Sunday 3 July 2016

Tolkien Transactions LXX

June 2016

I seem to spend a lot of space here apologising for, or complaining about, my lack of time, though the first half of this year seems to have been worse than usual (hopefully culminating in June). My available time seems unlikely to change much, so the reduced commentary this month is likely to stay the norm, at least for a while.
AS usual I make no claims about newness, completeness or relevance of any of this, and I reject any other implication of responsibility :-)

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

This month it has suited my purposes to sort the contents under the following headlines:
1: News
2: Events
3: Essays and Scholarship
4: Commentary
5: Reviews and Book News
6: Tolkienian Artwork
7: Story Internal (Ardalogy)
8: Other Stuff
9: Rewarding Discussions
10: In Print
11: Web Sites
12: The Blog Roll
13: Sources

Defenders of Gondor
Bergil and his company (Patreon commission)
by Katarzyna Chmiel-Gugulska


David Oberhelman, Thursday, 2 June 2016, ‘2016 Mythopoeic Awards Finalists Announced
With the Inklings Studies Scholarship award finalists including Verlyn Flieger (The Story of Kullervo) and Christopher Tolkien (Beowulf: A Translation and Commentary). Now for waiting for the announcement of the winners from MythCon later this summer.

Leon Siciliano, The Telegraph, Sunday, 5 June 2016, ‘Tolkien fans dress up and do battle in a Czech forest
See alsoTVNZ, Sunday, 5 June 2016, ‘Ever wanted to see a Tolkien battle in real life? Head to Prague
And Daily News & Analysis, Saturday, 11 June 2016, ‘In Pictures | Fans recreate epic battle sequence from Tolkien's 'The Hobbit'

Andrew Collins, iTech Post, Saturday, 11 June 2016, ‘Meet Hobbits in Real Life: What Tolkien's Creatures Were Really Like
Despite the rather bad headline (hopefully done by an editor), this is an article about the Homo Floresiensis, interesting in this context mainly because of the ill-composed headline ...

Fine Books Magazine, Monday, 13 June 2016, ‘Rare Map of Middle-earth Goes on Display at the Bodleian Libraries
The display was on 23 June, but we have been told that the map will be on display again in September for Oxonmoot, which is really good news!

Francesca T. Barbini, SciFiFantasy Network, Wednesday, 22 June 2016, ‘Tolkien In The Great War
About the excellent Instagram / Twitter project that the Deutsche Tolkien Gesellschaft is currently running to commemorate the centenary of the Battle of the Somme and Tolkien's involvement therein.

What's on? – Bodleian Libraries, Thursday, 23 June 2016, ‘Middle-earth map annotated by JRR Tolkien
The Bodleian Libraries' notification of the exhibition of the map.
BBC Radio 4, Thursday, 23 June 2016, ‘Today
Starting about 1h 21m, there is a piece of about 5 minutes on the exhibition of the Tolkien/Baynes map, including an interview with Chris Fletcher, Keeper of Special Collections for the Bodleian Library, who tells that they “do have plans for major Tolkien exhibition in 2018, so people will be able to see it again then.” The programme will be available for international listening until 23 July.
See also Duncan Kennedy, BBC, Thursday, 23 June 2016, ‘J.R.R. Tolkien: Lord of the Rings ‘Middle-earth’ unveiled,
Naomi Herring, Oxford Times, Thursday, 23 June 2016, ‘Rare map of Middle-earth goes on display for Tolkien fans for one day only,
and BBC Oxford, Thursday, 23 June 2016, ‘JRR Tolkien's annotated Middle-earth map on show at Bodleian
This one is not bad – even has some relevant background information ...

Gunnar Bjornson, Friday, 24 June 2016, ‘What would J.R.R. Tolkien say about Brexit?
Time to once more comment on the basic fallacy – not to say fraud – inherent in any claim to know what Tolkien might say to this or that political issue. It is quite likely that, if Tolkien had been asked in 1970 whether he would wish the UK to enter into en EU-like cooperation with consequent surrender of sovereignty, he would have refused, but the world of 2016 is very different from the world of 1970, and claiming to be able to extrapolate is clearly fallacious.

