Beyond Bree

Nancy Martsch, editor

Beyond Bree May, 2021, front cover
Beyond Bree May, 2021

May, 2021

6 May 2021

In this issue: 1 article, 1 note, 1 review.


aerial photo of Olrig House
Olrig House
Photo courtesy Book​ings​.com

The 1911 Swiss walking tour: A sentimental education and some of its fruits, Part 1

Nancy A. Bunting and Elizabeth Currie, p. 1

The major biographical sources on Tolkien have understandably focused on his education, first at King Edward’s School in Birmingham and then at Oxford. However, Tolkien’s life included more than spending time in ivory towers, no matter how excellent. Travel, with its exposure to the new and unexpected, has always been a source of learning and memorable experiences. This paper reviews Tolkien’s participation, just before he entered Oxford, in a 1911 Swiss walking tour with its context of the distinct and rigid class differences and financial realities, the New Woman” of the turn of the twentieth century, and his probable view of his Aunt Jane Neave whose financial situation as a widow was so starkly different from that of Tolkien’s mother, Jane’s sister. The tour’s events and personalities would add to the leaf mould” of Tolkien’s mind, enriching not only his writing The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, but also his artwork. (Bio 126; L 391 – 3, 409) …


1991 Russian film version of The Fellowship of the Ring resurfaces on YouTube

Mark T. Hooker, p. 8

A newly rediscovered copy of a Soviet TV film production of The Fellowship of the Ring from 1991 (the year the Soviet Union collapsed) has been uploaded to YouTube after being lost” for years on the shelves of Russian Channel 5TV, the successor organization to Leningrad TV, who produced and aired it. It has proved wildly popular, with over a half million views.

After the publication of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings (1954−55), translations followed quickly in Holland (1956−57) and Sweden (1959−61), where translated literature is widely accepted. The Polish translation (1961−63) was right on the heels of the Swedish one and ahead of the Danish (1968−70), German (1969−70), and French (1972−73) translations, but the publication of a state-sanctioned Russian translation was a long time in coming in the totalitarian Soviet Union.…


Tolkien and the Classical World: ed. Hamish Williams

Kristine Larsen, p. 6

In his introduction to this satisfyingly weighty volume, editor Hamish Williams (Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena) assumes a rather defensive position; rather than casting a wide net of invitation for the reader to discover for themselves the importance of myriad Classical influences upon Tolkien and his works (defined in a rather narrow Western sense), the truth of those influences is taken as a monolithic given. The blame for our apparent ignorance is squarely laid at the feet of both the modern world’s embrace of The Sciences” (xvi) – ominously capitalized as in the case of Tolkien’s use of Power” in a letter concerning modern science (L 246) – and a presumed basic lack of Classical knowledge among those educated in postmodernity’”. (xvi) Both assumptions are equal parts unfortunate and unproductive in the mind of this reviewer, a scientist who greatly appreciates (and utilizes) the study of the Classical world” included in her own postmodern undergraduate education. More importantly, Tolkien himself noted in his famous essay On Fairy-stories” that as a young child he enjoyed history, astronomy, botany, grammar, and etymology” (TOFS 56), while in a 1964 letter Tolkien explained I am primarily a scientific philologist. My interests were, and remain, largely scientific”. (L 345)

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date recorded 📅2022-02-01
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