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niki
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Tolkien's Middle-earth

I've been trying to place all these various books we are going to read in some sort of historic prospective. They all relate to Middle-earth so I thought it might be handy to have a Middle-earth thread where we can post material related to the whole series.
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niki
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Re: Tolkien's Middle-earth: Historic Order of Fictional Works

I haven't read all these books but I did a bit of research, mainly to get them sorted out in my own head. Any Tolkien experts, please correct or add to my list as you see fit. This list might be useful to other newbies, so here is what I worked out.

Historic Order of the Books (Fiction)

THE AGE OF THE GODS
Ainulindale* - The Music of the Ainur (Tolkien's creation story)
Valaquenta* - Account of the Valar (I guess the Valar is what Tolkien calls the gods)

THE FIRST AGE
Quenta Silmarillion* - The History of the Silmariils
The Children of Hurin
The Adventures of Tom Bombadil - A poem (I'm not sure where he falls since he apparently lived through all the ages.)

THE SECOND AGE
Akallabeth* - The downfall of Numenor

THE THIRD AGE
Of the Rings of Power and the Third Age*
The Hobbit
The Lord of the Rings
- The Fellowship of the Ring
--- Book One - The Trip to Rivendell
--- Book Two - Among the Elves and the Mines of Moria
- The Two Towers
--- Book Three - Merry and Pippin's Adventures
--- Book Four - The Journey of Frodo and Sam
- The Return of the King
--- Book Five - The Major Battles
--- Book Six - Frodo and Sam in Mordor and the Return to the Shire

*These books are found in the Silmarillion
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BarbaraN
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Re: Tolkien's Middle-earth

I have been peering at that map that comes with The Children of Hurin and my very small map that came with my Lord of the Rings book with a magnifying glass trying to fit them together. I'm sure someone somewhere has figured this all out.

Here is a map and page that shows how middle earth fit into the present geography of modern Europe. This is the map that gave me the clue. Look at the upper left hand corner and you will see what is left of Beleriand which, of course, eventually becomes Great Britain.

http://strangemaps.wordpress.com/2007/06/03/121-where-on-earth-was-middle-earth/

Tolkien's world covers many ages. During that time landmasses change, mountain chains rise up or are warn down, and the land sinks letting in ocean water. This guy really figured in everything! You might enjoy the information on this page even if you are not as fanatical about fitting things together as I am.

I lined up my Ring Period(R) map's Gulf of Lhun and with Beleriand (B) map's Firth of Drengist (westernmost side of the maps). Then I oriented my maps with the Mouth of Sirion River(B)and with the Eran Vorn(R) where the Brandywine River flows into the sea (south part of the maps). The Brandywine River(R) must be the old River Teiglin and River Sirion(B). That puts the Hobbit's Shire(R), which is west of the Old Forest, at the location just west of the Forest of Brethil(B) around the area of the Old South Road(B). Still with me? Rivendell (R) is in the vicinity of the Greater Gelion near Lake Helevorn(B) in the northeast corner of the Beleriand map. The Shire would be in what is now Great Britain before the ocean cut it off from Europe and Riverdell probably in France somewhere. If you don't have maps, here are some for reference:


Maps of Beleriand

http://www.douglas.eckhart.btinternet.co.uk/maps-beleriand-01.jpg

http://www.oneil.com.au/tolkien/maps/map_beleriand.html

http://users.pandora.be/endorion/eng/Maps/maps_beleriand.htm

More Maps

http://www.douglas.eckhart.btinternet.co.uk/maps.html
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Fanuidhol
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Re: Tolkien's Middle-earth: Historic Order of Fictional Works - Tom Bombadil


niki wrote:
I haven't read all these books but I did a bit of research, mainly to get them sorted out in my own head. Any Tolkien experts, please correct or add to my list as you see fit. This list might be useful to other newbies, so here is what I worked out.

Historic Order of the Books (Fiction)

THE AGE OF THE GODS
Ainulindale* - The Music of the Ainur (Tolkien's creation story)
Valaquenta* - Account of the Valar (I guess the Valar is what Tolkien calls the gods)

THE FIRST AGE
Quenta Silmarillion* - The History of the Silmariils
The Children of Hurin
The Adventures of Tom Bombadil - A poem (I'm not sure where he falls since he apparently lived through all the ages.)

