The Annotated LOTR - Title Page and Foreword

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The Annotated LOTR - Title Page and Foreword

Postby -Rómestámo- » Mon Apr 12, 2004 1:42 am

This thread is devoted to annotations on the Title Page, Epigraph and Foreword(s) of The Lord of the Rings.

Title Page.

Runic Inscription.

The writing on the Title Page is not merely decoration. The words on the top are written in the Angerthas Erebor ('long rune-rows of Erebor'). Angerthas, or the Cirth, is translated by Tolkien as 'runes'. Daeron, minstrel of Doriath during the First Age, is credited with developing the Cirth, though it was later modified by others. The Cirth were specially designed for use in carving inscriptions. J.R.R. Tolkien explains these systems of writing in Appendix E.

The Cirth inscription on the title page now says in English:

"The Lord of the Rings translated from the Red Book"

Dan Smith provides the character-for-character transliteration on this website: http://www.geocities.com/TimesSquare/4948/cirth/ex_lotr.htm.

In the first impression of the first edition there were only 35 runic characters in the inscription and the transliteration read: "The Lord of the Rings translate from the Red Book" - The erroneous translate for translated was corrected for following impressions with the addition of the rune for 'd'.

(The runes on the title page of The Hobbit, and on Thror's Map, are not the Cirth, but the Germanic runes (the Futhark/Futhork runic alphabets of Germanic tribes and the Anglo-Saxons). See The Annotated Hobbit for details. As Tolkien explained in The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien, edited by Humphrey Carpenter (cited hereafter as Letters), in Letter 245 (1963), the superficial similarity of the shapes is accounted for by the fact that both alphabets are intended for carving in wood or stone (Letters, pp 324-25 ).

Tengwar Inscription.

The message on the bottom of the Title Page is written in Tengwar ('letters' ), the writing of the elves (and other peoples of Middle Earth). These Tengwar were developed by Fëanor, an Elvish Prince of the Noldor who also created the Silmarils and (perhaps) the palantíri. The Tengwar were developed for writing with a brush, and were based on an earlier writing system by Rúmil, an elf of the Blessed Realm. See Appendix E for a discussion of Tengwar. The Tengwar inscription is also in English, and continues where the Cirth left off:

"of westmarch by John Ronald Reuel Tolkien: herein is set forth the history of the War of the Ring and the return of the King as seen by the Hobbits."

The character-by-character transliteration by Dan Smith is here: http://www.geocities.com/TimesSquare/4948/tengwar/exlotrt.htm.

Again in the first impression of the first edition, the tehtar ('signs' used here to indicate vowels) in seen are dots. This was corrected in subsequent printings and the tehtar in seen are now 'acute accents'. This use of tehtar in this inscription is mentioned in Appendix E, II (i) The Fëanorian Letters. The Author further explains: "on the title-page [the curl open to the right] stands for o, and the curl open to the left for u" .

THE LORD OF THE RINGS (Title).

The title refers to Sauron, the Dark Lord, maker of the One Ring. This identification is made explicit in 'Many Meetings' (Book II, 1) by Gandalf.

In three volume editions of The Lord of the Rings, the volume title replaces the book title. The volume titles are:
    THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING
    being the First Part of The Lord of the Rings.

    THE TWO TOWERS
    being the Second Part of The Lord of the Rings.
    &
    THE RETURN OF THE KING
    being the Third Part of The Lord of the Rings.
In seven volume editions (such as the Harper Collins 1999 Edition http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/0007124015/mikestolkienr-21 ), each volume comprises a single Book whose names are:
    THE RING SETS OUT
    being the First Book of The Lord of the Rings.

    THE RING GOES SOUTH
    being the Second Book of The Lord of the Rings.

    THE TREASON OF ISENGARD
    being the Third Book of The Lord of the Rings.

    THE RING GOES EAST
    being the Fourth Book of The Lord of the Rings.

    THE WAR OF THE RING
    being the Fifth Book of The Lord of the Rings.

    THE END OF THE THIRD AGE
    being the Sixth Book of The Lord of the Rings.

    APPENDICES
    being the Final Book of The Lord of the Rings.
The titles of each volume in this set comes from Tolkien's own 'book-titles' (given in Letter 136 (1953)). An alternate set of titles was included with the manuscript of The Lord of the Rings sent to Marquette University, Milwaukee, U.S.A. : Vol. I The First Journey and The Journey of the Nine Companions ; Vol. II The Treason of Isengard and The Journey of the Ringbearers ; Vol. III The War of the Ring and The End of the Third Age.

Epigraph
Three Rings for the Elven-kings under the sky,
_Seven for the Dwarf-lords in their halls of stone,
Nine for Mortal Men doomed to die,
_One for the Dark Lord on his dark throne
In the Land of Mordor where the Shadows lie.
_One Ring to rule them all. One Ring to find them,
_One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them
In the Land of Mordor where the Shadows lie.

This poem is given as an epigraph, which is 'a motto or quotation, as at the beginning of a literary composition, setting forth a theme.' (The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition, found here: http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=epigraph ). Epigraphs are often quotations from other authors, but Tolkien has chosen to use one of his own composition that will become a central theme in the book. For more information on this Elvish 'Rhyme of Lore', please see The Annotated LOTR - The Shadow of the Past.

Foreword to the First Edition.

