May 17th, 2011

tolkien

May Books 5) The Shaping of Middle-Earth, by J.R.R. Tolkien

Yet more refinement of the events of the Silmarillion, in various different formats; I'm rather glad that the next volume in this series takes us to Númenor and away from Beleriand. The most interesting thing in this volume (though unfortunately also the least readable) is Tolkien's casting of the Annals of Beleriand into Anglo-Saxon, a very visible piece of his commitment to reshaping English mythology by giving it new roots as invented by himself, though as it turned out rather a blind alley creatively. There is also some impressive forensic work on the faint pencil-drawn maps on which Tolkien planned out the geograohy of early Middle-Earth. But this is probably the least accessible so far of this rather obscure series.