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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Reading Room:
my copy of "Black & White Ogre Country" has arrived!

a.s.
Valinor


Feb 3 2009, 9:28pm

Post #1 of 11 (498 views)
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my copy of "Black & White Ogre Country" has arrived! Can't Post

We discussed it here in the RR in January, and I went ahead and ordered a copy. It is quite charming! I haven't read it yet, but it is fully illustrated in color, and there is a short biographical chapter at the end which has a few pictures I have never seen, specifically of the two brothers together as adults and a CHARMING one of them as children. There is also a brief extract from a letter which JRR wrote to Hilary in 1971.

There are also a couple of copies of pages from Hilary Tolkien's notebooks, including his original illustrations for the ogres. I am looking forward to reading it and will send a review later.

I ordered it direct from ADC Publications (see previous thread), but I see it's also available through Amazon UK.

Now I am so looking forward to the biography of Hilary Tolkien!

a.s.

"an seileachan"

Some say once you're gone, you're gone forever, and some say you're gonna come back.
Some say you'll rest in the arms of the Savior, if sinful ways you lack.
Some say that they're coming back in a garden: bunch of carrots and little sweet peas.
I think I'll just let the mystery be.

Iris DeMent



Call Her Emily


visualweasel
Rohan


Feb 3 2009, 10:16pm

Post #2 of 11 (156 views)
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How brief is the letter extract? [In reply to] Can't Post

Brief enough to quote here? Wink

Looking forward to your review!

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


a.s.
Valinor


Feb 3 2009, 11:02pm

Post #3 of 11 (159 views)
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it's just a 2 paragraph excerpt...admins? [In reply to] Can't Post

I'd be happy to type it in. If it violates fair use and/or Torn rules, please delete.

"Excerpt from a letter that Ronald wrote to Hilary in 1971":

"...As for Bonfire Night--that was a great Festival with us when the children were young. But I hit on the excuse for making it a 'continuous birthday' jamboree for the boys (Oct 22, Nov 16, 21) and also a carrying on of the ancient Incoming of Winter Festival, so that no shadow of that abominable business of 1605 was allowed to fall on it. Certainly one of the wickedest, cleverest, and most successful pieces of Government propaganda in history!

...When I lived in Yorkshire the 5th was not remembered; but the old Mischief Night with larks and [rowdyism?] went on. All the same I should be sorry if the new propagandists against fireworks were successful! I would rather have my Catherine Wheels and backarappers, and squibs and all that domestically than all the municipal displays in parks. But I know such domestic fun needs a stern and competent manager! We used to hoard large quantities of horse-chestnuts, and fill our small bonfire with them: they provided quite a lot of unexpected pops and bangs."


That's all there is.

Of course, several things jump right out, the word "backarapper", for instance. The celebration of an old "pagan" festival (the "incoming of winter" I assume is an old folk celebration). The Catholic Tolkien worried about celebrating "gunpowder, treason and plot".

Cool

a.s.

"an seileachan"

Some say once you're gone, you're gone forever, and some say you're gonna come back.
Some say you'll rest in the arms of the Savior, if sinful ways you lack.
Some say that they're coming back in a garden: bunch of carrots and little sweet peas.
I think I'll just let the mystery be.

Iris DeMent



Call Her Emily


visualweasel
Rohan


Feb 3 2009, 11:11pm

Post #4 of 11 (170 views)
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Guy Fawkes Night [In reply to] Can't Post

For anyone who doesn't know the context, Tolkien is referring to Guy Fawkes Night here, commemorating the Gunpowder Plot, November 5, 1605, and all that. Regarding Guy Fawkes Night, I wonder whether Tolkien considered "that abominable business of 1605" the plot, or the foiling of it? He was a bit of a conservative monarchist, wasn't he?

Wonder what he would have thought of V for Vendetta. Tongue

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


a.s.
Valinor


Feb 3 2009, 11:20pm

Post #5 of 11 (149 views)
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Catholic uprising, wasn't it? hmmm [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm not sure what he thought was "abominable". Did he object to the outcome, which caused a further backlash against Catholics of the time, or did he object to the plot to blow up Parliment to begin with?

Hope someone can answer, as the only real knowledge I have of Guy Fawkes Night is the rhyme itself!

a.s.

"an seileachan"

Some say once you're gone, you're gone forever, and some say you're gonna come back.
Some say you'll rest in the arms of the Savior, if sinful ways you lack.
Some say that they're coming back in a garden: bunch of carrots and little sweet peas.
I think I'll just let the mystery be.

