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Old 06-22-2020, 02:49 PM   #1
William Cloud Hicklin
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New Tolkien book coming!

As in, actually by JRR Tolkien, not just about him.

The Nature of Middle-earth is a collection of late writings, in both the metaphysical and literal senses of the title: Tolkien's musings on the cosmology of his creation, as well as its biosphere. The collection, edited by Carl F. Hostetter (our own Aelfwine), was authorized by the late Christopher Tolkien before his death and can be viewed as a sort of 13th volume of The History of Middle Earth.

Scheduled for release in the spring of 2021.
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Old 06-22-2020, 04:11 PM   #2
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Outstanding! Long time to wait though....
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Old 06-23-2020, 02:00 AM   #3
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Ooooooooh....

Per this description, the "several texts detailing the lands, flora, and fauna of Númenor, and the lives of Númenóreans" sound particularly interesting, provided that doesn't just mean "the drafts of the UT 'Description'".

Hilariously, this page indicates they only revealed this was coming by accident. Oops!

So, the Expanded History of Middle-earth now includes:

-Unfinished Tales ('HoME 0'?)
-HoME I - XII
-The Index
-The collected Parma Eldalamberon
-Some or all of the collected Vinyar Tengwar (approx. issue 39 onwards)
-The History of the Hobbit, Parts 1 & 2
-The Nature of Middle-earth

I foresee lengthy arguments about which ones count in the numbering. This is going to make all my jokes about "it's in HoME XIII: The Weird Bits" very tricky, though I suppose I can replace them with "it's all in the Hostetter book".

hS
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Old 06-23-2020, 05:51 AM   #4
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To which perhaps could be added The Chronology of the Lord of the Rings, hopefully to appear in Tolkien Studies before long.
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Old 06-23-2020, 06:13 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by William Cloud Hicklin View Post
To which perhaps could be added The Chronology of the Lord of the Rings, hopefully to appear in Tolkien Studies before long.
Oooooooh...

Can you share any more details on that? The title is intriguing, but could mean a lot of things.

hS
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Old 06-23-2020, 02:18 PM   #6
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Thanks for this information. Here, have some more of my money.

I'm with Huey on being excited about the additional details on Numenor.
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Old 06-23-2020, 06:24 PM   #7
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Oooooooh...

Can you share any more details on that? The title is intriguing, but could mean a lot of things.

hS
During the later part of the writing of The Lord of the Rings, Tolkien found that in order to keep all of his characters' movements synchronized - always with scrupuolus care to travel distances - he had to come up with a 'synoptic' time-scheme in multiple columns, which day by day related in brief what everyone was doing. In many cases this is stuff which never made it into print, since it was all happening offstage. That first chronology was replaced by a second as the story developed, and that by yet a third, which was done after the story was finished probably during the first phase of work on what became the Appendices. This is a fascinating document, never before published; and although I finished my annotated edition of it aeons ago I'm still struggling with the accompanying commentary-- not helped at all by Covid having locked down Marquette's archives.
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Old 06-24-2020, 03:05 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by William Cloud Hicklin View Post
During the later part of the writing of The Lord of the Rings, Tolkien found that in order to keep all of his characters' movements synchronized - always with scrupuolus care to travel distances - he had to come up with a 'synoptic' time-scheme in multiple columns, which day by day related in brief what everyone was doing. In many case this is stuff which never made it into print, since it was all happening offstage. That first chronology was replaced by a second as the story developed, and that by yet a third, which was done after the story was finished probably during the first phase of work on what became the Appendices. This is a fascinating document, never before published; and although I finished my annotated edition of it aeons ago I'm still struggling with the accompanying commentary-- not helped at all by Covid having locked down Marquette's archives.
Oooooooooooooh...

hS
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Old 06-26-2020, 04:53 PM   #9
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Here's a taste:

[Tolkien] began with linear time-schemes, that is, listing all of each day’s events in a single sequence. As the story grew in narrative complexity, however, these proved inadequate and therefore, as he began what is now Book V in October 1944, chronological discrepancies which had crept into the text led him to make a time-scheme in parallel columns, allowing him day by day to drive abreast the actions of his various groups of characters. This first ‘synoptic’ chronology, which Christopher Tolkien designated S, petered out as Book V developed during 1946 and was replaced by another, which I will refer to as S2. S2 remained the working chronology through at least April 1948 (there is a dated note) and almost certainly until after the completion of the story that summer, although the time-scheme itself breaks off after the Battle of the Pelennor. S2 then served as the vehicle for Tolkien’s conversion of the calendar, which had been the Gregorian throughout the writing of the book, to the new Shire-reckoning. The final Chronology, S3, was the third and last of these ‘synoptic’ schemes, written most probably toward the end of the first phase of work on the Appendices circa 1949-50, and definitely after the first draft of the narrative had been completed. Even at this time the chronology was not settled, and Tolkien altered things to his satisfaction in both the creation of, and later emendations to, S3 which in turn led to revisions in the text.

Each of the three synoptic time-schemes can be associated with a major chronological upheaval: S with the adjustments required in October 1944; S2 with the addition of a month passing while the Fellowship was in Lórien; and S3 with Tolkien’s postponement of the Battle of the Pelennor and the consequent reworking of all the many threads converging on Minas Tirith. A further major upheaval, carried out by corrections to S2 and embodied in S3, was the conversion of the calendar to Shire-reckoning. The end result was the published text of The Lord of the Rings and a chronology consistent at all points, save a few small oversights, with Appendix B, ‘The Tale of Years.’ S3 is the precursor to the very compressed ‘The Great Years’ section of Appendix B; the dates and events (almost) entirely accord with it and indeed many of the published entries read as if they were abridged directly from those given here. Although there almost certainly must have been an intermediate stage, none of the surviving draft texts of ‘The Tale of Years’ have any section comparable to ‘The Great Years,’ merely annalistic entries for 3018 and 3019, and if such an intermediate stage existed it is now lost.

The ready availability of Appendix B does not render this Chronology a mere draft or curiosity! S3 can be said to represent, despite its laconic mode, Tolkien’s most complete accounting of the incidents of the great tale, not only those related in the narrative but also those transpiring offstage. It was intended as a final version: ‘canonical,’ for those who like the term. It contains a very great deal of information not found in the Appendices which is of remarkable interest; this is especially the case with regard to actions and motivations which occur for the most part in the background during The Lord of the Rings. Only here, for example, do we learn that...
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Old 06-28-2020, 09:54 PM   #10
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I'm looking forward to this!
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Old 07-16-2020, 05:35 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by William Cloud Hicklin View Post
As in, actually by JRR Tolkien, not just about him.

The Nature of Middle-earth is a collection of late writings, in both the metaphysical and literal senses of the title: Tolkien's musings on the cosmology of his creation, as well as its biosphere. The collection, edited by Carl F. Hostetter (our own Aelfwine), was authorized by the late Christopher Tolkien before his death and can be viewed as a sort of 13th volume of The History of Middle Earth.

Scheduled for release in the spring of 2021.
I am really looking forward to this……
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Old 07-16-2020, 05:36 PM   #12
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To which perhaps could be added The Chronology of the Lord of the Rings, hopefully to appear in Tolkien Studies before long.
How can one avoid missing that ?
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