The Daily

Posts Tagged ‘J.R.R. Tolkien’

Manuscripts Lost and Found, and Other News

May 23, 2013 | by


  • A lost Pearl S. Buck manuscript, found in a Texas storage unit, will be published this fall.
  • In other literary surprise news: on public display for the first time is a previously unknown Tolkien poem, “The Fall of Arthur,” part of a magical literature exhibition at the Bodleian Library.
  • It’s sad enough when a bookstore closes, but what to do about the inventory? Seattle-area Once Sold Tales scrambles to place 500,000 books by month’s end.
  • Eoin Colfer lists his top fictional villains. Discuss.
  • Keith Richards claims to owe fifty years’ worth of library fines, which the Huffington Post estimates at over $30,000.



    One Ring to Rule Them All

    April 3, 2013 | by


    One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them,
    One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them.

    Such is the object that starts Bilbo Baggins’s quest and, later, marks the glowing center of Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings trilogy. And some speculate that it was based on a real Roman ring, currently on display at a Hampshire mansion. 

    Originally discovered by a farmer in the late eighteenth century in what the Guardian terms “one of the most enigmatic Roman sites in the country,” the ring was presumably sold to the family who owned the great house the Vyne.

    It was a strikingly odd object, 12g of gold so large that it would only fit on a gloved thumb, ornamented with a peculiar spiky head wearing a diadem, and a Latin inscription reading: “Senicianus live well in God.” A few decades later and 100 miles away, more of the story turned up: at Lydney in Gloucestershire, a Roman site known locally as the Dwarfs Hill, a tablet with an inscribed curse was found. A Roman called Silvianus informs the god Nodens that his ring has been stolen. He knows the villain responsible, and he wants the god to sort them out: “Among those who bear the name of Senicianus to none grant health until he bring back the ring to the temple of Nodens.”

    Here’s where Tolkien comes in. When archaeologist Sir Mortimer Wheeler reexcavated Lydney in 1929, he consulted Professor Tolkien about the god’s unusual name; both men were apparently struck by the fact that the name appeared on both ring and curse.

    Whether or not you believe this to be the inspiration for the One Ring, you can judge for yourself: it is on view, along with a copy of the curse and a first edition of The Hobbit, at the Vyne.



    There and Back Again

    March 25, 2013 | by


    Since 2003, the Tolkien Society has celebrated Tolkien Reading Day on March 25. Why today, which is neither Tolkien’s birthday, nor Bilbo’s, nor Frodo’s? The answer will be obvious to regular observers of the holiday: March 25 marks the downfall of Sauron.



    Emoji Classics, and Other News

    February 21, 2013 | by




    Happy Birthday, J. R. R. Tolkien

    January 3, 2013 | by

    In honor of January 3, enjoy this illustrated Christmas letter that the author drew for his son: a twenty-year tradition in the Tolkien home.

    [Via Letters of Note.]


    Scandal at the (Old) OED, and Other News

    November 27, 2012 | by

  • “An eminent former editor of the Oxford English Dictionary covertly deleted thousands of words because of their foreign origins and bizarrely blamed previous editors, according to claims in a book published this week.”
  • It may be intended to kickstart NaNoWriMo, but we think this Random Line Generator could be put to all sorts of interesting social uses.
  • “They would have loved me to have written fantasy fiction because that would have been easier to sell from a Tolkien, but I wanted to write thrillers.” Simon Tolkien on his famous grandfather’s legacy.
  • “I hate them. It’s like making believe there’s another kind of sex. There isn’t another kind of sex. There isn’t another kind of book. A book is a book is a book.” Maurice Sendak was characteristically wishy-washy on the subject of e-books.
  • Some less vitriolic takes on the state of print.
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