Lynn Maudlin, Saturday, 25 June 2016, ‘Remembrance of Things Past While Looking Forward--
New blog from the Mythopoeic Society – and first post is about the new Mythopoeic Society website.

by Jenny Dolfen


Reports & comments on past events
17–19 June 2016, Leiden | Den Haag, ‘Lustrum 2016: Unlocking Tolkien, Unquendor – The Dutch Tolkien Society
Photos from Lustrum 2016 by Bart Spee: ‘Lustrum Unquendor 2016 Den Haag-Leiden

Info on upcoming & on-going events (as of 1 July)
26 April 2016 – 27 February 2017, Various, Staffordshire, ‘Exhibition: J.R.R. Tolkien in Staffordshire 1915 – 1918’, The Haywood Society
See also: Staffordshire Newsletter, Tuesday, 28 June 2016, ‘Tolkien Exhibition reveals how Somme shaped Middle-Earth[sic]

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
Shaun Gunner, The Tolkien Society, Sunday, 26 June 2016, ‘Don't miss out on the best Tolkien event this summer

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

16 July 2016, National World War I Museum, Kansas City, ‘How the Ghosts of World War I Came Back to Haunt The Lord of the Rings’ a talk by John Garth, The National World War I Museum and Memorial

16 July 2016, Baruch College, New York City, ‘New York Tolkien Conference
Jacob Keener (‘Nolondil’), Wednesday, 1 June 2016, ‘NY Tolkien Conference Programs

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.

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! :-)
Daniel Helen, The Tolkien Society, Monday, 27 June 2016, ‘Bodleian to exhibit annotated Middle-earth map during Oxonmoot’ ... YAY!

Essays and Scholarship

Robert Foster, Random House, ‘Teacher's Guide to The Hobbit
Random House appears to have made the full text, including lesson plans, from Robert Foster's 1981 teacher's guide available on their web-site.

Parma Eldaliéva I, p.163
by Tsvetelina Krumova (‘Elmenel’)
Carl Hostetter, ‘Tolkienian Linguistics: The First Fifty Years
This paper was first published in Tolkien Studies IV from 2007. In it, Hostetter describes the evolution of the study of Tolkien's languages (the ‘Tolkienian Linguistics’ of the headline) from its first steps with enquiries sent by interested readers to Tolkien himself. Hostetter also gives an account of the discussions that have divided the Tolkienian linguists. I am once more struck by the many parallels between the specific study of Tolkien's languages, and the broader study of Tolkien's Middle-earth writings.

Simon J. Cook,, Tuesday, 7 June 2016, ‘How to Do Things with Words: Tolkien's Theory of Fantasy in Practice
(Login required) A copy of Cooks recent paper for the Journal of Tolkien Research (vol. 3, issue 1)

Nelson Goering,, Sunday, 19 June 2016, ‘Old Mercian in Tolkien's Rohan and in Beowulf
A slide set from a talk given on 18 June. Unfortunately (for those of us who couldn't be present) uploaded without slidenotes

Katherine Langrish,, Wednesday, 22 June 2016, ‘Faerie-led: Thoughts on Writing Meaningful Fantasy
Also includes video of Terri Windling's 2016 Tolkien lecture at Pembroke College.

Wayne G. Hammond & Christina Scull, Thursday, 23 June 2016, ‘Lord of the Rings Comparison 3
Another of the great posts from Scull and Hammond detailing the textual minutiae of recent editions of The Lord of the Rings – highly recommended, if not mandatory, reading for anyone who cares about the text of their book ...

Edmund Weiner, Saturday, 25 June 2016, ‘Odd words from the Essex Wills
One of Weiner's posts about the language of Essex ...

Marianne Petra Ritsema van Eck,, Tuesday, 28 June 2016, ‘Baptism in Anglo-Saxon England
This Master's thesis one caught my eye – I couldn't help but wonder if Tolkien would not have found the topic interesting.

Dimitra Fimi, Wednesday, 29 June 2016, ‘Researching Tolkien's ‘Secret Vice’
A very interesting description of elements of collaborative research work that went into the recent critical edition of Tolkien's A Secret Vice. The diagram of the contents of MS Tolkien 24 is quite interesting. I do wonder at many points what made exactly these folios end up in exactly that folder in that sequence? Do we really see Tolkien's mind jumping about, or is this appearance of disorder a result of later meddling with the sheets (whether by Tolkien himself or others who have sorted his material).
See also Dimitra Fimi, Thursday, 30 June 2016, ‘Tolkien's A Secret Vice: first reviews

Anna Smol, Thursday, 30 June 2016, ‘Kzoo 2017 calls for Tolkien papers


Brett and Kate McKay, Tuesday, 31 May 2016, ‘Against the Cult of Travel, or What Everyone Gets Wrong About the Hobbit
I am always a bit sceptical when people claims to know what “everyone gets wrong” (or what everyone misses). In this case, I would say that my scepticism is justified – where the authors are not merely repeating well-known facts, their extrapolations generally seem very tenuous. Thus they seem, for instance, though writing about The Hobbit and travelling, to completely ignore the fact that parts of the book are inspired by Tolkien's own trip to Switzerland as a young man.

