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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Reading Room:
**What will we discuss next? Vote here.**
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N.E. Brigand
Half-elven


Jul 8 2009, 4:19am

Post #1 of 27 (1584 views)
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**What will we discuss next? Vote here.** Can't Post

The clouds have gathered, the Arkenstone has left the Mountain, and The Hobbit draws inexorably toward its conclusion in early August. The time has come to vote on the subject of our next regular discussion. Recently, batik, Curious, Darkstone, Elven, GaladrielTX, Isis, One Ringer, and Tolkien Forever offered some suggestions for your consideration, including The Silmarillion, a biography of Tolkien, Tolkien’s artwork, Roverandom, and Letters from Father Christmas. You may vote for any of these or for anything else by or about Tolkien.

For reference, these were the subjects of our previous discussions:

The Lord of the Rings (2000-2001 / 70 weeks)
The Silmarillion (2001-2002 / 28 weeks)
Unfinished Tales (2002 / 26 weeks)
The Lord of the Rings (2002-2004 / 70 weeks)
The Hobbit (2004 / 20 weeks)
“Leaf by Niggle” (2004 / 1 week)
The Silmarillion (2004-2005 / 28 weeks)
----Smith of Wootton Major (2004 / 8 weeks)
----Farmer Giles of Ham (2004 / 6 weeks)
----Selections from Blackwelder conference (2004-2005 / 15 weeks)
The Lord of the Rings (2005-2006 / 70 weeks)
----The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien (2005-2006 / 39 weeks)
----Selections from J.R.R. Tolkien Encyclopedia (2006 / 20 weeks)
Unfinished Tales (2006 / 16 weeks)
Themes in Tolkien’s Works (2006-2007 / 16 weeks)
Illustrations of Tolkien’s Works (2007 / 16 weeks)
The Children of Húrin (2007 / 18 weeks)
The Lord of the Rings (2007-2009 / 70 weeks)
----“On Fairy-stories” (2008 / 6 weeks)
The Hobbit (2009 / 20 weeks)


The offset entries were the subjects of “secondary discussions”, slower-paced series that ran concurrently to the primary discussion topics. Nominally, there is a secondary discussion running right now, a “leader’s choice” series, but only three people signed-up to lead, and two of them had to bow out to manage other commitments. And the “On Fairy-stories” discussion last fall only just came together, with a last-minute replacement to lead one of the discussions. So for now, I think we should stick to just one topic at a time (and remember, independent “unofficial” threads are always welcome). However, I welcome arguments to the contrary!

Works previously used here in secondary discussions --which usually meant two or three threads per week-- will take less time to discuss if they are our primary focus. So if a short work gets the most votes, I think we should pair it with the most popular long work: it would be nice to have at least 20 weeks of discussion planned in advance. To that end, if you're voting for a short work, feel free to also vote for a long work, or for two or more short works.

If you vote for a biography, I encourage suggestions as to which book or books you’d like us to discuss. In my opinion, there are three good book-length biographies. The standard biography since 1977 has been Humphrey Carpenter’s J.R.R. Tolkien: A Biography. This is still the only first-rate work to cover Tolkien’s entire life in narrative form. More recently it has been supplemented by John Garth’s Tolkien and the Great War (2003), but as its title indicates, the subject is restricted to Tolkien’s early years. As a reference tool, Carpenter has been superseded by Christina Scull and Wayne Hammond’s definitive and very detailed Chronology, the first half of their two-volume J.R.R. Tolkien Companion & Guide (2006). However, that work is presented not as a continuous narrative but as a series of chronological entries – discussing it would be like discussing the “Tale of Years” from LOTR for months on end. But if that’s what you want, we’ll figure out how to make it work.

So far as I know, every other full-length Tolkien biography but one derives from Carpenter's book rather than from original research. The exception is Daniel Grotta's J.R.R. Tolkien: Architect of Middle-earth, but because Grotta was stymied by the Tolkien Estate (which was working with Carpenter), his book includes a fair number of errors.


<><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><>
We're discussing The Hobbit in the Reading Room, Mar. 23 - Aug. 9. Everyone is welcome!

Join us July 6-July 12 for "A Thief in the Night".
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How to find old Reading Room discussions.


