Author Archives: Earthoak

Tolkien’s Art and How it Influenced His Writing: Drawing to Discover

Tolkien’s artwork, rather than his writing, was my first gateway to Middle-earth; so Jeffrey J. MacLeod’s and Anna Smol’s recent article “Visualizing the Word: Tolkien as Artist and Writer” (Tolkien Studies, volume 14) is of particular interest to me.  The … Continue reading

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CS Lewis’ Response to Critics of The Lord of the Rings: The Dethronement of Power

C. S. Lewis’ defence of Tolkien’s work gives insight into the types of criticism it elicited. Chief among those criticisms were its supposed lack of realism, and lack of character development or moral complexity. Lewis robustly argues against both allegations, … Continue reading

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Reading and Drawing the Lord of the Rings Part 3: On Being an Oddity

In his Foreword, Tolkien describes ‘The Shadow of the Past’ as the oldest part of the tale and ‘the crucial chapter’ of the book. One can see why, as it anchors the entire tale in gravitas, thanks in no small … Continue reading

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What Hobbits Knew All Along: Walking Barefoot is Good For You

I came across an interesting piece of health research this week and of course couldn’t help but make the connection with the rather peculiar behaviour unique to hobbits. We are told in The Hobbit that they:

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The Lord of the Rings Through The Eyes Of An 11 Year Old

The first and original book review of The Hobbit was candidly supplied in 1936 by the ten-year old son of publisher Sir Stanley Unwin: “Bilbo Baggins was a Hobbit who lived in his Hobbit hole and never went for adventures, … Continue reading

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On Writing Freely and ‘NaNoWriMo’

I am sure many people reading this know about NaNoWriMo: National Novel Writing Month, which is now apparently.  In honour of this month a friend shared the following page: https://www.writeinvisible.com This enables you to write up to 500 words without … Continue reading

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Atmospheric Railway Journeys and Stories

The rain is lashing down. Drops dot and dash against the windows, while some run sideways as the train speeds on. On and on, hurtling forward. Through the speckled window I can see dark, heavy clouds. Greyness fills the sky, … Continue reading

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