C. J. R. Tolkien in The Peoples of Middle-earth (HOME XII) provides sufficient elements to enable the reconstruction of the Foreword to the First Edition:
    My father did not lose sight of this text, however, and later used elements from it, both in Appendix F [note omitted as not relevant to the Foreword] and in the Foreword that accompanied the First Edition of The Fellowship of the Ring, published in 1954. Since copies of the First Edition may not be easy to come by, I print the greater part of it again here (for the concluding section see p. 12 with note 15).[Restored here to its original position ]

      [Foreword ]

      This tale, which has grown to be almost a history of the great War of the Ring, is drawn for the most part from the memoirs of the renowned Hobbits, Bilbo and Frodo, as they are preserved in the Red Book of Westmarch. This chief monument of Hobbit-lore is so called because it was compiled, repeatedly copied, and enlarged and handed down in the family of the Fairbairns of Westmarch, descended from that Master Samwise of whom this tale has much to say.

      I have supplemented the account of the Red Book, in places, with information derived from the surviving records of Gondor, notably the Book of the Kings; but in general, though I have omitted much, I have in this tale adhered more closely to the actual words and narrative of my original than in the previous selection from the Red Book, The Hobbit. That was drawn from the early chapters, composed originally by Bilbo himself. If 'composed' is a just word. Bilbo was not assiduous, nor an orderly narrator, and his account is involved and discursive, and sometimes confused: faults that still appear in the Red Book, since the copiers were pious and careful, and altered very little.

      The tale has been put into its present form in response to the many requests that I have received for further information about the history of the Third Age, and about Hobbits in particular. But since my children and others of their age, who first heard of the finding of the Ring, have grown older with the years, this book speaks more plainly of those darker things which lurked only on the borders of the earlier tale, but which have troubled Middle-earth in all its history. It is, in fact, not a book written for children at all; though many children will, of course, be interested in it, or parts of it, as they still are in the histories and legends of other times (especially in those not specially written for them).

      I dedicate the book to all admirers of Bilbo, but especially to my sons and my daughter, and to my friends the Inklings, because they have already listened to it with a patience, and indeed interest, that almost leads me to suspect that they have hobbit-blood in their venerable ancestry. To my sons and my daughter for the same reason, and also because they have all helped me in the labours of composition. If 'composition' is a just word, and these pages do not deserve all that I have said about Bilbo's work.

      For if the labour has been long (more than fourteen years), it has been neither orderly nor continuous. But I have not had Bilbo's leisure. Indeed much of that time has contained for me no leisure at all, and more than once for a whole year the dust has gathered on my unfinished pages. I only say this to explain to those who have waited for this book why they have had to wait so long. I have no reason to complain. I am surprised and delighted to find from numerous letters that so many people, both in England and across the Water, share my interest in this almost forgotten history; but it is not yet universally recognized as an important branch of study. It has indeed no obvious practical use, and those who go in for it can hardly expect to be assisted.

      Much information, necessary and unnecessary, will be found in the Prologue. [The following concluding section has been restored to its original position ] To complete it some maps are given, including one of the Shire that has been approved as reasonably correct by those Hobbits that still concern themselves with ancient history. At the end of the third volume will be found also some abridged family-trees. There is also an index of names [struck out : with explanations] and strange words; and a table of days and dates. For those who are curious and like such lore some account is given in an appendix of the languages, the alphabets, and the calendars that were used in the Westlands in the Third Age of Middle-earth. But such lore is not necessary, and those who do not need it, or desire it, may neglect it, and even the names they may pronounce as they will. Some care has been given to the translation of their spelling from the original alphabets, and some notes on the sounds that are intended are offered. But not all are interested in such matters, and many who are not may still find the account of these great and valiant deeds worth the reading. It was in that hope that this long labour was undertaken; for it has required several years to translate, select, and arrange the matter of the Red Book of Westmarch in the form in which it is now presented to Men of a later Age, one no less darkling and ominous than were the great years 1418 and 1419 of the Shire long ago.

    In the Second Edition of 1966 this Foreword was rejected in its entirety. On one of his copies of the First Edition my father wrote beside it: 'This Foreword I should wish very much in any case to cancel. Confusing (as it does) real personal matters with the "machinery" of the Tale is a serious mistake.'
Text and 'Reconstructed' Foreword taken from The Peoples of Middle-earth Pgs 12 & 24-26.

Foreword to the Second Edition.

It was begun soon after The Hobbit was written and before its publication in 1937

Tolkien's published Letters suggest that his memory was at fault here, and that The Lord of the Rings was not begun until after The Hobbit was published on September 21st, 1937. (Biography, p. 182). On October 15th, Tolkien wrote to his publisher, Stanley Unwin, who had hinted that a sequel would be welcome:
I cannot think of anything more to say about hobbits. Mr. Baggins seems to have exhibited so fully both the Took and the Baggins side of their nature. But I have only too much to say, and much already written, about the world into which the hobbits intruded. [...] But if it is true that The Hobbit has come to stay and more will be wanted, I will start the process of thought, and try to get some idea of a theme drawn from this material in a similar style and for a similar audience - possibly including actual hobbits.

Letter 17, (1937).

On December 19th, 1937, Tolkien wrote to Unwin employee C.A. Furth that "I have written the first chapter of a new story about Hobbits - 'A long expected party.'" Letter 20.

These chapters, eventually to become Book IV, were written and sent out as a serial to my son Christopher, then in South Africa with the R.A.F.

Many of the letters Tolkien wrote to Christopher during the latter's wartime service are published in Letters. Not all of these refer to the composition of the book. Those that do include Nos. 59, 61, 62, 64 - 72, 76, 78, 81, 85, 87, 91, 93, 94, and 96. The earliest of these is dated 5th April, 1944, and the last 30th January, 1945.

Nonetheless it took another five years before the tale was brought to its present end

The Carpenter Biography says on p. 204 that The Lord of the Rings was finished in "the autumn of 1949," but does not give a source for the date. Letter 122, to Naomi Mitchison, refers to "a sequel to 'The Hobbit' which I have just finished after 12 years (intermittent) labour." This letter is dated the 18th December (late autumn), 1949.