Curious
Half-elven


Jul 8 2009, 4:36am

Post #2 of 27 (1435 views)
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I'm not sure how to vote. [In reply to] Can't Post

I tend to think we should do The Silmarillion, but the last time we did it I found myself dropping out of the discussion. So I think I'll pass for now and see what other people want to do.


N.E. Brigand
Half-elven


Jul 8 2009, 4:56am

Post #3 of 27 (1417 views)
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Early and often. // [In reply to] Can't Post

 

<><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><>
We're discussing The Hobbit in the Reading Room, Mar. 23 - Aug. 9. Everyone is welcome!

Join us July 6-July 12 for "A Thief in the Night".
+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=
How to find old Reading Room discussions.


Tolkien Forever
Gondor

Jul 8 2009, 6:38am

Post #4 of 27 (1426 views)
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Still Voting For [In reply to] Can't Post

The Silmarillion

Hasn't been done since I've been around & certainly, I think, the most thought provoking & 'debatable' or 'discussable' (?) of Tolkien'sa works....

The Ultimate Tolkien Trivia Quiz: http://www.proprofs.com/quiz-school/story.php?title=so-you-want-to-be-tolkien-geek


sador
Half-elven

Jul 8 2009, 7:17am

Post #5 of 27 (1424 views)
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I would also prefer the Silmarillion. [In reply to] Can't Post

At least, I will have the most to contribute to such a discussion. You may decide for yourself whether that's a good thing... Angelic

"Such a fool deserves to starve." - Bard.


Twit
Lorien

Jul 8 2009, 9:49am

Post #6 of 27 (1416 views)
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The Silmarillion please [In reply to] Can't Post

as I have that one.


(or Lord of the Ring, Unfinished Tales ( though I find that a little annoying as they are... well... not finished.)
or HoME no.s 1,2,10 or 12.) If you get my drift.Wink


a.s.
Valinor


Jul 8 2009, 11:47am

Post #7 of 27 (1426 views)
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*IF* we do a bio, I'd like Garth [In reply to] Can't Post

I didn't discuss Hobbit (because I rarely read it, sorry if that makes me a bad-fan) but I'll probably join in if we do the Sil (another rare read, but I "need" to know stuff about it for context, boring or not! editorial comment, sorry).

But if we decide to do a bio of some kind as a secondary, I'd love to discuss the Garth book, which has a rich subtext of the war and times, etc.

So count that as a semi-vote for Garth, if bios are in the running.

a.s.

"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.



Compa_Mighty
Tol Eressea


Jul 8 2009, 12:46pm

Post #8 of 27 (1414 views)
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I would love to see what everyone has to say about The Silmarillion [In reply to] Can't Post

Remember I do not post that often in the Reading Room, though. So please go with the vote of the regulars!

Here's to Del Toro becoming the Irvin Kershner of Middle Earth!

Essay winner of the Show us your Hobbit Pride Giveway!


Curious
Half-elven


Jul 8 2009, 1:15pm

Post #9 of 27 (1418 views)
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Tsk, tsk. [In reply to] Can't Post

Bad fan, bad fan! Smile

I like LotR the best, but I think I learn a great deal about LotR by discussing The Hobbit. I'm not just talking about Middle-earth, I'm also talking about the evolution of Tolkien's own fiction.


visualweasel
Rohan


Jul 8 2009, 1:47pm

Post #10 of 27 (1422 views)
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The Silmarillion [In reply to] Can't Post

In addition to profitable discussion of the book itself (and I wasn't around for the last one), there are now Elizabeth Whittingham's and Doug Kane's books to take into account for satellite points.

Jason Fisher
Lingwë - Musings of a Fish


The Lord of the Rings discussion 2007-2008 – The Two Towers – III.4 “Treebeard” – Part 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6
“On Fairy-stories” discussion 2008 – “Origins” – Part 1, 2, 3, 4, 5


Beren IV
Gondor


Jul 8 2009, 2:50pm

Post #11 of 27 (1404 views)
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HoME :p [In reply to] Can't Post

Although there are some introductory theological problems that need discussion.

