Tolkien As Truth

Discussion in 'Earth Mysteries: The Land' started by Anonymous, Apr 13, 2002.

  1. Hild und hjalmi

    Hild und hjalmi The fantasy-loving singing Valkyrie

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    This guy doesn't know much about Tolkien. JRRT mentioned Gondor in a letter written about an upcoming trip to Italy, and also said in another one that it was a Roman Empire analogue. Britain would be Eriador (where the Shire is).
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2017
  2. Naughty_Felid

    Naughty_Felid No longer interesting

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    He seems to have gotten things mixed up a bit Elystan Glodrydd was the founder of the 4th Royal tribe of Wales although there are some sources saying he founder the fifth.


    http://www.elystan.co.uk/ this site dedicated to Elystan is contradicted by older texts saying he founded the fourth tribe.

    Walter of Scotland - not an actual person but I'm guessing he means Walter Stewart 3rd High Steward of Scotland. His Father was Alan Fitz Walter and not the mythical son of Cilman


    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alan_fitz_Walter,_2nd_High_Steward_of_Scotland

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Walter_Stewart,_3rd_High_Steward_of_Scotland


    Cilman Troed Ddu, (he says Droed not Troed, which is wrong if he's talking about Cilman blackfoot), seems to be semi-mythical sort of Arthurian character and I can't actually find any linage for him.


    I'm guessing if he can't get his Welsh for "foot" right then he's claim is pretty weak.

    Any Welsh medieval Scholars around?


    edit: still he's probably got as much of a claim than the current German mob in power at the moment.
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2017
  3. Coal

    Coal Gentleman, scholar, acrobat.

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    He'd get the same fealty from me, that's for sure. :)
     
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  4. RyoHazuki

    RyoHazuki Ephemeral Spectre

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    That's a mutation - the first letters B,C,D,G,P & T can all change, depending how the preceding word ends. Hardly any Welsh speakers adhere to the rule in conversation, mind.
     
  5. Krepostnoi

    Krepostnoi Hoarse Bronzeman

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    This engrossing list of names for supernatural beings encountered in the British Isles takes some beating. See if you can spot why I chose this thread to host it:
    [​IMG]

    Was alphabetical order not a thing in the 19th century? Also, is it just me, or does "death-hearse" sound a bit tautological? Anyway, the list is credited to the Denham Tracts, 1892-95, as reprinted in The Penguin Book of English Folk-Tales, Neil Philip, 1992. Tip of the hat to Yetibaba, t/a The Mercurial Muse.
     
  6. Coal

    Coal Gentleman, scholar, acrobat.

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    Love that, ta for posting it.
     
  7. jimv1

    jimv1 Analogue Boy

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    ‘Mum-pokers’?
     
  8. Xanatic*

    Xanatic* Justified & Ancient

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    Are they perchance the same as the Dick-A-Tuesday?
     
  9. Peripart

    Peripart Antediluvian

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    For those understandably reluctant to click on links in posts, I was once again in the area of Birmingham University yesterday, and snapped the following picture: ZTower.jpg

    This is the Chamberlain Clock Tower in the middle of campus, and it can surely be no coincidence that Tolkien went to school within half a mile of this spot. Even if his early illustrators didn't ape the design too closely, the makers of the recent films surely had this in mind when designing Orthanc.
     
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  10. Naughty_Felid

    Naughty_Felid No longer interesting

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    I poke a mum not as often as I'd like to though.
     
  11. Dr_Baltar

    Dr_Baltar Justified & Ancient

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    I'm afraid not. The film design for Orthanc was taken directly from the illustrations of Alan Lee. Those illustrations are in turn influenced by Tolkien's description in the book.
     
  12. EnolaGaia

    EnolaGaia I knew the job was dangerous when I took it ...

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  13. amyasleigh

    amyasleigh Abominable Snowman

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    (Reproduced long list snipped)
    "Coming in late" here (having just logged onto "Earth Mysteries" for the first time in many months): memory has been called up, of an exchange a few years ago on a Harry Potter fans' message board (J.K. Rowling makes use of, and fits various paranormal beings to, a good many old British terms for such entities, including some on the wonderful Denham Tracts list included in Krepostnoi's post). The list's including "hobbits" (line 27), was mentioned there.

    Discussion then and there, touched on the word "hobbit" being widely attributed / self-attributed to a coining by Tolkien; when in fact the Denham Tracts knew it in the 1890s. IIRC happenings recounted by Tolkien were, that one day in the 1930s he was marking examination papers handed in, when there popped into his head from nowhere, the words "In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit". (Whence, in later years, Bilbo Baggins and all that came after.)

