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**LotR Discussion: Introduction**
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N.E. Brigand
Half-elven


Oct 15 2007, 1:47am

Post #1 of 73 (839 views)
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**LotR Discussion: Introduction** Can't Post

Welcome to our new discussion of The Lord of The Rings! This week we will be talking about everything that precedes the first chapter, including the cover, title page, poem, table of contents, notes on the text, forewords, prologue and maps. I thought we might ease into things with some general preliminary questions:

Why did you first read LotR?

What did you expect it to be like before you started?

What was your initial response?

How have your feelings about it changed since then?

What would you most like to learn more about during our discussion?

I'll be throwing out a bunch of questions this week; please feel no obligation to answer all of them.

<><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><>
We're discussing The Lord of the Rings in the Reading Room, Oct. 15, 2007 - Mar. 22, 2009!

Join us Oct. 15-21 for the Maps, Foreword, and Prologue.


entmaiden
Forum Admin / Moderator


Oct 15 2007, 2:03am

Post #2 of 73 (279 views)
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Woo-hoo! We're starting [In reply to] Can't Post

Looking forward to this.

Why did you first read LotR?

I first read LOTR as a follow-up to a school assignment. My English literature teacher assigned us The Hobbit and after I finished that I wanted to know more about Middle-earth. I remember the last page of The Hobbit said something like further adventures about hobbits could be found in The Lord of the Rings. I tore through LOTR and loved every minute


What did you expect it to be like before you started?

I thought it would be more of Bilbo's life and I was massively disappointed in the beginning that the story focused on Frodo, who I saw as an upstart. I wanted my beloved Bilbo.


What was your initial response?

As I just mentioned, I didn't like Frodo at first. I loved seeing the Sackville-Bagginses again. I was finally pulled into the story during "The Shadow of the Past", remembering those moments from The Hobbit when Bilbo found the Ring.

The end came slowly for me. I lingered over the final chapters and the slow, sweet journey back to The Shire fits my feelings perfectly. I sighed over the final pages and turned gratefully to the Appendices. I wasn't ready to leave Middle-earth, and luckily I had the Appendices to delay the last good-bye.


How have your feelings about it changed since then?

I've grown to like Frodo Wink. I've grown to love LOTR as not just a sequel to The Hobbit, but a rich, complex history of the world of Middle-earth. LOTR is the most comforting of comfort. I love living in Middle-earth. One thing that hasn't changed is the way I approach the end. I still read more slowly as the end draws near, and I still read the Appendices to bridge my journey back to real life.


What would you most like to learn more about during our discussion?

I missed a great deal of the last discussion while caring for my dad after his stroke before he died. So it's been a while since I've discussed LOTR with the Reading Room, and since that time we've added many new members to the community. I'm looking forward to everything.



Each cloak was fastened about the neck with a brooch like a green leaf veined with silver.
`Are these magic cloaks?' asked Pippin, looking at them with wonder.
`I do not know what you mean by that,' answered the leader of the Elves.


NARF since 1974.
Balin Bows


Morwen
Rohan


Oct 15 2007, 2:09am

Post #3 of 73 (274 views)
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Yay! Our first LotR discussion on the new boards [In reply to] Can't Post

Why did you first read LotR?

LoTR and The Hobbit were a Christmas gift from my husband, who said I simply had to read them. Of course, he was right.

What did you expect it to be like before you started?

I read The Hobbit first, and expected LotR to be similar.

What was your initial response?

"Leave me alone, I'm READING!"
LotR was unlike any other fantasy novel I had read, deeper and with more layers. I felt like I'd discovered a new world.

How have your feelings about it changed since then?

With every reading, and every TORn discussion, I find new things about the story and the characters. I still turn to LotR when I need an escape from RL, but I also find plenty of inspiration that helps me deal with the real world.

What would you most like to learn more about during our discussion?

I'd like to hear from some first-time readers, and some movie firsters, to find out how the book affected them.



