The Annotated LotR: A Short Cut to Mushrooms

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The Annotated LotR: A Short Cut to Mushrooms

Postby roaccarcsson » Wed Jul 14, 2004 7:31 pm

OK. Back to the treadmill.

The post below contains about everything I can think of to say about this chapter.
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Postby roaccarcsson » Wed Jul 14, 2004 7:31 pm

In the morning, Frodo woke refreshed.

September 25, 3018 T.A.

When they came to make their meal, they found that the Elves had filled their bottles with a clear drink, pale golden in colour: it had the scent of a honey made of many flowers, and was wonderfully refreshing.

This is most probably Miruvor, the Cordial of Imladris, dispensed by Gandalf on the ascent of the Redhorn Gate (Bk. II, ch. 3). In The Road Goes Ever On, Tolkien translates miruvóre as 'nectar' and 'mead' and explains:
miruvóre. According to the Eldar, a word derived from the language of the Valar; the name that they gave to the drink poured out at their festivals. Its making and the meaning of its name were not known for certain, but the Eldar believed it to be made from the honey of the undying flowers in the gardens of Yavanna, though it was clear and translucent.


"Mead" is also given in "Frodo's translation" of Galadariel's Lament (Bk. II ch. 8) . The cordial of Imladris would be made through a similar process from honey from the flowers of Middle-earth, giving a clear, translucent drink, matching what the hobbits found in their bottles. "Mead" is any alcoholic drink fermented from honey; the word occurs in "Meduseld" "Mead-hall." *Medhu is thought to have been the word for "honey" in Primitive Indo-European (Sanskrit madhu).

‘We can cut straighter than the road anyway,’ answered Frodo. ‘The Ferry is east from Woodhall [...]'

A change was made by Tolkien to bring the text in line with the published map of the Shire. CJRT comments:
In the original edition of FR (p. 97) the text had here 'The Ferry is south-east from Woodhall', which was corrected to 'east' in the revised edition (second impression 1967) when my father observed the discrepancy with the published map. The shifting had clearly come about unintentionally.

The Return of the Shadow.

So the original Second Edition (for the Ballantine Books paperback edition of October 1965) had the First Edition reading (of south-east from Woodhall), the revision (to east) first appeared in the 'second impression 1967' of the (? Allan & Unwin) Second Edition.
    ----------

'Then if we are going to toil through bog and briar, let’s go now!' said Pippin.

"Bog and briar" is a stock English phrase, used e.g, by Robert Louis Stevenson:

the whole outfit was a present of Clem's, a costly present, and not something to be worn through bog and briar

- Weir of Hermiston

I watched him striding along, through bog and brier, tapping with with his stick

- Kidnapped



I had counted on passing the Golden Perch at Stock before sundown.

A perch is a medium-sized fresh-water fish, good eating when large enough; the species found in England, and thus presumably in the Shire, is Perca fluviatilis. According to one of the treatises quoted at the website below, golden varieties are known - though a golden fish, like a green dragon, could be found on an inn sign without actually existing in the vicinity.

http://home.planet.nl/~zoete004/perch.htm

Tolkien commented on the Golden Perch:
Golden Perch. An Inn name; probably one favored by anglers. In any case Perch is the fish-name (and not a land-measure or bird-perch).

(For "perch" as a land measure see the link below under "Bamfurlong.")

With characteristic attention to detail, Tolkien gives a watery name to an inn in the watery Eastfarthing (as also with the "Floating Log" at Frogmorton, in Bk. VI ch. 8 ).

The name "Stock" is not included in Tolkien's "Guide to Translation." Old English stoc meant first, a log, stake, or stump, and secondarily, "place, house, dwelling":

http://penguin.pearson.swarthmore.edu/~scrist1/scanned_books/tiff/oe_clarkhall/b0278.tiff

In the second sense, it is a very common element in English place names (sometimes with the spelling "stoke"), e.g., "Woodstock." There is a village in Essex called just "Stock."

http://www.thisisessex.co.uk/essex/local_interest/towns__villages/stock.html

they found a stream running down from the hills behind in a deeply dug bed with steep slippery sides overhung with brambles.

While the word "bramble" is sometimes applied to any low-growing thorny shrub, it means specifically the Blackberry, Rubus fruticosus, which is actually regarded by botanists as a complex of many barely-distinguishable "microspecies." The plant is valued for its abundant and tasty berries, but disliked for its invasive habits and ferocious thorns.

http://www.plant-identification.co.uk/skye/rosaceae/rubus-fruticosus.htm

The name is from Old English bræmbel.

