More of Hobbits in the History of Middle Earth?

Discussion in '"The History of Middle-earth"' started by 1stvermont, May 4, 2018.

  1. 1stvermont

    1stvermont Member

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    So I am going to start reading the histories of middle earth and have read from a few sources that Tolkien originally had much more of the hobbits in the Lord of the Rings. But reviewers such as C.S Lewis thought it to much and he took some of those sections out wishing later that he had not after the fans loved thew hobbits. SO my question is, do the histories include these aspects that were originally in his early drafts?

    Thanks.
     
  2. Squint-eyed Southerner

    Squint-eyed Southerner Currently in hiding

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    The short answer is yes, though the early chapters were rewritten so many times that it's difficult to disentangle them. And keep in mind that all of this is only a selection of the extant material -- Christopher tried to limit himself to documenting drafts marking major developments.

    One of the important early critics was the young Rayner Unwin, son of Tolkien's publisher, who thought the early drafts contained too much "hobbit-talk". Tolkien replied, in Letter 28, that

    "It agrees strikingly with Mr. Lewis', which is therefore confirmed. I must plainly bow to my two chief (and most well-disposed) critics. The trouble is that 'hobbit-talk' amuses me privately (and to a certain extent my boy Christopher) more than adventures; but I must curb this severely".

    You'll find an example of Christopher's influence in the Farmer Maggot episode, in which Tolkien kept trying to accommodate his son's desire to see Frodo getting "revenge" for his youthful beating, despite the way the story was "supposed" to go.

    One extended example of "hobbit-talk" was to appear, in the exchange concerning pipe weed, between Merry and Theoden at Isengard, where it would have had the characteristics of Menippean satire, but Tolkien removed it to the Prologue.

    Fortunately, he left in the important Menippean satire at the Green Dragon in Chapter Two.
     
    Last edited: May 4, 2018

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