    In this reminiscence, Tolkien would seem to imply that he -- or his subconscious, quite randomly -- thus invented the word "hobbit" for the first time: which is, as above, demonstrably not so. I like old J.R.R., and would wish to think of him as a highly moral chap -- devout Catholic and all that: so prefer to believe that either he genuinely did happen on the word independently, out of the blue, never having encountered it before; or that -- maybe decades earlier, as an undergraduate -- he had come across the Denham Tracts list, but did not remember every single thing that it contained (who could?) -- with "hobbit(s)" lurking in an untapped memory cell, until randomly emerging all those years later. At all events, I don't wish to think that he -- consciously -- nicked the word from the D.T., and then passed it off as "his own invention".
     
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2017
  14. oldrover

    oldrover Justified & Ancient

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    AM I've PM'ed you. Having some E-mail problems.
     
  15. Peripart

    Peripart Antediluvian

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    It could be that Tolkien was not claiming to have coined the word, merely that the sentence "In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit" popped unexpectedly into his head, thus giving him the first line of his book.
     
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  16. Cochise

    Cochise Justified & Ancient

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    Memory simply isn't that organised anyway. He could obviously have read or heard the word hobbit and forgotten it completely until it popped into his head.

    Given the catch-all at the bottom of the list, no-one can think up anything in the sprite / ghost / leprechaun line that hasn't been covered! But Tolkien's Hobbits are in no way supernatural.
     
  17. Cochise

    Cochise Justified & Ancient

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    I don't want to stray into politics - just impressed to note this post (not from me!) from as far back as 2003!
     
  18. Mythopoeika

    Mythopoeika I am a meat popsicle

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    The word 'hobbit' was around long before Tolkien used it.
    Apparently, it was used as a unit of measurement in Wales:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hobbit_(unit)
    I think Tolkien was using the term with that in mind, because he also uses the term 'peck' in relation to the hobbits. The peck is a unit of measurement related to the hobbit (four pecks = 1 hobbit).

    Edit: The term 'peck' was also used for the little people in the film Willow. OK, not Tolkien, yes...
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2017
  19. Cochise

    Cochise Justified & Ancient

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    Replying to an old post but only just found this conversation.

    Of course there is an English mythology - Robin Hood, Hereward the Wake, Battle of Maldon, etc. Tolkien did an essay on the latter. It's just that the English, having a good solid strain of Saxon common sense, build their mythology more about actual events (or conflated groups of events). Much of Bede is likely mythology rather than actual verbatim history.

    The Celts are still dreaming of fantasies while the Saxons went on to build the modern world. Albeit using the various strengths - creativity, propensity to violence, loyalty - of the Celts to aid them ...

    OK, I'm being whimsical, and likely I have no English blood at all, but I greatly admire the Saxons who went from untamed bloodthirsty savages to arguably the most civilised society in Western Europe in only about 400 years. Tolkien admired them as well, obviously.
     
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  20. Cochise

    Cochise Justified & Ancient

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    Really? I thought that was a Hobbett. I think it was originally a size of barrel. Perhaps that ties in with barrel-rider. If we were talking about Patrick O'Brian I would agree that _had_ to be the derivation!

    Mind you one King in Wales apparently had the idea of using beaver pelts as currency. Which is why we don't have any beavers. Maybe Douglas Adams knew about that when writing about the B-Ark. And maybe he didn't.

    I accept the word existed before Tolkien used it, but that is no reason to suppose he for certain knew of it, even as a linguist.

    I just invented the word foshen and looked it up. turns out its some sort of musician. I didn't know that previously, and Tolkien wouldn't have had the Web to search.

    None of the online dictionaries that I have tried have 'Hobbit' in the measurement or the supernatural sense. The OED may have, but you have to subscribe to check that. My physical Concise Oxford does not.
     
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  21. Shadowsot

    Shadowsot Devoted Cultist

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    I dunno, it adds a bit more fun to the barrel riding scene
     
  22. amyasleigh

    amyasleigh Abominable Snowman

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    I seem to recall that in JRRT's reminiscence, he mentioned that when that sentence came into his mind "out of nowhere", he had no idea what it was about, or what a hobbit was -- his creating his "little people", was a later development therefrom. At all events: I reckon him to have been a good egg, and choose to believe that over this matter, he was telling the truth as far as he was aware of.
     
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  23. humanoidlord

    humanoidlord ce3 researcher

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    >no mince pie aliens, odd big cats and britsh bigfoot
    something is wrong here
     
  24. Krepostnoi

    Krepostnoi Hoarse Bronzeman

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    On the contrary: how can we be so sure they are not in the list, just under different names..?
     
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