A long-drawn wail came down the wind, like the cry of some evil and lonely creature. It rose and fell, and ended on a high piercing note. Even as they sat and stood, as if suddenly frozen, it was answered by another cry

After the publication of FotR, but before compiling the Appendices, Tolkien drafted several versions of a detailed account of Sauron's efforts to find the Ring after the interrogation of Gollum. This material was published in Unfinished Tales under the title "The Hunt for the Ring." In these writings, Tolkien says that it was the second-in-command of the Nazgûl, "Khamûl the Black Easterling," who was sent to reoccupy Dol Guldur in T.A. 2951. (Khamûl is the only one of the Nazgûl to have been given a name.) According to Christopher Tolkien's summary, it is Khamûl who has been tracking Frodo and his companions up to this point:
From notes recounting in detail the movements of the Black Riders in the Shire it emerges that it was Khamûl who came to Hobbiton and spoke to Gaffer Gamgee, who followed the Hobbits along the road to Stock, and who narrowly missed them at the Bucklebury Ferry . . . The rider who accompanied him, whom he summoned by cries on the ridge above Woodhall, and with whom he visited Farmer Maggot, was "his companion from Dol Guldur." Of Khamûl it is said that he was the most ready of all the Nazgûl, after the Black Captain himself, to perceive the presence of the Ring, but also the one whose power was most confused and diminished by daylight.


When he wrote this draft, Tolkien's idea was that only one other Nazgûl went with Khamûl to Dol Guldur, but he changed his mind before compiling appendix B, which says that three were sent.

The phrase "with whom he visited Farmer Maggot" is puzzling, as Maggot's account mentions only one Black Rider.

They passed along the edge of a huge turnip-field

The turnip, while known from antiquity, was first grown on a large scale in England during the seventeenth century - primarily as animal fodder. During the eighteenth century, it came to prominence as an element in the "Norfolk four-crop rotation" (wheat, barley, turnips and clover), which is credited with substantially improving the productivity of suitable soils.

Tolkien may have been making deliberate use of the association of turnips with East Anglia, which is analogous to the Eastfarthing in being flat, low-lying and watery, as well as in its geographic location.

'This is Bamfurlong; old Farmer Maggot's land.'

In the First Edition, this line read 'We are on old Farmer Maggot's land'.

Bamfurlong in the First Edition was a location (possibly to be identified with Whitfurrows) where Special Runners from the Quick Post service were based under the regime of The Chief and Sharkey (see 'The Scouring of the Shire'). In the discussion for 'The Scouring of the Shire', CJRT notes:
'One [runner] came in from Bamfurlong last night'. Bamfurlong was the reading of the First Edition here. In the Second Edition it was changed to Whitfurrows (which though shown on the map of the Shire was never mentioned in the text of the First Edition), and the name Bamfurlong was given to Maggot's farm in 'A Short Cut to Mushrooms' (FR p. 100): 'We are on old Farmer Maggot's land' of the First Edition became 'This is Bamfurlong; old Farmer Maggot's land.'

Sauron Defeated.

This change apparently appeared in the original Second Edition. The First Edtion text is retained, however, in the original printings of the one-voume "Collector's Edition."

In the "Guide to Translation," Tolkien says of "Bamfurlong":
An English place-name, probably from bean 'bean' and furlong (in the sense of a division of a common field), the name being given to a strip of land usually reserved for beans. The name is now, and so is supposed to have been at that time in the Shire, without clear meaning. It is the name of Farmer Maggot's farm. Translate as seems suitable, but some compound containing the word for 'bean' and that for field, cultivated ground' would seem desirable.


There is a real Bamfurlong near Wigan in Lancashire.


