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I've just had a terrifying flash...

Grey Havens

Jul 7 2008, 3:19am

Post #1 of 9 (1556 views)
I've just had a terrifying flash... Can't Post

... back.


June – Mabel Suffield Tolkien converts to Catholicism, which shocks both the Unitarian Suffields and the Baptist Tolkiens. Despite being familially estranged and financially cut off due to this decision, she remains undeterred and begins her sons’ instruction in the Catholic faith, one that becomes especially deep-rooted in Ronald for his entire life.

June 29 – At his army physical, Tolkien declares that he has never suffered from any serious illness or injury.

June 30 – Tolkien’s Army application is certified by an Oxford University Officers Training Corps captain and he is accepted into the Army.

July 1 – The Battle of the Somme begins. Lieutenant Robert Quilter Gilson of the Cambridgeshire (11th) Battalion, Suffolk Brigade, close friend of Tolkien from King Edward’s and member of the “T.C.B.S.”, is killed by a bursting shell while leading his platoon into No Man’s Land.

June 29 – While still recovering from the effects of Trench Fever he contracted two years earlier in France, Tolkien contracts gastritis at Brocton Camp and is subsequently hospitalized in Hull.

June 29 – Letter to Stanley Unwin (#74) – While expressing his delight at the news that Unwin’s son, Rayner, will return from his leave and will be able to meet with Tolkien, the mention that Rayner is now a naval cadet brings out some bittersweet feelings in Tolkien: his son Christopher, having been called up into the Royal Air Force in July of the previous year, is now stationed in an air training school in Kroonstaad, in his father’s homeland, the “Oranje Vrystaat” (Orange Free State), South Africa. “… the fact that it was my native land does not seem to recommend it to him.” He informs Unwin that his other son, Michael, “a much damaged soldier”, is currently at Trinity “trying to do some work and recover a shadow of his old health.” (Michael was no longer fit for military service due to a "severe shock to nervous system due to prolonged exposure to enemy action".

As for the status of LOTR: “Not a line on it was possible for a year. One of the results […], was that I managed to bring this (great) work to within sight of conclusion and am now about to conclude it, disregarding all other calls, as far as is possible.” He hopes that Unwin is still has “some mild interest n it, in spite of paper shortage – at any rate as a possible future. […] I have still only one copy, and that needs revision as the thing nears its end. […] In any case, I fear, the story has grown too long and unjuvenile." He is grateful for the cheque Unwin sent him, as he is still laboring “under debts, mainly due to trying to complete a family’s education after war had taken most of one’s means: not an uncommon experience.”

June 30 – Tolkien writes to Warren Hamilton Lewis (Jack’s brother) to say that he is praying for his recovery (Warnie is in Convent Hospital of Our Lady of Lourdes in Drogheda, Ireland) and that he is sending him typescripts of Book IV of LOTR.

July 1 – Rayner Unwin writes to Tolkien, asking him to send one of his copies of the transcript of LOTR so that the publishing house can “refresh our memories and get a definite idea of the best treatment for it.” He assures Tolkien that “we do want to publish for you, it’s only ways and means that have held us up. So please let us have the Ring now and when you are able the Silmarillion too (I’ve never read it at all you see) and by the time you are freer we shall be ready to discuss it” (HarperCollins archives).

Margery Kathleen Mary (aka Susan) Dagnall, one of the two women responsible for getting The Hobbit on its way to being published, dies in a car accident at Weybridge, England.

June 29 – Letter to Naomi Mitchison (#164) – Tolkien updates her on the status of LOTR: “I have had a very grueling time, with far more work than I could really cope with, plus Vol.III. I am feeling as flat as a burst tyre; but may revive when (or if, as promised) the final proofs of Vol.III arrive tomorrow.”

June – In an lengthy undated letter to Forrest J. Ackerman (#210), Tolkien picks apart Morton Grady Zimmerman’s storyline for the animated film of LOTR. Some excerpts:

19. Why does Z put beaks and feathers on Orcs!? (Orcs is not a form of Auks). The Orcs are definitely stated to be corruptions of the ‘human’ form seen in Elves and Men…

31 to 32. “Why do not Théoden and Gandalf go into the open before the doors, as I have told? Though I have somewhat enriched the culture of the ‘heroic’ Rohirrim, it did not run to glass windows that could be thrown open!! We might be in a hotel…

Z has cut out the end of the book, including Saruman’s proper death. In that case I can see not reason for making him die. Saruman would never have committed suicide: to cling to life to its basest dregs is the way of the son of person he had become. If Z wants Saruman tidied up (I cannot see why, where so many threads are left loose) Gandalf should say something to this effect: as Saruman collapses under the excommunication: ‘Since you will not come out and aid us, here in Orthanc you shall stay till you rot, Saruman. Let the Ents look to it!”

