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xpost: Any serious Tolkien fans?? A question about The History of LOTR and book order, etc


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I asked this question on the GB, but thought I would ask here in case any of you don't read the GB forum.

 

I am getting ready to develop a lit yr based on LOTR for my rising 9th grader. We will be using LLfLOTR, but this particular child is an advanced student that loves to analyze literature and language (she actually sees herself as a linguist one day). She has asked that we go beyond LL and learn about how Tolkien created LOTR and the works that influenced him. Since I am not a serious Tolkien fan at this kind of level (I am a fan, but a reading fan, but not a "tackling all things Tolkien" type fan), I was hoping that maybe someone on here might have some insight.

 

I have already read and own, Kreeft's Philosophy of Tolkien and Pearce's Tolkien: Man and Myth. So those we will read, but that is not what she is asking for.

 

I am wondering if the History of LOTR http://www.amazon.co...=A2M4Z83ZJUHG3D would be what she wants? Or Letters of Tolkien http://www.amazon.co...d=ATVPDKIKX0DER

 

She also wants to incorporate The Silmarilliion and some of the Unfinished Tales. This part gets my head spinning b/c I don't know what order we should read things in. And, do we read the Unfinished Tales or should we read Children of Hurin or The Book of Lost Tales, etc?

 

Any insight that may be offered would be appreciated. She really wants to understand the process that he went through as an author to create the work he did.

 

Thanks!

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My dd has been doing that as a hobby this year. I'm not sure I'd try to structure it. At least I don't. I just trim something else so she has time to work on it, since she seems to be self-motivated. She has read Silmarillion several times, because indeed you need to read it to understand the rest of the story. Yes, his other books. Yes on the Inklings. Basically just let her get on amazon and start following the suggested books and get them through the library. I think if you go to commentaries before actually reading everything he wrote, you're just foisting someone else's opinions or preconceptions onto yourself. And because his works are SO complex, you really have to read them multiple times to be able to discuss them. There's a very nice illustrated edition of Silmarillion I got my dd. Has a ribbon, the whole nine yards. Kids usually have their preferred illustrator, so that's a whole rabbit trail. There are sindarin dictionaries, and of course he had more languages. Dd has been fiddling with them. People use the Tolkien languages when they write fan fiction. She can google LotR fan fiction and pursue that route. There are yahoo groups and contests my dd participates in.

 

Btw, dd says when she reads Silmarillion, it takes her about a month, that it's a very hard read. Actually she said it's like reading japanese poetry, whatever that means, lol. I asked her about commentaries, and she said the popular ones sometimes turn out to have been slammed by Christopher Tolkien. Also, she said the Silmarillion is getting integrated (in parts) into the Hobbit movies. There you have a whole compare/contrast thing. People who are into it are very picky about how the events are portrayed, what isn't accurate in the movies, etc.

 

I recall you sew. You can also pursue the costuming. Dd also received a Middle Earth cookbook for her birthday.

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Christopher Tolkien compiled History of LOTR, so I am sure he would be happy with it. Kreeft and Pearce are both Catholic and ardent Tolkien fans, so both of their books are very respectful (and full of Tolkien love. ;) )

 

DD is very familiar with the stories. It was actually watching The Hobbit that made her want to read the Silmarillion and the Unfinished Tales b/c she can spot which parts are not in The Hobbit.

 

We already own a copy of the Silmarillion, but I saw the illustrated copies when I was researching other titles. I might consider getting her an illustrated copy for her b-day (which is conveniently the end of Sept!)

 

She is already finishing up this school yr. She has finished geo. We only have a couple weeks left in lit. She has pretty much finished history, etc. She actually wants to start reading for this study this summer. I am just not sure where to start or with what.

 

Thanks for the suggestion about the sewing. Her older sister and I made a medieval ball gown back when we read the study and it was a lot of fun. That is a project that this dd definitely would enjoy as well.

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I'll be following this thread with interest! DS has quite thoroughly enjoyed reading the works that inspired particular parts of The Hobbit. Like how wargs were inspired by a chapter in The Black Douglas (S.R. Crockett), and the idea of being rescued by the eagles came from a Chaucer poem. We've based this study on The Annotated Hobbit, but there doesn't seem to be an equal for LOTR. (He'll also be doing LLLOTR this fall.)

