Since J.R.R. Tolkien has a strong connection to the Anglo-Saxon era and Beowulf, I thought I'd share these news here as well. This is a link to the news section of my online portfolio of illustrations and photography. Anyways, the news is that my photo is featured on a book about swords in Anglo-Saxon England. … Continue reading March 2019 – The Sword in Anglo-Saxon England — Lee W Lundin
I have obviously not been doing much with my blog lately. Mainly because I have not read much Tolkien last year (I however started listening to The Prancing Pony Podcast, so I´ve gotten my share of Tolkien consumption done anyway) since I was working abroad and did not bring any books (I borrowed other books … Continue reading Túrin Turambar
I'm not sure if I will put more stuff on the blog. At the moment it feels like, rather than encouraging me to read Tolkien, extra pressure to write when I pick up a Tolkien book - so I put off reading them (which is sad). We'll see if I'll get the blog going again … Continue reading On hiatus
Beowulf: A Translation and Commentary was released in 2014. It contains a translation of the poem Beowulf (dating back more than a 100 years) from Old English to Modern English together with an extensive commentary. J.R.R. Tolkien wrote the translation in 1920-1926, but was not published until the son Christopher edited this volume. It also contains Sellic Spell and two versions of The Lay of Beowulf.
This poem is one of the poems in this publication that is said to be derived from traditions in Gondor, but a part of Shire-lore written down in the Fourth Age. The story features a mortal woman invited to join the elves and sail to "Elvenhome" An earlier version of this poem was published in 1934 and was called Firiel.
This story features a person who travels out to sea and is gone over a year in a mysterious land, which changes them as a person. It could be associated with the type of despair and darkness that is felt by people who have taken to the "wandering-madness" (p.258) which is a perspective of the Hobbits, making them "queer and uncommunicable" (p.258). This poem is a a revised and expanded version of Looney, which was published in the Oxford Magazine in 1934.
The Hoard is a poem concerning the theme of greed. In the preface it is written that this poem was written in the Hobbits' Red Book and it depended 'on the lore of Rivendell, Elvish and Númenórean, concerning the heroic days at the end of the First Age". It is a revision of an earlier version called Iúmonna Gold Galdre Bewunden, published in 1923.
Shadow-Bride is a haunting poem, with a flair of mythological spirit, probably the most abstract of the poems in The Adventures of Tom Bombadil. An earlier version of this poem, The Shadow Man, was published in 1936.
The poem "Cat" was intended as being a poem in the marginalia in the Red Book, a piece written by Sam Gamgee as a touched-up version of an older piece of "comic bestiary lore of which Hobbits appear to have been fond" (The Adventures of Tom Bombadil, p. 232). It is a fairly short poem so I have quoted it below in it's entirety instead of writing a summary of it which would be only one sentence short.
Fastitocalon is based on an earlier poem. This version is a reduced text, something that would suit hobbits as part of old bestiaries, framed as an adaption of possibly more learned elvish lore. Tolkien was inspired by a fragment of Anglo-Saxon bestiary.