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I've heard your anguish, I've heard your hearts cry out
We are tired, we are weary, but we aren't worn out
Set down your chains, until only faith remains
Set down your chains--Jewel


Kimi
Forum Admin / Moderator

Oct 15 2007, 3:01am

Post #4 of 73 (272 views)
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It never gets old. [In reply to] Can't Post

Why did you first read LotR?
Because the Mr and I had read The Hobbit and liked it a lot.

What did you expect it to be like before you started?
The Hobbit.

What was your initial response?
Stunned - in a good way. I was enthralled by it.

How have your feelings about it changed since then?
I think I love it even more as the years go by. It's like a very old friend whom I think I know well, but who can still surprise me.

What would you most like to learn more about during our discussion?
People's responses/connections/little gems of information.




Promises to Keep: a novel set in 19th Century New Zealand.

The Passing of Mistress Rose

Do we find happiness so often that we should turn it off the box when it happens to sit there?

- A Room With a View


a.s.
Valinor


Oct 15 2007, 3:03am

Post #5 of 73 (272 views)
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"I'll go along with you, Mr. Frodo" [In reply to] Can't Post

Why did you first read LotR?

My brother said I would like it.

What did you expect it to be like before you started?


Narnia. I don't even think I remembered The Hobbit at that time, until I opened the book. When my brother said it was the best fantasy he ever read, I assumed it would be like Narnia, somehow, until that time my favorite fantasy. Or like Once and Future King, another book I read around the same time.

What was your initial response?


Well, I didn't come up for air until I had read straight through all three paperbacks. And then I just started over right away. So right away, it surpassed Narnia and became my favorite book of all time.

How have your feelings about it changed since then?


Over the years, it's become less a fantasy and more a personal lesson about life journeys, trials, fear and courage, and endurance past hope. It's become real, no longer a "made up" world but a place inhabited by people I know. It's something I turn to for comfort and I can not imagine never reading it again. I read it now more for spiritual sustenance than the story per se, and yet somehow the story still sweeps me away!

What would you most like to learn more about during our discussion?


I don't know. I never know. Listening to the many different viewpoints from all different readers never fails to point out interesting things I hadn't thought about before. I always learn from the tangents!

It's like coming home.

Evil

a.s.



"an seileachan"

