Tolkien As Truth

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Anonymous

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#1
A year ago or so I read an article in Skeptical Inquirer that mentioned some Däniken wannabe who believed that Lord of The Rings and Tolkien's other works were based on actual history, and had in fact taken place x thousand years ago on Ireland(!). I don't remember his name, but I will try to check that. Anyone here who knows more about this? I tried to find info on the web but surprisingly I couldn't. :eek:
 
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Anonymous

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#2
i once read a book about tolkien's languages written by a bunch of postgrad californian linguists, some contributors to which took it for granted that tolkien was either 'channeling' his works or that he had discovered ancient manuscripts. there was even an article trying to show that elvish had influenced the indo-european languages, so there must have been contact between the races, and that the major figures in TLOTR could correspond to early indo-european god-heroes a la Golden Bough. they never seemed to consider that it might all have been the other way around.
don't know of any particular websites and the book is pretty old now but you might try searching for major american 'tolkien societies' and asking them.
 
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Anonymous

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#3
the past

his books were based in world mithology he was an expert on lanuguage ,he would of written his tails ,with the help of c.s.lewis,about the text he was asked to dechiper.
at oxford he was a teacher of english
 
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Anonymous

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#4
content

and secondly it was based on the first world war
its about the courage of ordinary people in the face of overwhelming adversitary!
:glum: :glum:
 
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Anonymous

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#5
Re: content

Tin Finger said:
and secondly it was based on the first world war
its about the courage of ordinary people in the face of overwhelming adversitary!
:glum: :glum:
Yes indeed, Tolkein's not the only 1st World War veteran who 'channelled' the traumas of that War through the therapy of writing. And his Middle Earth mythology can only be described as obsessive.

I know I've read that he had intended to create a mythology for England to match other real mythologies from Europe and beyond.

It's a flight from reality and an attempt to create the World anew. Because it's so complete and enclosed it's become very popular with English students doing their dissertation.

Rather, Grave's White Goddess, or (a World War later) Peake's Gormenghast, anytime.
 
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Anonymous

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#6
apart from that it was also his atempt to revive the lost heratiage of the engilish language
 
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Anonymous

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#7
He started to write a story about a modern day boy who was receiving messages in Elvish in his dreams (The Lost Road), aklthough he never finished it;
some people might get ideas about 'channelling' from that source,

but Tolkein definitely wrote that story as a work of fiction, based on speculations he and C.S.Lewis were making in the thirties.
 

sjwk0

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#8
Re: content

Tin Finger said:
and secondly it was based on the first world war
its about the courage of ordinary people in the face of overwhelming adversitary!
:glum: :glum:
Tolkien always stated that it was not based on anything and certainly not war. He hated stories that were allegories and hated the fact people often claimed that his works were full of them - comparing to the war, that the ring was an allegory for atomic power, that sort of thing.
He flatly denied that it was ever anything but a story and said that it was written firstly because England didn't have any epic tales of heroes such as Beowulf, so he created one. Plus his love of languages which he used to develop the characters far more than any other author has, by creating an entire history, culture and civilization for the different races that was far outside the books but which made the characters far more believable.

Steve.
 
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Anonymous

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#9
Re: Re: content

sjwk said:
Tolkien always stated that it was not based on anything and certainly not war. He hated stories that were allegories...

He flatly denied that it was ever anything but a story and said that it was written firstly because England didn't have any epic tales of heroes such as Beowulf, so he created one.
I've read that he was no fan of the strongly allegorical fiction written by Lewis. It may well not have been consciously intended for allegory, but I'm sure he dug deep from his exprience for background. If the Land of Mordor isn't as good an exposition of the battlefields and trenches of the First World War, as you'll find, then I'll eat Baldric's hat!

Incidentally, I've been reading some of the tales from Roger Lancelyn Greene's Norse Myths to my son. Tales of Odin, wandering around carrying his staff and wearing his broad brimmed hat, and of the other Æsir. They certainly foreshadow and echo the LotR, every now and again. ;)
 

filcee

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#10
Re: Re: content

sjwk said:
...said that it was written firstly because England didn't have any epic tales of heroes such as Beowulf, so he created one...Steve.
Does Arthurian legend not count as epic tales, or am I missing the point somewhere?
 

Breakfastologist

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#11
The arthurian cycles are welsh/celtic in origin but popularised by the Norman French and so came back around that way. I can't really see what would be a more english mythology than that though, because unlike, for example, any of the other british nations, the english have no unifying historical culture. It seems to me that this is partly because since Norman times the english have been more oppressive than oppressed and as the oppressor there is no need to go out of your way to preserve your culture and eventually you lose it.

Tolkien was deeply influenced by Norse and Teutonic mythology and if you read back through that you can see the roots of his work there. It is a brilliant reinvention but it is still essentially a reinvention.
 
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Anonymous

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#12
Re: Re: Re: content

Filcee said:
Does Arthurian legend not count as epic tales, or am I missing the point somewhere?
Thinking about it, Tolkein does seem to have been thinking in terms of heroic tales for an Anglo Saxon England.