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We are actually working out an LOTR study too though I'm not sure how in-depth DS wants to go. He is hoping to take a Sindarin course in the fall if the kind lady who is organizing it confirms that she will go ahead with it. Currently, the plan is to audit the summer course from Mythgard that starts on May 13 and see what (hobbit?) trails that takes us on. I just finished reading the Preface to Silmarillion and it was like wow! I will probably need to re-read it several times but it's a big eyeopener for me on Tolkien. It's my first serious Tolkien book after LOTR, Hobbit and some of the shorter children's stories and I can see a serious study taking years! :)

 

All this to say, I can't really help with the order of things but I do think reading Silmarrilon's preface might give you a good idea. This is the edition I own.

 

Another option might be to email the Mythgard folks? Or Prof Olsen directly (scroll all the way down for his email address)?

 

ETA: Please update us if you find out, 8? Pretty please? :)

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My DH, who is very much a Tolkien scholar, recommends the following four volumes of The History of Middle Earth as being in-depth on how he built the background and made the choices he did in writing LOTR: Volume VI: The Return of The shadow, Volume VII: The Treason of Isengard, Volume VIII: The War of The Ring, Volume IX: Sauron Defeated.

 

For "All things Middle Earth", Unfinished Tales plus the complete 12-volume History Of Middle Earth set should keep her occupied.

 

Another possibility is an in-depth study of Quenya and/or Sindarin, the Elvish languages Tolkien constructed. There are instruction manuals online for learning the languages, as well as background influences in the books discussed above. One of the main linguistic influences on it was Finnish.

 

As far as literary influences, DH suggests starting with Beowulf. Tolkien did a translation of it which is very good. Beyond that, he was heavily influenced by the folklore of Northern Europe, both Germanic and Scandinavian. Tolkien's book The Monsters and The Critics discusses in depth his thoughts on writing fairy stories and real stories, fairy stories as literature, and their role in world-building.

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My DH, who is very much a Tolkien scholar, recommends the following four volumes of The History of Middle Earth as being in-depth on how he built the background and made the choices he did in writing LOTR: Volume VI: The Return of The shadow, Volume VII: The Treason of Isengard, Volume VIII: The War of The Ring, Volume IX: Sauron Defeated.

 

For "All things Middle Earth", Unfinished Tales plus the complete 12-volume History Of Middle Earth set should keep her occupied.

 

Another possibility is an in-depth study of Quenya and/or Sindarin, the Elvish languages Tolkien constructed. There are instruction manuals online for learning the languages, as well as background influences in the books discussed above. One of the main linguistic influences on it was Finnish.

 

As far as literary influences, DH suggests starting with Beowulf. Tolkien did a translation of it which is very good. Beyond that, he was heavily influenced by the folklore of Northern Europe, both Germanic and Scandinavian. Tolkien's book The Monsters and The Critics discusses in depth his thoughts on writing fairy stories and real stories, fairy stories as literature, and their role in world-building.

 

 

Thank you everyone for your replies. I really appreciate all of the thoughts.

 

Ravin, please thank your dh. I think from my researching that those 4 volumes are the same as the History of LOTRs. They are the books that really intrigue her. She is planning on reading his translations of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight and Beowulf. I had not considered The Monsters and the Critics, so I will definitely look into that one. She read On Fairy Stories with me a couple of yrs ago, but we are planning on re-reading it along with the Annotated Hobbit. (she has read the Hobbit as well, but wants to go through the annotated text. We are big into annotated books and reading a lot of the works mentioned as allusions or influences.)

 

Does he have any suggestion for order? Should we plan on reading the Silmarillion first? or after the LOTR? (I have never personally read The Silmarillion, so I am not sure of how we should approach it. I have read numerous Tales as well as The Adventures of Tom Bombadil.)

 

Quark, that link is interesting. I coudln't tell how much the class is. WOuld you mind sharing?

 

The resources being mentioned are very helpful. Thanks again and please continue with suggestions. I am out of my league here.

 

Oh, and FWIW, this dd and I have been doing joint studies like this since she was in 6th grade. We really enjoy doing them together. So, while she might go off exploring things on her own (most definitely things like the study of Quenya and/or Sindarin), a lot of the books I want to read along with her b/c it is something I look forward to discussing with her (she is way beyond me and I love how she thinks and shares her ideas!!)

