wellinghall: (Puffin)
"Thus, Lewis became even more influential, even the conversion of J.R.R. Tolkien, not to mention many children through the years."
Is the writer saying that Lewis was involved in the conversion of Tolkien? To what, precisely?

"JRR Tolkien wrote Lord of the Rings on a stone table in the gardens of Merton College where he taught English."

This fine fellow had crept into the breakfast room at our B&B.

And the breakfast bar at our B&B. I use the word "bar" advisedly ...
wellinghall: (Goldie)
I need to think of good things ...
We had lunch at The Salutation Inn yesterday
We are going inside Stonehenge next Monday
I have read interesting library books on PoW exchanges in WWII (largely arranged through Lisbon) and German / British double agents in WWII (largely making contact with Germany through Lisbon)
The March Ansible has arrived
This white Burgundy is still very pleasant, two days after opening

Grandad (Colin Wells) with Ch Woodlark, c1959 - 60.
Colin Wells with Ch Woodlark c. 1959-60

Tolkien slept here: http://www.herefordtimes.com/news/letters/11824442.Follow_the_Tolkien_Trail_at_Mordiford_/
I have booked sleeper tickets south from Inverness. We are aiming to do the whole journey, Bristol - Skye - Harris - Inverness - Bristol surface by public transport (although there may be the odd taxi thrown in, and hire cars on the islands).

Yes, I know it's the Daily Fail (complete with inaccurate reporting), but there are lots of great photos here.
wellinghall: (Tolkien)
"Lending credence to the idea that Tolkien may have visited in the interwar years, Mulanje has been a favourite bolthole for Malawi’s Western expats since colonial days."

wellinghall: (Tolkien)
"even JRR Tolkien conceived of The Hobbit during his five years lecturing at Leeds University"

wellinghall: (Tolkien)

Question: "Did Gollum get his name from a cave in the Irish Burren?"

To which the answer is clearly, "No."
wellinghall: (Tolkien)
"The Hobbit, written by Birmingham-born JRR Tolkien, is currently a cinema smash hit directed by Peter Jackson, who previously created the popular Lord of the Rings movies."

wellinghall: (Tolkien)
"Network Rail is to carry out £3m of track improvements to a railway tunnel rumoured to have been Birmingham author JRR Tolkien’s inspiration for the home of favourite hobbit, Bilbo Baggins."

wellinghall: (Tolkien)
"The Burren and Connemara are always credited as being in some small form an inspiration for Tolkien’s landscapes,'"said NUI Galway Archivist Barry Houlihan.
“The imagery and the imagination for the book The Lord of the Rings is The Burren in County Clare”.

"Some say Birmingham is Hobbiton ;) this is so exciting !!!"
wellinghall: (Tolkien)
Head of Zeus has acquired a non-fiction title which explores the life of a 7th-century warrior, said to be the real-life inspiration for J R R Tolkien's character, Aragorn.

Publishing director for non-fiction Richard Milbank bought world rights in Max Adams' The King in the North: The Life and Times of Oswald of Northumbria from Ian Drury of Sheil Land. The publisher described it as a "thrilling and rigorously researched recreation of the life of the seventh-century Northumbrian warrior-king who was the real-life inspiration for J R R Tolkien's Aragorn".

Milbank said: "This is a stunning piece of research into our early history: Max Adams rescues Oswald of Northumbria from Dark Age obscurity to reveal an unjustly forgotten English hero."

wellinghall: (Tolkien)
"Leeds: Did Meanwood Valley inspire Middle Earth?"

"This was on the Cotswold tour. Tolkien took one look at it and got the idea for writing about a shire."

"I have received some correspondence from Tolkien fans objecting to my use of DWARF as a synonym for Hobbit (20 down). This reveals woeful ignorance on my part since, I am told, Hobbits in Tolkien’s menagerie of humanoids are a different race (or species?) from Dwarfs."
wellinghall: (Polar bear)
"And far from the glamour of the darting world, they have chosen to play on the town's literary heritage by naming a small side room after JRR Tolkien – who is believed to have written much of Lord Of The Rings while downing cask ales in what was The Green Dragon."

That's The Green Dragon in Leek, Staffordshire.

wellinghall: (Tolkien)
"In the 20th century, J.R.R.Tolkien got inspiration for the 'Misty Mountains' (Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit) whilst walking in the hills."

"Whether Tolkien drew on his uncle’s experience when describing the Mines of Moria in The Lord of the Rings is open to conjecture. Commentators have also detected references to the Stanegate along the Roman Wall, and the wild cattle at Chillingham Castle."

"Well, we sit in the heart of the inspiration for his fantasy world, ‘Middle Earth’. -Tolkien actually lived just a few doors down from us after he penned his most famous works. He rented a cottage here in Apperley in order to ‘live in the world he’d created’ and walk in the countryside of which he’d written about."
wellinghall: (Tolkien)
"Biographer Joseph Pearce says the famous South African poet Roy Campbell saw the Spanish Civil War as a religious conflict between Christianity and atheistic modernism.

In a recent interview with CNA, Pearce said Campbell – who was the inspiration behind the character Aragorn in Tolkien's Lord of the Rings – believes 'the war in Spain was a battle between Christian tradition and atheistic modernism. In other words, he saw it as a religious conflict.'"

wellinghall: (Tolkien)
"The great Mongol hordes were an inspiration to JRR Tolkien, who was writing his whimsical series of novels at the same time as Lamb was working on this. His Lord of the Rings was in fact a rosy pastiche based fancifully on the very times that Ghengis and his hordes conquered Europe as far as Poland. Inasmuch as you can line up historical facts with Tolkein's fairy world, you might say that the orcs are generally the Mongols and Muslims invading from the east and south, Minas Tirith was the city of Byzantium, Osgiliath was the ruins of Rome, Rohan was the Germanic peoples, and Aragorn was partly borrowed from the Emperor Frederick. Numenor was the ancient Romans, and the Shire was, of course, Merry Olde England."

