Switzerland in Tolkien’s Middle-earth: In the footsteps of his adventurous summer journey in 1911, with hiking suggestions by Martin S Monsch

— review by Todd Jensen

13 October 2021 | Beyond Bree, October, 2021, 4

This is an enjoyable book, covering Tolkien’s travels through Switzerland in 1911 (reconstructing them not only through his memories in his letters, but also through the memoir of Colin Brookes-Smith, one of his companions on the journey), and their likely influence on The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. Tolkien had already revealed in his letters that his account of Bilbo crossing the Misty Mountains (particularly the thunder-battle” scene and the steep rocky hillside which Thorin and Company climbed down early in Chapter Six of The Hobbit) was drawn from his visit to Switzerland; Monsch argues that the Switzerland journey may have inspired or influenced even more of Tolkien’s story, not only through what he saw and experienced there, but also the local legends and history.…

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date recorded 📅2021-12-31
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