THE SECOND AGE
Akallabeth* - The downfall of Numenor

THE THIRD AGE
Of the Rings of Power and the Third Age*
The Hobbit
The Lord of the Rings
- The Fellowship of the Ring
--- Book One - The Trip to Rivendell
--- Book Two - Among the Elves and the Mines of Moria
- The Two Towers
--- Book Three - Merry and Pippin's Adventures
--- Book Four - The Journey of Frodo and Sam
- The Return of the King
--- Book Five - The Major Battles
--- Book Six - Frodo and Sam in Mordor and the Return to the Shire

*These books are found in the Silmarillion


The poems "The Adventures of Tom Bombadil" and "Bombadil Goes Boating" are both found in the book The Adventures of Tom Bombadil. The best time to read them, in my opinion, is any time after the chapter "In the House of Tom Bombadil" in FotR. Some of the other poems in this collection have a relationship with some of the poems found in LotR. It might be nice to read this collection of poems after we are done with LotR.
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niki
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Re: Tolkien's Middle-earth

I found this terrific site that has great artwork of almost everything in the Tolkien epics. I think you will really enjoy them.

http://fan.theonering.net/middleearthtours/

The have sections dedicated to several aspects of the books with synopses and excerpts. Excellent site.
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BarbaraN
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Re: Tolkien's Middle-earth: Maps

I decided I need some decent maps of Middle earth--some that I didn't have to peer at through a magnifying glass. I was thinking of buy the "Maps of Tolkien's Middle-earth" by Brian Sibley. It is a bit expensive. Does anyone else have this book and are the maps and the book that comes with it worthwhile?

http://search.barnesandnoble.com/booksearch/isbnInquiry.asp?z=y&bnit=H&bnrefer=BROWSE&EAN=9780618391...
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BarbaraN
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Re: Tolkien's Middle-earth: Dragons

I really like the dragons. While waiting for things to get started I am going to do a bit of research on dragons. Tolkien had three named dragons in his epics:

Glaurung: The first of the mighty fire breathing dragons who is one of the major characters in "The Children of Hurin."

Ancalagon: Another mighty dragon but I don't know where he comes in yet.

Smaug: The last of the dragons and a major character in "The Hobbit."
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BarbaraN
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Re: Tolkien's Middle-earth: Dragons

Birth of the dragons

I found this piece on the creation of Tolkien's dragons from the "Lay of Leithian."

Ever the sheer cliffs rose beside,
where birds of carrion sat and cried;
and chasms black and smoking yawned,
whence writhing serpent-shapes were spawned;
until at last in that huge gloom.
heavy as overhanging doom,
that weighs on Thangorodrim's foot
like thunder at the mountain's root,
they came, as to a sombre court
walled with great towers, fort on fort
of cliffs embattled. to that last plain
that opens, abysmal and inane,
before the final topless wall
of Bauglir's immeasurable hall,
whereunder looming awful waits
the gigantic shadow of his gates.

The Lay of Leithian is an unfinished poetic epic.

http://tolkiengateway.net/wiki/Lay_of_Leithian_Canto_I
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Fanuidhol
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Re: Tolkien's Middle-earth: Maps


BarbaraN wrote:
I decided I need some decent maps of Middle earth--some that I didn't have to peer at through a magnifying glass. I was thinking of buy the "Maps of Tolkien's Middle-earth" by Brian Sibley. It is a bit expensive. Does anyone else have this book and are the maps and the book that comes with it worthwhile?

http://search.barnesandnoble.com/booksearch/isbnInquiry.asp?z=y&bnit=H&bnrefer=BROWSE&EAN=9780618391...



I don't have this book. Haven't even seen the inside of it at the bookstores.
I do have The Atlas of Middle-earth by Karen Wynn Fonstad which is very good and I recommend it.
http://search.barnesandnoble.com/booksearch/isbnInquiry.asp?z=y&EAN=9780618126996&itm=1

Another "map" book that I have is called Journeys of Frodo by Barbara Strachey. It only covers LotR. I really like it.
http://search.barnesandnoble.com/booksearch/isbnInquiry.asp?z=y&EAN=9780345296337&itm=6
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Fanuidhol
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Re: Tolkien's Middle-earth: Dragons


BarbaraN wrote:
I really like the dragons. While waiting for things to get started I am going to do a bit of research on dragons. Tolkien had three named dragons in his epics:

Glaurung: The first of the mighty fire breathing dragons who is one of the major characters in "The Children of Hurin."

Ancalagon: Another mighty dragon but I don't know where he comes in yet.

Smaug: The last of the dragons and a major character in "The Hobbit."



If you like dragons, BarbaraN, another Tolkien dragon is Chrysophylax from Farmer Giles of Ham, a "spoof" of medieval fantasy. This wonderful story can be found in several books. I have it in The Tolkien Reader. Tolkien has a few other dragons wandering around his non Middle-earth stories. The Hoard, found in the collection of poems called The Adventures of Tom Bombadil is also in the Tolkien Reader. The Great White Dragon has an episode in Roverandom. This is the "same" dragon that fights the Red Dragon in Arthurian legend.
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Re: Tolkien's Middle-earth: Maps

[ Edited ]
I do have a copy of the Atlas but I wanted a "big" map. However, I noticed that it said that there was a revised Atlas with 224 pages. Mine only has 210 and has a 1991 copyright. However, the covers look just the same and mine said "revised" on it as well. But I thought it might be worthwhile getting the newer edition but I was a bit confused. My B&N had it in stock, so I went there to get it, but it turned out the be the 1991 edition the same as mine.

