Recent entries

A chronicle of recent news, blog posts, journal issues, book releases, and events of interest to those studying Tolkien and his works, set out by date and then by entry type.

24 January



Marquette MS. Tolkien 3/​4/​12/​1a
© The Tolkien Estate Limited

Exhibit of J.R.R. Tolkien’s manuscripts for The Hobbit and LotR coming to Milwaukee

Milwaukee Independent

The Haggerty Museum of Art and Raynor Memorial Libraries at Marquette University recently announced a collaborative exhibition for the public, featuring items from the beloved creator of Middle-earth in J.R.R. Tolkien: The Art of the Manuscript.…

On view at the Haggerty Museum of Art August 19 through December 12, the exhibition derives from a partnership between the Museum, the Department of Special Collections and University Archives at Marquette’s Raynor Memorial Libraries, the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM), and the University of Oxford’s Bodleian Libraries.…

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22 January


MND campaign: Rare The Hobbit edition will raise more for fight after Express victory

Express } Justin Stoneman

A rare first edition copy of The Hobbit will be auctioned to raise money for the fight against motor neurone disease thanks to a Sunday Express campaign.

Ben Wadsworth, 33, a manager at WeBuyBooks, was inspired” to donate the proceeds of the sale after feeling emotional” in reading about [the Expresss] Fund the Fight against MND” crusade.… Mr Wadsworth said his colleagues at the second-hand book company in Rossendale, Lancashire, were particularly touched by the account of Royd Tolkien, the great-grandson of The Hobbit author JRR Tolkien, in nursing his brother Mike as he battled MND.…

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20 January


The relevance of Tolkien’s unfinished work The New Shadow

Merion West } Sukhayl Niyazov

… In the fictional — and, in many ways, idealized — world of The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit humans are taken to be inherently good, while evil is not part of our nature but is rather external, epitomized by the dark Lord Sauron and his ring of power, whose destruction leads to the triumph of good and prosperity in Middle-Earth. However, in his uncompleted sequel to The Lord of the Rings, The New Shadow, as well as The Silmarillion, Tolkien presented a different vision of human nature, one that is more realistic and more concomitant with his Catholic upbringing.…

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Amazon’s Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power is boldly going where J.R.R. Tolkien didn’t

GQ } Grant Rindner

Amazon’s Lord of the Rings series is one of the biggest TV projects in development, and it’s also one of the most mysterious. The studio has been incredibly tight-lipped about their big budget adaptation, but we now have a broad description and, most importantly, a title: The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power.

The showrunners, relative newcomers J.D. Payne and Patrick McKay, clearly are comfortable setting the bar extremely high: This is a title that we imagine could live on the spine of a book next to J.R.R. Tolkien’s other classics. The Rings of Power unites all the major stories of Middle-earth’s Second Age: the forging of the rings, the rise of the Dark Lord Sauron, the epic tale of Númenor, and the Last Alliance of Elves and Men,” the pair said in a press release.…

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19 January


J.R.R. Tolkien’s map of Middle-earth on display at the Huntington. (Mel Melcon/​Los Angeles Times)
J.R.R. Tolkien’s map of Middle-earth
on display at the Huntington.
(Mel Melcon/​Los Angeles Times)

‘Mapping Fiction,’ at the Huntington, explores novels’ landscapes, invented and real

Los Angeles Times } Dorany Pineda

… Drawing on the Huntington’s archives, the show explores the construction of made-up worlds through maps and novels, including expressive etchings of Joyce’s Dublin; J.R.R. Tolkien’s map from The Lord of the Rings trilogy [sic]; Octavia Butler’s visualizations of Parable of the Talents and the unpublished Parable of the Trickster; Robert Louis Stevenson’s map of Treasure Island; and many others.…

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  Ring composition

doubtfulsea } Ollamh

… I said that Tolkien’s surprise remark, that Black Speech nazg was derived from Irish nasc, was part of the initial inspiration for this posting, and that nasc made me think of an Old Irish story in which such a nasc — and a fish — played an important role. There is another story with a ring and a fish, however: …

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Prime Video’s The Lord of the Rings title reveal: Exclusive behind-the-scenes images } greendragon

Amazon’s Prime Video is gearing up for the much anticipated Lord of the Rings show, coming this September; and today they have revealed the title for the show. It is The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power.

