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The Ninety-seventh Roving Ranger

Life and Works

January 20, 1982. Finn and Hengest (Opens in a new window) is published posthumously, edited by Alan Bliss.
January 21, 1889. Edith Bratt (Opens in a new window) is born.
January 22, 1928. Tolkien reads a paper, The Chill Barbarians of the North (Opens in a new window), at a meeting of the Newman Society (Opens in a new window), in Oxford.
January 24, 1972. Tolkien writes Letter 332 (Opens in a new window) to his son Michael on moving to Merton.
January 26, 1925. Tolkien writes a letter to Professor Joseph Wright (Opens in a new window) on the occasion of his retirement.
January 28, 1982. The Old English Exodus (Opens in a new window) us published posthumously, edited by Joan Turville-Petre (Opens in a new window).
January 29, 1968. Tolkien writes a letter to Ken Jackson (Opens in a new window) concerning “Bag End”.
January 30, 1914. The Chequers Clubbe (Opens in a new window), founded by Tolkien, is given permission to organize dinners.
February 2, 1939. J.R.R. Tolkien (Opens in a new window) writes Letter 35 (Opens in a new window), asking “Could you give me any idea of the latest date by which the completed MSS. ought to reach you?” ☺️

There is a very decent-looking piece with video recordings of Tolkien (Opens in a new window) (h/t Michael Flowers) [Youtube]

Events & Shows

Some amazing talks are coming up (Opens in a new window) at the University of Oxford as part of the Tolkien 50th Anniversary Seminar series (h/t to Garth).

The New York Tolkien Conference is returning this year (Opens in a new window) (and reminding me to do my write-up of the 2019 one I participated in!)

Alan Sisto had Tom Hillman over at the Tolkien Times (Opens in a new window) for a chat about Pity, Power, and Tolkien’s Ring (Opens in a new window).

Starting in August Tampere, Finland, will have a Lord of the Rings (Opens in a new window) show - again, based on the 2018 adaptation.

This unique production combines unforgettable theatre, original music composed by Tuomas Kantelinen and played by the Tampere Philharmonic Orchestra, as well as amazing circus performances by Sorin Sirkus.

For all events check out the International Tolkien Fellowship (Opens in a new window) [FB] and the Tolkien Guide Calendar (Opens in a new window).

Scholarship and Fandom

A ‘Call for Papers’ from the University of Freiburg has been published: Arcastar Lerinosse: A Multi-Disciplinary Approach to Arda (Opens in a new window) (deadline: Feb 16).

Glaurung, Heir of Fáfnir: Tolkien’s Reading of Old Norse Dragon Myth (Opens in a new window).

For a list of the translations of The History of Middle-earth see this Tolkien Guide forum post (Opens in a new window).
Congrats to Spain for being the only country so far to have them all translated. France, Poland, Hungary, Brazil and Italy are working on getting there (damn you, Germany!)

Now, this is largely conjecture but I love how both Anglo-saxon history as well as the history of early European Christendom are tied into Tolkien: Elrond, Bilbo, Colmcille and King Alfred (Opens in a new window). (I really need to write something about my all-time favourite, Alcuin.)

John McLaughlin is providing an amazing service with his site (Opens in a new window).

DIARY OF A CITY GUARD – PART 1 (Opens in a new window) is a hilarious report on what a friend of mine needed to do to become a part of Rings of Power - and what happened.

Brian Sibley has noted with Facebook (Opens in a new window) that a new edition of The Maps of Middle-earth: From Númenor and Beleriand to Wilderland and Middle-earth is coming out in April (order with Blackwell’s (Opens in a new window)).

I've revised the text and added a new Preface telling the story of how (thirty years ago, in 1994) John Howe and I began collaborating on a series of little books devoted to Middle-earth cartography. This edition (now uniform with all the other Tolkien titles) contains dozens of new pencil drawings by John and (tucked inside the front and back covers) his four original colour maps ready to be displayed.

If only a tenth of Clifford’s speculations in this TORn post prove to be true then we are certainly in for a wild ride: Analysis: New “Rings of Power” Rumors Tease Unhinged Season 2 (Opens in a new window).

The German Tolkien Society has announced its Call for Papers (Opens in a new window) for this year’s Seminar, “Tolkien and his editors.”

Franchise and Merchandise

Amazon is learning the hard way that paying billions for content might not work: Amazon to lay off several hundred staff in Prime Video, Studios (Opens in a new window) [Reuters]

Despite its big budgets and buzzy programming, it can be difficult to truly gauge the success of Amazon’s entertainment business because it does not report separate financial results for the division.

Hobbits and Jack Daniel’s: can men’s wedding rings become ‘manlier’? (Opens in a new window) [Guardian]

Lord of the Rings: Online is moving towards its 17th birthday and has announced some of the festivities (Opens in a new window) and the game’s roadmap.

The Elevenses Bakery in Tampa, Florida, is celebrating its first birthday with a week of Tolkien-inspired sweets (Opens in a new window). [Instagram; also Facebook (Opens in a new window)]

Now, this is top tier merchandise (don’t forget the artisan keycaps): The Lord of the Rings™ Rohan (Opens in a new window) keyboard by Drop.

You can have a virtual look (Opens in a new window) at the “Magic in Middle-earth” exhibition that has been on tour for some time. It is now at Barnsley where the “Experience … Museum is looking for Britain’s Best Tolkien Memorabilia” (Opens in a new window), an online event on February, 21st.

Inter alia & Back in the day

Lynch could have done a Dune II - “half a script” has been found (Opens in a new window). [Wired]

‘Game of Thrones’ Creators’ Wild Road to Their Biggest Gamble Yet: Netflix’s ‘3 Body Problem’ (Opens in a new window) [Hollywood Reporter]

‘Impossible’ to create AI tools like ChatGPT without copyrighted material (Opens in a new window), OpenAI says. [Guardian]

World's shortest stuntman who has battled stormtroopers and orcs fears rise of AI in films (Opens in a new window) [Mirror]

Syndetics Unbound always does an annual chart race of books Popular in Libraries (Opens in a new window). [LibraryThing; for the US] Would you have guessed that Lessons in Chemistry (Opens in a new window) by Bonnie Garmus (Opens in a new window) was the most beloved library book in 2023?

If you want your version of Wikipedia to become a propaganda tool - simply copy the existing version and remove everything that is contrary to your view: Ruwiki (Opens in a new window).

Very decent list: Every Star Wars Movie That Allegedly Is or Isn’t Happening (Opens in a new window) [Vulture]

'Star Trek' on Mars? Curiosity rover spots Starfleet symbol on Red Planet (Opens in a new window) [ (Opens in a new window)] Also a fairly decent write-up on the issues of Star Trek reboot #4 (Opens in a new window).

2024 seems to be good for surprises: Keanu Reeves and China Miéville to collaborate on new novel (Opens in a new window). [Wertzone]

According to German law I have to infom you all links to enterprises, artists, products etc. are [unpaid advertisements.] Some purchase links may earn me a small commission from Blackwell's, the bookshop of my personal trust.

If you are interested in my other Tolkien-related work please have a look:
The Tolkienist Blog (Opens in a new window) : Facebook (Opens in a new window) : Bluesky (Opens in a new window) : Instagram (Opens in a new window) : Mastodon (Opens in a new window) : Xitter (Opens in a new window)
You can support me by becoming a member with my Steady page (Opens in a new window).

If you happen to use Feedly (Opens in a new window) - why not subscribe to one of their most popular Tolkien blogs: ☺️

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