This is one in a series of posts where the content is provided by a guest who has graciously answered five questions about their experience as a Tolkien reader. I am very humbled that anyone volunteers to spend time in this busy world to answer questions for my blog, and so I give my sincerest thanks to Snippety Giblets and the other participants for this.
To see the idea behind this project, check out this page
I want to thank Donato Giancola for allowing me to use his stunning portrait of J.R.R Tolkien as the featured image for this project. If you would like to purchase print of this painting, they are available on his website!
If you would like to contribute your own experience, you can do so by using the form on the contact page, or by emailing me directly.
Now, on to Snippety Giblets’ responses:
1. How were you introduced to Tolkien’s work?
My mum read The Hobbit and The Father Christmas Letters to me when I was small. I liked them well enough, but not as much as say the Anne of Green Gables books. Then she told me about The Lord of the Rings. I think it was my ninth birthday. I had money to spend at the bookshop, and was already an enthusiastic reader. My mum suggested getting the big paperback omnibus. She read it aloud to me and I was absolutely bowled over by it. I was obsessed with it for a good eighteen months to the exclusion of everything else. I read it ceaselessly. I was so desperate to be Gandalf or Aragorn. I lived and breathed it, and found out all about Norse mythology because I was told that was part of Tolkien’s inspiration. It was just magical.
2. What is your favorite part of Tolkien’s work?
The Lord of the Rings and The Silmarillion. I love the stories about the elves and the men of Númenor. Tolkien wrote so well about natural and spiritual beauty so any part of it that conveys those thoughts are my favourite.
3. What is your fondest experience of Tolkien’s work?
Probably as a young kid. I’ve always liked having kind of private pleasures. Before the films, and before I was on line I didn’t know anyone else who liked it. It felt like it was just for me, and I thought about it all the time. Although I’ve re-read it many times as an adult it’s never quite the same. Also introducing my husband to it, and then endlessly discussing it with him; inviting him into my private enjoyment.
4. Has the way you approach Tolkien’s work changed over time?
A little with an adult understanding of his religious life and his experience of war. It’s still very special.
5. Would you ever recommend Tolkien’s work? Why/Why not?
Only to people I really love. It’s like sharing a part of oneself. I tried to share it with my son, but he wasn’t that keen! He prefers the films which is maybe understandable. It’s up on the list with David Bowie and John Crowley – for kindred spirits only