A furlong (Old English furhlang "furrow-length") is an old English measure of distance, equal to 40 "rods," or 660 feet, and still used to measure courses for horse races. A furlong is exactly an eighth of a mile, because the mile, once highly variable, came to be standarized in terms of the furlong (not the other way around). The acre, the standard English measure of area, was originally one furlong in length by four rods in width; this was the area a team of oxen was capable of plowing in a day. Hence the extension of "furlong" to "field" seen in "Bamfurlong" was natural. This website contains an excellent account of the origin of this and other English units of measurement.

http://www.unc.edu/~rowlett/units/custom.html

old Farmer Maggot's land

The "Guide to Translation" says of the name "Maggot":
Intended to be a 'meaningless' name, hobbit like in sound. Actually it is an accident that maggot is an English word meaning 'grub', 'larva'. The Dutch translation has Van der Made (made = German Made, Old English maðða 'maggot'), but the name is probably best left alone, as in the Swedish translation, though some assimilation to the style of the language of translation would be in place.


Taking this at face value, it still seems odd that a sympathetic character should be given a name with distinctly unsavory connotations. ("Maggot" is, among other things, the name of abuse given to recruits by the U.S. Marine Corps.) Moreover, the sense fits hobbits because a maggot, like a grub, is a burrower. Tolkien was certainly acquainted with the word's insulting qualities: In Bk. III ch. 3, Uglúk says of the Moria Orcs, "What's the sense of sending out mountain-maggots on a trip, only half trained."

A Dutch publisher's unfamiliarity with the English word gave rise to some unintended comedy at a banquet given Tolkien in Rotterdam in March of 1958. As the author related it to Rayner Unwin in Letter 206:
I thought [the publisher] was charming and intelligent, but he was still a little upset about the hilarity caused by "maggot-soup" on the menu. It was, of course, mushroom soup; but he said he would not have chosen the name if he had known "all the names of the English vermins."

they saw the thatched roofs of a large house and farm buildings

A thatched roof is one covered with dry reeds or straw. See the annotations to the Prologue.

One trouble after another!’ said Frodo, looking nearly as much alarmed as if Pippin had declared the lane was the slot leading to a dragon’s den.

Slot: “The track or trail of an animal, especially a deer.” According to the OED, the word came into English from Old French; however, the editors suggest that its ultimate source was probably Old Norse slóð, which also meant an animal's footprint. (The Norse word was also taken directly into English as "sleuth"; hence "sleuth-hound," a hunting dog such as a bloodhound that tracks by scent; hence the shortened form "sleuth" applied to the dog; hence "sleuth" as a slang term for a detective (labeled as an Americanism by the OED)).

‘What’s wrong with old Maggot?’ asked Pippin. ‘He’s a good friend to all the Brandybucks. Of course he’s a terror to trespassers, and keeps ferocious dogs - but after all, folk down here are near the border and have to be more on their guard.’

‘I know,’ said Frodo. ‘But all the same,’ he added with a shamefaced laugh, ‘I am terrified of him and his dogs. I have avoided his farm for years and years. He caught me several times trespassing after mushrooms, when I was a youngster at Brandy Hall. On the last occasion he beat me, and then took me and showed me to his dogs. “See, lads,” he said, “next time this young varmint sets foot on my land, you can eat him. Now see him off!” They chased me all the way to the Ferry. I have never got over the fright - though I daresay the beasts knew their business and would not really have touched me.’


Frodo's boyhood misadventures were probably inspired by Tolkien's own escapades in the rural hamlet of Sarehole :
Not far from Sarehole Mill, a little way up the hill towards Moseley, was a deep tree-lined sandpit that became another favourite haunt for the boys. Indeed, explorations could be made in many directions, though there were hazards. An old farmer who once chased Ronald for picking mushrooms was given the nickname 'the Black Ogre' by the boys. Such delicious terrors were the essence of those days at Sarehole, here recalled (nearly eighty years later) by Hilary Tolkien:

'We spent lovely summers just picking flowers and trespassing. The Black Ogre used to take people's shoes and stockings from the bank where they'd left them to paddle, and run away with them, make them go and ask for them. And then he'd thrash them! [...]'

'Birmingham', J. R. R. Tolkien: a biography.

Given that the 'Black Ogre' both beat Tolkien and chased him for trespassing while mushrooming, it is tempting to identify this farmer as the inspiration for Old Maggot (who in some draft versions of this chapter is a hostile and violent figure - see The Return of the Shadow, Chapter XVII).

