Mittwoch, 3. Mai 2017

Wednesday, 3 May: The Last Inn

The Last Inn
(Actually: "The Cat and Fiddle", near Buxton,
illustration by Charles G. Harper, 1906)
On this day, in 2941 T.A., the Company leaves Bree very early, according to the 1960 timetable. It travels for 20 miles, reaches the Last Inn in the early evening and, to the disappointment of everyone, finds it deserted (hence, we know it from LotR as the Forsaken Inn). According to my own computations published in "The Moon in 'The Hobbit'", there was a first quarter moon setting over the Last Inn that evening.

From this point on, entries in the 1960 timetable become rarer, and it increasingly deviates from both Fonstad's "Atlas" and the published "Hobbit". Tolkien's purpose had been to reshape Bilbo's travels to match the LotR map, and he had succeeded in that, even achieving consistency with the attested lunar phases. The price paid was that the stay in Rivendell had to be extended from about fourteen to thirty-six days since it was already reached on 24 May instead of 16 June. The obvious solution to postpone the Unexpected Party by a month had never occurred to Tolkien, despite Bilbo's casual reference to "that May morning long ago" in chap. VIII.

John Rateliff, in "The History of the Hobbit", believes that the abandoned 1960 revisions were not available to Tolkien when he revised the "Hobbit" again to secure US copyright in 1966. Thus, alas, even the final version has been left with inconsistencies to the internal chronology that had already been satisfactorily solved, and the 1960 timetable is inconsistent with references to dates in the published story up to 1 Lithe.

Essays collected in printed or electronic books:


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Middle-earth seen by the barbarians: A compilation of Tolkien's references to the Middle Men of Eriador and Gondor: the pre-Númenóreans and the Dunlendings; the concealed history of Dorwinion, the fate of king Bladorthin and the origin of the Lossoth, the culture and history of the peoples in the east and far south of Middle-earth, with special consideration of the Wainriders, the Black Númenóreans and the Corsairs of Umbar. The appendix discusses the name Bladorthin and gives a new interpretation of this enigmatic king, shows how to apply a grid of latitudes and longitudes to the map of Middle-earth and in a previously unpublished essay discusses various comments by Tolkien on Pauline Baynes' recently recovered LotR map. This volume includes updated versions of “The Indigenous Peoples of Eriador and Gondor”, “The Lossoth and the Forodwaith”, “The Men of Darkness”, “The Third Realm in Exile”, “The mysterious King Bladorthin” and “A meridional grid on the map of Middle-earth” from these Science Pages.

The Moon in ‘The Hobbit’: A discussion and digital simulation of the lunar phases stated in ‘The Hobbit’ and ‘The History of The Hobbit’ and their astronomical background, with special regard to the identification of Durin's Day and the threshold of winter; including an analysis of the various calendar systems in ‘The Lord of the Rings’. Many hints are given on how to use the moon and the seasons as plot elements in your own stories. This book has updated versions of the essays “The Moon and Durin’s Day, 2941 TA”, “Midsummer’s eve and the Moon-letters“, “The Reckoning of Time”, “An ephemeris for Bilbo Baggins” and “(Flawed) Astronomy in the History of the Hobbit” from these Science Pages.

Words of Westernesse: A light-hearted introduction into the grammar of Adûnaic, based on Arthur Lowdham's spiritual research in HoMe IX, and (tentative) etymologies of Adûnaic and Westron as far as the corpus of vocabulary has been established. This volumes includes updated versions of the essays “Lalaith’s Guide to Adûnaic grammar” and “Etymologies of the Atani Languages” from these Science Pages.

Dynasties of Middle-earth: Genealogical tables and comments on the lines of the kings of Númenor, Arnor, Gondor, Rohan, Dale and the Princes of Dol Amroth. A shorter version of this volume had been previously presented here as “Genealogies of the noble Mannish houses”.