Monday, August 05, 2013

Fortnightly Book, August 4

For the next fortnightly book, I need something quite light -- still moving, and preparing for Fall term, and I have a birthday in the midst of it, to boot. So I've decided to go with a very short re-read, J. R. R. Tolkien's Roverandom as edited by Christina Scull and Wayne G. Hammond.

The story of Roverandom was first told to Tolkien's children in the mid-1920s; Tolkien's son, Michael, had lost a small toy dog while playing at the beach, and Tolkien made up a story for his two sons about a dog who gets turned into a toy by a wizard and is accidentally lost at the beach, after which follow incredible adventures. Like many of Tolkien's tales in the period, it has occasional connections to the mythos of Middle Earth, having elements drawn from The Book of Lost Tales, and probably in some ways preparing the way for the near-contemporaneous work, The Hobbit. As The Hobbit was being prepared for publication, Tolkien's publisher asked him to submit more children's works, and Tolkien sent Farmer Giles of Ham, Mr. Bliss, and Roverandom as possibilities. Of course, after The Hobbit was published and selling, what the publisher actually wanted was more hobbitry; and that led in an entirely new direction. It was finally published posthumously in 1998.

2 comments:

  1. MrsDarwin1:15 PM

    I just started reading this one out loud and everyone is enjoying it, particularly the reference to E. Nesbit's Five Children and It. We had it on the shelf (probably inherited, since I'd never read it before), but interestingly enough, the library has it too -- the only blog-recommended book I've found there all summer.

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  2. branemrys7:55 PM

    I probably would have missed the Five Children and It reference on my own -- a disadvantage of not having children -- but now that you mention it, it makes a great deal of sense.

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