This, however, is to be no ordinary tv show; the budget and time already invested, and anticipated investment to come, make that clear. So it is only fitting that the title reveal was no ordinary reveal… The title was in fact (as the official press release states) forged from real molten metal running like fiery rivers through hand-carved wooden ravines to craft its silvery letter forms.’ You can watch a dramatic video of this happening, here:

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See fantastical maps from Game of Thrones, Lord of the Rings and More: In honor of the centennial of James Joyce’s Ulysses,’ a San Marino, California exhibition takes museumgoers on a literary journey

Smithsonian Magazine } Nora McGreevy

Maps help users orient themselves in the real world, but they can also help people escape reality. For centuries, authors have been known to include fictional maps in the pages of their novels, as a way of inviting readers to immerse themselves in imaginary worlds. Lord of the Rings author J.R.R. Tolkien, for instance, mapped the fantastical locations of Elven woods and hobbit homes throughout his imaginary Middle Earth [sic].…

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18 January


  № 193: Victoria Willey

Tolkien Experience Project } Victoria Willey

My older brothers saw the Fellowship in theaters and that got them into the books. They would tell me about parts of it, sometimes showing me scenes or large portions of the films. Little did they know then, our mom was already somewhat familiar with Tolkien through her favorite author, C.S. Lewis, and later read The Hobbit aloud to my younger brother and me. One of my brothers gifted me the 50th anniversary single-volume edition for my birthday, then later, a copy of The Silmarillion.

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The Lord of the Rings re-imagined as ancient China

Boing Boing } Thom Dunn

This gorgeous art comes from animator and visual designer Leia Ham, who was struck by the idea of: what if The Lord of the Rings had been modeled after Chinese art aesthetics, instead of European? As she wrote on her website:

LOTR: Tale of the Middle Kingdom is a personal project that reimagines J.R.R. Tolkien’s world of Middle Earth in a Chinese setting. China is called 中国 (Zhōngguó) – meaning The Middle Kingdom”. Taking inspiration from the books, movies, ancient Chinese artefacts and paintings, this project is a love letter to my own Chinese heritage, seen through the lens of medieval fantasy and historical design.

She gave a little more context in a series of tweets: …

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17 January


  An update on things Tolkien- and Inklings-related

Tolkien and Fantasy } Douglas A. Anderson

My short note Tolkien’s friend Selby” on Tolkien’s correspondence with G.E. Selby (1909−1987) was just published by The Tolkien Society in a recent issue of Mallorn (issue 62, pp. 34 – 35).…

I’m very sad to report on the passing of my friend of over forty years, Tim Wickham-Crowley.… I commissioned his one contribution to Tolkien scholarship, a book review of Tolkien through Russian Eyes (2003), by Mark T. Hooker, which appeared in Tolkien Studies: Volume II (2005).…

It’s hard to believe that Chris Mitchell, Director of the Wade Center for nearly twenty years, died at age 63 as long ago as 2014.… Recently published is a tribute volume, The Undiscovered C.S. Lewis: Essays in Memory of Christopher W. Mitchell.… Of course the content heavily favors C.S. Lewis, but there is one article on Tolkien, Across Western Seas: Longing for the West in Tolkien’s Legendarium,” by Laura Schmidt, Archivist at the Wade Center.…

I note here the recent publication of Tolkien & The Lizard: Tolkien in Cornwall 1914 (2021) by David Haden.… This is an independent offshoot of a larger project that Haden is current engaged on. Haden … has a further offshoot Tolkien publication, Cracks of Doom: Untold Tales in Middle-earth, which he describes as:

a fully annotated and indexed list of Untold Tales’ in Middle-earth, pointing out the cracks’ where new fan-fiction might be developed.…

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