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I love how you describe doing it with your DD 8. That's one of the things I hope to achieve with DS too. It's lovely when he makes observations that I didn't expect him to make and sometimes I find that by really thinking about what he is thinking, there are all sorts of deep connections to explore and it's so much fun. I am so thankful for these moments.

 

All of Mythgard's audit courses are currently $150. The summer course starts May 13 and ends Aug 1. I asked if my student can ask questions during the lectures and was told that he can. They will email you a proof of enrollment letter (just a basic letter to say your child is enrolled) if you request it for transcript/ records purposes and I was told that Dr. Olsen will be able to furnish more details on how to incorporate high school level assignments for younger, auditing participants (I think their courses are targeted at undergrads? I specifically mentioned mine is a younger child reading at hs level but your DD might not need it to be lower than undergrad level). Apparently, Dr. O homeschools his children too.

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the LLLLOTR DOES include a lot of what you are talking about. its does not go in to depth, but it talks about his biography, how he developed the languages before he wrote the book, includes sections of beowulf . . . his relationships with other writers, etc. you might want to actually look a the teachers guide for LLLOTR before you do too much work - it might be easier to just bring in the various books when they are referenced in the guide.

 

a lot of people skip the worksheets and go more in depth in the 'unit studies' in between - there are even references to various shakespear plays he borrowed ideas from - the walking trees . . .

 

i'm NOT a lit person, nor is my son, but there has been a LOT mentioned that we have not bothered with

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the LLLLOTR DOES include a lot of what you are talking about. its does not go in to depth, but it talks about his biography, how he developed the languages before he wrote the book, includes sections of beowulf . . . his relationships with other writers, etc. you might want to actually look a the teachers guide for LLLOTR before you do too much work - it might be easier to just bring in the various books when they are referenced in the guide.

 

a lot of people skip the worksheets and go more in depth in the 'unit studies' in between - there are even references to various shakespear plays he borrowed ideas from - the walking trees . . .

 

i'm NOT a lit person, nor is my son, but there has been a LOT mentioned that we have not bothered with

 

You are definitely correct. I have actually taught LLfLOTRs to 2 of my other children. I love the units in LL and think they are actually the heart of what makes the study valuable. But, LL really focuses on the influences of other works and linguistics on his life and story. (we actually incorporate a lot more beyond that b/c we are Catholic and we recognize a lot of the Catholic influences as well.)

 

But, what this dd really wants is actually all of that plus something else. She wants to understand is what it took him to create Middle Earth. What his thought processes were. What is beyond the stories that we don't know (and a lot of this is where I think the Silmarillion, Forgotten Tales, etc will answer those questions), etc.

 

It is hard for me to articulate. She wants to understand how an author, a person, brought Middle Earth to life. She is a very deep thinker and this type of exploration is exhilarating for her.

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nm (didn't see that you already own Pearce :001_rolleyes: )

 

Chapter titles:

A Misunderstood Man: Tolkien & the Modern World

Cradle Convert to the Grave: The Child behind the Myth

Father Francis to Father Christmas: The Father behind the Myth

True Myth: Tolkien & the Conversion of CS Lewis

A Ring of Fellowship: Tolkien, Lewis & the Inklings

The Creation of Middle Earth: The Myth behind the Man

Orthodoxy in Middle Earth: The Truth behind the Myth

The Well & the Shallows: Tolkien and the Critics

Tolkien as Hobbit: The Englishman behind the Myth

Approaching Mount Doom: Tolkien's Final Years

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nm (didn't see that you already own Pearce :001_rolleyes: )

 

I was just getting ready to reply! Thanks for typing out the original list. It is a great book. (I really love the Kreeft bk, too, but it is almost as much about Lewis as it is about Tolkien!)

 

I really need to pull it back out and re-read it. I am glad you pointed out the chpt titles b/c I think I purchased a download of Pearce lectures on Tolkien that I had forgotten about until I read through your list!!

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I was just getting ready to reply! Thanks for typing out the original list. It is a great book. (I really love the Kreeft bk, too, but it is almost as much about Lewis as it is about Tolkien!)