"Nothing that is worth doing can be achieved in our lifetime; therefore we must be saved by hope. Nothing which is true or beautiful or good makes complete sense in any immediate context of history; therefore we must be saved by faith. Nothing we do, however virtuous, can be accomplished alone; therefore we must be saved by love."
~~~Reinhold Niebuhr


Finding Frodo
Tol Eressea


Oct 15 2007, 3:51am

Post #6 of 73 (265 views)
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Oh, I can't believe we're starting already! [In reply to] Can't Post

I guess it's high time to talk LotR again.

Why did you first read LotR?
My fourth grade teacher had read The Hobbit to the class and I loved it. My parents gave me the box set of The Hobbit and LotR paperbacks for Christmas that year.


What did you expect it to be like before you started?
I thought it would be like The Hobbit.

What was your initial response?
I couldn't get through it. I was a voracious reader but I tended to skim. That didn't work with LotR because there was a lot of unfamiliar vocabulary and phrasing. After a few chapters I would get bogged down and realize that I didn't know what was going on, and I kept starting over. I never considered NOT reading it. I started over and over, and finally when I was 12 (!) I reached "Fog on the Barrow Downs" (!!), and raced/stumbled through the rest of the thing with mouth agape.

How have your feelings about it changed since then?
I still love it and still keep reading it over and over every year. I have stopped to smell the roses, though, and new information and insights I've gained from fellow TORnadoes and books I've read ABOUT LotR and Tolkien have enriched and deepened the experience.

What would you most like to learn more about during our discussion?

I'm looking forward to those occasional "lightbulb" moments when a shift of perspective makes some familiar passage entirely new to me.

Where's Frodo?


Magpie
Immortal


Oct 15 2007, 4:00am

Post #7 of 73 (276 views)
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I do believe this is my first post in the RR [In reply to] Can't Post

Took me long enough, didn't it!

1. first read: in the mid-late 60's. High school. And then, not again (no not once) till 2002. edit: I read the question as 'when' did you first read. Okay, 'why' did I read? Probably because I was an obsessive reader. I don't know where it came from. My only access to books was the school library, Scholastic books sold in the classroom and my best friend's brothers books. I got Dune from him. I might have gotten LOTR from him.

2. Expect it to be like: don't remember much from that read. In 2002, I expect a good adventure story.

3. My initial response: In the 60's, I felt like I had discovered some secret world, like the kids in The Secret Garden. I remember checking all through the book trying to find some confirmation about whether this was a real legend (like Merlin or Arthur) or whether it was just another contemporary fantasy. I almost believed it was not only a real legend, but that Hobbits really had walked the earth. In the 80's, I was gobsmacked. Like, beyond functioning capacity, gobsmacked.

4. How have my feelings changed? I don't have the same gobsmacked feeling, but it remains something that is central to my thoughts, my day and my life.

5. What would I like to learn: How things work here in the Reading Room... and if I'm ready to start writing about LOTR again.



(This post was edited by Magpie on Oct 15 2007, 4:05am)


sevilodorf
Gondor


Oct 15 2007, 4:02am

Post #8 of 73 (265 views)
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The Wayback Machine [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To


Why did you first read LotR? 1972 for Mr. H's 8th grade English class. He said it would be better than Narnia and he was right.

What did you expect it to be like before you started? Expected more "avuncularism" like with Lewis.

What was your initial response? Very glad the narrator wasn't doing asides constantly. I've read it annually since then. It is one of the "worlds" I want to visit a la Heinlein's The Number of the Beast

How have your feelings about it changed since then? Still very glad about the narrator. Deeper appreciation of Tolkien's world building.


Sev's home away from home: http://burpingtroll.com


Loresilme
Valinor


Oct 15 2007, 4:49am

Post #9 of 73 (267 views)
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Movie firster, first post in the new RR [In reply to] Can't Post

Hi, I am mainly a Movie boarder, but I'm looking forward to this discussion here in the RR. Due to RL I tend to lurk mostly these days but I hope to participate here. Thanks.

Why did you first read LotR?
About halfway through watching TTT, I cannot recall at which specific scene it was, there was simply a moment where I fell madly in love with the world of Middle Earth, with the characters, the story, the ideals, the meaning. And at that moment I thought: "This is what all those people have been raving about all these years." Meaning, having grown up in the '60s/'70s, I was always aware of LOTR and its impact, but for whatever reason I just had never had the urge to read it. The closest I came to it was in those days when I would be at friends' house parties, and I'd frequently come across copies of it, which always seemed to belong to the older siblings of my friends and also always seemed to be dog-eared and well-read looking, however they also always seemed to be lying around in the bedrooms of said older siblings in the vicinity of various party-related - shall we say, odds and ends - which shall remain nameless on a family board, however anyone who grew up in the time period can easily fill in the blanks. So the most I ventured to do was sort of flip through the books.
