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lorien
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Re: Histories of Middle-earth

Middle Earch: I definitely don't think Tolkien "intended" his world to be known by my spelling! :smileyvery-happy:

It is going to be fun meeting Bilbo's wife Primula and son Bingo. Then we get to follow Bingo and his buddies, Odo and Frodo, to Bree where they join up with Trotter and then go on to Rivendell! :smileyvery-happy:

I'm not sure how we should approach this discussion of the Histories. The first section on the Fellowship is pretty heavy and I'm not sure if we could get through it in the month--or that we should. It encompasses nearly 500 pages in the first book "The Return of the Shadow, and then goes back to the beginning again and takes about another 400 pages in the second book, The Treason of Isengard. After that, Tolkien finally gets his direction. Tigger, I know you can put away a 1200 page book in a weekend but I'm a bit slower, especially since I have the final Fellowship book and peripheral stuff to read as well. I guess this also makes the point that Tolkien really didn't know what his "intentions" were at the start. :smileyvery-happy:

We could just follow the sequential order of writing that Christopher has followed or we could take the first part of the final book and just address the appropriate sections in the Histories - kind of an evolution of a particular part of the book. The first section through Moria seems to have been his stumbling block. Or we could deal with smaller segments such as the development of the early chapters through like Bree and then maybe Bree to Rivendell. Or maybe we should go for all of Book 1 and take the Hobbington to Rivendell segment and address the appropriate sections in both volumes. I haven't read these yet so I don't know what the best approach would be. Any suggestions?
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Fanuidhol
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Re: Histories of Middle-earth



lorien wrote:
Middle Earch: I definitely don't think Tolkien "intended" his world to be known by my spelling! :smileyvery-happy:

It is going to be fun meeting Bilbo's wife Primula and son Bingo. Then we get to follow Bingo and his buddies, Odo and Frodo, to Bree where they join up with Trotter and then go on to Rivendell! :smileyvery-happy:

I'm not sure how we should approach this discussion of the Histories. The first section on the Fellowship is pretty heavy and I'm not sure if we could get through it in the month--or that we should. It encompasses nearly 500 pages in the first book "The Return of the Shadow, and then goes back to the beginning again and takes about another 400 pages in the second book, The Treason of Isengard. After that, Tolkien finally gets his direction. Tigger, I know you can put away a 1200 page book in a weekend but I'm a bit slower, especially since I have the final Fellowship book and peripheral stuff to read as well. I guess this also makes the point that Tolkien really didn't know what his "intentions" were at the start. :smileyvery-happy:

We could just follow the sequential order of writing that Christopher has followed or we could take the first part of the final book and just address the appropriate sections in the Histories - kind of an evolution of a particular part of the book. The first section through Moria seems to have been his stumbling block. Or we could deal with smaller segments such as the development of the early chapters through like Bree and then maybe Bree to Rivendell. Or maybe we should go for all of Book 1 and take the Hobbington to Rivendell segment and address the appropriate sections in both volumes. I haven't read these yet so I don't know what the best approach would be. Any suggestions?


Here is a website that charts the various "phases" with its corresponding chapter in LotR.  Warning: the website is in French, but, fortunately for me the chart is mostly in English.  I haven't checked, but, the page references may not match with our American editions.
 
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lorien
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Re: Histories of Middle-earth

Here is a website that charts the various "phases" with its corresponding chapter in LotR. Warning: the website is in French, but, fortunately for me the chart is mostly in English. I haven't checked, but, the page references may not match with our American editions.
http://www.jrrvf.com/compagnie/effeuille/Correspondance_LotR-Home.html

Fan
----------------------

Perfect Fan! You are a fantastic source of information! Lets go with this schedule following the final book chapters. I think we should probably stick to "Livre I" to start with and see how it goes. That seems to be the heaviest section in the Histories and is going to take the longest time to get through. Even though we are doing the Histories as a separate thread, what we learn there is going to be relating back to the way we see the final book. Later we can combine the shorter livres. Livres I and II seem to have four overall phases (though I gather some parts really had more than that). After that we are basically moving right along.
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Fanuidhol
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Re: Histories of Middle Earch


lorien wrote:
The HoMe seem to be quite a mixed bag. I've got the first three of the History of the Ring series (nos. 6,7,8) but wasn't sure which of the others would be useful. There are 12 all together. The first five seem to be available as a package, so I might go ahead and get those but what about the last 4. Are they worth it?


