Tolkien Collector's Guide

Winner of the 2019 Tolkien Society award for Best Website

Newsweek - 3rd Special Tolkien Edition

May 27 - By Urulókë

The third such issue from Newsweek's Special Editions run, this issue features

* Creating Middle-earth: The story of the man who crafted one of fiction's most influential worlds.
* Tracing Their Journey: A detailed map illustrating the Fellowship's trek.
* Searching for Tolkien: A sneak peek at the new biopic from Fox Searchlight

It also includes some information on the forthcoming Amazon Prime Lord of the Rings series including reproducing the 2nd age map made by Amazon.

It can be found in some stores (typically Barnes & Noble and specialty stores that carry a lot of magazines) or ordered online for $12.99 plus shipping.

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Tolkien2019 Presenters announced

May 21 - By Urulókë


The Tolkien Society today released additional information for Tolkien2019, including the Guest Speakers, the full slate of presenters, and the evening activities for the August gathering in Birmingham.

* Dimitra Fimi
* John Garth
* Wayne G. Hammond
* Alan Lee
* Ted Nasmith
* Christina Scull
* Tom Shippey
* Brian Sibley

Evening Activities:
* Tuesday: Bacchus Bar (unofficial social gathering at the Hotel bar)
* Wednesday: Leaf By Niggle by the Puppet State Theatre Company
* Thursday: Tolkien Inspired Music by the People's Orchestra
* Friday: Banquet, followed by Ceilidh dance
* Saturday: Masquerade and party

Over 90 additional presentations will be made over the five days by a great list of people (too long to reproduce here, the TS has the full list available including paper titles.)
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Tolkien's Worlds: The places that inspired the writer's imagination

May 14 - By Trotter

This new book from renowned Tolkien expert John Garth connects the places which inspired Tolkien with their eventual appearances in his work. Organised by theme, Tolkien’s Worlds offers an illustrated biography of one of the world’s best-loved authors, an exploration of the relationship between worlds real and fantastical, and an inspiration for anyone who wants to follow in Tolkien’s footsteps. Featuring over 100 images, the book includes Tolkien’s own illustrations, maps, archive images and spectacular present-day photographs.

Published 4th February 2020 in the UK and March 2020 in the US/Canada at the moment.

Tolkien's Worlds on

For US and Canada, you can order from Princeton University Press

Tolkiens World.jpg
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Tolkien (2019) movie review

May 6 - By Urulókë


Dome Karukoski's Tolkien is a fictional account of J. R. R. Tolkien's early years told over the course of approximately two hours. It covers (briefly) time spent with his brother Hilary and his mother, through some time in the 1930's when he is married and has all four children.

If I have time later this week, I will write up a comparison between the events as they are depicted in the movie vs. the factual biographical information available in print - for example, the excellent Tolkien and the Great War by John Garth, and Tolkien: The Authorized Biography by Humphrey Carpenter. For now, I'll just mention that the end credits do say "This motion picture is inspired by actual persons and events. However, some characters, names, businesses and certain locations and events have been fictionalized for dramatic purposes." I think some and certain are being used in that sentence "for dramatic purposes" too. 😉

Accuracy aside, how does Tolkien succeed as a fictional movie? I think it is broadly successful. Sometimes it feels a little too pat in making obvious connections between specific events and Tolkien's works of fiction. There are painfully direct connections made between Tolkien's group of school friends and the Fellowship, incidents on the battlefield to Black Riders and the Dead Marshes, to more subtle ones like the green waistcoat Tolkien sports briefly. For someone with no prior knowledge of Tolkien's life, I feel the movie will be quite entertaining.

As a work of art, Karukoski has given us an impressionist painting rather than a photograph. Details and facts are blurred (intentionally I assume) to convey the emotions of loss, friendship, love and loss again. The World War I scenes are all stated to be while Tolkien is suffering greatly from trench fever, and all of his nightmarish visions (clearly echoing Peter Jackson's film visuals) are almost all drawn from earlier moments where Tolkien is seen watching shadowplays, sketching in his notebooks, or elsewhere, so the feeling I got was that Tolkien's inspirations were not directly "flamethrower becomes dragon" but more a stirring of his prior imaginings when he couldn't think clearly.

The two main threads interwoven are the relationship between Ronald and Edith, and the friendship between the four members of the TCBS (Tea Club and Barrovian Society). The love story is reasonably well told though the factual shuffling of dates and locations were personally distracting, but I felt the stories of friendship were not given enough time to develop. Christopher Wiseman seems to be always fighting or in a disagreement with Tolkien, and Tolkien rarely seems to show much warmth to Geoffrey Bache Smith when onscreen (though plenty is shown when Smith is not present).

Overall I do recommend the film (as art, not biography) as I enjoyed it in spite of how fictional it was. If you see it and enjoy it, definitely add Tolkien and the Great War to your summer reading list, as the (actual) story is even better.

Tolkien opened on May 3rd in the UK, and will have a sneak preview tomorrow (May 7th) in the USA, and a wider release on May 10th in many markets, and later summer release in some international markets. See this facebook post for a list of release dates for your particular country.

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Tolkieniano's book Tolkien's Library

Apr 27 - By Trotter

This is now available for pre-order from Luna Press Publishing. Written by Tolkieniano, forward by Tom Shippey and a great cover by Jay Johnstone.

More details here. ... brary-is-Now-in-Pre-Order

Tolkiens Library.jpg
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