The Hobbit, or There and Back Again
, by John Ronald Reuel Tolkien, went on sale 75 years ago today. The first printing, by Allen & Unwin, was for 1,500 copies (which now fetch a premium at auction
); the first reviewer, the son of the publisher, was paid a shilling
. Through a contorted publishing history, exact or even approximate sales figures are unknown; "over a hundred million" is often quoted
. [more inside]
posted by Wordshore
on Sep 21, 2012 -
The Fantasy Novelist's Exam:
"Ever since J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis created the worlds of Middle Earth and Narnia, it seems like every windbag off the street thinks he can write great, original fantasy, too. The problem is that most of this "great, original fantasy" is actually poor, derivative fantasy. Frankly, we're sick of it, so we've compiled a list of rip-off tip-offs in the form of an exam. We think anybody considering writing a fantasy novel should be required to take this exam first. Answering "yes" to any one question results in failure and means that the prospective novel should be abandoned at once."
posted by Fizz
on Jan 10, 2012 -
The inmost circle is a geographically accurate map of Middle Earth according to Tolkien's design, and the journey of the Fellowship is plotted according to major destinations and places of action.
- JT Fridsma [more inside]
posted by Trurl
on May 10, 2011 -
... history is written by the winners. That's the philosophy behind "The Last Ringbearer," a novel set during and after the end of the War of the Ring... and told from the point of view of the losers. ... In Yeskov's retelling, the wizard Gandalf is a war-monger intent on crushing the scientific and technological initiative of Mordor and its southern allies because science "destroys the harmony of the world and dries up the souls of men!"
posted by Joe Beese
on Feb 15, 2011 -
Although it's commonplace nowadays to assume that J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings was the primary source of inspiration for Dave Arneson and Gary Gygax when they created the world's first tabletop roleplaying game, Dungeons & Dragons, a careful examination of the game suggests otherwise... James Maliszewski
on The Books That Founded D&D
. Some disagreement
posted by Artw
on Nov 24, 2009 -
Did The Wizard of Oz inspire Lord of the Rings?
"The first film version of L. Frank Baum’s The Wizard of Oz was released in the summer of 1939, less than a month before World War II officially began. Though started as early as 1937, The Lord of the Rings was largely composed during the war years, but not published until somewhat later. Therefore, it is by no means impossible that J.R.R. Tolkien saw the magnificent MGM movie before he wrote most of his magnum opus. Could Oz have influenced his tale somehow, consciously or unconsciously?"
posted by Joey Michaels
on Apr 7, 2005 -
The Encyclopedia of Arda
A reference guide to Tolkien-can't tell an orc from a Uruk-hai? Stumped at what the three kinds of hobbits are? This website has the answers. Nicely laid out site, too.
posted by konolia
on Jan 4, 2004 -
If you were expecting the Lord of the Rings movie to receive as much if not more scrutiny from Conservative Christians as Harry Potter did
you’re in for a surprise. Despite LOTR being filled with violence and intense fantasy imagery few churches or religious watch-god groups will be condemning the fantasy epic like they did
the occult heavy, yet kid-friendly Harry Potter flick.
The reason is simple: Tolkien was a devout Christian
In fact, Tolkien persuaded C.S. Lewis, who himself later wrote several Christian classics, to become a Christian. The two are credited with paving the way for a new genre of devotional literature, influencing authors like Charles Williams, T.S. Eliot, G.K. Chesteron and Dorothy Sayers.
Fortunately for most Tolkien doesn’t let Christian imagery dribble into his stories the way C.S. Lewis did
. So expect religous LOTR friendly reviews from all with the possible exception of the ChildCare Action Project
. One has to wonder though - if Harry Potter author, J. K. Rowling, was more publicly religious would her books be as controversial?
posted by wfrgms
on Dec 5, 2001 -