Fantastic little book, well presented and illustrated throughout. I've always known Tolkien was a Anglo-Saxon expert but this book really lays out the influence that the legends and culture of early England played in his magical writings. Everything in his Middle Earth has a meaning, and just like our ancestors, sometimes they have two or three meanings at once, including plenty of puns and inside humour. If you're either a LOTR fan or a historical buff with a specific interest in northern European culture and mythology (the two are often shared) this is the book for you. Well done David Day, i'm pleased to have stumbled across this one.
In this amazing book, David Day explores Tolkien's creations from an unusual point of view. It takes the reader right at the heart of Tolkien's mind and delves into the core of all his creations. Tolkien was a world-renowned philologist (one who studies words) and Professor of language at the University of Oxford, and this book tries to show (presenting some very interesting proof) that the core of Tolkien's The Hobbit was a word; or rather, thirteen words. Amongst other things, there are very exciting studies on dragons, dwarves, the landscapes, and Gandalf the wizard. This book is presented in short-note style, reminding oneself of scribbling during a class. Added to this is a beautiful hardback, slightly larger than A4 paper, presentation. All artwork and illustrations are by Lidia Postma, a bright Tolkien artist which only endorses our views of hobbits and other creatures as we explore the secrets hidden by the names.
I am a huge fan of Tolkien (I wrote my dissertation on him!)and both TLOTR and the Hobbit, so when I saw that David Day had released this I was really excited-it doesn't disappoint. Day gently explores the world Tolkien created through his words, and clearly and concisely breaks down the meanings for the words he chose. He untangles the linguistic tricks used, and shows how names and words such as Baggins, Gollum and Hobbit were intentionally created to convey hidden meaning and depth. Wonderful. It made me understand Tolkien in a new way, and I actually read The Hobbit again as soon as I had finished the Companion! Highly recommended.