The Lord of the Rings is now issued in a new edition, and the opportunity has been taken of revising it.

In 1965, an American publisher, believing that The Lord of the Rings was unprotected by American copyright law (which was in a highly confused state), issued a paperback edition under the "Ace Books" imprint, without obtaining permission or offering Tolkien a royalty. Allen & Unwin asked Tolkien to prepare a revised edition, which could be issued in the U.S.A. under an undisputed copyright. The present text of The Lord of the Rings incorporates numerous revisions made at this time. Tolkien approached the work reluctantly but with his customary perfectionism
I am not relishing the task of 're-editing' The Lord of the Rings. I think it will prove very difficult if not impossible to make any substantial changes in the general text. Volume I has now been gone through and the number of necessary or desirable corrections is very small. [...] I am hoping that alteration of the introductions, considerable modifications of the appendices and the inclusion of an index may prove sufficient for the purpose. Incidentally, I am making a point of including a note in every answer or acknowledgement of 'fan' letters from the U.S.A. to the effect that the paperback edition of Ace Books is piratical and issued without the consent of my publishers or myself and of course without remuneration to us.

Letter to Rayner Unwin, [Letters 271] (1965).

In the event, public pressure (in part organised by Tolkien's American 'fan' correspondents) forced Ace to agree not to reprint its edition and to pay a royalty on the copies it had sold. The publicity arising from the dispute contributed to a great upsurge in The Lord of the Rings' sales in the U.S.A.

Subsequently, another American publisher asked the U.S. District Court in New York to decide whether the first edition was in fact protected by U.S. copyright law. The trial judge issued an opinion holding that the doubts about the copyright were unfounded. This decision was affirmed without opinion by the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit - which suggests that the court did not think the publisher's argument was worth discussing. Eisen, Durwood & Co. v. Tolkien, 794 F. Supp. 85 (S.D.N.Y. 1992), aff'd w/o opinion, 990 F.2d 623 (2d Cir. 1993).

Short of a decision by the Supreme Court, the issue cannot be said to be settled, but it is extremely unlikely that any publisher would take the risk of issuing The Lord of the Rings without permission.

By 1918 all but one of my close friends were dead.

JRRT refers here to his three friends in the T.C.B.S. (Tea Club (& ) Barrovian Society), a group of school friends who used to meet in the Tea Room of Barrow's Stores in Birmingham. Robert Quilter Gilson and Geoffery Bache Smith were both killed in the Battle of the Somme; Tolkien himself was repatriated back from the same battle, invalided out with 'Trench Fever' http://www.ehendrick.org/healthy/001396.htm ; his fellow survivor of the T.C.B.S. was Christopher Luke Wiseman (who served on H.M.S. Superb at Jutland). Tolkien remained in touch with him throughout his life, and Christopher J.R. Tolkien was named after him. Wiseman came from a distinguished family of Methodist clergy:
His father was one of the most delightful Christian men I ever met: the great Frederick Luke W. (whom Father Francis always referred to as The Pope of Wesley, because he was the President of the Wesleyan Methodist Conference.

Letter 306, ( 1967-8 ).

Recently I saw in a paper a picture of the last decrepitude of the once thriving corn-mill beside its pool that long ago seemed to me so important. I never liked the looks of the Young miller, but his father, the Old miller, had a black beard, and he was not named Sandyman.

Sarehole Mill [ http://www.schoolsliaison.org.uk/sarehole/sarehole.htm ] has now been restored and is run by the Birmingham City Council as a museum. [ http://www.birmingham.gov.uk/sarehole.bcc ]

Humphrey Carpenter (in J. R. R. Tolkien: A biography) describes how the mill was in Tolkien's childhood and elaborates on his dislike of the Young miller:
Over the road a meadow led to the River Cole, little more than a broad stream, and upon this stood Sarehole Mill, an old brick building with a tall chimney. Corn had been ground here for three centuries, but times were changing. A steam-engine had been installed to provide power when the river was low, and now the mill's chief work was the grinding of bones to make manure [fertilizer]. Yet the water still tumbled over the sluice and rushed beneath the great wheel, while inside the building everything was covered with a fine white dust. Hilary Tolkien was only two and a half, but soon he was accompanying his elder brother on expeditions across the meadow to the mill, where they would stare through the fence at the water-wheel turning in its dark cavern, or run round to the yard where the sacks were swung down on to a waiting cart. Sometimes they would venture through the gate and gaze into an open doorway, where they could see the great leather belts and pulleys and shafts, and the men at work. There were two millers, father and son. The old man had a black beard, but it was the son who frightened the boys with his white dusty clothes and sharp-eyed face. Ronald named him 'the White Ogre'. When he yelled at them to clear off they would scamper away from the yard, and run round to a place behind the mill where there was a silent pool with swans swimming on it. At the foot of the pool the dark waters sudden plunged over the sluice to the great wheel below: a dangerous and exciting place.

In the meantime this edition offers this Foreword, an addition to the Prologue, [...]

As well as the new Foreword, the section of the Prologue entitled "NOTE ON THE SHIRE RECORDS" was added in the Second Edition.

some notes, [...]

This may refer to the few footnotes that appear throughout the text or may refer to additional passages added to some of the Appendices (for example the comment on Celebrimbor in Appendix B).

[...] and an index of the names of persons and places. The index is in intention complete in items but not in references, since for the present purpose it has been necessary to reduce its bulk.