SBN: 0618126996
ISBN-13: 9780618126996
Format: Paperback, 224pp
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin CompanyPub.
Date: April 2001
Edition Description:
Revised Edition

They also had the Sibley book but it was sealed so I didn't buy it yet. I want a big detailed map, and I'm afraid this might be just a pretty poster type.



Fanuidhol wrote:

BarbaraN wrote:
I decided I need some decent maps of Middle earth--some that I didn't have to peer at through a magnifying glass. I was thinking of buy the "Maps of Tolkien's Middle-earth" by Brian Sibley. It is a bit expensive. Does anyone else have this book and are the maps and the book that comes with it worthwhile?

http://search.barnesandnoble.com/booksearch/isbnInquiry.asp?z=y&bnit=H&bnrefer=BROWSE&EAN=9780618391...



I don't have this book. Haven't even seen the inside of it at the bookstores.
I do have The Atlas of Middle-earth by Karen Wynn Fonstad which is very good and I recommend it.
http://search.barnesandnoble.com/booksearch/isbnInquiry.asp?z=y&EAN=9780618126996&itm=1

Another "map" book that I have is called Journeys of Frodo by Barbara Strachey. It only covers LotR. I really like it.
http://search.barnesandnoble.com/booksearch/isbnInquiry.asp?z=y&EAN=9780345296337&itm=6
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Message Edited by BarbaraN on 12-24-2007 06:24 PM
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Re: Tolkien's Middle-earth: Maps

I forgot to add that I couldn't walk out of the store with nothing so I purchased a copy of the Dummies guide to Middle-earth. This looks like my speed! It also adds another 3/4 of an inch to my shelf. I can't wait to get into all this stuff but it will all have to wait until after Christmas! Hope the rest of you have a Merry one!
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BarbaraN
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Re: Tolkien's Middle-earth: Maps

Apparently it is a bit illegal to post maps of Middle-earth on the Internet except under "fair use" and I'm not quite sure how that works. Maybe that is why there seems to be shortage of good detailed large maps.

Detailed maps of selected areas. Names available at top.

http://www.lotrmaps.com/index.html

A huge detailed map of middle-earth but I don't know you print it.

http://pagesperso-orange.fr/hugo1900/MAP-OF-MIDDLE-EARTH-VERSION-7.html

Series of good overviews

http://www.geocities.com/Area51/7990/map1.htm

All of Middle-Earth and Undying Lands

http://balder.prohosting.com/jjck25/lotr/largemap.htm

A Map that you can zoom into certain sections

http://www.fortunecity.com/rivendell/moria/777/map.html

A map you can have printed

http://www.anthonyforsterstudios.co.uk/middle-earth/map-01.html

Apparently a downloadable map that you can print.

http://www.lords-of-blah.nl/mearth/mearthmap.html
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Fanuidhol
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Re: Tolkien's Middle-earth: Maps


BarbaraN wrote:
Apparently it is a bit illegal to post maps of Middle-earth on the Internet except under "fair use" and I'm not quite sure how that works. Maybe that is why there seems to be shortage of good detailed large maps.



I believe in protecting the financial rights of any artist.
I am far from being an expert on copyright and "fair use" and Tolkien.

What I do know is that the posting on the Internet of an entire work by Tolkien is illegal, unless permission is granted. These include maps, essays such as 'On Fairy-stories', artwork, poems or entire books and quite possibly languages. The reason for this is that if someone can see or read it online, they don't have to buy it. It is even worse if the person who posts the work online gets any money from it, even if it is from an ad banner that has nothing to do with Tolkien.

Fair use allows that a small portion of a work may be posted without permission. What constitutes a small portion is a "grey area" that I don't know much about. All I can say is that I limit my quotes and I usually don't provide links to websites that post entire works, mostly to protect Tolkien's rights and partly because I don't know what my liability may be.

I don't think we fall under the "scholarly use" protection because this is a public forum that anyone can view.
Fanfiction is another area of contention that could land someone in trouble, especially if their website gets money from ad banners.
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niki
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Re: Tolkien's Middle-earth

I have been trying to sort out the people of Middle-earth. There seems to be four races of human-type people: the Eves, the Men, the Dwarves, and the Hobbits. Although the Hobbits are the central figures of his most popular and extensive books, they are not covered in the detail of the other races. It is possible I haven't stumbled across something yet.

The first three races all have extensive back-stories and creation stories and were heavily involved in the events of the First and Second ages. The Hobbits, however, don't. They seem to have just wandered on the scene. The first three all get Rings but not the Hobbits. It is like the Hobbits don't exist or maybe are of no importance. The first three all have countries and kings and queens. The Hobbits kind of just live in the Shire that belongs to someone else's country (and I don't know much about this country or its ruler at this point). They have no government that I have seen but maybe that is the job of the "ruler" of that country.

