The Hobbit and Tolkien’s Mythology

Essays on Revisions and Influences


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About the Book

At the 2013 “Celebrating The Hobbit” conference at Valparaiso University—marking the 75th anniversary of the book’s publication and the first installment of Peter Jackson’s Hobbit movies—two plenary papers were presented: “Anchoring the Myth: The Impact of The Hobbit on Tolkien’s Legendarium” by John D. Rateliff provided numerous examples of The Hobbit’s influence on Tolkien’s legendarium; and “Tolkien’s French Connections” by Verlyn Flieger discussed French influences on the development of Bilbo Baggins and his adventures. In discussions with the plenary speakers and other presenters, it became apparent that a book focusing on how The Hobbit influenced the subsequent development of Tolkien’s legendarium was sorely needed. This collection of 15 previously unpublished essays fills that need. With Rateliff’s and Flieger’s papers included, the book presents two chapters on the Evolution of the Dwarven Race, two chapters on Durin’s Day examining the Dwarven lunar calendar, and 11 chapters on themes exploring various topics on influences and revisions between The Hobbit and Tolkien’s legendarium.

About the Author(s)

Bradford Lee Eden is Dean of Library Services at Valparaiso University in Valparaiso, Indiana.

Bibliographic Details

Edited by Bradford Lee Eden

Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 244
Bibliographic Info: notes, bibliographies, index
Copyright Date: 2014
pISBN: 978-0-7864-7960-3
eISBN: 978-1-4766-1795-4
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Introduction (Bradford Lee Eden) 1

Part I: The Evolution of the Dwarven Race
Anchoring the Myth: The Impact of The Hobbit on Tolkien’s Legendarium (John D. Rateliff) 6
From Nauglath to Durin’s Folk: The Hobbit and Tolkien’s Dwarves (Gerard Hynes) 20

Part II: Durin’s Day
“It passes our skill in these days”: Primary World Influences on the Evolution of Durin’s Day (Kristine Larsen) 40
A Scientific Examination of Durin’s Day (Sumner Gary Hunnewell) 59

Part III: Themes
Tolkien’s French Connection (Verlyn Flieger) 70
Tolkien’s Hybrid Mythology: The Hobbit as Old Norse “Fairy-Story” (Jane Chance) 78
From “The Silmarillion” to The Hobbit and Back Again: An Onomastic Foray (Damien Bador) 97
Civilized Goblins and Talking Animals: How The Hobbit Created Problems of Sentience for Tolkien (Gregory Hartley) 113
Seeing in the Dark, Seeing by the Dark: How Bilbo’s Invisibility Defined Tolkien’s Vision (Michael A. Wodzak) 136
A Victorian in Valhalla: Bilbo Baggins as the Link Between England and Middle-earth (William Christian Klarner) 152
Beorn and Bombadil: Mythology, Place and Landscape in ­Middle-earth (Justin T. Noetzel) 161
Travel, Redemption and Peacemaking: Hobbits, Dwarves and Elves and the Transformative Power of Pilgrimage (Vickie L. ­Holtz-Wodzak) 181
A Baggins Back Yard: Environmentalism, Authorship and the Elves in Tolkien’s Legendarium (David Thiessen) 195
Polytemporality and Epic Characterization in The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey: Reflecting The Lord of the Ring’s Modernism and Medievalism (Judy Ann Ford and Robin Anne Reid) 208
The Wisdom of the Crowd: Internet Memes and The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (Michelle Markey Butler) 222

About the Contributors 233
Index 235

Book Reviews & Awards

“A thoroughly worthwhile investment…the articles by Rateliff, Hines, Flieger and Bador are outstanding, thoughtful and compelling”—Gramarye: The Journal of the Sussex Centre for Folklore, Fairy Tales & Fantasy.