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I am in fact a hobbit

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  • Grace E. Funk
    I have read a book with the above title, and I append some comments: Bramlett:, Perry C. “I am in Fact a Hobbit: introduction to the Life and Work of J.R.R.
    Message 1 of 2 , Feb 7 12:29 PM
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      I have read a book with the above title, and I append some comments:
      Bramlett:, Perry C. “I am in Fact a Hobbit: introduction to the Life and
      Work of J.R.R. Tolkien” (Macon, GA. Mercer University Press, 2003 ISBN
      0-86554-851-X)
      The book deals briefly with an overview of Tolkien’s life, then with
      Tolkien’s writings, both fiction and scholarly. The books are
      summarized, and details of their publications are included. Joe R.
      Christopher has written one chapter titled ‘The Impact of Tolkien’s
      Writings - a personal reflection’ Sixty-three pages out of the two
      hundreed and fifty-four are occupied by dates, lists of Tolkien’s work,
      an annotated bibliography of secondary works, and lists of journals,
      societies, archives, internet sites, recordings, and an index. The
      publishers have done well by the author. The book has attractive design,
      format, and dust jacket. It contains much useful information. It is
      unfortunate that the book seems to have been much too hasily put
      together. The syntax is often sloppy, not to say, misleading, and errors
      in fact are listed below.

      On pages 34, and 78 Bramlett calls Mirkwood “Marched”. The name is
      apparently taken from “The House of the Wolflings” by William Morris, to
      which Bramlett refers.

      On page 34 Bramlett says Bilbo and the dwarves were “ambushed” by orcs,
      (ambush implies preplanning and lying in wait - not the word I would use
      for the orcs’ attack from the back of the cave) and Bilbo and the
      dwarves “escaped” by going underground to the Chamber of the Great
      Goblin. (How this constitutes an “escape” is not clear to me.) “and
      while being pursued by orcs were led by Gandalf into the mountain. (If
      they were in the Chamber of the Great Goblin they were already within
      the mountain.) I can recall nothing that resembles Bramlett’s retelling
      of this incident, but I do not own the first edition of “The Hobbit”
      Does anyone know if the first edition resembles the statements I have
      quoted here?

      On page 44, of the story “Smith of Wootton Major”, Bramlett says, “In
      the medieval village of Wootton Major......it is possible (as in
      Middle-earth) to come from and go into the faeryland as one pleases.” I
      cannot recall anyone in Middle-earth coming and going into “faeryland”
      (whatever that means). And in “Smith of Wootton Major”, only Starbrow
      can do that, and then only sometimes. Further, Bramlett says that “once
      every twenty-four years the village celebrated the Feast of Good
      Children.” The Feast of Good Children was held every year, at the end of
      the week of winter festival. The Twenty-four Feast was held every
      twenty-four years.

      On page 66 Bramlett writes, “In the First Age......Hobbits lived a
      simple life in the Shire” Hobbits did not come into the Shire until the
      Third Age, circa 1600 TA. (Appendix B)

      On page 67 Bramlett believes that: “Sauron commanded the noble elf
      Celebrimbor to forge the three Magic Rings of power.....” In The
      Silmarillion Tolkien says: “in those days the smiths of Ost-in-Edhil
      surpassed all that they had contrived before, snd they took thought, and
      they made the Rings of Power”. Sauron was aware of what they did, and
      later gathered rings that had been made (but not the Three) but there is
      no “commanding”.

      On page 70 we may be surprised to learn that “Denethor kills himself,
      possibly because of grief over the death of his wife” Denethor’s wife
      Finduilas of Dol Amroth died in 2988 TA. Denethor burned himself 31
      years later in 3019, after Boromir’s death and while believing that
      Faramir also was about to die.

      On page 70 “The Ring also symbolized evil power; it controlled its
      wearer by infecting his or her worldview and making it dark,
      pessimistic, and paranoid. The Ring also infused its wearer with a sense
      of possessiveness and a desire for power and control, such as in
      Boromir, who fell under the Spell of the Rings and tried to kill Frodo”.
      Boromir did indeed fall “under the Spell of the Ring [capitals in the
      original], but the sentence would seem to imply that Boromir actually
      wore the Riing, which is not true. Neither, I believe, did he actually
      try to kill Frodo.

      On page 71, Bramlett states, “As a young man, his mother introduced him
      to Latin, French, and German” Tolkien’s mother died when he was 13;
      hardly “a young man”. The preceeding sentence is an example of the poor
      syntax, found also in many other places in this book. On page 5,
      earlier, Bramlett has stated, “Mabel tutored the boys in natural
      history, art, Latin and French” No mention of German on that page.

      On page 73. The footnote refers to “Bradley Bizer”, whose name is
      correctly Bradley Birzer.

      On page 219, in the bibliography, Greenberg’s anthology “After the King”
      is listed as “After the Ring”.

      Bramlett is writer of four books about C.S. Lewis. Perhaps he knows
      Lewis better than he knows Tolkien.


      --
      Grace E. Funk 2102 Hwy 6, Lumby, B.C. V0E 2G1 Phone (250)547-6333
    • Ernest S. Tomlinson
      On Fri, 07 Feb 2003 12:29:08 -0800, Grace E. Funk ... The nearest correspondence I can think of is that anyone, apparently, can visit
      Message 2 of 2 , Feb 7 1:56 PM
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        On Fri, 07 Feb 2003 12:29:08 -0800, "Grace E. Funk" <gfunk@...>
        said:

        > I
        > cannot recall anyone in Middle-earth coming and going into “faeryland”
        > (whatever that means).

        The nearest correspondence I can think of is that anyone, apparently, can
        visit Rivendell as they please (unlike Lorien, the only other place in
        Middle-Earth which could be construed as a "faeryland", into which free
        entrance is prohibited.) I've long wondered, by the way, how Boromir
        found Rivendell. He did not know its exact location, as I remember, and
        the wild North is very large and trackless.

        > Sauron was aware of what they did, and
        > later gathered rings that had been made (but not the Three) but there is
        > no “commanding”.

        Does not the Tale of Years in the appendices to _The Lord of the Rings_
        say that Sauron instructed the elves of Hollin in ring-making?

        > On page 71, Bramlett states, “As a young man, his mother introduced him
        > to Latin, French, and German” Tolkien’s mother died when he was 13;
        > hardly “a young man”.

        <laughing> Sex-change surgery has advanced considerably, yet I doubt
        that even today there are very many mothers in the world who once were
        young men.

        Who edits this guy, anyway?

        Ernest.

        --
        Ernest S. Tomlinson
        thiophene@...
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