 

I really need to pull it back out and re-read it. I am glad you pointed out the chpt titles b/c I think I purchased a download of Pearce lectures on Tolkien that I had forgotten about until I read through your list!!

 

I put the chapter titles back in my post in case they're helpful. :blushing: :p

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Not LoTR, but Christopher Tolkien's introduction to The Legend of Sigurd and Gudrun ties together several different strands; historical background, earlier versions of the myth, and how both contributed to his father's version. Based on your original post, I think your daughter might enjoy it and it's fairly short. I expect the "invention" aspect of that work (discussed in the introductory material) would yield some insights into the process Tolkien used for LoTR as well. I would be hard pressed to decide what I like best--the text or the introductory material.

 

As to reading order of the various LoTR materials such as Unfinished Tales; I don't think it really matters all that much where you start--but I always find myself backtracking to pick up similar themes/narratives in the other books.

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Thanks Tullia. I will look into that title as well.....I wonder if a single bk to start off with mIght not be more doable. ;)

 

 

I wanted to share what I found digging around on the link that Quark shared. For right now....I have no idea how long they plan on it.......you can download last semesters Tolkien's courses--videos and course outline-- for free from iTunes U. http://www.signumuniversity.org/2013/03/28/free-on-itunes-u-the-lord-of-the-rings-i/

 

These are meant to be graduate level courses. I haven't had the opportunity to listen to any of them yet beyond the first few minutes.

 

I am hoping that I these are good. I realized earlier after searching for my Pearce audio download that they were on my now fried laptop. :( If anyone is looking for something more low key that addresses Tolkien's Catholicism , you might want to look into his lectures. They have audio downloads that are normally $30, but they have $ 20 off right now. Coupon is here http://catholiccourses.com/

Courses. https://catholiccourses.benedictpress.com/index.php/CC-Literature

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Haven't looked at all the replies yet so apologies if this is repetitive. Just thought I should also link to The Tolkien Professor (Dr Olsen's site) in case someone needs it now or in the future. There seem to be some interesting chats here and additional materials here.

 

8, might it be a good idea to add a tag to this thread e.g. lord of the rings, tolkien etc?

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I chose a random lecture to listen to......I chose lecture 3 from the Silmarillion course. It is the professor answering questions on the assigned chapter. The conversation is very "down to earth" ;) and absolutely accessible to a high school student.

 

I am thrilled that I was able to put these in my iTunes library for free. :)

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I asked my older dd who, as many of you already know, has a huge interest in Tolkien. She's read everything listed below (except she hasn't read all of the history volumes). I asked her to recommend a reading order and this is the one she gave me:

 

 

LOTR

Silmarillion (Dd agrees with Elizabeth that this is a tough read but to stick it out. She felt strongly that it would be good to read it before the ones listed below it. She said it lays the foundation and makes the rest more understandable...at least this was her perspective. :))

Children of Hurin

Unfinished Tales

History of Middle Earth

 

Biography by Carpenter at any point.

 

She also recommended this book:

 

The Languages of Tolkien's Middle Earth by Ruth S. Noel....she did say that there are some errors with the languages in this book, but that overall she found it very helpful.

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I asked my older dd who, as many of you already know, has a huge interest in Tolkien. She's read everything listed below (except she hasn't read all of the history volumes). I asked her to recommend a reading order and this is the one she gave me:

 

 

LOTR

Silmarillion (Dd agrees with Elizabeth that this is a tough read but to stick it out. She felt strongly that it would be good to read it before the ones listed below it. She said it lays the foundation and makes the rest more understandable...at least this was her perspective. :))

Children of Hurin

Unfinished Tales

History of Middle Earth

 

Biography by Carpenter at any point.

 

She also recommended this book:

 

The Languages of Tolkien's Middle Earth by Ruth S. Noel....she did say that there are some errors with the languages in this book, but that overall she found it very helpful.

 

 

Tell your dd thank you. That is very helpful!! Is she familiar with The Legend of Sigurd and Gudrun ? If she is, where would she put that in the list? Thanks again!! :)

 

You might also let her know about the lectures listed in post #17. She would probably enjoy them and they are currently free on itunes U.