John D. Rateliff, Thursday, 2 June 2016, ‘Inquiries while at Marquette
Textual enquiries at the Marquette (on behalf of readers of the blog), trying to decipher Tolkien's handwriting.

Patreon commission.
by Katarzyna Chmiel-Gugulska
Zebbie Watson, Inverse, Friday, 3 June 2016, ‘How 'Warcraft' is Rewriting Tolkien's Fantasy World Invention, The Orc
Not just Warcraft, though. This rewriting has been going on for a long time.

Tom Hillman, Monday, 6 June 2016, ‘In the Dead Marshes We Hear No Larks at Morning
On larks. Their role in English literature, and Tolkien's twist.

Lynn Forest-Hill, Southfarthing Mathom, Saturday, 11 June 2016, ‘First meeting in June
This month (including the 29 June post about Last meeting in June) moves the reading group through ‘The Forbidden Pool’ (IV, 6) and ‘Journe to the Cross-roads’ (IV, 7) with some few comments pertaining to ‘The Stairs of Cirith Ungol’ (IV, 8).

Bruce Charlton, Thursday, 30 June 2016, ‘Transition from French-Norman to Germanic romance in The Notion Club Papers

Reviews and Book News

Daniel Helen, The Tolkien Society, Wednesday, 1 June 2016, ‘Contents of “Tolkien Studies” volume 13 announced

Daniel Helen, The Tolkien Society, Sunday, 5 June 2016, ‘“Leaf by Niggle” to be published in its own volume

Francesca T. Barbini, SciFiFantasy Network, Tuesday, 7 June 2016, ‘Tolkien's “The Return Of The Ring” – 9th of June Release
To be fair, this is about the release of the proceedings from the Return of the Ring conference held in Loughborough in 2012.
See also Daniel Helen, The Tolkien Society, Thursday, 9 June 2016, ‘“The Return of the Ring” proceedings published

John D. Rateliff, Thursday, 9 June 2016, ‘Keeping it close to his chest . . .
Comments (rather than a proper review) of Raymond Edwards' book, Tolkien, a biography from 2014. Helpful commenters have posted references to proper reviews of this, and of Edwards' earlier, shorter, book on the subject.

Jeffrey R. Hawboldt, Friday, 10 June 2016, ‘"The Lay of Aotrou and Itroun"
I was extremely pleased to hear of the publication this autumn of The Lay of Aotrou and Itroun, which will also include Tolkien's ‘Corrigan poems’. Edited by Verlyn Flieger and with a prefatory note by Christopher Tolkien, we can look forward to this book, which will fill another of the holes in the available works by J.R.R. Tolkien.

Jeffrey R. Hawboldt, Tuesday, 14 June 2016, ‘Tolkien Tuesday: "The Lord of the Rings" (Revised Edition Hardback Box Set, or, 60th Anniversary)
This time about the wonderful 60th anniversary boxed hardback set ... (which I got for Christmas, and have recently finished reading ... blissful!)

Jeffrey R. Hawboldt, Monday, 20 June 2016, ‘Tolkien Tuesday: "The Hobbit" (70th Anniversary Hardback Edition)
As this deals mostly with the physical book, I think it is better placed here.

David Bratman, The Tolkien Society, Tuesday, 21 June 2016, ‘Three Tolkien novels
That is, not three novels by Tolkien, but three novels featuring Tolkien as a character.

The Second Sorrow of Túrin
by Peter Xavier Price
Jeffrey R. Hawboldt, Monday, 27 June 2016, ‘Tolkien Tuesday: "The Silmarillion" (30th Anniversary Hardback Edition)

Tolkienian Artwork

Tomás Hijo, Friday, 3 June 2016, ‘The Man in the Moon

Peter Xavier Price, Sunday, 5 June 2016, ‘The Second Sorrow of Túrin
When Thingol's messengers returned from Morwen in Hithlum, but without Morwen, “this was the second sorrow of Túrin.”