The paleobotanist is back!


dernwyn
Forum Admin / Moderator


Jul 8 2009, 4:23pm

Post #12 of 27 (1392 views)
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Good point! // [In reply to] Can't Post

 


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"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



a.s.
Valinor


Jul 8 2009, 5:44pm

Post #13 of 27 (1415 views)
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help with "what is the Hobbit Edition that I own?" question [In reply to] Can't Post

I responded to your post (good point, basically, but I just read what you guys discuss about Hobbit because I haven't read it enough times to comment very helpfully).

But then I said I got my edition in 1987.

Yet looking on the web, I don't think I did. That edition (which looks like mine on the outside, in a green leatherette box) was the fifitieth anniversary edition and supposedly contains a forward or intro by Christopher Tolkien. Mine doesn't.

Yet I have a library plate in there with my married name handwritten on it, so it must be something I bought or received after 1978 (although not necessarily, I might just have slapped the library plate in an already owned book after I got married, I suppose. Another memory lost in the sands of time...).

There was a "collector's edition" in 1973, with the same ISBN: 0-395-17711-1

Is that what my copy is, anyone know? It looks like this:





Except that on my copy there is no red coloring on the illustration of the mountain as seen here, just the silver and green there. My book does have the red outline around the runes, just like that picture does.

The box that contains the book looks like this:





But I understand that's actually a picture of the 50th anniversary edition from 1987.

Is my book the 1973 "collector's edtion"? I don't see any date other than the copyright 1966, JRRTolkien

The copyright page says:

H 10 9 8 7
copyright 1966 by JRR Tolkien
All rights reserved (etc)
ISBN: 0-395-17711-1
Printed in the USA

And it's marked "Houghton Mifflin Company Boston" on the title page.

The in-text illustrations by JRRT are black and green, and there are five full color plates by JRRT. It's lovely.

I still think it's boring, though.

LOL

a.s.

"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.



GaladrielTX
Tol Eressea


Jul 8 2009, 5:58pm

Post #14 of 27 (1397 views)
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The Father Christmas Letters [In reply to] Can't Post

Add other works before it as needed so we can end up discussing it around Christmas. I vote for Roverandum as one of these.