Apparently I was too young to catch the LOTR wave the first time around, by approximately 5-7 years.

So .. in 2002, I watched all three films for the first time, back to back over a two day period. Within a week after returning the DVDs to the rental store, I had bought the soundtrack, the books (LOTR, TH, The Sil), and the three extended edition films.

So to make a very long story short, I read LOTR in 2002, right after I saw the film trilogy.

What did you expect it to be like before you started?
I thought it would be 'exciting', I guess you could say, in the way the movies concentrated on propelling the action of the story forward.

What was your initial response?
I was pleased in many ways and disappointed in some others. I loved the language, the literary style, I loved the detail and backstory. What surprised or disappointed me was that some of the most impactful scenes in the films somehow lacked that impact in the books; overall the pace of some events seemed downright leisurely to me, as compared to the heightened urgency and movement of the pacing of the films.

How have your feelings about it changed since then?
Once I adjusted to the realization that the book was the book and the films were the films, I immediately liked the book very much. For instance, the perception of slowness no longer bothered me, now I enjoy the attention to detail and just appreciate this very different writing style.

What would you most like to learn more about during our discussion?
Well, I've lurked in some of the other RR discussions, and always appreciated the thought, insights, etc., that are shared here, but they've always been about other JRRT topics or writings that I have either not read or only skimmed through, so a lot of those went over my head. So I'm interested in a discussion on LOTR itself because it's really my first love here.



Loresilme
Valinor


Oct 15 2007, 5:10am

Post #10 of 73 (243 views)
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Sorry - {typo} - that was "2006", not "2002" [In reply to] Can't Post

Arg ... missed the edit time window.

I first saw the films and read the books in 2006.

Sorry.


Nerdanel
Rivendell


Oct 15 2007, 5:35am

Post #11 of 73 (275 views)
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My story, without omitting a single riddle. [In reply to] Can't Post

Why did you first read LotR?
I've told this story so many times I feel like Bilbo at the Council--that is, always happy to tell it again.
I read The Hobbit when I was, maybe, 10? I liked it but ignored the stuff at the back about other books. Then when I was 13 I was at a family reunion playing trivia with some older cousins.
Question: Who are the 12 Apostles?
Me: Um, Peter, John, Judas, um, Peter, um, um, . . . Bifur, Bofur, Bombur, Fili, Kili, Dori, Nor, Ori, Oin, Gloin, Balin, Dwalin.
Cousins: *shrieking with delight to find a fellow "Trilogy" fan.* Which I was not, but was soon to be.

What did you expect it to be like before you started?
The Hobbit, I guess. And I was right in that what I recalled about The Hobbit mostly was the lack of recognition for Bilbo's cleverness and courage and, eventually, wisdom. Which is, of course, a theme throughout LotR.
What was your initial response?
Breathless excitement. I loved it, but I had a friend who read faster than I waiting for each volume as I finished it. And I only bought FotR at first, but when I went back to the bookstore they were out of TTT so I bought RotK but resisted reading it except to peek at the Appendices. So agonizing suspense for a while.
When I got my books back I read them again, and again, and again . . . Here's me in 1970 in my freshman dorm room with my boyfriend Pete (you can almost see his name in runes on the wall along with other Trilogy decor. (The Trilogy is still with me, although the map and the boyfriend are not.)


How have your feelings about it changed since then?
Well, not so much suspense now. But LotR became a part of me, even when I gave up reading it for a decade or so. Then the movies revived my interest and led me to TORn and to so many wonderful people who shared my secret obsession. The Trilogy was always my refuge from the world, but the people I met here showed me it is also great literature.
What would you most like to learn more about during our discussion?
I welcome whatever comes along.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

(This post was edited by Nerdanel on Oct 15 2007, 5:40am)


Beren IV
Gondor


Oct 15 2007, 6:38am

Post #12 of 73 (258 views)
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Back to a book I actually know! [In reply to] Can't Post

Why did you first read LotR?

I had it read to me when I was about eight.

What did you expect it to be like before you started?

I had no idea how fun it would be.

What was your initial response?

I got obsessed with the mythology and only for a while put it down.

How have your feelings about it changed since then?

I have come to the realization that there are some notable differences between the way that I like to see everything and how many others see it.

What would you most like to learn more about during our discussion?

More on how this fantastical world is most beautifully visualized, and less on the theological motivations behind it!

Once a paleontologist, now a botanist, will be a paleobotanist


Alcarcalime
Tol Eressea


Oct 15 2007, 10:26am