Using my personal experience:
#9 Sauron Defeated is necessary to complete HoLotR.  I originally bought HoLotR as a set.  The last volume "The End of the Third Age" is only the first third of Sauron Defeated.  I ended up wanting the other 2/3 when I read A Question of Time by Verlyn Flieger so bought Sauron Defeated.
#12 Peoples of Middle-earth contains the earlier versions of the Appendices and a number of essays: a couple on aspects of languages, Glorfindel, Cirdan and Lembas.  There is also a couple of unfinished stories: one on the sequel to LotR, another about The Wild Men and Numenoreans.
#10 Morgoth's Ring comes in handy frequently for various subjects.  From the dust jacket -- "...wrote of the nature and destiny of Elves, the idea of Elvish rebirth, the origin of the Orcs, and the Fall of Men."  A part of the book is devoted to a debate between an elf and a mortal woman about immortality and mortality.  This section was meant by JRR Tolkien to be a part of Silm, but his son didn't find it until after he published Silm.  And in another essay you'll find out what the title "Morgoth's Ring" means.
#11 The War of the Jewels has been less value to me than the previous ones above, but, when I wanted to read the fullest possible version about Turin (Children of Hurin) "The Wanderings of Hurin" found in this book was one of the things I read. 
An understanding of #1 and #2 Book of Lost Tales I and II was important when I read Tolkien and the Great War by John Garth.  But, I have the most difficulty reading these due to name changes and other differnces from later work.
I love #3 The Lays of Beleriand although I haven't read it straight through.  Children of Hurin and The Tale of Beren and Luthien in verse.  This volume has become more important lately because The Hobbit was written somewhat concurrently with Beren and Luthien.
#4 Shaping of Middle-earth and #5 Lost Road and Other Writings have recently caught my attention due to The History of the Hobbit.  I'm in the middle of a debate on another discussion board about aspects of HotH in which vols #3-5 have become sources of information.
Most of #5 is, also, related to the last 2/3 of #9.
If you want to study Tolkien's languages just about every volume has sections devoted to them.  I personally don't really have an interest beyond what I can deduce about culture and history.
You could wait and see and buy the volumes as you feel the need...
Fan 
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lorien
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Re: Histories of Middle Earch


Fanuidhol wrote:

lorien wrote:
The HoMe seem to be quite a mixed bag. I've got the first three of the History of the Ring series (nos. 6,7,8) but wasn't sure which of the others would be useful. There are 12 all together. The first five seem to be available as a package, so I might go ahead and get those but what about the last 4. Are they worth it?


Using my personal experience:
#9 Sauron Defeated is necessary to complete HoLotR. I originally bought HoLotR as a set. The last volume "The End of the Third Age" is only the first third of Sauron Defeated. I ended up wanting the other 2/3 when I read A Question of Time by Verlyn Flieger so bought Sauron Defeated.
#12 Peoples of Middle-earth contains the earlier versions of the Appendices and a number of essays: a couple on aspects of languages, Glorfindel, Cirdan and Lembas. There is also a couple of unfinished stories: one on the sequel to LotR, another about The Wild Men and Numenoreans.
#10 Morgoth's Ring comes in handy frequently for various subjects. From the dust jacket -- "...wrote of the nature and destiny of Elves, the idea of Elvish rebirth, the origin of the Orcs, and the Fall of Men." A part of the book is devoted to a debate between an elf and a mortal woman about immortality and mortality. This section was meant by JRR Tolkien to be a part of Silm, but his son didn't find it until after he published Silm. And in another essay you'll find out what the title "Morgoth's Ring" means.
#11 The War of the Jewels has been less value to me than the previous ones above, but, when I wanted to read the fullest possible version about Turin (Children of Hurin) "The Wanderings of Hurin" found in this book was one of the things I read.
An understanding of #1 and #2 Book of Lost Tales I and II was important when I read Tolkien and the Great War by John Garth. But, I have the most difficulty reading these due to name changes and other differnces from later work.
I love #3 The Lays of Beleriand although I haven't read it straight through. Children of Hurin and The Tale of Beren and Luthien in verse. This volume has become more important lately because The Hobbit was written somewhat concurrently with Beren and Luthien.
#4 Shaping of Middle-earth and #5 Lost Road and Other Writings have recently caught my attention due to The History of the Hobbit. I'm in the middle of a debate on another discussion board about aspects of HotH in which vols #3-5 have become sources of information.
Most of #5 is, also, related to the last 2/3 of #9.
If you want to study Tolkien's languages just about every volume has sections devoted to them. I personally don't really have an interest beyond what I can deduce about culture and history.
You could wait and see and buy the volumes as you feel the need...
Fan





