"Middle earth atlas" - by Fonstad

Discussion in 'Research, Reference, Bibliographies' started by Elenaelin, Oct 9, 2002.

  1. Squint-eyed Southerner

    Squint-eyed Southerner Lurking in the Chetwood

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    I'm not sure if there have been any revisions since the 1991 edition, which is the one I own. There is a rundown of errors, corrections, and controversies on the Tolkien Gateway site:

    http://tolkiengateway.net/wiki/The_Atlas_of_Middle-earth

    But I didn’t see a date for the article, so I don't know if the most recent editions are taken into account. I have a feeling the 2001 printing was probably done with no change except for the cover, to capitalize on the movies. It seems unlikely that the author made any changes at the time; she died four years later, at age 60.
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2018
  2. Ithilethiel

    Ithilethiel Member

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    I see your point. Thank you for the link.
     

  3. Halasían

    Halasían Dunedain Ranger

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    Yes, I read that Tolkiengateway bit, and it takes the HoME publications as "canon". The errors in the Atlas are noted, and there was some changes made in the later publication, though not everything that was noted was updated. No matter, it is a worthy reference to have in one's Tolkien World library.
     
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  4. Squint-eyed Southerner

    Squint-eyed Southerner Lurking in the Chetwood

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    I agree with that! Even given the errors, if errors they be.

    It's difficult to establish an agreed-upon "canon", when the author's conception changed over decades.

    One of the controversies seems to concern Fonstad's decision to explain the geology of Middle Earth in "real-world" terms. To be expected in a geographer, and I enjoy that aspect of it myself, although it runs up against some of the mythological stories, such as the raising of the Misty Mountains by Morgoth -- not to mention the Drowning of Numenor.

    What we really want, of course, is a giant multi-color tome like the Times Atlas of World History. When that might happen is anyone's guess. And it will still have to confront the same problems.

    Meanwhile, I'm happy with what we have, warts and all.

    BTW, there's also Journeys of Frodo, by Barbara Strachey, OP but still around.
     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2018
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  5. Alcuin

    Alcuin Registered User

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    At the time Fonstad composed Atlas, many of the maps later published in HoME were as yet unpublished. She seems to have seen others, too, still unpublished. There are discrepancies in Tolkien’s own maps of the Shire and of the road to Rivendell beyond Bree: Christopher Tolkien has commented on these, and I think I recall that Fonstad did, too, in Atlas.

    I think I also remember that Fonstad said that in the second edition, she sought to make corrections that the publisher chose to prevent. I don’t know why, and I’m not sure she did, either.

    Not all the source maps and written documents are at agreement with one another: this is another subject on which Christopher Tolkien has commented. JRRT was at pains to get the story’s timeline and geography in correct synchronization with one another. JRRT himself said there were inconsistencies in places, and that while some of them troubled him, he wasn’t going to reveal them to anyone else.

    Altogether, Fonstad’s Atlas of Middle-earth is an amazing achievement.
     
  6. Ithilethiel

    Ithilethiel Member

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    Thank you all for your advice. I have since purchased a like new copy of the 1992 edition from a seller from Goring-by-sea, WS, UK. It will take a few weeks for receipt but I look forward to receiving it and will let you know what I think of it once received.
     
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  7. Merroe

    Merroe Active Member

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    I have both the 1991 Middle earth atlas by Karen Wynn Fonstad and the Journeys of Frodo by Barbara Strachey.

    The latter only deals with LotR and shows no particular city maps nor floor plans like the former does. However it often offers more detail in the maps, although I noticed a number of mistakes in them as well. There's a list of those here.

    I share the appreciation for Fonstad’s Atlas: it's also my favorite!
     
  8. Ithilethiel

    Ithilethiel Member

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    Update: Just received my copy and suffice to say it is wonderful. Finally, I have before me narrative and representations of the nearness and farness of M-E locales and places of interest, of Ages and journeys. No more trying to figure out pathways, of distances to and fro and the approximations of adjoining towns and villages. I can now toss out all my flawed self-drawn little maps made on too numerous and often too small scraps of paper. Bc now I hold in my hands the hard won clear and concise renderings of Karen Wynn Fonstad.

    In addition to the obvious, the "Pathways" chart and Thematic maps in the latter part of the book are the cherry on top. It is if the world of M-E has been fully opened to me. I am spatially inept so this book is an invaluable resource for me and all who deep dive into the World of Middle-Earth.

    <Can you tell I really like this book?>

    I understand the issues but haven't had time yet to check if some of the discrepancies transferred into my edition (softcover 1992) though the Forward mentions the Histories so I would think not. But even if so this is still such a valuable resource I can't thank fully all members who encouraged me to purchase it. So a simple, "thank you" will have to do.
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2018
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  9. Merroe

    Merroe Active Member

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    BTW I just noticed there's a new edition from 2017 (ISBN 9780008194512). I suppose that's the one you purchased?

    As SES mentioned, the author died in 2005 and she cannot have contributed to this new edition.

    I assume it must be identical to the previous versions. Does anyone know that for sure?
     
  10. Ithilethiel

    Ithilethiel Member

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    No wise Merroe. I own the older one from 91/92. It's fabulous!!

    I purchase all of my books used in VG condition. As I shared with SES I got it for a steal...$1 for the book, $3 sh from the UK. I couldn't refuse it!
     
  11. Squint-eyed Southerner

    Squint-eyed Southerner Lurking in the Chetwood

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    OK, no bragging on the forums! :mad:

    Just kidding -- I'm envious! :D

    And anyway, I picked up one of the Ace paperbacks at a junk store for fifty cents! :)

    So nyah nyah! :p

    Or something. :rolleyes:

    Oh, now my head aches from all these facial expressions! Serves me right. :(
     
  12. Merroe

    Merroe Active Member

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    Yes yes yes and well done with a few $ or € all you good looking ones... (like humor though).
    My original question was: any info about 2017 changes or not?
     
  13. Squint-eyed Southerner

    Squint-eyed Southerner Lurking in the Chetwood

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    You can look to me for substantive information.

    But you're unlikely to get it! :p

    Seriously, I'll Google around a bit, as I'm also interested in the answer.
     
  14. Ithilethiel

    Ithilethiel Member

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    Bet it was in junk condition :p
     
  15. Squint-eyed Southerner

    Squint-eyed Southerner Lurking in the Chetwood

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    Oh no you don't -- it was quite nice, actually! Better than my other copy. :)

    OK, Meroe, from what I've been able to find, it seems there are no changes in the 2017 edition. Here's a sample :

    https://scifi.stackexchange.com/que...atlas-of-middle-earth-contain-any-new-content

    The upshot appears to be that the only revision was the edition of 1991, so any printing saying "Revised Edition" will have the same content as that one.

    Now, watch for a "new" one, when the Amazon series starts! :rolleyes:

    BTW, there are the beautiful maps created for the now-defunct Middle Earth Role Playing System, back in the 80's and 90's. Not "canon" certainly, but so lovingly done, they are worth looking at. Some are featured here:

    http://www.abovetopsecret.com/forum/thread1045722/pg1
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 16, 2018 at 10:11 AM

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