Tolkien had hoped to include an Index giving explanations as well as page references (see the first Foreword above) and only regretfully abandoned this idea on realising that its cost (both in time and printing costs) would prove ruinous.
It has unfortunately not proved possible, as I had hoped, to give an index of Names (with meanings), which would have provided also a fair vocabulary of Elvish words. There were far too many and the space and cost were prohibitive. But I spent a long time trying to make a list, and that is one reason for the delay of Vol. III.

Letter 168, (1955).
Last edited by -Rómestámo- on Wed Aug 11, 2004 9:05 am, edited 14 times in total.
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Postby -Rómestámo- » Mon Apr 12, 2004 1:45 am

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Postby -Rómestámo- » Mon Apr 12, 2004 1:48 am

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Postby -Rómestámo- » Tue Apr 13, 2004 1:34 pm

[It appears that the pagination for the first American Edition of <em>Letters</em> is the same as in the first Allen & Unwin edition].
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Postby roaccarcsson » Fri Apr 16, 2004 7:40 pm

Here's the updated version of my note on the court case. Also the material on the title page inscriptions belongs here, it would seem.<BR><BR><strong>THE LORD OF THE RINGS (Title Page)</strong><BR><BR>The writing on the Title Page is not merely decoration. The words on the top are written in Angerthas. Angerthas, or Cirth, are generally translated as "runes", because of their resemblance to Futhark/Futhork, the runic alphabets of Germanic tribes and the Anglo-Saxons. Daeron, minstrel of Doriath during the First Age, is credited with developing the Cirth, though it was later modified by others. The Cirth were specially designed for use in carving inscriptions. J.R.R. Tolkien explains these systems of writing in Appendix E. <BR>The Cirth inscription on the title page says in English: "the lord of the rings translated from the red book" On this website, Dan Smith provides the character-for-character transliteration:<BR><a href='http://www.geocities.com/TimesSquare/4948/cirth/ex_lotr.htm' target=_blank>http://www.geocities.com/TimesSquare/4948/cirth/ex_lotr.htm</a><BR><BR>(The runes on the title page of <em>The Hobbit</em>, and on Thror's Map, are <strong>not</strong> the Cirth, but the Germanic runes. See <em>The Annotated Hobbit</em> for details. As Tolkien explained in Letter 245, the superficial similarity of the shapes is accounted for by the fact that both alphabets are intended for carving in wood or stone. <em>Letters</em> at 324-35 (1st Amer. Ed.).<BR><BR>The message on the bottom of the Title Page is written in Tengwar, the writing of the elves (and other peoples of Middle Earth). These Tengwar were developed by Feanor, a prince of the Noldor who also created the Silmarils and (perhaps) the palantiri. The Tengwar were developed for writing with a brush, and were based on an earlier writing system by Rumil, an elf of the Blessed Realm. See Appendix E for a discussion of Tengwar. The Tengwar inscription is also English, and continues where the Cirth left off: "of westmarch by john ronald reuel tolkien: herein is set forth the history of the war of the ring and the return of the king as seen by the hobbits." The character-by-character transliteration by Dan Smith is here:<BR><BR><a href='http://www.geocities.com/TimesSquare/4948/tengwar/exlotrt.htm' target=_blank>http://www.geocities.com/TimesSquare/4948/tengwar/exlotrt.htm</a><BR><BR><strong><em>The Lord of the Rings</em> is now issued in a new edition, and the opportunity has been taken of revising it.</strong><BR><BR>In 1965, an American publisher, believing that <em>LotR</em> was unprotected by American copyright law (which was in a highly confused state), issued a paperback edition under the "Ace Books" imprint, without obtaining permission or offering Tolkien a royalty. Allen & Unwin asked Tolkien to prepare a revised edition, which could be issued in the U.S. under an undisputed copyright. The present text of <em>LotR</em> incorporates numerous revisions made at this time.<BR><BR>In the event, public pressure forced Ace to agree not to reprint its edition and to pay a royalty on the copies it had sold. The publicity arising from the dispute contributed to a great upsurge in <em>LotR</em>'s sales in the U.S.<BR><BR>Subsequently, another American publisher asked the U.S. District Court in New York to decide whether the <strong>first</strong> edition was in fact protected by U.S. copyright law. The trial judgeissued an opinion holding that the doubts about the copyright were unfounded. This decision was affirmed without opinion by the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit - which suggests that the court did not think the publisher's argument was worth discussing. <em>Eisen, Durwood & Co. v. Tolkien</em>, 794 F. Supp. 85 (S.D.N.Y. 1992), <em>aff'd w/o opinion</em>, 990 F.2d 623 (2d Cir. 1993)<BR><BR> Short of a decision by the Supreme Court, the issue cannot be said to be settled, but it is extrememly unlikely that any publisher would take the risk of issuing the First Edition of <em>LotR</em> without permission.
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Postby roaccarcsson » Thu Apr 22, 2004 4:27 am

Tolkien never conceived of <em>LotR</em> as anything but a single work divided into divided into six "Books" (I-VI). The decision to bring it out in three volumes was that of the publishers, Allen & Unwin. In Letter 136, written to Rayner Unwin on March 24, 1953, the author wrote:<BR><BR><em><OL>Would it not do if the "book-titles" were used: e.g. <strong>The Lord of the Rings:</strong> Vol. I <strong>The Ring Sets out</strong> and <strong>The Ring Goes South</strong> Vol. II <strong>The Treason of Isengard</strong> and <strong>The Ring Goes East</strong>; Vol. III <strong>The War of the Ring</strong>, and <strong>The End of the Third Age</strong>?<BR><BR>If not, I can at the moment think of nothing better than I <strong>The Shadow Grows</strong> II <strong>The Ring in the Shadow</strong> III <strong>The War of the Ring</strong> or <strong>The Return of the King</strong></em></OL><BR>By April 11 of the same year, Tolkien was using the title <em>The Return of the Shadow</em> for the first volume [Letter 137]. This same title was used in Letter 139, dated August 8, 1953; but in Letter 140, dated August 17, the author had come to prefer <em>The Fellowship of the Ring.</em>
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Postby roaccarcsson » Thu Apr 22, 2004 4:58 am