He caught me several times trespassing after mushrooms

The mushrooms pursued by Frodo would have been growing wild, not cultivated (but nonetheless fiercely defended private property). Commercial mushroom production is a highly specialized enterprise, requiring a carefully generated culture medium and a climate-controlled indoor (or underground) environment.

http://www.sac.ac.uk/info/External/About/publicns/TN/tn453.pdf

Mushroom cultivation originated in France in the eighteenth century and spread to England about 1800. The species Agaricus bisporus accounts for the great majority of production.

http://www.bluewillowpages.com/mushroomexpert/agaricus_bisporus.html

The Maggots, and the Puddifoots of Stock, and most of the inhabitants of the Marish, were house-dwellers

Puddifoot. A surname in the muddy Marish, meant to suggest puddle + foot.


- Guide to Names in LOTR

The gate opened and three huge dogs came pelting out into the lane,

Pelt: To move at a vigorous gait.

Mrs. Maggot will be worriting with the night getting thick.

Worrit: To worry
Last edited by roaccarcsson on Wed Apr 27, 2005 2:02 pm, edited 23 times in total.
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Postby MithLuin » Wed Jul 14, 2004 8:13 pm

In the morning, Frodo woke refreshed.

September 25, 3018 S.R.

I have something to do before the end.... I must see it through

Sam's first meeting with elves has the interesting effect of giving him some understanding of his purpose on the Quest. This sense that he must go to the end with Mr. Frodo never leaves him.

(Yeah, ok, so this isn't quite the right sort of commentary - edit away! I just wanted to put something in about this idea.)

Frodo reckoned they had eighteen miles to go in a straight line.

I don't have an annotation for this, but it must be useful for any discussion of scale or distance on the map of the Shire, since Woodhall and the Ferry are both marked.

Why, this is the Stock-brook!

The Stockbrook is labeled on the map of the Shire.

It was five miles or more from Maggot's lane to the Ferry.

Bamfurlong is not marked on the map, so this gives the approximate location.
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Postby wilko185 » Thu Jul 15, 2004 12:10 pm

Pippin: "Did you ask about the sniffing?"
"We didn’t discuss it," said Frodo with his mouth full.
"You should have. I am sure it is very important."


In the event, the "sniffing" does not assume great importance, but we later learn from Strider that the Black Riders are effectively blind in daylight and that "at all times they smell the blood of living things, desiring and hating it".

Sam: "We had some talk last night; and they seemed to know you were going away, so I didn’t see the use of denying it."

It isn't clear how Gildor & Co. knew this [is it?], without them merely divining it from the mind or manner of Frodo or Sam. As [should have been?] noted in the previous chapter, the Elves were not previously aware that Frodo may have been wandering abroad, it was purely a chance/providential meeting (the elves were actually returning homewards towards Rivendell from a visit to Emyn Beraid).

"Short cuts make long delays," argued Pippin.

Although the saying seems to have entered the public consciousness as an aphorism, I can't find a citation prior to Tolkien [? anyone? ... perhaps someone with access to the OED could check if "short cut" as two separate words is an old construction? I don't think it's the approved spelling. This information would obviously be relevant to the chapter title too.]

"Mrs. Maggot will be worriting with the night getting thick"

"Worriting" is an old dialect or slang word for "worrying".

[Sorry this is such a lame entry...

Maggot's appearance in 'The Adventures of Tom B' deserves some annotation, but probably belongs later in LOTR, where Tom specifically mentions that Maggot is a figure of some importance]
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Postby vison » Thu Jul 15, 2004 3:12 pm

About the word "furlong". Yes, it is an eighth of a mile. Now, I don't know if this is true everywhere, but in the part of BC where I live, a mile is divided into 8 "blocks". In other words, a block equals a furlong. The other cool thing is that a kilometre is 5 "blocks" long (5/8 mile), or 5 furlongs long. That's neat.

So, streets and avenues are numbered accordingly. 100th Avenue is 8 blocks North of 92nd Avenue. 208th Street is 8 Blocks East of 200th Street. It makes it really super easy to find your way around, in the parts of the Valley that conform to this grid.

Zero Avenue is the Canada/US border, here. I live on 60th Avenue, or 7 and a half miles North of the border.

Leagues? How long are leagues?

Edited to add: I hated Farmer Maggot's name, myself. It gives me the creeps every time I read it.