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I would probably put Sigurd and Gudrun in along with his translations of Beowulf and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight in a consideration of his folklore and mythological studies and background from which he built Middle Earth. In a way there's a protogymnasmatic progression there: He did translations, he did retellings, and then he created something wholly new in both a traditional epic style (the Silmarillion) and modern novel form (LOTR and The Hobbit) with those underpinnings.

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I haven't figured out tags on the new forum. How do I tag? If someone shares how, I will try to add them.

What is LLfLOTR? Well, just the LL part; I got the LOTR part. ;)

 

LLfLOTR is Literary Lessons from the Lord of the Rings

 

To add tags, go to your 1st post, click on edit. Underneath the Topic Title, is a field for "Topic Tags". Just add the tags there. Thanks!

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I wanted to share what I found digging around on the link that Quark shared. For right now....I have no idea how long they plan on it.......you can download last semesters Tolkien's courses--videos and course outline-- for free from iTunes U. http://www.signumuniversity.org/2013/03/28/free-on-itunes-u-the-lord-of-the-rings-i/

 

I listened to several hrs worth of the Hobbit course today while I was working. These are a different format than the Silmarillion course. They are just the professor talking about individual chpts from the Hobbit. The lectures I listened to would be easily accessible to a middle school student.

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Yes, dd is agreeing with Ravin. Sigurd and Gudrun would be good with any background readings such as norse mythology. She liked Nordic Gods and Heroes by Padraic Colum. She mentioned the Kalevela, but even she hasn't read this. I did buy this retelling of the Kalavela:

 

Heroes of the Kalevala by Deutsch (we have not read this yet)

 

and this one looks good at Amazon too:

 

http://www.amazon.co...la for children

 

This is sort of a rabbit trail of hers, so you may want to ignore this one... :)

 

She thought she might like reading the The Mabinogion.

 

Dd read this translation (recommended by Eliana):

 

http://www.amazon.co...binogion davies

 

along with this book:

http://www.amazon.co... celtic britain

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Tell her thank you for the recommendations. Based on her and Ravin's opinion, I have Sigurd and Gudrun on my list for reading with Beowulf. We also already own 2 of Padraic Colum's Norse mythology books, so those will be easy to pull in as well.

 

I have actually made the leap to something not anywhere on my original radar for her to read when we finish up our current school yr......The Marvellous Land of the Snergs. http://www.amazon.co...M3T1_ST1_dp_1 It was referenced in the Hobbit course on Mythgard and it sounds like a fun, light way to start the study.

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Lots of Tolkien fans here--myself included. One of my sons is currently reading a book called The The Gospel According to Tolkien by Ralph C. Wood. I haven't read it, but he said it was pretty good.

 

Peter Kreeft, as you mentioned, is wonderful. I'm looking forward to sharing some of the other suggestions here with my kids. I'm no expert, but here are a few things that I have learned and found helpful regarding LOTR:

  1. Tolkien said again and again that he hated allegory and that LOTR is not an allegory. It's so easy to see how it almost works as an allegory for so many things, but I think it's best to take him at his word.
  2. Tolkien's Catholicism, while by no means explicit in the book, is definitely important to really digging deep in LOTR. Though there is no explicit reference to God at all, Divine Providence is underlying the entire work. Also, there is a distinctly sacramental nature to LOTR. For example, the statement from the talkative nurse that the hands of the king are the hands of a healer.
  3. As Peter Kreeft said, the Messiah figure in LOTR is divided into three different characters--priest (Frodo), prophet (Gandalf), and king (Aragorn).
  4. I believe it was also Peter Kreeft who said that the setting of LOTR is best thought of as on Earth thousands of years before the coming of Christ.

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Can someone point me in the direction to where Tolkien's translation of Beowulf can be found? I found Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, but I cannot seem to find his translation of Beowulf.

 

This is a great thread! I was just asking my ds16 today if he wanted to do a study of Tolkien's works next school year. He is so excited about this!

Nancy in NH

 

 

She is planning on reading his translations of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight and Beowulf. I had not considered The Monsters and the Critics, so I will definitely look into that one.

 

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Can someone point me in the direction to where Tolkien's translation of Beowulf can be found? I found Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, but I cannot seem to find his translation of Beowulf.