(I guess someone forgot to show this to Peter Jackson. *cough*)

July 1 – Phyllis Jenkinson writes to Rayner Unwin, informing him that Tolkien will remain in hospital until at least July 10, where he is still recovering from a fall at his home in Sandfield Road).

Early (?) July – While Tolkien is in hospital, Edith moves into the Hotel Miramar. The movers take advantage of her inability to supervise the move from Sandfield Road to their new home in Poole due to her ill health, and they leave things in a disorganized mess.

June 30 – In reply to a letter by Paul Bibire asking him if the River Glanduin is the same as the Swanfleet, Tolkien not only confirms this, but he also provides further information on the etymology and history of the region. He also provides an update on his health, having recovered sufficiently enough from his accident a year before to ‘walk about fairly normally now, up to two miles or so (occasionally), and have some energy. But not enough to cope with both continued composition and the endless “escalation” of my business’. (Vinyar Tenwar 42)

July 1Liv Tyler, who portrays Arwen in Peter Jackson’s LOTR, is born on this day in New York, NY.

June 29Corona posts a potential cast list for voice casting for video games and preliminary facial modeling. Names include Al Pacino for Gandalf, Daniel Day-Lewis for Strider, Rupert Everett (character as yet unnamed), Bruce Willis and Liam Neeson for Boromir (Thank Eru that didn’t pan out!, Jude Law for Legolas, Sean Connery for Saruman (That’s the first time I’ve read his name not associated with the role of Gandalf), Harvey Keitel or Patrick Stewart for Denethor, Patrick Stewart or Harvey Keitel for Theoden (apparently the source got a little confused on these two characters), and the only one that turned out to be the real deal… Elijah Wood as Frodo.

June 30Der Herr der Ringe posts a pic of Peter Jackson with a copy of Tolkien’s masterpiece illustrated by Alan Lee.

June 30 - CounterAction Magazine posts an article from its June issue on-line about the impact of LOTR filming on the Mount Ruapehu area, with a photo of Peter Jackson on location in Whakapapa.

July 1 – The French website of Premiere magazine posts two pics of LOTR movie posters…

Also a small article from TotalFilm on the official LOTR website with a screen grab of the website (it looks mighty different from the current version).

Der Herr der Ringe posts a transcript (with pictures) of the July issue of New Zealand Horse and Pony, featuring the horses of LOTR – Florian (Asfaloth), Uraeus (Brego), Demero & Blanco (both Shadowfax), Rastus & Shane (both Bill the Pony)… as well as their trainers and riders - Basil Clapham, Jason Hill, Don Reynolds, Chris Rutten, Steve Old, Jane Abbot, Carl Tyler, Len Baynes, Jay Frost-Evans, among others.

E! Online posts its latest installment of “Force of Hobbit”, including an on-set visit during the filming of the Mirror of Galadriel, and a hint at how Shelob will be created. (E! Online no longer has this on their website, but I found it at Der Herr der Ringe.

June 30Heart of the City has a LOTR mention.

July 1 – Xoanan invites Ringers to “Blame Canada”…

…and singles out a couple of Canucks who helped make LOTR such a success.

(The link to the photo of Xo with Howard Shore’s Oscar doesn’t work, but I found it here.

July 1 – Sideshow announces that it is ending the Sideshow/Weta LOTR line after the last three pieces are released: Mumak of Harad, Amon Hen and Peter Jackson as Corsair.

All info has been collected from Hammond & Scull's "J.R.R. Tolkien Companion & Guide"; "The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien", TORn and various sites on the web.

NOTE: The reason there aren't any juicy tidbits or lots of spy reports is because most of July and August were downtimes in LOTRverse. Speaking of downtime, if some links that are linked through the Internet Archive Wayback Machine don't work, keep checking back... their website is down sometimes

Oh and, my *EEK!* moment? It actually happened when I was trying to post this. I was actually ahead of schedule and was just adding some finishing touches in my post when *EEK!* A VIRUS! A TROJAN VIRUS! *EEK!* I had to delete it and run a full scan of my computer which took about 3 hours.

*grumble grumble*

I swear, I think TORn has it in for me. Frown


Jul 7 2008, 11:00am

Post #2 of 9 (615 views)
I love these! Thanks for doing this work. [In reply to] Can't Post

I love your series of flashers, too. I wonder what search item one could put in Google to find those things. Hmmm. "Old lady flashers in trench coats images"????


