Tolkien scholars from all over the world. The Tolkien track at Kalamazoo is always of a high quality, and very often there is extensive reporting. This year is no different, and therefore I have chosen to put the K'zoo news and reports under a special headline.

Anna Smol, Friday, 29 April 2016, ‘Tolkien Unbound entertainment at Kzoo

John Rateliff, Saturday, 12 May 2016, ‘Vaughn is my Hero!

Larry Swain, Monday, 16 May 2016, ‘Kzoo 2016

John Rateliff, Sunday, 22 May 2016, ‘A picture from Kalamazoo

Anna Smol, Friday, 27 May 2016, ‘Tolkien's King Sheave story
Some comments on Anna Smol's paper on Tolkien's King Sheave story, which is embedded in his Notion Club Papers.


Reports & comments on past events
The Art of Elmenel: Parma Eldaliéva I, p.306
by Tsvetelina Krumova
8–10 April 2016, The Middletons Hotel, York, ‘Springmoot and AGM 2016’, the Tolkien Society
Daniel Helen, The Tolkien Society, Sunday, 8 May 2016, ‘Watch: Alan Lee discusses his artwork at the Tolkien Society Annual Dinner 2016

8–9 April 2016, University of Vermont, USA, ‘Tolkien in Vermont 2016’, Tolkien Club of University of Vermont

26 May 2016, Pembroke College, Oxford, ‘2016 Tolkien Lecture’, Pembroke College
Daniel Helen, Tolkien Society, ‘Tolkien Lecture 2016: Terri Windling

28 May 2016, East Yorkshire, ‘Tolkien Tour: East Yorkshire’, the Tolkien Society
Michael Flowers, Sunday, 29 May 2016, ‘Inaugural East Yorkshire Tolkien Tour

Info on upcoming & on-going events (as of 1 June)
14 April–10 June 2016, Various locations, Scotland, ‘Leaf by Niggle’, Puppet State Theatre Company. You can find the tour plan from there.
See also: Mary Palmer, Daily Record, Tuesday, 1 March 2016, ‘New play based on J.R.R. Tolkien short story to tour Scotland

26 April 2016 – 27 February 2017, Various, Staffordshire, ‘Exhibition: J.R.R. Tolkien in Staffordshire 1915 – 1918’, The Haywood Society
See also: Staffordshire Newsletter, Monday, 9 May 2016, ‘Tolkien exhibition comes to Cannock
Ross, Lichfield Live, Wednesday, 11 May 2016, ‘Exhibition exploring JRR Tolkien's link to Staffordshire to visit Lichfield Library

2–5 June 2016, Taylor University, Indiana, ‘C.S. Lewis & Friends Colloquium 2016’, Center for the Study of C.S. Lewis & Friends

17–19 June 2016, Leiden | Den Haag, ‘Lustrum 2016: Unlocking Tolkien, Unquendor – The Dutch Tolkien Society
See also, Francesca T. Barbini, SciFiFantasty Network, Wednesday, 25 May 2016, ‘Lustrum – A Tolkien Gathering in The Hague

3 July 2016, Hilton Hotel, Leeds, ‘the Tolkien Society Seminar 2016’, the Tolkien Society
This year's theme will be ‘Life, Death, and Immortality’ in the life and works of J.R.R. Tolkien. See also Daniel Helen, The Tolkien Society, Tuesday, 3 May 2016, ‘Programme announced for the Tolkien Society Seminar 2016

4–7 July 2016, Leeds University, ‘
International Medieval Congress’, Institute for Medieval Studies

16 July 2016, Baruch College, New York City, ‘New York Tolkien Conference

18–20 July 2016, University of Bamberg, Bavaria, Germany, ‘International Conference on Medievalism – 2016: Tradition or Myth’, International Society for the Study of Medievalism &ndash: I am not sure if there will be anything specifically Tolkienian at this conference, but looking at the theme of the 2016 conference, I would very much expect that Tolkien will be mentioned ... more than once.