As a suggestion: It seems to me that there should be a brief note, under the title page, of the publication history of LotR. How brief is up to Romestamo, but I think Rayner Unwin's role should be described at least. I could have a shot at this if nobody else feels like it, but it ought to include a statement of the process by which Allen & Unwin was absorbed into Harper Collins<BR><BR>I have presumed to post a request for publication information from other countries. (It may be that this information is available online, but I think it would be useful to create a sense of wider participation in the project.)
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Postby roaccarcsson » Thu Apr 22, 2004 5:15 pm

Here's a sketch of an annotation for the title page:<BR><BR><strong>J.R.R. TOLKIEN</strong><BR><BR>John Ronald Reuel Tolkien was born January 3, 1892 in Bloemfontein, in what is now the Republic of South Africa. . . . He died September 2, 1973, in Bournemouth, England<BR><BR>[We have to decide how much to put where the three dots are. It could be as long as the Carpenter biograpy, or longer; or it could be as bare as a Who's Who entry (parents, wife, children, education, military service, academic appointments, major publications).<BR><BR>According to the author, "Tolkien" was a German name (brought from Saxony by an 18th-century ancestor), a compound of <em>toll</em> "foolish," and <em>kühn</em> "brave." Letters 165, 294. Tolkien proposed "Rashbold" as an English equivalent. He pronounced the name TOL-keen, and complained that it was frequently misspelled "Tolkien." Letter 347.<BR><BR>Tolkien gave an account of the origin of his Christian names in Letter 309:<BR><BR><em><OL>I was called John because it was the custom of the eldest son of the eldest son to be called John in my family. My father was Arthur, eldest of my grandfather John Benjamin's second family; but his elder half-brother John had died leaving only 3 daughters. So John I had to be . . .<BR><BR>My father favored John Benjamin Reuel (which I should now have liked); but my mother was confident that I should be a daughter, and being fond of more "romantic" (and less O[ld] T[estament] names decided on Rosalind. When I turned up . . . Ronald was substituted. It was then a much rarer name in England as a Christian name - I never in fact knew any of my contemporaries at school or Oxford who had the name . . .</em></OL><BR>"Ronald" is an Anglicized form of the Norse name "Rognvald," found in the sagas most prominently as the name of several Earls (Jarls) of Orkney.<BR><BR>As for "Reuel," the same letter says:<BR><BR><em><OL>This was (I believe) the surname of a friend of my grandfather. The family believed it to be French (which is formally possible); but if so it is an odd chance that it appears twice in the O[ld] T[estament] as an unexplained other name for Jethro Moses' father-in-law.</em></OL> <BR>In fact a search of a Biblical concordance turns up 10 occurrences of the name. It is said to mean "friend of God" in Hebrew.<BR><BR>A comprehensive bibliography of Tolkien's publications is found at this link:<BR><BR><a href='http://www.forodrim.org/arda/tbchron.html' target=_blank>http://www.forodrim.org/arda/tbchron.html</a>
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Postby roaccarcsson » Thu Apr 22, 2004 5:19 pm

Since Christopher Wiseman is not named anywhere in LotR, it may be that enough has been said about him already. Nevertheless here is some stuff for consideration:<BR><BR>Tolkien named his youngest son Christopher for Christopher Wiseman. Letter 306, <em>Letters</em> at p. 395 (1st US Ed.) Wiseman came from a distinguished family of Methodist clergy:<BR><BR><em><OL>His father was one of the most delightful Christian men I ever met: the great Frederick Luke W. (whom Father Francis always referred to as The Pope of Wesley, because he was the President of the Wesleyan Methodist Conference.</em></OL><BR><em>Ibid.</em> Frederick L. Wiseman's father, the Rev. Luke H. Wiseman, was one of the founders of the <em>Methodist Reporter</em>, the leading Methodist periodical in Britain, of which Christopher Wiseman's brother Frederick was later editor. Christopher himself became Headmaster of Queen's College, Taunton, a Methodist school. Tolkien remained in touch with him throughout his life, and Christopher Wiseman is mentioned in Letter 354, the last of the published Letters, written four days before Tolkien's death.<BR><BR>Here are links to my sources, though surely we don't want to use them (and still less the cyberhymnal link to a hymn tune which FL Wiseman composed). <BR><BR><a href='http://www.methodistrecorder.co.uk/history.htm' target=_blank>http://www.methodistrecorder.co.uk/history.htm</a><BR><a href='http://www.isbi.com/isbi-viewschool/197-QUEENS_COLLEGE.html' target=_blank>http://www.isbi.com/isbi-viewschool/197-QUEENS_COLLEGE.html</a><BR><BR> The other thing I found online that may be of some interest is the biography of a Nobel laureate in chemistry, named Peter Mitchell, who went to Queen's College and credits C. Wiseman as a formative influence. It describes CW as an excellent math teacher and accomplished amateur musician.<BR><BR>I can't find anything giving CW's date of death, nor any confirmation that he was ordained (though that would be usual I think for the headmaster of a church-affiliated school).
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Postby MithLuin » Mon Apr 26, 2004 3:49 pm