Thanks for your guidance and your organizational skills, NEB!

~~~~~~~~

The TORNsib formerly known as Galadriel.



drogo
Lorien


Jul 8 2009, 6:42pm

Post #15 of 27 (1409 views)
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Waves to a.s. [In reply to] Can't Post

N.E.B. alerted me to your question (I still exist, but live has been too busy to visit TORN of late!).

There actually is (shocker!) a decent Wikipedia article outlining the different editions of The Hobbit:
And it lists the 1973 Houghton Mifflin edition with green leatherette boards:

[quote]HM1973 — Houghton Mifflin Company of Boston, 1973. Forest green simulated leather boards with red and gold gilt runic inscription around the periphery in front and a stylized road-going-into-forest-in-front-of-mountains illustration in gold gilt a little above center. Matching slipcase in simulated leather with the same cover illustration on a paste-down in green, black, and yellow. Printed on heavy paper. All original illustrations from HM1938 restored, including color plates. Black-and-white illustrations printed as black-and-green, maps in black and green, and each page neatline is in green. 18 x 23.5 cm, 317 numbered pages.[/quote]

Then HM released a 50th Anniversary edition in 1987 that has the same forest green cover, essentially reissuing the 1973 one:

[quote]HM1987 — Houghton Mifflin Company of Boston, 1987. 50th Anniversary Edition. Similar in design to HM1973, but covers and slipcase are in gold instead of green, and the front cover illustration is a "50" in green. All monochrome illustrations, including maps, in gold and black instead of green and black. Color plates same as HM1973. Foreword by Christopher Tolkien describes the history of the writing and publication of The Hobbit.[/quote]

You probably have a later impression of the 1973 edition (the text itself was last changed in 1966 by Tolkien, hence that is the copyright date for both those editions. It was later renewed with the Annotated Hobbit in the 1960 I believe). The number line (HM 10 9 8 7) suggests it is a 10 printing of this 1973 edition, which would fit the period suggested by your name plate!

I believe I have a similar Hobbit at home. I do like the look of it!

Hope this helps.


a.s.
Valinor


Jul 8 2009, 6:51pm

Post #16 of 27 (1403 views)
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waves back, signs "thanks"! [In reply to] Can't Post

Nice to see you anytime, thanks for answering so quickly.

That explains it! I have the 1973 collector's edition, a later printing probably closer to the 1978 date I got those library plates.

Yes, it's a lovely book. To look at.

Cool

a.s.

"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.



visualweasel
Rohan


Jul 8 2009, 8:53pm

Post #17 of 27 (1392 views)
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A small correction [In reply to] Can't Post


Quote
You probably have a later impression of the 1973 edition (the text itself was last changed in 1966 by Tolkien, hence that is the copyright date for both those editions. It was later renewed with the Annotated Hobbit in the 1960 I believe). The number line (HM 10 9 8 7) suggests it is a 10 printing of this 1973 edition, which would fit the period suggested by your name plate!



The correct reading of that number line would be 7th printing, not 10th. A first printing numberline tends to go 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1. Then, as each new printing is done, they remove the lower numbers. A 2nd printing has the numberline 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2, and so on.

Jason Fisher
Lingwë - Musings of a Fish


The Lord of the Rings discussion 2007-2008 – The Two Towers – III.4 “Treebeard” – Part 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6
“On Fairy-stories” discussion 2008 – “Origins” – Part 1, 2, 3, 4, 5


visualweasel
Rohan


Jul 8 2009, 8:54pm

Post #18 of 27 (1395 views)
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Yep, and ... [In reply to] Can't Post

... if they did one printing per year, as is often the case, your copy would be 1979.

Jason Fisher
Lingwë - Musings of a Fish


The Lord of the Rings discussion 2007-2008 – The Two Towers – III.4 “Treebeard” – Part 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6
“On Fairy-stories” discussion 2008 – “Origins” – Part 1, 2, 3, 4, 5


batik
Tol Eressea


Jul 9 2009, 1:14am

Post #19 of 27 (1379 views)
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The Silmarillion... [In reply to] Can't Post

I've read most of this only once. The idea of an in depth discussion is very appealing!




Elizabeth
Half-elven


Jul 9 2009, 7:58am

Post #20 of 27 (1373 views)
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Looks like we're heading for the Sil. [In reply to] Can't Post

Sorry, I've missed most of The Hobbit, for reasons best summarized by a.s. Another Bad Fan!

But it's been a while since I read The Sil, and look forward to doing it with VtF's book for reference!





The Rohirrim, by Peter Xavier Price

Elizabeth is the TORnsib formerly known as 'erather'


Saelind
Lorien


Jul 11 2009, 3:08am

Post #21 of 27 (1358 views)
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next discussion [In reply to] Can't Post

I throw my lot in with the Sil folks. And a nice suggestion for a secondary was posted in another thread. "The Tales Before Tolkien".


N.E. Brigand
Half-elven


Jul 14 2009, 2:57pm

Post #22 of 27 (1361 views)
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"The Silmarillion" going once... // [In reply to] Can't Post

 

<><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><>
We're discussing The Hobbit in the Reading Room, Mar. 23 - Aug. 9. Everyone is welcome!

Join us July 13-19 for "The Clouds Burst".

And vote here for the next Reading Room dicussion!
+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=
How to find old Reading Room discussions.


N.E. Brigand
Half-elven


Jul 15 2009, 9:08pm

Post #23 of 27 (1334 views)
Shortcut
"The Silmarillion" going twice... // [In reply to] Can't Post

 

<><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><>
We're discussing The Hobbit in the Reading Room, Mar. 23 - Aug. 9. Everyone is welcome!

Join us July 13-19 for "The Clouds Burst".

And vote here for the next Reading Room dicussion!
+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=
How to find old Reading Room discussions.


Stuffe
The Shire

Jul 15 2009, 9:33pm

Post #24 of 27 (1335 views)
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Let me finish it first ;) [In reply to] Can't Post

Then I can read it again and join in :)


Curious
Half-elven


Jul 15 2009, 11:04pm

Post #25 of 27 (1354 views)
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You have until August 9th, or longer, if you've already started.// [In reply to] Can't Post

 

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