ETA: "Kinver Edge in South Staffordshire and its historic rock houses (Hobbit holes) are the most likely source for this inspiration. This is very plausible as during his youth Tolkien lived in nearby Birmingham and often pined for the countryside. At the time Kinver was a popular day out from the dirty and smoky city. From 1901 a short train trip from Snow Hill Station to Amblecote in Stourbridge, followed by a ride along the newly built Kinver light Railway, could put a day visitor in the unspoilt countryside within two hours."
wellinghall: (Tolkien)
"Of course, Middle Earth from The Lord of the Rings isn't just one setting. There are storybook forests and blackened volcanoes and menacing towers. All of it is pretty fantastic, like Isengard, with its tower and surrounding circular stronghold.

As it turns out, Middle Earth - that is, the Shire, the forests, Isengard, even freaking Mordor -- all came from author JRR Tolkien's surroundings growing up in and around the city of Birmingham, England. Seriously.

OK, so what about Mordor? That charred, ruined country is pure fantasy, right? Well, just northwest of Birmingham was an area called the Black Country, so called because it had been marred with pollution from all the coal mines, iron foundries and steel mills dotting its landscape thanks to the Industrial Revolution. The air was so dense with smog and dust and ore that the whole place looked like Godzilla's shithouse, all the time.

So, when it came time for Tolkien to create a homeland for the most evil being in his fantasy world, he just channeled the Black Country into his writing, renaming it "Mordor" because that sounded less like a racist old debutante's description of Africa.

For a while, Tolkien lived with his aunt in a section of Birmingham called Edgbaston -- an area that was known for having two very distinct towers in it. Those are the Edgbaston Waterworks Tower and Perrott's Folly. The former would even periodically billow smoke out into the air, as if fantasy siege engines were being constructed deep in the earth beneath it (or as if steam were coming out of a waterworks tower).

At another point in his childhood, Tolkien lived in Sarehole (a hamlet right outside of Birmingham). It provided much of the inspiration for what eventually became the Shire. It even was said to have large tunnels running beneath it that could've easily been the basis for Bag End, Bilbo's home (and incidentally also the name of Tolkien's aunt's farm in the area). Sarehole and nearby Moseley Bog look ... well ... look like something out of The Lord of the Rings."

wellinghall: (Tolkien)
"Another famous name attached to Stoneyhurst is Tolkien, who taught here. we could well imagine this countryside inspiring him.

Not everyone knows of Tolkien's South African connection. John Ronald Reuel Tolkien was born in Bloemfontein on January 3 1892. Young Tolkien suffered from a spider bite and some think this incident, or the Free State outdoors, stimulated his later interest in nature.

JRR's father died in Bloemfontein in 1896 and the family returned to England. JRR was taught by his mother, from whom his romanticism and naturalism emanated. This manifested itself in the "elvish" or "hobbity" line in his imaginations."

wellinghall: (Tolkien)
"As readers of the Beyond Guardian Leeds Posts will be aware, J. R. R. Tolkien is to honoured this week with a blue plaque, right here in 'our' fair city.

He taught as a Professor at the University of Leeds for five years, producing his 'A Middle English Vocabulary' & the definitive edition of 'Sir Gawain & the Green Knight'.

Daragh Corcoran of BBC Radio Leeds is hoping to talk to someone about Tolkien's time in Leeds. If you're a fan & know how/if/whether the geography of Leeds influenced in his epic Middle Earth books then Daragh needs YOU!!!

Please contact him with your interest at www.twitter.com/daraghcorcoran!"

wellinghall: (Tolkien)
"Ever since I read that Torridon in the Scottish Highlands was the inspiration for Middle Earth in Tolkien's Lord Of The Rings, I've wanted to visit and enjoy some of the area's excellent walks. When is a good time to go?"

"Certainly the mountainous Torridon landscape has many similarities with fictional Middle Earth but we have yet to find solid evidence that Tolkien strode this part of the world before he dreamed up his tale."
wellinghall: (Tolkien)
"The first Torridon Walking Festival – the area thought to be the inspiration for Middle Earth in Tolkein’s ‘Lord of the Rings’ - promises exceptional choices for scaling iconic summits and exploring local forest footpaths."

"Puzzlewood - Tolkien's Inspiration for Middle-earth"

"It’s said that J. R. Tolkien may have been visualising our very own Forest of Dean when penning the fantasy saga. He worked at Lydney Park in 1929 during an archaelogical excavation on a site known as 'Dwarf’s Hill', where crumbling ruins were once mistaken for the homes of little people."

"It is easy to imagine that this cave may have been the inspiration for JRR Tolkien as he began creating the fantasy world that would lead to The Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit, and other mystical adventures set in 'Middle Earth'."

"Tolkien’s Gollum, they say, was conceived in a Burren cavern, and the longest free-hanging stalactite ever discovered in Europe hangs in one of them."

"Andrew: The most famous person ever to come out of Pershore is Toyah Willcox and she’s with us this afternoon. You did come out of Pershore, didn’t you?
Toyah: I’m not the most famous, the most famous is J.R.R Tolkien."
wellinghall: (Tolkien)
"Dorothy Sayers, one of the great Oxford Inklings contemporaneous with C.S. Lewis, Charles Lamb, and J.R.R. Tolkien, wrote marvelous mysteries."



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April 2017

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