*** I'm requesting help with this annotation - it's a work in progress ***<BR><BR>I'm guessing the Ring-poem goes with the Foreward/Title Page, not the Prologue. If I'm wrong, just let me know, and I'll move it. <img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-smile.gif"border=0><BR><BR>So, what is this poem called, anyway? What do you call a poem that starts off a book like this?<BR><BR><strong>epigram</strong>: A short poem treating concisely and pointedly of a single thought or event. The modern epigram is so contrived as to surprise the reader with a witticism or ingenious turn of thought, and is often satirical in character. Usually written in couplets, though there is no proscribed style.<BR>Epigrams were originally inscribed on tombs, statues, temples, triumphal arches, etc.<BR><BR>Most short poems at the beginning of a novel can be called epigrams, but this poem is likely too long and too serious or dry to classify as one. <BR><BR><strong>epigraph</strong>: A brief quotation which appears at the beginning of a literary work. Many textbooks use epigraphs at the beginning of each chapter. <BR>A motto or quotation, as at the beginning of a literary composition, setting forth a theme. <BR><BR>The Rings poem is written by Tolkien, so it is not a quotation. However, Fitzgerald uses a selection of his own poetry (attributed to a fictional poet) as an epigraph to <em>The Great Gatsby</em>. Or perhaps this could be considered similar to the selections of the history by the Princess that are used in the Dune books? <BR><BR>Tolkien has referred to the poem as a <strong>leit-motif</strong> (which Letter?):<BR>"In literature, critics have adapted the term leit-motif to refer to an object, animal, phrase, or other thing loosely associated with a character, a setting, or event. For instance, the color green is a leit-motif associated with Sir Bercilak in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, thus the appearance of the Green Chapel, and a green girdle should cause the reader to recall and connect these places and items with the Green Knight. In Shakespeare's Midsummer Night's Dream, the moon is a leit-motif associated with the fairy court, and it appears again in the stage scenery and stage discussion of Bottom's play about Pyramis and Thisbe. The leit-motif is not necessarily a symbol (though it can be). Rather, it is a recurring device loosely linked with a character, setting, or event. It gives the audience a "heads-up" by calling attention to itself. Contrast with theme and motif, below."<BR><a href='http://guweb2.gonzaga.edu/faculty/wheeler/lit_terms_L.html' target=_blank>http://guweb2.gonzaga.edu/faculty/wheeler/lit_terms_L.html</a><BR><BR>How is the Ring poem a <em>leit-motif</em>? The Ring is recurring, of course, but well...so what? Is this poem setting up the connection between Sauron and the Ring that is going to occur throughout? And, if that is the <em>purpose</em> of the poem, what is it's identity? Is it an epigraph functioning as a leit-motif?<BR><BR>Please give me some feedback so I can put this annotation in order!<BR><BR>Edit: While I'm asking for help, how about an annotation for the title itself?<BR><strong>The Lord of the Rings</strong><BR>The title refers to Sauron, the Dark Lord, maker of the One Ring. This identification is made explicit in <em>Many Meetings</em> by Gandalf. (see the annotation there, once we write it)<BR>Also, these words can be found in Beowulf. (Now, if I knew Old English, or what translation to check, I'd be more condfident in playing this game!)<BR>lines 34-35 of the Introduction are:<BR><em>léofne þéoden béaga bryttan </em><BR>which, apparently, can be translated as: <BR><em>the beloved prince, the giver of rings and treasure, </em> <BR>http://www.heorot.dk/beo-intro-rede.html<BR><BR>Now, I don't have a clue what the words actually mean, but I do recognize 'theoden', which I know can be translated as 'lord'. I know that the 'giver of rings' part is a kenning, so it is poetic language for generous. Can you get 'Lord of the Rings' out of this? (Or is this going to turn into something more similar to Atanatar=giver of gifts, Sauron's fair name?)<BR><BR>Is there another line of Beowulf that would be more appropriate to use as an example of 'Lord of the Rings'?
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Postby Alberich » Mon Apr 26, 2004 4:46 pm

According to the dictionaries sourced by dictionary.com an epigraph is "A motto or quotation, as at the beginning of a literary composition, setting forth a theme" or (from Webster's) "a citation from some author, or a sentence framed for the purpose, placed at the beginning of a work or of its separate divisions; a motto". So I don't think you need to worry that the word neceesarily implies a quotation from <u>another</u> author.
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Postby MithLuin » Sun May 02, 2004 6:05 pm

<BR>I found this post by <strong>Denethor</strong> lurking on the 'King of the Golden Hall' thread. I thought it would be more appropriate here:<BR><BR>Line 2345 of Beowulf reads "Oferhogaode ða hringa fengel," which can (apparently) be translated "Yet the lord of the rings was too proud..." This line may have been a possible source of inspiration for the actual title of the book. <BR><BR>(Me again)I realize that attributing ideas for phrases to Beowulf is just conjecture, but I still think it is helpful to point it out, and let people form their own opinions.<BR><BR>Here is my (much abbreviated) annotation on the Ring-poem. I agree with <strong>-Romestamo</strong> that the meaning of the poem should be discussed in 'The Shadow of the Past', which is currently open.<BR><BR>This poem can be seen as an <strong>epigraph</strong>, which is 'a motto or quotation, as at the beginning of a literary composition, setting forth a theme.' (The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition, found here: <a href='http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=epigraph' target=_blank>http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=epigraph</a> )<BR>Most epigraphs are quotations by other authors, but here Tolkien has chosen to use one of his own poems that will become a central theme to the book. For more information on the meaning of this poem, please see 'The Shadow of the Past'.<BR><BR>How is that? The <strong>leit-motif</strong> idea can be taken up in the other thread.
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Postby roaccarcsson » Thu Jun 03, 2004 3:20 pm

These chapters, eventually to become Book IV, were written and sent out as a serial to my son Christopher, then in South Africa with the R.A.F.