Post #13 of 73 (247 views)
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And so it begins! [In reply to] Can't Post

Why did you first read LotR?

A co-worker of my first husband lent The Hobbit and LOTR to me to read because he knew I read fantasy and science fiction and wanted someone to discuss them with. The books were the 1966 50th anniversary Hobbit and the red boxed LOTR. This was in the early 70s. I immediately went out and bought the gold Hobbit and the red LOTR. He still never got to discuss them because he wife got jealous at how excitedly we were discussing the books.

What did you expect it to be like before you started?

I had no expectations. I was just doing a friend a favor.

What was your initial response?

I was blown away! It was love at first sight and has never diminished.

How have your feelings about it changed since then?

They haven't.

What would you most like to learn more about during our discussion?

You always learn something new discussing things with other people.


drogo
Lorien


Oct 15 2007, 11:43am

Post #14 of 73 (250 views)
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I first read it at 13 [In reply to] Can't Post

Why did you first read LotR?

I was 13 when I read The Hobbit, LOTR, and then the newish Sil is rapid succession. They were a recommendation from my brother, who knew I liked "sword and sorcery" and fantasy/SF books, as well as books about mythology. I had just read The Once and Future King and The King Must Die by Mary Renault (whom Tolkien especially liked, I learned years later), so it was a natural progression.

What did you expect it to be like before you started?

He had told me that it was like a mythological version of Star Wars. That's all it took for a 13 year-old!

What was your initial response?

I was very overwhelmed by the scope and depth of the imaginary world. It did feel like an entire mythology compressed into a few books, and it kept me wanting more!

How have your feelings about it changed since then?

I'd say that the adventure is not the main reason to read it now, though that element still remains. It is the complexity of the universe that I still find compelling, and that's what has led me to plunge into HoME and all the other accounts.

What would you most like to learn more about during our discussion?

I'm interested to see what others think about the book. I've been through a couple of discussions of LOTR now, so I may not be as active a poster as I was previously, but I love how different discussion leaders approach the same material, and how there are so many ways to tackle Tolkien.


drogo
Lorien


Oct 15 2007, 11:49am

Post #15 of 73 (250 views)
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I hope you still have that map [In reply to] Can't Post

Those can go for about $100+ on eBay! Sly


Loresilme
Valinor


Oct 15 2007, 12:27pm

Post #16 of 73 (246 views)
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Great suggestion [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To

What would you most like to learn more about during our discussion?

More on how this fantastical world is most beautifully visualized, and less on the theological motivations behind it!




I agree!


Finding Frodo
Tol Eressea


Oct 15 2007, 2:21pm

Post #17 of 73 (238 views)
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"To some there Bilbo's tale was wholly new" [In reply to] Can't Post

I don't remember hearing your story before, Nerdanel. How funny!

Where's Frodo?


Curious
Half-elven


Oct 15 2007, 3:09pm

Post #18 of 73 (259 views)
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No "who," "when," or "where"? Here's why, what, what, how, and what. [In reply to] Can't Post


Quote
Why did you first read LotR?


My older sister liked it and recommended it to me. I was nine.


Quote
What did you expect it to be like before you started?


A sequel to The Hobbit.


Quote
What was your initial response?


Well, it has been a while, but I do know it instantly became my favorite book, and I reread it yearly until college, which I did not do with other books.


Quote
How have your feelings about it changed since then?


I stopped reading it for a couple of decades until the movies came out, and particularly because of discussions on this board. I found a whole new layer of meaning when I came back to it, in part because I am older, and in part because of the depth of our discussions.


Quote
What would you most like to learn more about during our discussion?


I always enjoy seeing how other people react to the book, especially those who are newest to the text. I hope we have lots of new participants, although I'm not sure we will, because I always learn from them, even when all they do is ask questions. On the other hand, I also value the insights of other veteran readers who have examined the text closely over many readings. In short, the more participation the better, as far as I am concerned, because I want to learn from you.



a.s.
Valinor


Oct 15 2007, 3:59pm

Post #19 of 73 (235 views)
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welcome, then! [In reply to] Can't Post

I didn't realize you had never posted in the RR! Glad you found your way in.

a.s.

"an seileachan"

"Nothing that is worth doing can be achieved in our lifetime; therefore we must be saved by hope. Nothing which is true or beautiful or good makes complete sense in any immediate context of history; therefore we must be saved by faith. Nothing we do, however virtuous, can be accomplished alone; therefore we must be saved by love."
~~~Reinhold Niebuhr