 

This is a great thread! I was just asking my ds16 today if he wanted to do a study of Tolkien's works next school year. He is so excited about this!

Nancy in NH

 

 

I'm not sure what is happening but my iPad ate my last 3 attempts at this reply!

 

I'm so disappointed. You are right. I went to find my link for his translation and it is actually Beowulf and the Critics. I went in search of a another copy and I came up with sites discussing how the Tolkien estate has decided to not release his translation, but that info is from 2005.

 

Fwiw, I am excited about this study, too! I did a study of CSLewis with my 11th grader this yr and it was a lot of fun and created great memories. He is currently working on his final writing project for the yr......he is contrasting Lewis's Green Lady to Milton's Eve. I LOVE it bc my STEM guy is animated during these types of discussions!

 

 

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Forgive me if I am wrong but I think I read somewhere that Tolkien's Beowulf translation wasn't actually published? I'm trying to remember my source but can't.

 

 

Yep, that is what I read a little while ago.....that the estate decided to not publish the translation. :(

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  • 3 weeks later...

Coming extremely late to this party (LOL), but here are links to a wide assortment of topics that may be of interest to your DD as she pursues Tolkien's background to try and uncover what caused him to create the World of Middle Earth. These are pulled from the research I did for putting together the year-long study of Lord of the Rings with my co-op class this past year. Warmest regards, Lori D.

General Resources
- The Tolkien Society = esp. check out their extensive list of links under "resources"
- Resource Links = Literary Lessons from the Lord of the Rings
- Tolkien Trail = photos of places Tolkien knew as a child
- Houghton-Mifflin lesson plans for secondary school educators

Maps/Encyclopedias
- Encyclopedia of Arda = brief entries on people, places, and the mythology of all the ages of Middle Earth, with maps showing locations of places
- 3 Ri.ngs = iInteractive map with zoom feature; when you click on a place, a text box comes up with definitions and meanings of that name.
- Lord of the Rings Project = interactive map with timeline, people, places and event options; for example, click on a character name and a colored line appears on the map showing all the places that character travels to during the Lord of the Rings trilogy. Click on the timeline feature and see where events in the trilogy take place on the map of Middle Earth.
- Timeline of the One Ring = circular timeline with key events and the 7 ringbearers
- Walk to Rivendell Challenge = fun personal challenge to track your own walking against the walking done in Lord of the Rings

Other Works by Tolkien
- "Farmer Giles of Ham" = read the short story online
- "Smith of Wooton Major" = read the short story online
- "Leaf by Niggle"= read the short story online
- All Poetry: poems by Tolkien = read poems by Tolkien online

Tolkien's Own Thoughts on Literature
- "On Fairy Stories"= read this essay by Tolkien online
- "Of Monsters and Critics" = read this essay by Tolkien online
- "Sir Gawain and the Green Knight" = read this essay by Tolkien online
- Tolkien sings Sam's "troll song"  = hear Tolkien sing
- Galadriel's lament = hear Tolkien recite
- chapter 2, Fellowship of the Rings, "One Ring to Rule Them All" = hear Tolkien read
- chapter 4, The Two Towers "Herbs and Stewed Rabbit" = hear Tolkien read

- chapter 5, The Hobbit, "Riddles in the Dark" = hear Tolkien read

Language/Writing
- Arwen Undomiel = website on the Elven language
- Book of Kells = Wikipedia article on this illuminated text, which Tolkien would have known/been influenced by
- Tengwar Calligraphy = how to use calligraphy the way J.R.R. Tolkien did
- Your "secret Hobbit name" = just for fun random name generator based on letters in your name

Others on Tolkien
- 8-part audio lecture series on The Hobbit = Corey Olsen of Mythgard Institute
- comparison of "Farmer Giles of Ham" and The Hobbit= short article by Corey Olsen of Mythgard Institute: short article
- Fall of Arthur = short review of Tolkien's own Arthurian work, to be released in May 2013
- search for The Tolkien Ensemble performing various Tolkien poems/songs

Biblical Elements in Tolkien's writing
- "Presence of Christ in The Lord of the Rings" = Peter Kreeft, essay excerpt from his book, The Philosophy of Tolkien: The Worldview Behind the Lord of the Rings
- Christian themes in the Ent/Entwife song = short article by Angelina Tsaoussis

