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Old 10-15-2021, 03:37 AM   #2
Ghost Prince of Cardolan
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Oh yes. This (once any kinks have been worked out) is getting copied out and slipped in the front of the book. Let's see what we've got.

- I.1 - Hostetter is slightly unclear in the dating here, referencing amendments to the Annals of Aman. This is kind of true, in that the draft AAm (ie, the reworking of the Annals of Valinor) was amended to give the shorter VY; but per CT, the first proper AAm text is the 9.58-year one. So yes, 1951.

- There is an oddity in XX: it gives the date of the Awakening in VY 1050, matching the Annals of Aman, but introduces the idea of the March ending in VY 1450 (not 1133). I think this has to just be a slip - even after Tolkien switched the Awakening to VY 1000, he maintained the 1133 date.

- X clearly predates the note to IX: X states a gestation period of 900 months (100:1) and then corrects this to 10:1, which change was carried across to the note on IX. So we have IX - X - IX (note).

- I think XI must precede X. XI introduces the 10:1 growth-rate which X includes as written (partly to resolve the issue of Maeglin). The gestation period is actually a clue to this: footnote 10 to X says that it was written as 12 years, amended to 900 months, and then a second note corrects it to 8 years (which was then transposed into IX (note). So we have IX - XI - X - IX (note).

- IV is a bit weird. It states outright a gestation of 8 years, then launches into a description using 144-year growth-years. Worse, footnote 21 shows that it was originally written with a 1 sun-year gestation! Given the "what about Maeglin?" note at the end, I think this text as originally written has to precede XI; but the notes to it came in over the course of the IX-X-XI complex. I see no indication that IV includes the change to 100:1 in Beleriand, which appears ab initio in XX and IX; so we have IV - XX - IX - XI - X.

- With V, I can return to your order: it includes the ca. 9-year gestation adopted by the note to IX.

- VII, VIII, and VI (A) and (B) are complex. VI seems to be the first introduction of the Awakening in VY 1000, which places it before VII; but the "later Legend" note strongly implies that VI is later. Best guess is that VI.A [the second text in VI] was the first of this set, while VI.B was written specifically for collection in front of VII & VIII (it ends with "as shown also in what follows", referencing the March timeline). VI.A - VII - VIII - VI.B.

- In fact, I suspect VI.B was specifically written for inclusion in the larger piece assembled in III, "Of Time in Arda". That would put it immediately before III, as you say.

- XII is interesting, because it draws on both V and IV - it uses the "tortoises" passage from IV, for instance. Given that the title matches the one Tolkien added to IV when writing III, I think XII might be a replacement for the aborted III - ie, Tolkien went "hang on, IV and V should really be one text", gave up rewriting IV, and started over on a synthesis. So I agree with the placement.

- Concur on XIV and XIII 2-3. However, XIII.1 must come after the final generational scheme in XVII, as it adopts the birth-dates of Finwe et al from that text (among other details). XV must still fall before XVII.1, because the former gives far higher numbers of children in the earlier generations, while the XVII.3 schemes all follow XVII.1 in reducing this to 6 or fewer.

- XVI still falls between XV and XVII.1, so the final order for this set is XIII.3 - XIII.2B - XVII.2 - XIII.2A - XV - XVI - XVII.1 - XVII.3 - XIII.1

- And then I agree on the last few texts; I don't think there's any way of dating the '68-69 texts relative to each other.

So my current order is:


A pictoral comparison. Basically, I've reshuffled the earliest 1959 texts, split VI, and moved XIII.1 to be the final timeline.

This is obviously not set in stone! I'm sure there's still room for improvement. (As a note I can't remember where it goes: the fact that IV originally had a 1-sun year gestation indicates that LaCE could well have been written before the '59s: Tolkien rejected the 1-year gestation for mathematical reasons, only to eventually readopt it.)

Have you burned the ships that could bear you back again? ~Finrod: The Rock Opera
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