#ThereAndBackAgain Readalong

I’m Going on an Adventure… Again!

Rereading The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings after a long journey behind the scene of this stories

JazzFeathers
Dec 6, 2019 · 5 min read
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Photo by Johannes Plenio on Unsplash

In the summer of 2017, I saw an announcement on Litsy for a readalong of all the major works by Tolkien. I thought there was no way I could take part. Where would I find the time?

I almost dismissed the idea. Still, a nagging thought kept coming to me: it’s such a long time since last I read The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, not to mention The Silmarillion. What if I joined, after all?

I did.

I read one chapter a day by Tolkien for months, to the beginning of 2018. Then a small group of us kept going into The History of Middle-earth.

At the end of last year we started reading The History of the Hobbit, then the History of The Lord of the Rings. We soon decided that it was only fitting that at the end, we should read the books again.

And so, here we are!

We’ve committed ourselves to reading The Hobbit in December and The Lord of the Rings starting from January 3, the Professor’s birthday.

The Oral Hobbit

Tolkien was a born storyteller. He enjoyed reading stories and telling stories and writing stories. When his kids were young, he would invite them in his study after dinner and tell stories to them that he invented night after night.

Most of the children’s books he published during his life were born this way. The Hobbit was no exception.

Tolkien recounted The Hobbit to his older children. Three boys. His only daughter was too young to follow such a complex story. John D. Rateliff, author of The History of The Hobbit, suggests this as an explanation for the lack of female characters in the book. The Tolkien kids were all in an age where their interest was in battles and epic adventures, not any ‘girl’ stuff. Since Tolkien was a very receptive author, he adjusted his tale to what his audience appreciated the most.

Rateliff wrote an amazing book, a very in-depth analysis of The Hobbit’s elements and inspirations. I’m looking forward to rereading The Hobbit in light of everything I read in Rateliff’s book.

An exiting adventure

Because I love me a good challenge, I thought, why not blogging about this reading every day as I read the chapters? Writing allows a much more in-depth reflection. I’d love to share my thought with other Tolkien enthusiasts. And it would be good for my Medium routine.

Brilliant idea, since I’m already four days behind, right?

I don’t know whether I’ll make it. Writing on Medium every day has proved challenging so far. But I’m willing to try, and with a subject I always enjoy writing about.

Are you coming along?

Index

Sarah Zama is a Tolkien nerd and proud of it. She read The Hobbit the first time as a teenager and was a Tolkien fan years before Peter Jackson’s trilogy ever hit the theatres. She’s always been involved with Tolkien groups, both online and in person. In 2004, she founded a Tolkien group in her city, Verona (Italy), which is still meeting and divulging the Professor’s work. In 2017, she started reading Tolkien’s work with a group of other nerdy readers, one chapter a day. They are still on the road together.

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JazzFeathers

Written by

Author of historical fantasy novels set in the 1920s | Dieselpunk | 1920s social history blogger | Hopeless Tolkien nerd https://theoldshelter.com/

Middle-earth Literary Gazette

Exploring Tolkien’s Middle-earth. The places and characters. The stories. Searching for their deeper meaning.

JazzFeathers

Written by

Author of historical fantasy novels set in the 1920s | Dieselpunk | 1920s social history blogger | Hopeless Tolkien nerd https://theoldshelter.com/

Middle-earth Literary Gazette

Exploring Tolkien’s Middle-earth. The places and characters. The stories. Searching for their deeper meaning.

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