Beowulf
- Seamus Heaney reads large excerpts of his translation of Beowulf: part 1 of 2; part 2 of 2
- watch the Animated Beowulf, narrated by Derek Jacobi
- watch exerpts, or all, of
Benjamin Bagby performing Beowulf in the original language, accompanied by a reproduction harp
- read a
 prose retelling
- connection between Rohan and Beowulf = short article by Michael Kightley

King Arthur
- Chivalry = short article
- connections between King Arthur and Lord of the Rings = short article by Richard Finn

Edited by Lori D.
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Coming extremely late to this party (LOL), but here are links to a wide assortment of topics that may be of interest to your DD as she pursues Tolkien's background to try and uncover what caused him to create the World of Middle Earth. These are pulled from the research I did for putting together the year-long study of Lord of the Rings with my co-op class this past year. Warmest regards, Lori D.

 

Thank you, Lori, for the incredible resource list!! I look forward to looking through them. :)

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On 5/28/2013 at 5:47 AM, 8FillTheHeart said:

Thank you, Lori, for the incredible resource list!! I look forward to looking through them. 🙂

 

On 5/3/2013 at 6:13 AM, 8FillTheHeart said:
She really wants to understand the process that he went through as an author to create the work he did.

Thanks!


You're welcome! Hope something there will help you "walk along the same path" for a bit with Tolkien, to be able to see perhaps some of the things he saw and then incorporated into his world.

I would also encourage you to read Letters from Father Christmas (this is the most complete edition), in which you see Tolkien creating yet another world over the years, including the creation of an alphabet and a few words and names. It's almost like getting to see Tolkien in the process of writing. 🙂

Along with reading the Letters of Tolkien by Carpenter, here's one of the big links I lost and just re-discovered. It is a great documentary all on Tolkien's influences, what inspired him, and how the story evolved, told through wonderful, unhurried interview bites with Tolkien, plus great discussion and insights from professor Tom Shippey, other knowledgeable commentators, plus several of Tolkien's friends and his children John, Christopher and Priscilla: Tolkien 1892-1973: A Study of the Maker of Middle-earth = 1 hour 47 min.

Edited by Lori D.
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- Tolkien 1892-1973:

= 1 hour 47 min.

 

Lori, I have thoroughly enjoyed listening to this lecture while I have been working around the house. Thanks for finding the link! My kids have been walking in and out while I have been listening and my 19 yod stopped in her tracks while racing through the kitchen and asked "was that Tolkien reading Elvish??" Her amazement was priceless! :)

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On 5/30/2013 at 5:48 AM, 8FillTheHeart said:

Lori, I have thoroughly enjoyed listening to this lecture while I have been working around the house. Thanks for finding the link! My kids have been walking in and out while I have been listening and my 19 yod stopped in her tracks while racing through the kitchen and asked "was that Tolkien reading Elvish??" Her amazement was priceless! 🙂


Yes, that's why I linked those youtube videos which are really recordings of Tolkien reading or reciting his own work. You can just FEEL his love and enjoyment of reading aloud a good story and singing the comic Troll song. 🙂

re: the documentary
I loved Shippey's explanation of how language-driven Tolkien was in his creative process and in developing narrative, with his simple example of Tolkien surmising a possible origin for "Woodhouse Lane", based on how that word was *pronounced* by native speakers whose families had lived there for generations. 🙂 Made me want to get Shippey's book, The Road to Middle Earth. And here's a nice little interview with Shippey about Tolkien.

cheers! Lori

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Lori, I wanted to add my thanks to you for these lovely resources. I second the recommendation to read Father Christmas. What a heartwarming book it is! Don't know if we have the complete one, ours has the red cover and I bought it from Amazon but it sits on my reading bench and looks so inviting despite having already been read. I love how he crafts these letters and all the wonderful little thoughts and imaginative twists put into them. The whole idea of it, the incredible creativity of this man, almost moved me to tears although the letters themselves are mostly whimsical and funny.