Great list, Fan. You are always there with the "bestest" information. This was going to be my next question. I went to a used book store this afternoon and was able to get most of the histories (#1-5) but not the later ones. I still need #9-12. Weren't we measuring fanaticship by the number of linear feet of Tolkien books? I think I am getting there. I started with a meager collection, maybe a foot or so. I will have to measure it later once I've made some room on the shelves for the new books.
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spiritwolfdreamer
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Re: The People of Middle-earth

Hello.  I am new to the group, but would like to comment about your speculation regarding the statment in "The Children of God: Of Men and of Elves - Page 147, Letters (Letter #131)" which speaks about "freedom from the circles of the world" which you feel sounds a bit Buddhist.  You may be correct, and It may very well be, but as a Native American, I can tell you that to us our history is cyclic, and we believe that all of the world (and all worlds within and without) are a circle, without end.  We do not see history as linear, and that particular worldview causes a great deal of misunderstanding between NA and Non-NA, perhaps even as it did with Tolkein's elves and men.  Thanks
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lorien
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Re: The People of Middle-earth

[ Edited ]
Oh, my we have had some "forward discussions" about the Silm already. I think I will spend the rest of the afternoon rereading some of our old threads. There is a lot a good stuff here--and in my usual arrogance I am making all sorts of comments about the silm when I had only "dipped" into sections of it!
Letter 212 seems to relevant to our discussion on Aule, though it may be a bit premature for that. But I will transfer the quote to the silm in case the original thread disappears.

lorien wrote:
I've been curious about how the different "human-type" people of Middle-earth are like or different from one another. This appears to be a very large subject and we will probably be talking a great deal about this later, especially of elves. But in reading Tolkien's letters I thought I would drop in these little starters on the nature of Elves, Men, Hobbits, and Dwarves.
--------------


The Children of God: Of Men and of Elves - Page 147, Letters (Letter #131)

[This is in reference to the mythology and heroic legend literature, which centers mainly on the First Born elves. They do have an important part to play in LOTR but eventually leave Middle-earth to the dominion of Men]

The Children of God are thus primevally related and akin, and primevally different. Since also they are something wholly other to the gods, in the making of which the gods played no part, they are the object of the special desire and love of the gods. These are the First-born, the Elves; and the Followers Men. The doom of the Elves is to be immortal, to love the beauty of the world, to bring it to full flower with their gifts of delicacy and perfection, to last while it lasts, never leaving it even when slain, but returning - and yet, when the Followers come, to teach them, and make way for them, to fade as the Followers grow and absorb the life from which both proceed. The Doom (or the Gift) of Men is mortality, freedom from the circles of the world. Since the point of view of the whole cycle is the Elvish, mortality is not explained mythically: it is a mystery of God of which no more is known than that what God has purposed for Men is hidden: a grief and an envy to the immortal Elves.

["freedom from the circles of the world" This sounds a bit Buddhist to me.]

How Tolkien defines Hobbits - Page 158, Letters (Letter #131)

[I find this interesting because Hobbits do seem to represent the ordinary people while Men seem to fill the role of the powerful people. But it is the Hobbits that are at the center of Tolkien's heroic romance literature.]

