The Making of the Oxford English Dictionary
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Tolkien Collector's Guide
Sep 6
2021/9/6 19:16:59 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia

Aelfwine wrote:

Reddit AMA this Friday.

Great news!!! A real treat for all Tolkien fans, thank you!!!
Sep 6
2021/9/6 19:17:54 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
Another positive review by ''GirlNextGondor'' channel:

Sep 7
2021/9/7 5:06:31 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
A brief mention in Polygon’s “17 Major Sci-fi and Fantasy books arriving in fall 2021”

https://www.polygon.com/2021/9/4/22656 ... ion-fantasy-new-fall-2021
Sep 7
2021/9/7 12:23:53 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
Aelfwine: can I just say you have done a mans job and then some. You have made this collection of texts very 'available' (a skill not all scholars share). My only complaint would be a hint of sadness now knowing that this was probably the very last dip into the legendarium in terms of unpublished texts. Thank you!
Sep 7
2021/9/7 13:08:37 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
Thanks, northman, and all the others expressing their appreciation! I was quite apprehensive about how the book would be received, and am very happy to see that so many are enjoying it.
Sep 7
2021/9/7 13:46:57 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
I don't do reviews but I will try to capture my thoughts below about The Nature of Middle-earth.

My growing feeling about this collection of texts as I finish reading is that like some other Tolkien publications there will be quite a gap between readers and how useful or entertaining this will be.

On the one hand there are readers like us who will gobble this stuff up with great enthusiasm, every last scrap of information is such a welcome sight and I for one won't ever grow tired of it.

Then there are the general readers, especially those who have not read HoME, and have only read UT once who I think will struggle to get to grips with much of this book. It is no reflection on the editorial success but the sheer volume of references to other works will, I feel, make this a slog for many readers.

It is no reflection on Aelfwine who I feel has worked wonders to bring such varied and often dry texts to life. But what HarperCollins have done here is park a wonderful selection of mostly academic focused texts that will appeal to a small number of us under the hood of a shiny exterior that appeals to the wider audiences bookshelves more than the importance of what is presented within the pages. Of course, the focus of this book has long been known, there has been no wool pulling here, but many will still, I feel, open this book and struggle with it.

Of course that is a publishers job, to sell books. And this will sell well I hope because it demonstrates for me at least that while it was and still is very sad that Christopher is no longer here to guide his father's legacy, there are if the TE choose, a number of people who can help fill that void, Carl among them.

If I could offer one, not criticism because Carl had very good reason for structuring this book as he did, I think the general reader may have a better chance getting their teeth into this if it were flipped around so that part 3 was what they read first. The stuff they will be most familiar with, and then hit them with some of the extraordinary details that they will have no knowledge of.

Again, I have only admiration for the work done here. It is testament to the editorial professionalism that Tolkien is front and center so I hope my words don't put anyone off because this is a collection that deserves reading. And as I stated earlier in other words, Carl has managed to bring these texts to readers without baffling them with 'academic speak'. The commentary is gentle on the reader and allows for easy following of the presented texts.

Well done and thank you Carl, you should be very proud of what you have achieved within these pages.
Sep 7
2021/9/7 18:21:40 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
That I would live to see the days that a Reddit AMA would be held with Aelfwine - outstanding, well done! Well done, indeed!
Sep 7
2021/9/7 20:42:48 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
Thanks, onthetrail, for your thoughtful comments! I settled on the order of presentation of the three main parts of the book in part because, generally speaking, it reflects the actual chronology of Tolkien's writing of the materials: "Time and Ageing" being, nearly completely, executed in c. 1959, with the other two parts, for the most part, written somewhat later. I also chose it because part one reflects one of the two main upheavals that affect much of the rest of the book.

For the reason you note, though, I tried to give a frank assessment of the character of each of the three parts; and in interviews I have more than once suggested that readers should turn first to my foreword, and then the introductions to the three main parts, to get a sense of where they might want first to dive into things. This is definitely a book that does not have to be read straight through, cover to cover!
Sep 7
2021/9/7 21:13:20 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia

Aelfwine wrote:

Thanks, onthetrail, for your thoughtful comments! I settled on the order of presentation of the three main parts of the book in part because, generally speaking, it reflects the actual chronology of Tolkien's writing of the materials: "Time and Ageing" being, nearly completely, executed in c. 1959, with the other two parts, for the most part, written somewhat later. I also chose it because part one reflects one of the two main upheavals that affect much of the rest of the book.

For the reason you note, though, I tried to give a frank assessment of the character of each of the three parts; and in interviews I have more than once suggested that readers should turn first to my foreword, and then the introductions to the three main parts, to get a sense of where they might want first to dive into things. This is definitely a book that does not have to be read straight through, cover to cover!

The order certainly makes sense and I found it worked really well for me.

To your last point I might ask you about this during your AMA. I think it an excellent point to get across to the general reader that they should find the reading journey that suits them. It is not always the case but this is certainly a book that can be explored in a different way. Readers should know that.

Thanks again Aelfwine
Sep 8
2021/9/8 18:06:35 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
New Mythgard academy session will be centered on reviewing the Nature of Middle-earth chapter by chapter. More details from 3:00.

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