Many of the letters Tolkien wrote to Christopher during the latter's wartime service are published in The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien, edited by Humphrey Carpenter (cited hereafter as Letters.) Not all of these refer to the composition of LotR. Those that do include Nos. 59, 61, 62, 64 - 72, 76, 78, 81, 85, 87, 91, 93, 94, and 96. The earliest of these is dated 5 April 1944, and the last 30 January 1945.

Nonetheless it took another five years before the tale was brought to its present end

The Humphrey Carter Biography says on p. 204 that LotR was finished in "the autumn of 1949," but does not give a source for the date. Letter 122, to Naomi Mitchison, refers to "a sequel to 'The Hobbit' which I have just finished after 12 years (intermittent) labour." This letter is dated 18 December 1949.
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Postby MithLuin » Fri Jun 04, 2004 2:57 pm

THE LORD OF THE RINGS = Sauron, the Dark Lord.
See Gandalf's reply to Pippin's comment in Many Meetings.
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Postby roaccarcsson » Tue Jun 08, 2004 3:46 pm

[b]It was begun soon after [/i]The Hobbit[/i] was written and before its publication in 1937[/i]

Tolkien's published Letters suggest that his memory was at fault here, and that LotR was not begun until after [/i]The Hobbit[/i] was published on September 21, 1937. (Biography, p. 182). On October 15, Tolkien wrote to his publisher, Stanley Unwin, who had hinted that a sequel would be welcome:
I cannot think of anything more to say about hobbits. Mr. Baggins seems to have exhibited so fully both the Took and the Baggins side of their nature. But I have only too much to say, and much already written, about the world into which the hobbits intruded. . . . But if it is true that [/i]The Hobbit[/i] has come to say and more will be wanted, I will start the process of thought, and try to get some idea of a theme drawn from this material in a similar style and for a similar audience - possibly including actual hobbits.


Letter 17, Letters at p. 24. On December 16, 1937, Tolkien wrote to Unwin employee C.A. Furth that "I have written the first chapter of a new story about Hobbits - 'A long expected party.'" Letter 20.
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Chronology of Development

Postby Fingolfin_of_the_Noldor » Wed Aug 04, 2004 7:22 am

Regarding chronology of development as mentioned above and described briefly in the Second Ed. Forward and possible errors I put together the following based on some of my own reading(I tried to include as many relevant sources as possible). This is my first attempt at a suggestion for a contribution so I hope it is ok and I didn't mess anything up or do anything out of form:

————————————————
With the success of The Hobbit Tolkien's publishers became eager for a sequel having forseen "a large public...clamouring next year to hear more about Hobbits!" Following a November 15th lunch during which he discussed several of his other writings with his publisher, Stanely Unwin(Carpenter 187, Letter #19), Tolkien handed to Allen & Unwin his works: The Geste of Beren and Luthien, The Quenta Silmarillion, Ainulindale, Ambarkanta, The Fall of the Numenoreans, Farmer Giles of Ham, Mr Bliss and The Lost Road. These were recorded in Allen & Unwin records as:
  • 1. Long Poem (i.e. The Geste of Beren and Luthien)
    2. Farmer Giles of Ham
    3. Mr Bliss
  • 4. The Gnomes Material (i.e. The Quenta Silmarillion, Ainulindale, Ambarkanta, The Fall of the Numenoreans)
    5. The Lost Road
    (HoME IV BB: p. 431)
Of the real 'sequel' material, marked above, only The Geste appears to have been submitted to one of the firm's readers, Edward Crankshaw, (though some material from The Quenta Silmarillion had been attached to complete the as yet unfinished story) and his Report began thus:
I am rather at a loss to know what to do with this - it doesn't even seem to have an author! - or any indication of sources, etc. Publishers' readers are rightly supposed to be of moderate intelligence and readin; but I must confess my reading has not extended to early Celtic Gestes, and I don't even know whether this is a famous Geste or not, or, for that matter, whether it is authentic. I presume it is, as the unspecified versifier has included some pages of a prose-version (which is far superior).(HoME IV BB: 432)
as a result Stanely Unwin wrote Tolkien saying it would be difficult to "do anything with the Geste...but our reader was much impressed with the pages of prose version which accompanied it" going on to say that The Silmarillion contained "plenty of wonderful material"(HoME IV BB: 433, Carpenter 187) but would not work as a book in itself.
As a result Tolkien though dissapointed (believing The Silmarillion had actually been read!) went on to write the first chapter of what would become The Lord of the Rings(letter #20):


The Original Opening Page of LotR(HoME VI: p. 12)

This was submitted to Rayner Unwin - as The Hobbit had been - who was 'delighted' with it(letter #24) and from there work progressed, if rather slowly and intermittently. Indeed this was especially true initially as Tolkien would report several times that in the beginning he had "only the vaguest notions of how to proceed".
The primary periods of composition appear to have been as follows:
  • Dec 1937(Letter #20) —› Mar 1938(HoME VI: 108, Letter #31, Carpenter 191)
    × Broke off in chpt III (letter #31)
  • August 1938(Letter #33) —› late 1939(HoME VI: 461)
    × Broke off in Moria (Letter 37)*
  • Summer 1940(HoME VII: 67) —› end 1942(HoME VII: 1)
    × Broke off at the very beginning of Book IV (letter #98)
  • April 1944 (Carpenter 200, HoME VIII: 77) —› August 1944
    × Broke off after finishing Book IV and just started V "dry of inspiration"(letter #78, Carpenter 203, 205)
  • Summer 1946 (HoME VIII: 274, Carpenter 205) —› late 1946(HoME IX: 12-13)
    × 1947 "largely unproductive" after final chapters of Book V (HoME IX: 12-13)
  • 1948 —› October 1948(HoME IX: 13)
    -› Book VI completed and LotR-proper subsequently completed following revision through 1949(Carpenter 207)
* Evidence Tolkien erred in the 2nd Edition Forward dating breaking off in Moria at the end of 1940 (the break in composition at Moria seems rather to have occured at the end of 1939)(HoME VII: 67, 379)
"clear evidence my father erred in his recollection" in the 2nd Edition Forward dating initial work on first chapters of Book V to 1942(initial work seems rather to date to 1944) (HoME VII: 234 )