Cotton. Why that name? Would Cotton have been a familiar staple in the Shire? Where did it come from? Why don't I look it up? yes........
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Postby wilko185 » Thu Jul 15, 2004 3:27 pm

vison, you just mentioned in another thread about Tolkien's use of the word "cot". The name "Cotton" is supposed to be from a place name, cot-ton = cot-town (Old English tun 'village'). The crop is probably too New World for Middle-earth (thought that didn't stop hobbits from having tobacco and potatoes... ;)).
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Postby vison » Thu Jul 15, 2004 3:51 pm

wilko185 wrote:vison, you just mentioned in another thread about Tolkien's use of the word "cot". The name "Cotton" is supposed to be from a place name, cot-ton = cot-town (Old English tun 'village'). The crop is probably too New World for Middle-earth (thought that didn't stop hobbits from having tobacco and potatoes... ;)).


Yes, so I should have known, and so I found when I looked it up. I shall leave it as it is, however, to teach me and maybe others not to post too quickly!!!!

Yes, and they had Tomatoes, too. Well, it was a pretty ideal world, after all, and no world could be ideal without Tomatoes.
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Postby roaccarcsson » Thu Jul 15, 2004 7:20 pm

Somewhere in Letters the Prof admits that there is wordplay involved in "Cotton" too - cotton to go with Gamgee, which is "cotton wool."
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Postby -Rómestámo- » Fri Jul 16, 2004 5:00 am

I had counted on passing the Golden Perch at Stock before sundown.

An additional note on this - Tolkien commented on the Golden Perch:
Golden Perch. An Inn name; probably one favored by anglers. In any case Perch is the fish-name (and not a land-measure or bird-perch).

'Guide to the Names in The Lord of the Rings.
    ----------
When they came to make their meal, they found that the Elves had filled their bottles with a clear drink, pale golden in colour: it had the scent of a honey made of many flowers, and was wonderfully refreshing.

This is most probably Miruvor, the Cordial of Imladris. In The Road Goes Ever On, Tolkien translates miruvóre as 'nectar' and 'mead' and explains:
miruvóre. According to the Eldar, a word derived from the language of the Valar; the name that they gave to the drink poured out at their festivals. Its making and the meaning of its name were not known for certain, but the Eldar believed it to be made from the honey of the undying flowers in the gardens of Yavanna, though it was clear and translucent.

The cordial of Imladris would be made through a similar process from honey from the flowers of Middle-earth, giving a clear, translucent drink, matching what the hobbits found in their bottles.
    ----------
‘What’s wrong with old Maggot?’ asked Pippin. ‘He’s a good friend to all the Brandybucks. Of course he’s a terror to trespassers, and keeps ferocious dogs - but after all, folk down here are near the border and have to be more on their guard.’

‘I know,’ said Frodo. ‘But all the same,’ he added with a shamefaced laugh, ‘I am terrified of him and his dogs. I have avoided his farm for years and years. He caught me several times trespassing after mushrooms, when I was a youngster at Brandy Hall. On the last occasion he beat me, and then took me and showed me to his dogs. “See, lads,” he said, “next time this young varmint sets foot on my land, you can eat him. Now see him off!” They chased me all the way to the Ferry. I have never got over the fright - though I daresay the beasts knew their business and would not really have touched me.’


Frodo's boyhood misadventures were probably inspired by Tolkien's own escapades in the rural hamlet of Sarehole :
Not far from Sarehole Mill, a little way up the hill towards Moseley, was a deep tree-lined sandpit that became another favourite haunt for the boys. Indeed, explorations could be made in many directions, though there were hazards. An old farmer who once chased Ronald for picking mushrooms was given the nickname 'the Black Ogre' by the boys. Such delicious terrors were the essence of those days at Sarehole, here recalled (nearly eighty years later) by Hilary Tolkien:

'We spent lovely summers just picking flowers and trespassing. The Black Ogre used to take people's shoes and stockings from the bank where they'd left them to paddle, and run away with them, make them go and ask for them. And then he'd thrash them! [...]'

'Birmingham', J. R. R. Tolkien: a biography.

Given that the 'Black Ogre' both beat Tolkien and chased him for trespassing while mushrooming, it is tempting to identify this farmer as the inspiration for Old Maggot (whom in some draft versions of this chapter is a hostile and violent figure - see The Return of the Shadow, Chapter XVII).
    ----------
[Leagues are discussed and defined in *The Annotated LOTR - Prologue*.]

