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Re: Hobbit Tea contest

Subject: Re: Hobbit Tea contest
by Onónion on 2010/3/24 4:44:29

I also think that 'Mr Burns' would be the rightful winner, but I will nevertheless post my little 'Tolkien history', just for fun and for old time's sake.

I am now 19 years old (actually my 19th birthday is tomorrow!) , and I first got in touch with Tolkien via my grandparents who had a little bookshop. I was 12 years old when I received the Dutch version of The Two Towers from them (a film tie-in) a few weeks before Christmas. They knew I was a fan of The Lord of the Rings, although I had not yet seen the films... I had a sticker book of The Fellowship of the Ring with pictures from the film (also a gift from them) but that was all I had ever seen of the films.
A few weeks later, I received The Return of the King (also a dutch film tie-in) for Christmas. Over the next year, I did see the films and was completely fascinated by the world of Middle-earth, its heroes, its villains, its creatures, its buildings, its nature, the whole lot in fact.
Then I began to flip through the pages of The Two Towers and started to 'read' the chapter The Forbidden Pool but I didn't manage to read more than the first two pages of the chapter.

At the end of this year, I finally bought the Dutch The Fellowship of the Ring. I could finally start, or so I thought. It wasn't until another year had passed, and I was about 14-15 years, that I really started to read The Lord of the Rings! The first time I read it, I thought the First Book was quite dull, but the rest was really 'supercool'. I was for the second (but not for the last!) time fascinated, even more than I was by the films!

I then bought The Hobbit (an old Dutch paperback edition I found in some second hand bookshop) and read it too. I thought it very good, but I liked The Lord of the Rings more, so I read the latter again. And then, my eyes really opened: I found the First Book not so bad after all, in fact, it was one of the parts of the book, that were really easy to get my imagination work, withouth being disturbed by images from the films. Later on, I managed to read almost the whole book without any film image popping up in front of my eyes. That was soooooooo coooool!!

I then bought The Silmarillion and Tolkien's Fairy Tales, and then, I sold my soul to dear Ronald. What a Great Tale was The Silmarillion! Of course I faced some difficulties in reading it (the first time, I only read a part of Ainulindalë, I let it rest for some time, and then I started again and managed to read through the whole book, and then read it again, and then I finally 'got it'.)
Also the Fairy Tales are so Great, they were (and are still!) so beautiful, especially Leaf by Niggle and The Smith of Wootton Major.

If I would have to choose what my favourite work by JRR Tolkien is, I can say, without any doubt, that I have no idea. They are all just so wonderful, that if you think this one is your favourite work, you start thinking about that other work and realize you just can't make the decision.

And so I started collecting! I have now more than 100 books by, on or with contributions by Tolkien, some old ones, some new ones, some commons, some rares (Ancrene Wisse (1962) in mint condition, alas without dj; Essais de philologie moderne (contains Middle English Losenger);...). A great find, that really set me off collecting about three years ago was a first edition of Sir Gawain and The Green Knight. It's spine was in poor condition, but nevertheless I was really proud of my first old, rare Tolkien book.
I also have some calendars, some LPs and some other miscellanea.
I wrote some articles for a Dutch Tolkien forum, and won a contest with one of them (it was about Valinor) and that article will probably be published in Lothelanor, the journal of the Flemish Tolkien Society Elanor.
I also did my end work for English at high school completely about Tolkien (I named it "Wanderings in Middle-earth, essays on Tolkien and his works") , and almost got the highest marks possible! (I did put a lot of effort into it, because it was of course a subject that interested me greatly )

But now I'm at university studying Dutch and English Philology - I even based my studies a bit on Tolkien! He arose my interest in Old and Middle English and Dutch - , I have a lot less time to dedicate to one of my main hobbies...

And that's my story!

PS: I really liked reading the other stories! Very nice concept for a contest!