It seems strange to me that Tolkien created such an epic history for the other three races and virtually nothing for the Hobbits--at least that I have found so far. Yet his central figures and his heroes are Hobbits.
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Fanuidhol
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Re: Tolkien's Middle-earth: Maps


BarbaraN wrote:
I forgot to add that I couldn't walk out of the store with nothing so I purchased a copy of the Dummies guide to Middle-earth. This looks like my speed! It also adds another 3/4 of an inch to my shelf. I can't wait to get into all this stuff but it will all have to wait until after Christmas! Hope the rest of you have a Merry one!



I've read the "For Dummies" book. I liked it.

My daughter added 1 and 1/4 inchs to my bookshelf by giving me the first volume of The History of the Hobbit: Mr Baggins by John D Rateliff for Christmas. I'll pick up the other volume as soon as I'm done with this one.

Volume 1
http://search.barnesandnoble.com/booksearch/isbnInquiry.asp?z=y&EAN=9780618968473&itm=1

Volume 2
http://search.barnesandnoble.com/booksearch/isbnInquiry.asp?z=y&EAN=9780618969197&itm=3

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BarbaraN
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Re: Tolkien's Middle-earth: Maps

Fanuidhol wrote:

BarbaraN wrote:
I forgot to add that I couldn't walk out of the store with nothing so I purchased a copy of the Dummies guide to Middle-earth. This looks like my speed! It also adds another 3/4 of an inch to my shelf. I can't wait to get into all this stuff but it will all have to wait until after Christmas! Hope the rest of you have a Merry one!



I've read the "For Dummies" book. I liked it.

-----------------

I too am enjoying The Dummies book. It is perfect for what I wanted. An excellent introduction to the whole Middle-Earth saga. Especially useful for those of us who are not up to speed on everything written by or about Tolkien's works. The full title is "The Origins of Tolkien's Middle-earth for Dummies." You can see a sample chapter here:

http://search.barnesandnoble.com/booksearch/isbnInquiry.asp?z=y&bnit=H&bnrefer=BROWSE&EAN=9780764541...

I'm only partway through it, but it has given me a good grounding in the geography of Middle-earth so now I understand how the various "lands" work together and fit into the history of Middle-earth. I am reading the second section on the various beings of Middle-earth. It is all starting to make a lot of sense. This is going to help a lot to put everything in perspective. It is even very readable. I highly recommend it for someone new to Middle-earth, especially if they have not read a lot of the books.
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BarbaraN
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Re: Tolkien's Middle-earth: History of the Hobbit

Fan wrote:
My daughter added 1 and 1/4 inchs to my bookshelf by giving me the first volume of The History of the Hobbit: Mr Baggins by John D Rateliff for Christmas. I'll pick up the other volume as soon as I'm done with this one.
---------------

Oh my! What a master work for anyone who who likes The Hobbit. They also have a complete set of the two volumes with the 70th anniversary edition of The Hobbit, which apparently has maps and pictures drawn by Tolkien that haven't been published before. Where do they keep finding this stuff! I didn't know that this year was the 70th anniversary of the publication of The Hobbit.


http://search.barnesandnoble.com/booksearch/isbnInquiry.asp?z=y&bnit=H&bnrefer=FSF&EAN=9780618964406...

I can see this reading group is going to be a big budget buster!

I think we have plenty of material for a full month (and then some) on The Hobbit!
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BarbaraN
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Re: Tolkien's Middle-earth: History of the Hobbit

Since this set is such a huge investment, I thought I would browse around and find more about it. I picked up these two references from the Tolkien Library site:

http://www.tolkienlibrary.com/press/historyofthehobbit.htm

http://www.tolkienlibrary.com/press/historyofthehobbit2.htm
----------

This article kind of explains how they are still discovering Tolkein's manuscripts. Apparently he sold some of them so they were not in the possession of Christopher Tolkien.

http://www.tolkien-online.com/history-of-the-hobbit.html
-----------

These two articles are well worth reading!

http://www.tolkien-online.com/mr-baggins.html
http://www.tolkien-online.com/return-to-bag-end.html
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BarbaraN
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Re: Tolkien's Middle-earth: Maps

I decided to solve my map problem by drawing my own. I can't think of a better way to really learn the geography of Middle-earth and the other lands. I'm going to draw them on 18" by 12" paper, which should be big enough to read and then I will add some detail from the Atlas book. Unfortunately, I have this day job that keeps interfering with my time and I can't put as much time into all of this as I would like to! It is going to be especially bothersome for the next couple of months because I have a big project coming up. But I'm going to try to hang in there and contribute as much as I can to the group.
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