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Re: Tolkien Bibliography By James Heiner

Subject: Re: Tolkien Bibliography By James Heiner
by Findegil on 2011/3/20 12:41:08

nothing worse than having some (potentially) useless dud sitting taking up room on your shelves...

Alas for the completist Tolkien collector, who inevitably has a lot of useless duds. Speaking of which, Christina and I have Heiner's book, bought during one of Lulu's discount sales, so at least we didn't pay full price, but even then it wasn't good value for money. To begin with, the type is tiny, I would say no more than 6 pt., set very tight on a very long line, but with a huge top margin (nearly two inches) so everything appears to be falling off the page. The introductory biography of JRRT, and one of Christopher Tolkien, are both taken verbatim from Wikipedia, with all of their inherent problems. The book, which has the title Tolkien Bibliography, seems to be intended as a bibliography of both JRRT and Christopher.

Then comes a list of 'Primary Sources', arranged by editor or author, but with no consistency of approach or form and little attempt at accuracy or completeness. For instance, it begins with 'Gordon, E.V. and J.R.R. Tolkien' for the 1925 edition of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, even though Tolkien's name appears first in the book. Under 'Tolkien, J.R.R.', the order of the list of works is neither alphabetical nor chronological, and parts of it repeat. Roverandom is given under 'Scull, Christina and Wayne G. Hammond' (as editors, not so noted), and John Rateliff's History of The Hobbit is tacked on at the end of the list under title, with 'Rateliff' mentioned only in a note about errata on John's website.

Next is a list of books about Tolkien, from 'Abanes, Richard' to 'Zimbardo, Rose A. and Neil D. Isaacs', which suddenly reverts to 'Croft, Janet Brennan' and another string of titles, and then another, and another. Then a list of articles begins - with no divisional header to indicate this - and carries on, in alphabetical order by author, for a few pages, until - once again without indication - turns into a list of works by Tolkien, by title, in chronological order. And then comes a list of books about Tolkien, by title, in no particular order. And this is just to p. 41, out of 157! The rest is just the same, with no rhyme or reason, though my guess would be - noticing bits of HTML garbage among the text - that James Heiner simply lifted a lot of this off of various websites and databases, tossed it into a word processing document, and didn't bother to do much cleaning up or editing, or provide an index.

Wayne