Seriously, these flashes are interesting to read, and I appreciate them!


"an seileachan"

Pooh began to feel a little more comfortable, because when you are a Bear of Very Little Brain, and you Think of Things, you find sometimes that a Thing which seemed very Thingish inside you is quite different when it gets out into the open and has other people looking at it.


Jul 7 2008, 4:09pm

Post #3 of 9 (552 views)
Much appreciated, diedye... [In reply to] Can't Post

and I love your "flashes".


Hanging out with the Lonely Isle elves.


Jul 7 2008, 5:05pm

Post #4 of 9 (545 views)
I remember when that "silhouette" pic of the Fellowship came out [In reply to] Can't Post

and we all tried to figure out who was who. Gandalf was easy, as were Legolas & Gimli, but we had to guess about the Men and the Hobbits.

So the Unitarians have a claim on Tolkien too? Interesting. Usually it's the Catholics who become Unitarians, not the other way around.

Our similarities bring us to a common ground; our differences allow us to be fascinated by each other.
- Tom Robbins
* * * * * * * * * * * * * *
NARF and member of Deplorable Cultus since 1967


Jul 7 2008, 5:25pm

Post #5 of 9 (534 views)
I love that Nazgul-silhouette picture... [In reply to] Can't Post

I remember it being my desktopbackground for months.

And good news about the cast! It is funny, but it seems to me like they were planning a much 'older' cast in the beginning...

Tol Eressea

Jul 7 2008, 6:06pm

Post #6 of 9 (537 views)
Eek! [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm sure these flashes are leaving me with some severe mental scarring!!

Thanks again for this, it's a great read!

*Jazminatar the Brown*

Aunt Dora Baggins

Jul 7 2008, 8:13pm

Post #7 of 9 (517 views)
True. [In reply to] Can't Post

In Reply To
Usually it's the Catholics who become Unitarians, not the other way around.

Though it does happen, especially among kids who were raised by what I would call fundamentalist Unitarians. One day one of the moms in our Unitarian church was telling me that her teenaged son had started wearing a crucifix. She was horrified. "It's not just a cross," she said. "It has The Guy on it!"

I wasn't aware of the Tolkien connection either, which is kind of surprising, since UUs often grasp at any connections we can find (last Sunday our minister claimed 5 US presidents, which I think is a bit of a stretch.)

"For DORA BAGGINS in memory of a LONG correspondence, with love from Bilbo; on a large wastebasket. Dora was Drogo's sister, and the eldest surviving female relative of Bilbo and Frodo; she was ninety-nine, and had written reams of good advice for more than half a century."
"A Chance Meeting at Rivendell" and other stories

leleni at hotmail dot com

Forum Admin / Moderator

Jul 8 2008, 1:42am

Post #8 of 9 (499 views)
Hot flashes again, eh? [In reply to] Can't Post


Tolkien constantly felt he was "within sight" of writing the conclusion of LotR! But I'm quite glad that Unwin et.al. did not give up on him. Thanks again for these blasts from the past, diedye!

"I desired dragons with a profound desire"

"It struck me last night that you might write a fearfully good romantic drama, with as much of the 'supernatural' as you cared to introduce. Have you ever thought of it?"
-Geoffrey B. Smith, letter to JRR Tolkien, 1915


Jul 8 2008, 2:42am

Post #9 of 9 (519 views)
Well just don't stand there a flappin'! [In reply to] Can't Post

Fly that robe and jump in the pond already. The water these days is absolutely delightful.

The windows of Minas Tirith lit of an evening just after last light.

There are just so many illuminations from so many directions.

Thanks diedye, always a wonder and a delight:).

"Tolkien, like Lewis, believed that, through story, the real world would become a more magical place, full of meaning. We see its patterns and colors in a fresh way. The recovery of a true view of the world applies both to individual things, like hills and stones, and to the cosmic - the depths of space and time itself. For in sub-creation, in Tolkien's view, there is a "survey" of space and time. Reality is captured on a miniature scale. Through stories like The Lord of the Rings, a renewed view of things is given, illuminating the homely, the spiritial, the physical, and the moral dimensions of the world."

Tolkien and C.S. Lewis- The Gift of Friendship -Duriez

May the grace of Manwë let us soar with eagle's wings!

In the air, among the clouds in the sky
Here is where the birds of Manwe fly
Looking at the land, and the water that flows
The true beauty of earth shows
With the stars of Varda lighting my way
In all the realms this is where I stay
In the realm of Manwë Súlimo
By El~Cugu

From the website: 'The Realm of Manwe'


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