[tomatoes did appear in the first two editions of The Hobbit but were removed by Tolkien in the Third and subsequent editions in 1966. Thus there is no longer any evidence for tomatoes in Middle-earth.]
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Postby roaccarcsson » Mon Jul 26, 2004 4:59 pm

I had been just sticking new information into the threads I own without mentioning it - but I think Wilko is right to expose his to "peer review":

He caught me several times trespassing after mushrooms

The mushrooms pursued by Frodo would have been growing wild, not cultivated (but nonetheless fiercely defended private property). Commercial mushroom production is a highly specialized enterprise, requiring a carefully generated culture medium and a climate-controlled indoor (or underground) environment.

http://www.sac.ac.uk/info/External/About/publicns/TN/tn453.pdf

Mushroom cultivation originated in France in the eighteenth century and spread to England about 1800. The species Agaricus bisporus accounts for the great majority of production.

[urlhttp://www.bluewillowpages.com/mushroomexpert/agaricus_bisporus.html[/url]
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Postby -Rómestámo- » Mon Jul 26, 2004 6:41 pm

‘We can cut straighter than the road anyway,’ answered Frodo. ‘The Ferry is east from Woodhall [...]'

A change was made by Tolkien to bring the text in line with the published map of the Shire. CJRT comments:
In the original edition of FR (p. 97) the text had here 'The Ferry is south-east from Woodhall', which was corrected to 'east' in the revised edition (second impression 1967) when my father observed the discrepancy with the published map. The shifting had clearly come about unintentionally.

The Return of the Shadow.

So the original Second Edition (for the Ballantine Books paperback edition of October 1965) had the First Edition reading (of south-east from Woodhall), the revision (to east) first appeared in the 'second impression 1967' of the (? Allan & Unwin) Second Edition.
    ----------
'This is Bamfurlong; old Farmer Maggot's land.'

In the First Edition, this line read 'We are on old Farmer Maggot's land'.

Bamfurlong in the First Edition was a location (possibly to be identified with Whitfurrows) where Special Runners from the Quick Post service were based under the regime of The Chief and Sharkey (see 'The Scouring of the Shire'). In the discussion for 'The Scouring of the Shire', CJRT notes:
'One [runner] came in from Bamfurlong last night'. Bamfurlong was the reading of the First Edition here. In the Second Edition it was changed to Whitfurrows (which though shown on the map of the Shire was never mentioned in the text of the First Edition), and the name Bamfurlong was given to Maggot's farm in 'A Short Cut to Mushrooms' (FR p. 100): 'We are on old Farmer Maggot's land' of the First Edition became 'This is Bamfurlong; old Farmer Maggot's land.'

Sauron Defeated.

This change apparently appeared in the original Second Edition.
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Postby Mahima » Mon Jul 26, 2004 10:57 pm

Woodhall

A village in the Eastfarthing of the Shire. Frodo, Sam and Pippin met Gildor Inglorion and his people in the woods above Woodhall, and the three passed close by the village on the last stages of their journey to Bucklebury Ferry.

Woodhall was also around the feet of the Green Hills (the range of hills that ran through the Shire).

The Encyclopedia of Arda
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Postby roaccarcsson » Tue Jul 27, 2004 5:57 pm

A long-drawn wail came down the wind, like the cry of some evil and lonely creature. It rose and fell, and ended on a high piercing note. Even as they sat and stood, as if suddenly frozen, it was answered by another cry

After the publication of FotR, but before compiling the Appendices, Tolkien drafted several versions of a detailed account of Sauron's efforts to find the Ring after the interrogation of Gollum. This material was published in Unfinished Tales under the title "The Hunt for the Ring." In these writings, Tolkien says that it was the second-in-command of the Nazgûl, "Khamûl the Black Easterling," who was sent to reoccupy Dol Guldur in T.A. 2951. (Khamûl is the only one of the Nazgûl to have been given a name.) According to Christopher Tolkien's summary, it is Khamûl who has been tracking Frodo and his companions up to this point:
From notes recounting in detail the movements of the Black Riders in the Shire it emerges that it was Khamûl who came to Hobbiton and spoke to Gaffer Gamgee, who followed the Hobbits along the road to Stock, and who narrowly missed them at the Bucklebury Ferry . . . The rider who accompanied him, whom he summoned by cries on the ridge above Woodhall, and with whom he visited Farmer Maggot, was "his companion from Dol Guldur." Of Khamûl it is said that he was the most ready of all the Nazgûl, after the Black Captain himself, to perceive the presence of the Ring, but also the one whose power was most confused and diminished by daylight.