There's really not much left of a 'Celtic' heritage left in 'Middle England' after all. I've always thought that 'The Shire' was a sort of idealised Oxfordshire. ;)
 

filcee

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#13
Breakfast said:
...It seems to me that this is partly because since Norman times the english have been more oppressive than oppressed and as the oppressor there is no need to go out of your way to preserve your culture and eventually you lose it...
Too busy making real history to think about inventing a fantasy one...;)

*Phil dives into his bunker to avoid the fallout from that* :D
 

filcee

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#15
*Phil backpeddles furiously now, how'm I gonna get out of this with me dignity intact?*

OK, defining English people as anyone who's lived in the area now known as England in the last 1000 years or so, regardless of genetic heritage and ancestry:p

*Hmm, have I got away with that one?*
 
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Anonymous

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#17
The Shire is definitely an idealised Oxfordshire just look at the local place names:

Buckland, Bagshot and the Brandywine river are all real, honest!
 

sjwk0

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#18
Physick said:
The Shire is definitely an idealised Oxfordshire just look at the local place names:

Buckland, Bagshot and the Brandywine river are all real, honest!
I had a feeling that something from the book was based on Brill, but no idea where I heard that from. The name could mutate into Bree, or it could be the basis of Hobbiton. Certainly it always looks as though it should have hobbit holes...
(that page had the best picture I could find in 10 minutes of searching but I'm sure there are better ones!)

There's a Bagshot near Bracknell/Reading but I don't recall a Bagshot in the books. Bag End, yes...

Steve.
 
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Anonymous

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#20
...wasn't that the row in front of Bilbo's Bag End? Sam and the Gaffer lived there (Bagshot Row).
 
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Anonymous

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#22
Inverurie Jones said:
Well done, Midi.
Thank you. :)
(First time in a long time that I have pulled out some Tolkien Trivia and someone hasn't threaten to have me committed if I didn't shut up.)
 
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Anonymous

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#23
Tolkien definitely said he based Sam on some of the brave, sensible other ranks he met in the Great War...
probably the sort that did all the fighting and told the daft, otherworldly officer what to do.
Just like the relationship between Sam and that tosser Frodo.
 

James_H

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#24
i always thought bree was brill. brill is a brill place, i used to slide down the hill ona binliner.
 
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Anonymous

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#25
Filcee said:
Too busy making real history to think about inventing a fantasy one...;)
I'm not sure what 'real history' is any more.

I doubt there has ever been a time when politicians have been so cack handed, stupid, ignorant, arrogant and down right, wilfully negligent, in their actions and in their atitude to the recording of their deeds.

Say one thing, do another. Get caught out, say something else, blame somebody, do something else. Rely on the cowering eunuchs of the media and 'expert opinion' spouters to re-write the facts to suit events and your place in them.

Sarumans and Worm Tongues, the lot of them. What keeps them going and empowers them is their total contempt for the people who elected them. :furious:
 

rynner2

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#26
Tolkien bog to get major makeover

Birmingham's historic Moseley Bog, said to have inspired JRR Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings, is to get a major revamp.
The area's Wildlife Trust will use up to £500,000 of lottery grants to transform the wetlands, adding new car parking, footpaths and public art.

The news has been welcomed by fans of Tolkien. The author used the bog as a childhood playground.

His great nephew, Tim Tolkien, says he hopes the spirit of the site will be preserved throughout the work.

Moseley Bog dates back to the Bronze Age and is thought to have inspired the "Old Forest" in the author's books.

The city council has entered into an agreement with the Wildlife Trust to jointly manage Moseley Bog.

The council will retain the freehold lease while the Wildlife Trust will manage the site for the next 25 years.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/west ... 051058.stm
This all sounds a bit Pseuds' Corner to me.... :(
 

Xanatico

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#27
I think some of the stuff was also stolen rather directly from the Finnish mythologies. Possibly the battle of Helm´s Deep.
 

gl5211

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#28
When I frist read Lion the witch and the wardrobe and all the narnia books. I thought OH narnia must be real its all too wonderful! I think that is the real touch of greatness that it is so wonderful that it transports you there and you can believe its all real!
 

gyrtrash

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#29
Brian Bates' book The Real Middle Earth discusses this in some detail...
The blurb says:-

Tolkien readily admitted that the concept of Middle-earth was not his own invention. An Old English term for the Dark Age world, it was always assumed that the importance of magic in this world existed only in Tolkien's works; now Brian Bates reveals the truth about this historical culture. Behind the stories we know of Dark Age kings and queens, warriors and battles, lies the hidden history of Middle-earth, a world of magic, mystery and destiny. Fiery dragons were seen to fly across the sky, monsters haunted the marshes and elves fired poisoned arrows. Wizards cast healing spells, wise trees gave blessings and omens foretold the deaths of kings. The very landscape itself was enchanted and the world imbued with a life force. Repressed by a millennium of Christianity, this belief system all but disappeared, leaving only faint traces in folk memory and fairy tales. This text draws on archaeological findings to reconstruct the imaginative world of our past, revealing a culture with insights that may help us understand our own place in the world.
 

Xanatico

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#30
Yes people in the dark ages believed in magic and elves, that doesn´t mean there was magic or elves if that is what he´s trying to say. In viking mythology they used the word Midgard for the world of humans/Earth. I think the translation of that to english would be similar to Middle Earth. Indeed, the people who translated Tolkien to Danish used the word Midgard where he used Middle-Earth.
 
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