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About the Author

John D. Rateliff is a published scholar. He acquired his Ph.D. at Marquette University. Rateliff has authored titles on the works of J. R. R. Tolkien. His "The History of The Hobbit' won the 2009 Mythopoeic Scholarship Award in Inklings Studies. John is the author or co-author of many other books mostrar mais and role-playing games including The Lord of the Rings Roleplaying Game (2002), EverQuest Player's Handbook (2002), Egypt-Children of the World (1992), and Hero Builder's Guidebook - Dungeons & Dragons (2000). Rateliff has worked for TSR Inc., Wizards of the Coast, and Hasbro contributing to a large number of products in the Dungeons and Dragons line. In addition he has freelanced for Decipher Inc., Green Ronin, White Wolf, Guardians of Order, and Chaosium. (Bowker Author Biography) mostrar menos
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Obras de John D. Rateliff

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Conhecimento Comum

Outros nomes
Rateliff, John
Data de nascimento
Local de nascimento
Magnolia, Arkansas, USA
Locais de residência
Seattle, Washington, USA
Wisconsin, USA
Marquette University (Ph.D)
Pequena biografia
Possibly the only Tolkien scholar to hail from Magnolia, Arkansas, John D. Rateliff moved to Wisconsin in 1981 in order to work with the Tolkien manuscripts at Marquette University, where he received his Ph.D. with a dissertation on Lord Dunsany. He has been active in Tolkien scholarship for many years, helping to organize two major Tolkien conferences and delivering papers on Tolkien, Dunsany, Eddison, the Inklings, and other fantasy writers. While at Marquette, he assisted in the collation of their holdings with those that Christopher Tolkien was editing for volumes VI to IX of the History of Middle-earth series. In addition to writing a column on "Classics of Fantasy", he has contributed to such volumes as Tolkien's Legendarium and Blackwelder festschrift The Lord of the Rings: 1954-2004. A professional editor, he lives in the Seattle area with his wife and three cats, only one of whom is named after a Tolkien character.



Discussion of book never written.
Fiddleback_ | outras 3 resenhas | Dec 17, 2018 |

This isn't so much a second volume as a second half of Rateliff's book; the first numbered page is 469! So the two really need to be read as a single unit. Having recovered from this discovery, I still enjoyed the detail on Tolkien's construction of the original text of The Hobbit, the subsequent revisions to bring the Gollum episode and other elements better in line with The Lord of the Rings, and finally his abandonment of an attempt to rewrite the entire thing to get rid of some of the continuity errors (eg, what did the dwarves do with their musical instruments after they played them in Bag End?) at the behest of an unnamed female friend who persuaded him to let the text be.

Rateliff incudes more nuggets of analysis of the story's roots in literature and in Tolkien's other writing, in which the Father Christmas Letters, written around the same time, are a prominent source. The best bits were in the first volume, but I did find it interesting to note that Tolkien drew more illustrations of Smaug than of any other character in his legendarium, and Rateliff teases out Tolien's fascination with dragons from the first thing he could recall ever writing, as a small child, through Beowulf and the early versions of what was to become the Silmarillion, to Smaug. There's also an interesting reflection on whether the Arkenstone is a Silmaril: it is, and at the same time it isn't, and the fact that we ask the question at all says interesting things about concepts of canonicity.

The two volumes are really for completists only, but strongly recommended for them.
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1 vote
nwhyte | 1 outra resenha | Nov 16, 2013 |

It is actually rather good - as well as following through the manuscript changes (of which the most unsettling is that Gandalf was originally the name of the dwarf leader we know as Thorin Oakenshield; the wizard of early drafts was Bladorthin), Rateliff has taken the time to chase down the history of various elements of the story of The Hobbit; he argues, for instance, that Tolkien's trolls appear to have been the first in literature who were turned to stone by the rising sun, and that while invisibility-conferring rings were not completely new, many aspects of the Ring found by Bilbo are indeed original. He also shows how the writing of The Hobbit was affected by and in turn affected the other writing Tolkien was engaged in at the time, some of which became The Silmarillion and some of which only saw light in The History of Middle Earth. Note also that Laketown is the only culture in Middle Earth which is clearly rooted in the Western European medieval period which was Tolkien's own specialisation, and its Master is the only speaking character in the entire corpus who has won an election.… (mais)
nwhyte | outras 5 resenhas | Aug 23, 2013 |
Mr. Baggins is a scholarly book and one more suited to the die-hard Tolkien enthusiast than the casual reader. That's not to say that it's dry or boring; quite the reverse, in fact.

This is a book about a book, or more precisely a book about part of a book, as it covers about 2/3s of the action of The Hobbit. Rateliff has taken a number of fragments and drafts of The Hobbit and presents them to us with copious notes and commentaries. Although the main plot is essentially the same as Tolkien's published story, there were many differences in detail and it's fascinating to see how the accumulation of such modifications affected the work as a whole.

The book is divided into the chapters of the published story that we're familiar with, although the draft version had no such divisions. Tolkien's text is annotated to highlight the variations. Each chapter is then followed by Rateliff's commentaries on what we've just read, providing fascinating insight into Tolkien's sources, inspirations and useful background information.

Thus we learn about Tolkien's fascination with "eagles-to-the-rescue"; the development of elves from Norse and Celtic folklore, through the Middle-ages and into the late Victorian and Edwardian era; Tolkien's likely source for Beorn the werebear; neolithic lake towns, etc.

That the commentaries are annotated, and frequently refer back to Tolkien's own invented mythology, makes the book wonderfully convoluted and recursive. And some nice illustrated plates are thrown in for good measure.

Next time I read The Hobbit, it will certainly be with this book, and the companion volume, [b:The History of the Hobbit, Volume 2|978772|The History of the Hobbit, Volume 2|John D. Rateliff|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1192843931s/978772.jpg|963660], by my side.
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1 vote
Michael.Rimmer | outras 5 resenhas | Mar 30, 2013 |



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