a.s.
Valinor


Oct 15 2007, 4:00pm

Post #20 of 73 (234 views)
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welcome to another first poster! [In reply to] Can't Post

Glad you're taking the plunge!

a.s.

"an seileachan"

"Nothing that is worth doing can be achieved in our lifetime; therefore we must be saved by hope. Nothing which is true or beautiful or good makes complete sense in any immediate context of history; therefore we must be saved by faith. Nothing we do, however virtuous, can be accomplished alone; therefore we must be saved by love."
~~~Reinhold Niebuhr


N.E. Brigand
Half-elven


Oct 15 2007, 4:39pm

Post #21 of 73 (245 views)
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Upstart Frodo! [In reply to] Can't Post

I had the same reaction, possibly heightened by the fact that the animated Hobbit film was my introduction to Tolkien.

<><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><>
We're discussing The Lord of the Rings in the Reading Room, Oct. 15, 2007 - Mar. 22, 2009!

Join us Oct. 15-21 for the Maps, Foreword, and Prologue.


N.E. Brigand
Half-elven


Oct 15 2007, 4:40pm

Post #22 of 73 (248 views)
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What fantasy had you previously read? [In reply to] Can't Post

That LotR seemed "deeper" than?

<><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><>
We're discussing The Lord of the Rings in the Reading Room, Oct. 15, 2007 - Mar. 22, 2009!

Join us Oct. 15-21 for the Maps, Foreword, and Prologue.


N.E. Brigand
Half-elven


Oct 15 2007, 4:42pm

Post #23 of 73 (230 views)
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What made you like LotR more than the Narnia books? // [In reply to] Can't Post

 

<><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><>
We're discussing The Lord of the Rings in the Reading Room, Oct. 15, 2007 - Mar. 22, 2009!

Join us Oct. 15-21 for the Maps, Foreword, and Prologue.


N.E. Brigand
Half-elven


Oct 15 2007, 4:44pm

Post #24 of 73 (242 views)
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Have you had "'lightbulb' moments"... [In reply to] Can't Post

...when re-reading other works of literature?

<><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><>
We're discussing The Lord of the Rings in the Reading Room, Oct. 15, 2007 - Mar. 22, 2009!

Join us Oct. 15-21 for the Maps, Foreword, and Prologue.


N.E. Brigand
Half-elven


Oct 15 2007, 4:48pm

Post #25 of 73 (237 views)
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Welcome! [In reply to] Can't Post

Glad you're aboard.


In Reply To
What would I like to learn: How things work here in the Reading Room... and if I'm ready to start writing about LOTR again.


We keep things loose: basically the discussion leader asks a bunch of questions about a chapter for five days, then opens the floor for others to ask their own questions. So write away!


Quote
My initial response ... I remember checking all through the book trying to find some confirmation about whether this was a real legend (like Merlin or Arthur) or whether it was just another contemporary fantasy. I almost believed it was not only a real legend, but that Hobbits really had walked the earth.


And Tolkien tried to give that impression, as we will see as we move to the foreword and prologue.

<><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><>
We're discussing The Lord of the Rings in the Reading Room, Oct. 15, 2007 - Mar. 22, 2009!

Join us Oct. 15-21 for the Maps, Foreword, and Prologue.

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