A ‘film’ of The Hobbit
by Tomás Hijo
5–8 August 2016, San Antonio, Texas, US, ‘MythCon 47’, The Mythopoeic Society. The 2016 theme is ‘Faces of Mythology: Ancient, Medieval, and Modern’
Lynn Maudlin, Mythopoeic Society, Tuesday, 15 March 2016, ‘Mythcon 47 Room & Board packages available.
Lynn Maudlin, Monday, 21 March 2016, ‘Mythcon 47 Progress Report #1 Available

8–11 September 2016, Saint Anthony's, Oxford, ‘Oxonmoot 2016’, The Tolkien Society — I have booked! :-)

Essays and Scholarship

Edmund Weiner, Friday, 1 April 2016, ‘Tolkien's English and the ‘Fiction of Authenticity’

Dimitra Fimi, The Conversation, Thursday, 7 April 2016, ‘How to invent a Tolkien-style language

Edmond Weiner, Tuesday, 12 April 2016, ‘The Words of Sixteenth Century Essex Woman and Man
The first of a number of posts about the philology of Essex ...

Michael Flowers, The Tolkien Society, Sunday, 24 April 2016, ‘Tolkien's Tinúviel: The Nightingale in Tolkien's Writings

John Garth, Wednesday, 11 May 2016, ‘Robert Quilter Gilson, TCBS – a documentary

Brenton Dickieson, Tuesday, 17 May 2016, ‘Simone de Beauvoir and the Keyspring of the Lord of the Rings

John D. Rateliff, Friday, 27 May 2016, ‘The Silmarillion at Marquette
A little something about what is hiding in the archives ...

Janet Brennan Croft, Journal of Tolkien Research, Friday, 27 May 2016, ‘Bibliographic Resources for Literature Searches on J.R.R Tolkien
I will turn to Tolkien (unsurprisingly) to express my reaction at being included in this formidable list: “There are no words left to express his staggerment since Men change the language that they learned of elves in the days when all the world was wonderful.” Apart from that, this list is an extremely valuable contribution to Tolkien scholarship, simply by guiding scholars and others on how to search for prior work on a topic.

Andrew S. Higgins, Journal of Tolkien Research, Saturday, 28 May 2016, ‘Tolkien's A Secret Vice and 'the language that is spoken in the Island of Fonway'

David Bratman, Monday, 30 May 2016, ‘Tolkien Studies 13: an announcement
And so we can start looking forward to the next volume ...

Kristine Larsen, Journal of Tolkien Research, Tuesday, 31 May 2016, ‘Medieval Cosmology and Middle-earth: A Lewisian Walk Under Tolkienian Skies

Simon J. Cook, Journal of Tolkien Research, Tuesday, 31 May 2016, ‘How to Do Things with Words: Tolkien’s Theory of Fantasy in Practice


Azhar Chowdhury, Tuesday, 13 January 2015, ‘Tolkien's Middle Earth: Lessons for the Muslim Reader
A rather interesting alternative take on the applicativity of Tolkien.

Brenton Dickieson, Wednesday, 6 April 2016, ‘The Stories before the Hobbit: Tolkien Intertextuality, or the Sources behind his Diamond Waistcoat

Tom Hillman, Sunday, 1 May 2016, ‘Gollum Could Have Been Even More Appalling -- HoMe VI.264

Joseph Pearce, The Imaginative Conservative, Thursday, 5 May 2016, ‘Is “The Lord of the Rings” an Allegory?

Michael Schaub, L.A. Times, Monday, 9 May 2016, ‘School principal: 'Harry Potter' and 'Lord of the Rings' cause brain damage
While the headline is a bit of an exaggeration, there is a very interesting underlying debate here about how to view children. Here it seems to me that Tolkien was also very modern in his views, not seeing children as innocent little, fragile things that had to be protected from the realities of the world, but rather as robust human beings with an appetite for the world. Perhaps it is this underlying attitude towards children that the principal finds hard to accept.

Lynn Forest-Hill, Southfarthing Mathom, Thursday, 12 May 2016, ‘First meeting in May

David Bratman, The Tolkien Society, Thursday, 19 May 2016, ‘oh, Stephen!

John D. Rateliff, Wednesday, 25 May 2016, ‘HERUMILLION and the Ring of Earth
Regardless of the minor transcription error (should be Heru-i-million or perhaps merely Heruimillion), this really deserves to be highlighted!

'Men proved easier to ensnare'
by Peter Xavier Price
John D. Rateliff, Saturday, 28 May 2016, ‘KEMEN, EAR, & MENEL
A follow-up on the previous post, noting the origianl names for the Three Rings of the Elves.