Iris DeMent



Call Her Emily


visualweasel
Rohan


Feb 3 2009, 11:26pm

Post #6 of 11 (148 views)
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Me too. // [In reply to] Can't Post

 

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


Dreamdeer
Valinor


Feb 4 2009, 5:42am

Post #7 of 11 (132 views)
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Where is V, anyway? // [In reply to] Can't Post

 

Life is beautiful and dangerous! Beware! Enjoy!


a.s.
Valinor


Feb 4 2009, 12:36pm

Post #8 of 11 (156 views)
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"In a box in the attic there lived a notebook" [In reply to] Can't Post

It takes ten minutes (if that) to read this little book. The "stories" are literally transcribed notes from Hilary Tolkien which he kept in notebooks:

"....In that notebook were the memories of the child who was Hilary Arthur Reuel Tolkien....The earliest notes recall a time when Hilary was only five years old. He gathered together his thoughts, on and off, for the next forty-five years. Much later, after World War II, he wrote them all down..."

The tales are cute and short with tantalizing hints of how the country the Tolkien boys grew up in came to influence Middle earth.

They are notes and short sketches, really, not complete stories.

The best part of the book, for JRR Tolkien fans, may be the short biographical chapter at the end, which has a few new pictures (I don't believe they've been published elsewhere; for instance, they are not in the Tolkien Family Album book). Sometimes it seems Hilary was absent from Tolkien's life; when you read bios of JRRT and/or his published Letters, but the authors say:

"Although a reluctant correspondent, Hilary stayed in touch with relatives and friends from both his mother's and father's side of the family. He was the person Ronald wrote to when his fame and commitments seemed too much for him. Blackminster [the family farm/a.s.] became the central point of meeting for the extended family..."

and, indeed, there is a photo of a large group of family at the farm included in the book.

I am hoping the upcoming biography of Hilary Tolkien can expand on all this.

I would not recommend this book for the casual reader, but for those of us who have a hard time passing up any interesting first hand account of Tolkien it is worth the money for the glimpse it gives of Tolkien's boyhood and relations with extended family.

a.s.

"an seileachan"

Some say once you're gone, you're gone forever, and some say you're gonna come back.
Some say you'll rest in the arms of the Savior, if sinful ways you lack.
Some say that they're coming back in a garden: bunch of carrots and little sweet peas.
I think I'll just let the mystery be.

Iris DeMent



Call Her Emily


FarFromHome
Valinor


Feb 4 2009, 5:47pm

Post #9 of 11 (144 views)
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Maybe he was a conspiracy theorist... [In reply to] Can't Post

In the passage you quoted, he calls the whole episode "Certainly one of the wickedest, cleverest, and most successful pieces of Government propaganda in history!"

By which I assume he means the clever way in which the (Protestant) government made November 5 into a celebration of patriotism at the expense of Catholicism. According to Wikipedia, the government may even have been involved in (or at least aware of) the plot well in advance, but waited until the last moment to "foil" it in the most spectacular way:

Many at the time felt that Robert Cecil, 1st Earl of Salisbury had been involved in the plot to curry favour with the king and enact more stridently anti-Catholic legislation. Such theories alleged that Cecil had either actually invented the plot or allowed it to continue when his agents had already infiltrated it, for the purposes of propaganda. These rumours were the start of a long-lasting conspiracy theory about the plot. (From the Wikipedia article on the Gunpowder Plot)

As Catholic kids growing up in England in the fifties, we celebrated Bonfire Night along with everyone else, and knew nothing about the long-gone politics. But the adults were aware of it, of course. I wonder if that's why we never had a 'guy' to burn on our bonfire?

Farewell, friends! I hear the call.
The ship’s beside the stony wall.
Foam is white and waves are grey;
beyond the sunset leads my way.
Bilbo's Last Song



Altaira
Superuser / Moderator


Feb 5 2009, 3:27am

Post #10 of 11 (131 views)
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Thanks, a.s. [In reply to] Can't Post

Thanks for the entirely appropriate Wink glimpse into what sounds like a charming book. And yes, it does sound irrisistable; maybe not a 'have to order before I go to bed tonight,' but definitely on the list for the near future.


Koru: Maori symbol representing a fern frond as it opens. The koru reaches towards the light, striving for perfection, encouraging new, positive beginnings.



"Life can't be all work and no TORn" -- jflower

"I take a moment to fervently hope that the camaradarie and just plain old fun I found at TORn will never end" -- LOTR_nutcase



TORn Calendar


_V_
Lorien


Feb 16 2009, 5:03pm

Post #11 of 11 (355 views)
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working on several "projects" [In reply to] Can't Post

 

"Pleased to meet you, hope you guessed my name, but what's puzzling you, is the nature of my game"


Formerly known on TORN as "Draug the Unspeakably Violent"


 
 

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