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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Reading Room:
Very nice work


Jun 12 2013, 5:49pm

Views: 106
Very nice work [In reply to] Can't Post

You've put a lot into this and pulled a lot of sources together. I couldn't tell if your halt at 1930, with details that go on to 1932 and 1937 but also defined as "as far as the writing of The Hobbit", is meant to cover the decade of the 1930s altogether; The Hobbit was finished as a complete book only in the later 1930s. Anyway, I was inspired by your post and would like to contribute to "what comes next": several important developments before 1937 that should probably rate a mention even in this kind of outline:
  • The frame of the linked Silmarillion tales goes from Elves telling stories that are recorded by a lost English sailor, to tales translated by the sailor from the writings of an Elvish scholar.
  • The style of writing goes from a kind of precious and ornate mock-medieval, a la William Morris, to a more sober and dry "heigh style". This is found in the transition between the Book of Lost Tales, and the Quenta.
  • Tolkien stops creating his histories from lexicons of vocabularies, and instead tends to do so while writing chronological accounts of events in timeline form, the so-called Annals.
  • He develops a second complete Elvish script, this one being modeled on carven runes rather than inked letters.
  • He develops a physical model of his world, including different layers of atmospheres and waters that are progressively unsurvivable by mortals.
  • His pantheon of Gods is reduced, simplified, and made less colorful and less "human". They play a progressively less interesting role in the legends.
  • He changes the origin of his universe, from a world fully created by the Song of the Valar, to a world physically built by the Valar according to a vision that the Song gave them.
  • He begins to explore the idea of time travel in what is at first a separate set of stories, but which soon ties into his long-standing frame of the English mariner who discovers the island of the Elves and receives the Quenta Silmarillion from them. These time travel ideas eventually are transformed into the story of Numenor, and after the second World War this narrative is absorbed into the post-Lord of the Rings legendarium as a so-called Second Age.
I'm sure you're aware of most of this, if not all. Again, your post is a very nice piece of work.

squire online:
RR Discussions: The Valaquenta, A Shortcut to Mushrooms, and Of Herbs and Stewed Rabbit
Lights! Action! Discuss on the Movie board!: 'A Journey in the Dark'. and 'Designing The Two Towers'.
Footeramas: The 3rd (and NOW the 4th too!) TORn Reading Room LotR Discussion; and "Tolkien would have LOVED it!"
squiretalk introduces the J.R.R. Tolkien Encyclopedia: A Reader's Diary

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Chronology of the Conception of Middle-Earth wildespace Send a private message to wildespace Jun 12 2013, 3:45pm
    Very nice work squire Send a private message to squire Jun 12 2013, 5:49pm


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