When he wrote this draft, Tolkien's idea was that only one other Nazgûl went with Khamûl to Dol Guldur, but he changed his mind before compiling appendix B, which says that three were sent.

The phrase "with whom he visited Farmer Maggot" is puzzling, as Maggot's account mentions only one Black Rider.
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Postby Parmamaite » Mon Nov 15, 2004 2:08 pm

I haven't much to add here, only a few words that are a little obscure for foreigners. At least I had to look them up.


One trouble after another!’ said Frodo, looking nearly as much alarmed as if Pippin had declared the lane was the slot leading to a dragon’s den.

Slot: “The track or trail of an animal, especially a deer.”


The gate opened and three huge dogs came pelting out into the lane,

Pelt: To move at a vigorous gait.


Mrs. Maggot will be worriting with the night getting thick.

Worrit: To worry
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Postby roaccarcsson » Tue Nov 23, 2004 6:02 pm

Getting all etymological here - proposing here to add to the entry on "slot":

According to the OED, the word came into English from Old French; however, the editors suggest that its ultimate source was probably Old Norse slóð, which also meant an animal's footprint. (The Norse word was also taken directly into English as "sleuth"; hence "sleuth-hound," a hunting dog such as a bloodhound that tracks by scent; hence the shortened form "sleuth" applied to the dog; hence "sleuth" as a slang term for a detective (labeled as an Americanism by the OED)).

(Many may think this is going overboard. My excuse is that Tolkien was in the word business.)
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Postby pnjman » Fri Feb 18, 2005 1:39 pm

'This is Bamfurlong; old Farmer Maggot's land.'

In the First Edition, this line read 'We are on old Farmer Maggot's land'.

Bamfurlong in the First Edition was a location (possibly to be identified with Whitfurrows) where Special Runners from the Quick Post service were based under the regime of The Chief and Sharkey (see 'The Scouring of the Shire'). In the discussion for 'The Scouring of the Shire', CJRT notes:
Quote:
'One [runner] came in from Bamfurlong last night'. Bamfurlong was the reading of the First Edition here. In the Second Edition it was changed to Whitfurrows (which though shown on the map of the Shire was never mentioned in the text of the First Edition), and the name Bamfurlong was given to Maggot's farm in 'A Short Cut to Mushrooms' (FR p. 100): 'We are on old Farmer Maggot's land' of the First Edition became 'This is Bamfurlong; old Farmer Maggot's land.'

Sauron Defeated.

This change apparently appeared in the original Second Edition. The First Edtion text is retained, however, in the original printings of the one-voume "Collector's Edition."


The first edition text is also present in the first impression of the second edition of the George Allen and Ulwin hardback The Fellowship of the Ring.
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Postby roaccarcsson » Fri Feb 18, 2005 6:21 pm

As Queen Beruthiel said - welcome!
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Postby roaccarcsson » Wed Feb 23, 2005 6:17 pm

they found a stream running down from the hills behind in a deeply dug bed with steep slippery sides overhung with brambles.

While the word "bramble" is sometimes applied to any low-growing thorny shrub, it means specifically the Blackberry, Rubus fruticosus, which is actually regarded by botanists as a complex of many barely-distinguishable "microspecies." The plant is valued for its abundant and tasty berries, but disliked for its invasive habits and ferocious thorns.

http://www.plant-identification.co.uk/skye/rosaceae/rubus-fruticosus.htm

The name is from Old English bræmbel.
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Postby wilko185 » Mon Apr 11, 2005 2:41 pm

A slight error:
roac wrote:In the morning, Frodo woke refreshed.

September 25, 3018 S.R.


The standard reckoning is properly "Stewards' Reckoning" (I think?), but S.R. normally stands for Shire Reckoning, in which the year would be 1418.

-----

It goes round the north end of the Marish so as to strike the causeway from the Bridge above Stock.

Tolkien notes in Guide to Names in LOTR that Marish is just an old word for "marsh", so the name fits into the tradition of placenames such as The Hill and The Water.


"Short cuts make long delays," argued Pippin.

A similar saying exists in English: A shortcut is the longest distance between two points. (In modern English "shortcut" has become a single word).


'Then if we are going to toil through bog and briar, let’s go now!' said Pippin.