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On 5/30/2013 at 12:16 PM, quark said:

Lori, I wanted to add my thanks to you for these lovely resources. I second the recommendation to read Father Christmas. What a heartwarming book it is! Don't know if we have the complete one, ours has the red cover and I bought it from Amazon but it sits on my reading bench and looks so inviting despite having already been read. I love how he crafts these letters and all the wonderful little thoughts and imaginative twists put into them. The whole idea of it, the incredible creativity of this man, almost moved me to tears although the letters themselves are mostly whimsical and funny.


Oh yes, Quark, I feel the same about this book! 🙂 And not only the writing of the letters, but the lovely watercolor illustrations -- even the hand drawn stamps and postmarks. 🙂

We have two versions; one I gave to my husband the year I was pregnant with our older son, and DH and I loved reading the book aloud together even before the boys arrived. Letters from Father Christmas is a tradition, read every single year here, even now with boys all grown up.

And while DSs were growing up, for about 12 years, "F.C." wrote a letter and sent an illustration each year to OUR DSs. 😉 In just 7 years, the first of Tolkien's Father Christmas letters will be 100 years old... What a privilege to read -- and what generosity of Tolkien's family to share -- the charming world of Father Christmas.

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Not sure if you have watched them, but on Netflix there are 2 National Geographic videos about LOTR. We watched National Geographic: Lord of the Rings. It talks about the movie but also Tolkien's childhood and making the elvish language. The part about the Finnish village is very interesting. Maybe these 2 videos will give you some jumping off points.

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It is hard for me to articulate. She wants to understand how an author, a person, brought Middle Earth to life. She is a very deep thinker and this type of exploration is exhilarating for her.

 

Somewhere in my Tolkien travels, I read that he spent many hours in Adoration, and that's what he accredited to writing them. If I can remember where I read that, I'll share it.

 

I LOVE The Simarilion, esp the tale of Luthien and Beren. (Tolkien is said to be Beren and his wife Edith, Luthien)

 

 

Then Beren and Luthien went forth alone, fearing neither thirst nor hunger; and they passed beyond the River Gelion into Ossiriand, and dwelt there in the Tol Galen the green isle, in the midst of Adurant, until the tidings of them ceased. The Eldar afterwards called that country Dor Firn-i-Guinar, the Land of the Dead that Live.

 

pg 223, The Simarillion

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I am getting ready to develop a lit yr based on LOTR for my rising 9th grader. We will be using LLfLOTR, but this particular child is an advanced student that loves to analyze literature and language (she actually sees herself as a linguist one day). She has asked that we go beyond LL and learn about how Tolkien created LOTR and the works that influenced him. Since I am not a serious Tolkien fan at this kind of level (I am a fan, but a reading fan, but not a "tackling all things Tolkien" type fan), I was hoping that maybe someone on here might have some insight.

 

 

 

 

 

Here are some of the works cited by Tolkien as influences. I tried to link some free online translations so it would be handier.

 

Kalevala

 

Völsunga saga

 

The Saga of Hervar and Heidrek

 

 

The Song of the Nibelungs

 

The Prose Edda

 

Poetic Edda

 

Of course there are more but that would give a good idea.

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Here are some of the works cited by Tolkien as influences. I tried to link some free online translations so it would be handier.

 

Kalevala

 

Völsunga saga

 

The Saga of Hervar and Heidrek

 

 

The Song of the Nibelungs

 

The Prose Edda

 

Poetic Edda

 

Of course there are more but that would give a good idea.

 

 

Thank you for the resources. I have almost finished the Silmarillion and have thoroughly enjoyed it when I haven't allowed myself to get bogged down in the geography. I have been sending more time on being guidance counselor for my rising sr and writing course descriptions and college searchs than spending time on this. But I finished his course descriptions this past week and now I have to put this course on the top of my priority list b/c we are supposed to start back to school in 5 weeks. :svengo: I am soooooo far behind in planning. I normally have everything ordered in April and I haven't even thought about my younger kids, yet.

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I highly recommend the Atlas of Middle Earth. Worth every penny!

 

 

We actually own it. I had to keep myself from pulling it out and trying to understand the details and be happy with the general gist of where the different groups settled or I would never actually finish pre-reading it for my planning.

 

But, you are right, it is a fabulous resource. My older kids created their own version of a game sort of like risk based on the maps in the book. The game was huge and maps were drawn on moving boxes and the area took up about a 1/4 of our basement!!

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