Reviews and Book News

Christian Kriticos, Tuesday, 5 April 2016, ‘Origin Stories: The Darker Side of J.R.R. Tolkien
Review of The Story of Kullervo

Joseph Bottum, Washington Free Beacon, Saturday, 23 April 2016, ‘Traces of Tolkien
Review of The Story of Kullervo

Daniel Helen, The Tolkien Society, Thursday, 28 April 2016, ‘Pre-order “The Return of the Ring” proceedings today

Mark Sommer,, Sunday, 1 May 2016, ‘Author explores spiritual themes in Tolkien's 'Hobbit' and 'Lord of the Rings'
A review of Moments of Grace and Spiritual Warfare in The Lord of the Rings by Anne Marie Gazzolo.

Maria Messer, Middle-earth News, Sunday, 1 May 2016, ‘Exclusive Cover Reveal: Tolkien Calendar 2017
The 2017 calendar will feature Tolkien's own art. YES!!

Mark Fisher, Wednesday, 4 May 2016, ‘Leaf by Niggle review – Tolkien's lord of small things gets a one-man show
The stage production of Leaf by Niggle has been very well received by both critics and audience. It has been proposed (ahem ...) that it would be a brilliant idea to have the show set up for Oxonmoot ... I really hope this will happen!
Shaun Gunner, The Tolkien Society, Thursday, 19 May 2016, ‘Leaf by Niggle play continues to popular acclaim

David Bratman, Saturday, 7 May 2016, ‘mythopoeic scholarship
On (unnamed) books nominated for the Mythopoeic Scholarship Awards ...

Tara Creel, Deseret News, Saturday, 7 May 2016, ‘Book review: Tolkien's previously unpublished 'Story of Kullervo' is a diamond in the rough

Sue Bridgwater, Tuesday, 10 May 2016, ‘Deep-Rooted Curry
A review of Patrick Curry's Deep Roots in a Time of Frost: Essays on Tolkien

Mark Sommer,, Saturday, 14 May 2016, ‘Latest Tolkien title explores the roots of Middle-earth
On The Story of Kullervo.

Joseph Reninger, Patheos, Friday, 27 May 2016, ‘The Legend of Sigurd and Gudrun by J.R.R. Tolkien

Dimitra Fimi, Journal of Tolkien Research, Sunday, 29 May 2016, ‘The Story of Kullervo (2015) by J.R.R. Tolkien, edited by Verlyn Flieger

David Bratman, Monday, 30 May 2016, ‘Tolkien Studies 13: an announcement
And so we can start looking forward to the next volume ...

Tolkienian Artwork

Tomás Hijo, Friday, 1 April 2016, ‘I've made my own trilogy of Hobbit films …

Joe Gilronan, Saturday, 2 April 2016, ‘Rivendell

Tsvetelina Krumova, ‘Elmenel’, Monday, 4 April 2016, ‘"TENGWARIN" ~The Art of Elmenel~ : "The Imladris Edition", Test Booklet

Elena Kukanova, Tuesday, 5 April 2016, ‘Luthien and Huan

Tomás Hijo, Wednesday, 6 April 2016, ‘Shop restocked!

Dark wings downstream
by Jenny Dolfen
Peter Xavier Price, Sunday, 10 April 2016, ‘The Return of Hurin and Huor

Jenny Dolfen, Thursday, 21 April 2016, ‘Dark wings downstream
Not Tolkien, but ...

Graeme Skinner, Saturday, 23 April 2016, ‘Laurelin

Elena Kukanova, Wednesday, 27 April 2016, ‘Earwen

Katarzyna Chmiel-Gugulska, Wednesday, 27 April 2016, ‘Is there no other way?

Joe Gilronan, Thursday, 5 May 2016, ‘Rivendell Home Of Elves

Dan Reeder, Sunday, 8 May 2016, ‘Paper Mache Smaug

Tomás Hijo, Monday, 9 May 2016, ‘The man in the moon is coming!
Tomás Hijo is making a cut based on Tolkien's poem, The Man in the Moon Stayed Up Too Late, which Frodo sings in The Prancing Pony in Bree.

Tomás Hijo, Tuesday, 10 May 2016, ‘Upper half ready!

Tomás Hijo, Tuesday, 17 May 2016, ‘YES! ‘The man in the moon’ is ready!

Joe Gilronan, Wednesday, 18 May 2016, ‘The Voyage of Eärendil

Peter Xavier Price, Sunday, 22 May 2016, ‘'Men proved easier to ensnare'

Tomás Hijo, Wednesday, 25 May 2016, ‘Thorin's Song?
Tomás Hijo writes: “This is the first step of my new project, conceived as the ‘Man in The moon’ twin. No title yet… Maybe ‘Thorin's song’?”

