Endlessly Fascinating J.R.R. Tolkien

Brian Gottesman’s guest post on Mental_floss, “10 Things You Should Know About J.R.R. Tolkien,” is a selection of anecdotes, insights and trivia sure to appeal to fans with an insatiable interest in one of the most admired authors in fantasy. That the items are written in an engaging style is more important than that they come as a surprise. However, this was news to me:

His poem “Bagm? Blom?” (“Flower of the Trees”) might be the first original work written in the Gothic language in over a millennium.

No kidding?

Down in the comments there is also a wonderful quarrel between two self-appointed copyeditors. You can tell what it’s about from the final nitpick:

No, chain mail isn’t redundant. There is also Scale mail armor. You can say “mail armor”, but that still leaves the question of Scale vs. Chain to be answered.

I also applaud a commenter who recommended Diana’s book about Tolkien, Lewis and the Inklings, The Company They Keep.

[Thanks to Steven H Silver for the link.]


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3 thoughts on “Endlessly Fascinating J.R.R. Tolkien

  1. No kidding? No kidding! It’s in fact the only surviving poem in Gothic, according to Tom Shippey in “The Road to Middle-earth”, who reprints and translates it.

    Taral: Since the principal surviving Gothic corpus is an Ostrogothic copy of a Visigothic translation of parts of the New Testament, the language as we know it is probably a blend, insofar as they differ.

  2. The oddest thing I ever heard about J. R. R. Tolkien is that he was born in Bloemfontein, South Africa. You need to be South African to understamd how unlikely that is.

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