The Hobbits are, of course, really meant to be a branch of the specifically human race (not Elves or Dwarves) - hence the two kinds can dwell together (as at Bree), and are called just the Big Folk and Little Folk. They are entirely without non-human powers, but are represented as being more in touch with 'nature' (the soil and other living things, plants and animals), and abnormally, for humans, free from ambition or greed of wealth. They are made small (little more than half human stature, but dwindling as the years pass) partly to exhibit the pettiness of man, plain unimaginative parochial man - though not with either the smallness or the savageness of Swift, and mostly to show up, in creatures of very small physical power, the amazing and unexpected heroism of ordinary men 'at a pinch'.

Dwarves - Page 287, Letters (Letter 212)

[Dwarves may take a bit more researching since they are not actually talked about in Letter 131. I thought for now I would just put this bit out. Aule appears to be a craftsman of sort and he creates the dwarves prior to the creation of the elves. A big no, no!]

Aule,...one of the Great...so desired to see the Children, that he became impatient and tried to anticipate the will of the Creator. Being the greatest of all craftsmen he tried to make children according to his imperfect knowledge of their kind. When he had made thirteen, God spoke to him in anger, but not without pity: for Aule had done this thing not out of evil desire to have slaves and subjects of his own, but out of impatient love, desiring children to talk to and teach, sharing with them the praise of Iluvatar and his great love of the materials of which the world is made.

Message Edited by lorien on 02-25-2008 02:51 PM

 

Message Edited by lorien on 08-21-2008 05:12 PM
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Nadine
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Re: The People of Middle-earth

Lorien Wrote:

 

The Children of God: Of Men and of Elves - Page 147, Letters (Letter #131)

[This is in reference to the mythology and heroic legend literature, which centers mainly on the First Born elves. They do have an important part to play in LOTR but eventually leave Middle-earth to the dominion of Men]

The Children of God are thus primevally related and akin, and primevally different. Since also they are something wholly other to the gods, in the making of which the gods played no part, they are the object of the special desire and love of the gods. These are the First-born, the Elves; and the Followers Men. The doom of the Elves is to be immortal, to love the beauty of the world, to bring it to full flower with their gifts of delicacy and perfection, to last while it lasts, never leaving it even when slain, but returning - and yet, when the Followers come, to teach them, and make way for them, to fade as the Followers grow and absorb the life from which both proceed. The Doom (or the Gift) of Men is mortality, freedom from the circles of the world. Since the point of view of the whole cycle is the Elvish, mortality is not explained mythically: it is a mystery of God of which no more is known than that what God has purposed for Men is hidden: a grief and an envy to the immortal Elves.

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

 

Oh, I missed this before and it partially answers the question I had in Tolkien-south concerning the creation of two sentient races. There still doesn't appear to be a reason but this does, at least, explain the significant difference between the two

 

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Prunesquallor
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Re: LOTR: A Trilogy or Six Book Series

[ Edited ]

Hmmm, place looks properly dead now, so I'll ghost about here for a while...

 

In the actual book, how many touched the One Ring? Sauron, Isildur, Deagol, Smeagol, Bilbo, Gandalf, Frodo, Tom Bombadil, Sam near Mordor (and possibly one more hand in Rivendell when Frodo woke up to find it had been strung on a fine chain and placed round his neck). That makes nine fer sure, and maybe a tenth in Rivendell unless the hand that strung the Ring, and placed it about Frodo's neck was Gandalf's...

 

The movie version has Gandalf avoid touching the Ring, but in the book he handles it for several minutes: Gandalf - "Give me the Ring for a moment." ... "Gandalf held it up." and then Gandalf tosses the Ring into the fireplace. "For a moment the wizard stood looking at the fire, then he stooped and removed the ring to the hearth with the tongs, and at once picked it up." (FOTR, "The Shadow of the Past," pp 58-59 hardback version).

 

In the movie Boromir picks the Ring up by its chain, but does not actually touch the Ring itself. In the book, he only sees the Ring in Rivendell, and never gets a glimpse of it thereafter, and certainly never touches it, even by the chain.

Message Edited by Prunesquallor on 12-26-2008 01:33 PM
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