Tomás Hijo, Monday, 6 June 2016, ‘The Thorin Song
Far over the misty mountains cold

Elena Kokanova, Wednesday, 8 June 2016, ‘Namo Mandos

Tomás Hijo, Wednesday, 8 June 2016, ‘Thorin Song Printed

Graeme Skinner, Thursday, 30 June 2016, ‘Star Gazing in the Shire

Story Internal (Ardalogy)

Michael Martinez, Monday, 6 June 2016, ‘Are Orcs, Trolls and Dragons Immortal, Unless Killed?
A discussion of some of the philosophical problems that Tolkien's approach to the Fates of Men and Elves create. There are questions that, while they are quite natural to most readers, simply cannot be discussed in a meaningful way from a story-internal perspective. Martinez does a good job at showing the uncertainty without getting into the underlying criticial and philosophical (and, indeed, theological) discussions.

John Howe, Wednesday, 15 June 2016, ‘A Few Words About Dragons
‘The Dragons of J.R.R. Tolkien's Middle-Earth[sic]’ An excellent, mostly story-internal, article with a high degree of accuracy. Overall, I think it is a pity to limit the discussion only to the dragons of Middle-earth (and Howe is not entirely consistent in this delimitation), which cuts out Tolkien's own treatment of the mighty dragon of Norse legend, Fáfnir.
Tom Hillman, Tuesday, 28 June 2016, ‘Getting to the Bottom of Celeborn

Other Stuff

Beth Carswell, ‘Here Be Dragons in Literature
Books with dragons ...

The Thorin Song
by Tomás Hijo
Andy Ffrench, Oxford Times, Thursday, 23 June 2016, ‘JRR Tolkien's grandson Simon talks to us about his new novel No Man's Land based on his famous grandfather's experiences at The Somme.
Not so much for the book itself, but for fragments of Simon Tolkien reminiscing on his grandfather.

David Wilcock, The Independent, Wednesday, 29 June 2016, ‘Battle of the Somme: From Adolf Hitler to JRR Tolkien – the battle's most famous combatants

Deniz Bevan, Wednesday, 29 June 2016, ‘Oxford! Part II Tolkien
From a trip to Oxford ...

Rewarding Discussions

The Lord of the Rings Plaza, ‘Reading the books
Some discussion of the language and archaisms of The Lord of the Rings

In Print

I had lost track a bit, so I went back to see what I reported last month ...

Mythprint 53:2 (#377) – Summer 2016
This landed in my inbox on the last day of June. It contains news on MythCon 47 (now just a month away – I hope that everybody will have a fantastic Con), and the Mythopoeic Awards finalists (see elsewhere). The new Mythopoeic Society Social Media Manager, Alicia Fox-Lenz, introduces herself (welcome, and thank you for taking on this important role!), and David Oberhelman advertises for his successor as Mythopoeic Awards Administrator (a bit of a tough decision here – being too honest in the praise of David's effort might scare away others who might think themselves unable to lift the baton). Janet Brennan Croft announces that the the Mythlore index plus can be downloaded for free as searchable PDF at

Beyond Bree June 2016
To be perfectly honest, I found this issue of Beyond Bree to be ... not what I am subcribing to Beyond Bree for.

Web Sites

Mythsoc – The Mythopoeic Society
The Mythopoeic Society has a nice new web-site which is quite easy to navigate (and wonderfully responsive). Well done!

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.

Christina Scull and Wayne G. Hammond, ‘Too Many Books and Never Enough
Archive of posts from June 2016

Dimitra Fimi, ‘Dr. Dimitra Fimi
Archive of posts from June 2016

Douglas A. Anderson, ‘Tolkien and Fantasy
Archive of posts from June 2016

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

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

by Jenny Dolfen
Jenny Dolfen, ‘Jenny's Sketchbook
Archive of posts from June 2016

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

Edmund Weiner, ‘Philoloblog
Archive of posts from June 2016

Various, The Mythopoeic Society
News archive

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 June 2016

Simon Cook, Ye Machine
Archive of posts from June 2016

Southfarthing Mathom
Archive of posts from June 2016

Sue Bridgwater, ‘Skorn
Archive of posts from June 2016

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

Various, The Mythopoeic Society, ‘The Horn of Rohan Redux
Archive of posts from June 2016

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

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

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


New sources in June 2016
Various, The Mythopoeic Society, ‘The Horn of Rohan Redux
“the occasional blog from The Mythopoeic Society”

For older sources, see