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John Lennard john.c.lennard at gmail.com
Wed Aug 28 20:47:49 BST 2019

John:  Shippey reckoned Hobbiton in *The Hobbit* as a Cotswold village
and I can't see any good reason to push the date much if any further back.

Damien: No guns, no printing press, no telegraph, no railroads, probably no
advanced carriages...

John: But Middle-earth is an immersion fantasy, not a portal one (however
JRRT sorta has it both ways, using Hobbiton as a point of departure into a
much stranger world) ; the general tech-level is pre-mediaeval, and JRRT
plainly disallowed a bunch of technologies he hated, and to which the
conception of hobbits is inimical, but that doesn't stop Hobbiton from
being a version of Sarehole or Cotswoldy points south c. 1890s, as
experienced in his own childhood. He had very little interest in earlier
C19 England, save as it survived to be seen and had done things about and
with OE, ON, and similar MSS ; why would he have imagined Hobbiton as a
time outside his personal knowledge and professional expertise?

Plus, Hobbiton ( or rather, IIRC, Bywater) does have a post office. ;-)

John Lennard, MA DPhil. (Oxon.), MA (WU)

Associate Member & Director of Studies in English, Hughes Hall, Cambridge
General editor, Humanities-E-Books Genre Fiction Sightlines and Monographs

*Mock-Death in Shakespeare's Plays*
The first full study of Shakespeare's favourite dramatic device

*The Exasperating Case of David Weber, or The Slow Death of The Honorverse*
22 years ago Weber created it and in the last ten he has broken it ...

*Tolkien's Triumph: The Strange History of *The Lord of the Rings
Just how did a 1000-page book with 6 appendices come to sell 8,500 copies
per day?

*Talking Sense About *Fifty Shades of Grey*, or Fanfiction, Feminism, and
The story the media *isn't* telling ...

Available from Kindle Stores, and in PDF from the author.

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