Other Stuff

John Howe, Sunday, 15 May 2016, ‘Journey into Wilderland

Shaun Gunner, Wednesday, 18 May 2016, ‘International Museum Day – a museum for Tolkien?
Yes, please! Preferably in, or close to, Oxford (for the closeness to all the Tolkien papers in the Bodleian Libraries). Also, I think it'd be fair to dedicate a corner to adaptations, but please without giving preference to any of the many adaptations of Tolkien's work!

Michael Livingston,, Tuesday, 31 May 2016, ‘Robert Jordan: America's Tolkien
While I think that both Jordan and Martin would prefer to be the first of themselves, this kind of comparisons also, I think, suggest something about Tolkien's role and status within mythopoeic fiction.

Marcel Aubron-Bülles, Tuesday, 31 May 2016, ‘Support Kickstarter project “BANDERSNATCH Goes Audio!!” today

Rewarding Discussions

LotR Plaza, ‘Why was Nain I not named Durin VII?

LotR Plaza, ‘Ancalagon the Black: a case study

In Print

These two months have brought me my copy of A Secret Vice edited by Dimitra Fimi and Andrew Higgins, which I look very much forward to reading (that will probably be in July), as well as the latest copy of Mythlore (issue 128), which is a rather Lewis-heavy issue, but still with a couple of articles that look interesting.

Amon Hen no. 259 contains reports from the Tolkien Society AGM as well as the regular columns I always read: ‘The Burning Palantír’: news from the Tolkien Society Facebook Group, ‘Behind Glass Doors’: from the board of the society, and ‘Michael's Miscellany’ which collects a lot of Tolkienian stories from the news, including a number that I either don't find or decide to skip. The high point in this issue was, however, Shaun Gunner's masterful review of the latest atrocity (as far as the text goes) from David Day, which I enjoyed reading with my daughter. It seems that one will have to find something very tasteful to cover up all the text in this book, as it is reportedly very beautifully made and illustrated.

In addition to the above, I have also found in my e-mail, the latest issue of Mythprint from the Mythopoeic Society, and two issues of Beyond Bree.

Web Sites

Consequences Generator
From the Cambridge Tolkien Society, Minas Tirith, a random generator for a bit of amusing procrastination.

The man in the moon
by Tomás Hijo

The Blog Roll

These are blogs you really should be following yourself if you're interested in Tolkien ...
Contents from these blogs will only be reported here if there is something that I find particularly interesting, or posts that fit with a monthly theme. However, you will find below links to monthly archives of posts for months where the blog has featured interesting posts with at least some Tolkien connection. In some cases you may find a headline for a post, if I wish to recommend it particularly.

John D. Rateliff -- ‘Sacnoth's Scriptorium
Archive of posts from April 2016
Archive of posts from May 2016

John Garth, ‘John Garth
Archive of posts from April 2016
Archive of posts from May 2016

Marcel Aubron-Bülles, ‘The Tolkienist
Archive of posts from May 2016

David Bratman, ‘Kalimac's Journal
Archive of posts from April 2016
Archive of posts from May 2016

Jenny Dolfen, ‘Jenny's Sketchbook
Archive of posts from April 2016
Archive of posts from May 2016

Anna Smol, ‘A Single Leaf
Archive of posts from April 2016
Archive of posts from May 2016

Edmund Weiner, ‘Philoloblog
Archive of posts from April 2016
Archive of posts from May 2016

Various, The Mythopoeic Society
Archive of posts from 2016

Various (Bradford Eden, ed.) Journal of Tolkien Research (JTR)
Archive of contributions for the on-going volume 3, issue 1

Various, The Tolkien Society (TS)
Archive of posts from April 2016
Archive of posts from May 2016

Simon Cook, Ye Machine
Archive of posts from April 2016

Southfarthing Mathom
Archive of posts from April 2016
Archive of posts from May 2016

Sue Bridgwater, ‘Skorn
Archive of posts from April 2016
Archive of posts from May 2016

Tom Hilman, ‘Alas, not me
Archive of posts from April 2016
Archive of posts from May 2016

Michael Martinez, ‘Middle-earth
Archive of posts from April 2016
Archive of posts from May 2016

Grey Havens Group, ‘The Grey Havens Group
Archive of posts from April 2016
Archive of posts from May 2016

Bruce Charlton, ‘Tolkien's The Notion Club Papers
Archive of posts from April 2016
Archive of posts from May 2016

Various, ‘Middle-earth News
Archive of posts from May 2016


No new sources in April 2016

For older sources, see