Due to complications with publishing details and the continuing compilation of the appendices, however, the work was not published immediately but five years later and only then in three volumes to cut costs(JRR Tolkien: A Descriptive Bibliography):
  • In Great Britain(Allen and Unwin):
    The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring was published on July 29, 1954 (3250 copies)
    The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers was published on November 11, 1954 (3000 copies)
    The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King was published on October 20, 1955 (7000 copies)
  • In the United States(Houghton Mifflin Company):
    The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring was published on October 21, 1954 (1500 copies)
    The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers was published on April 21, 1955 (1000 copies)
    The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King was published on January 5, 1956 (5000 copies)


————————————————

Might something like this obviously very tentative contribution work well?
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Postby roaccarcsson » Tue Aug 17, 2004 4:56 pm

Here is an addition to an earlier note:

Letter 117. suggests that the actual composition of LotR was completed by the summer of 1948:
I managed to go into "retreat" in the summer, and am happy to announce that I succeeded at last in bringing the "Lord of the Rings" to a successful conclusion. Also, it has been read and approved by Rayner Unwin, who (the original reader of "the Hobbit") has had time to grow up while the sequel has been made, and is now here at Trinity. . . . If only term had not caught me on the hop again, I should have revided the whole - it is astonishingly difficult to avoid mistakes and changes of name and all kinds of inconsistencies of detail in a long work, as critics forget, who have not tried to make one - and sent it to the typists.

The letter is dated 31 October 1948.
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Postby Parmamaite » Mon Oct 11, 2004 11:18 am

The title: The Lord of the Rings is of course taken from Frodo's title: The Downfall of the Lord of the Rings and the Return of the King which is mentioned in "The Grey Havens"
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Postby roaccarcsson » Wed Apr 27, 2005 7:34 pm

b]The crucial chapter, “The Shadow of the Past,” is one of the oldest parts of the tale. It was written long before the foreshadow of 1939 had yet become a threat of inevitable disaster, and from this point the story would have developed along essentially the same lines, if that disaster had been averted.[/b]

Tolkien’s disclaimer of any connection between the events of the Second World War and the story of LotR should not be taken as meaning that the War did not affect the atmosphere of the book. In October of 1938, nearly a year before the actual outbreak of hostilities, Tolkien wrote to Stanley Unwin:
[LotR] is more “adult” [than The Hobbit - but my own children who criticize it as it appears are now older. However, you will be the judge of that, I hope, some day! The darkness of the present days has had some effect on it. Though it is not an allegory!

Letter 34.
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Postby roaccarcsson » Fri May 13, 2005 4:27 pm

in that time I changed my house,

In 1947, Tolkien sold the six-bedroom house at 20 Northmoor Road where he had lived since 1930, and moved to a smaller house at 3 Manor Road (the property of Merton College), where he remained until 1950. Here is a link to a picture of 20 Northmoor Road:

http://users.ox.ac.uk/~tolksoc/TolkiensOxford/20_northmoor_rd.html

And here is 3 Manor Road:

http://users.ox.ac.uk/~tolksoc/TolkiensOxford/5_manor_rd.html

In May of 2005, 20 Northmoor Road was listed for sale at an asking price of £1.5 million.

my chair,

A “chair” is an endowed professorship: A teaching position whose occupant is paid from the income on a fund established by a donor (rather than collecting fees directly from students, which was the normal practice at medieval universities). The oldest such position in England is the Lady Margaret Chair in Divinity at Cambridge, founded by the mother of Henry VII in 1502.

Tolkien came to Oxford in 1925 as Rawlinson and Bosworth Professor of Anglo-Saxon. In 1945, he “changed his chair” by becoming Merton Professor of English Language and Literature.

and my college.

As Rawlinson and Bosworth Professor, Tolkien was also a Fellow of Pembroke College. Writing in the “historical present tense,” Humphrey Carpenter describes his position there as follows:
His position at Pembroke is somewhat anomalous, thanks to the confused and confusing administrative practices of Oxford. It could almost be said that the colleges are the University, for the majority of the teaching staff hold college fellowships, and their primary responsibility is to instruct undergraduates in their own college. But professors are in a different position. They are primarily outside the collegiate system, for they teach on a faculty basis, irrespective of what college their pupils may belong to. However, so that a professor shall not be deprived of the social facilities and other conveniences of college life, he is allocated to a college and given a fellowship in it ex officio. This sometimes leads to bad feeling, for in all other circumstances colleges elect their own fellows, whereas “Professorial Fellows” such as Tolkien are to some extent wished upon them. Tolkien thinks that Pembroke resents him a little; certainly the atmosphere in the common room is unfriendly and austere.

Biography at p. 119.

On becoming Merton Professor, Tolkien also severed his connection with Pembroke and became a fellow of Merton, which he found “agreeably informal” in comparison to “the severer ceremonies and strict precedence of mediaeval Pembroke.” Letter 104.

The websites of the two colleges are here:
http://www.pmb.ox.ac.uk/
http://www.merton.ox.ac.uk/generalinfo/gen_info.html.
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