"Bog and briar" is a stock English phrase, used eg by Robert Louis Stephenson:
    the whole outfit was a present of Clem's, a costly present, and not something to be worn through bog and briar

    - Weir of Hermiston

    I watched him striding along, through bog and brier, tapping with with his stick

    - Kidnapped

The Maggots, and the Puddifoots of Stock, and most of the inhabitants of the Marish, were house-dwellers
Puddifoot. A surname in the muddy Marish, meant to suggest puddle + foot.

- Guide to Names in LOTR
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Postby Aravar » Wed Apr 27, 2005 5:55 am

Bamfurlong

Bamfurlong is a real English place name. It is near Wigan in Lancashire.
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Postby Queen_Beruthiel » Wed Apr 27, 2005 11:25 am

I should have posted that - I was born near there. :)
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Postby Aravar » Thu Apr 28, 2005 7:52 am

I was wondering whether to add:

'Tolkien, although best known for connections with Oxford, Birmingham and Leeds, actually served in a Lancashire Regiment during the First World War.'

It invites the conclusion that that's where he heard the name, for which there is no evidence as far as I know.
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Postby wilko185 » Thu Apr 28, 2005 12:27 pm

According to the Carpenter biography, Tolkien only joined the Lancashire fusiliers because his friend from Oxford G.B. Smith had done so. However, being a Lancashire lad myself, I should point out that Tolkien was a frequent visitor to Stonyhurst college (perhaps 30 miles from Bamfurlong?), where he apparently wrote some of LOTR.
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Postby roaccarcsson » Thu Apr 28, 2005 3:28 pm

Hmmm.

I Googled Stonyhurst and Tolkien and found some other sites. They all have an air of bogosity to me - as in, trying to milk the movies for some tourist money.

Presumably they are not making up the Tolkien connections to Stonyhurst since that is falsifiable. But as for any of LotR being written there - there is no reference to the place in Letters nor in the Biography.

From what I know of conditions during the War I do not believe that travel of any kind was easy to accomplish.

But perhaps some of this reaction is prejudice against anybody who would photoshop a Hildebrandt picture into their site.
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Postby Queen_Beruthiel » Thu Apr 28, 2005 4:35 pm

:D

roac, Tolkien's sons attended Stonyhurst. Presumably Carpenter received first hand info from Christopher et al about their father's visits?
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Postby roaccarcsson » Thu Apr 28, 2005 6:03 pm

But Carpenter does NOT mention the place. Or anyway, if he does it didn't get picked up in the index.

I have no doubt that JRRT visited there. But as for being inspired by the landscape - and still more for doing any writing there - I would want to see some evidence.

(How long would the train ride be from Oxford to Manchester, BTW?)
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Postby wilko185 » Thu Apr 28, 2005 6:55 pm

I would agree with roac about the Lancashire sites seeming to be cashing in on the Tolkien connexion; but there undoubtably was a Lancashire connexion. Tolkien often went to to Stonyhurst - apart from anything else, they have him in the visitor book there (I have a slight acquaintance who works at Stonyhurst College, so I suppose I could push any contentious questions on this her way, if needs be).

The Carpenter biography states that Tolkien's eldest son John was evacuated to Lancashire during WWII. Although transport then was difficult, I don't think it unlikely that Tolkien visited his son during the war.

Anyway, the upshot as far as annotations go should be facile. We know from the 'Guide to Names' that Tolkien knew Bamfurlong was a real place name. We know from google (ahem) that the only real Bamfurlong is in Lancashire. And we know that Tolkien was familiar with Lancashire, or at least could look at a map (or more likely, a guide to English place-names).
Stick a "probably" or a "may" in there, and you have an annotation ;)
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Postby roaccarcsson » Thu Apr 28, 2005 8:14 pm

No argument there. I'll add in a couple of sentences tomorrow. Thanks.
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Postby Aravar » Fri Apr 29, 2005 2:33 am

I didn't get it from google, Wilko, I got it from a letter in some papers I was dealing with. I was quite surprised when I saw it. I should have checked whether it was the only one.

Roac, it takes about three hours nowadays from Manchester to Oxford by train. It may have faster in Tolkien's time.
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Postby roaccarcsson » Fri Apr 29, 2005 4:50 am

Another question: What would be the proper phrase to describe Stonyhurst? English secondary education is Not Well Understood in the US. We have "prep schools" for the snotty elite and "public schools" for us proles - both of which terms, I gather, describe entirely different things in Britain. Also, where would Stonyhurst stand on the prestige ladder?
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