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"Middle earth atlas" - by Fonstad

Squint-eyed Southerner

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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.
 
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Ithilethiel

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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.
I see your point. Thank you for the link.
 

HalasĂ­an

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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.
 

Squint-eyed Southerner

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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.
 
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Alcuin

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Consigned to the salt mines of Núrnen…
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.
 

Ithilethiel

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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.
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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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!
 

Ithilethiel

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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.
 
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Merroe

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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?
 

Ithilethiel

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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?
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!
 

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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. :(
 

Merroe

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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?
 

Squint-eyed Southerner

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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.
 

Squint-eyed Southerner

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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/questions/168183/does-the-2017-edition-of-the-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
 
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Olorgando

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I have both the 1991 Middle earth atlas by Karen Wynn Fonstad and the Journeys of Frodo by Barbara Strachey.
Same here. And as a companion "atlas" to have lying next to my LoTR volumes while reading the latter, I would go with Strachey's book, just much "closer to the action".
Fonstad's wide sweep, on the other hand, kind of makes all of Arda "more real" to me, in the sense of being able to immerse myself in the subcreated world more thoroughly.
They complement each other. :)
 

HalasĂ­an

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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
Being that Ms Fonstadt has passed away I doubt there will be too much more development in a revision of her beloved work.

And that's an interesting link. I've used some of the maps developed for the Iron Crown RP games before, as I've used some that were developed for Middle-Earth Online... I mean Lord of the Rings Online MMORPG.
 

Merroe

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A bit off topic, but now that Olorgando mentioned Journeys of Frodo by Barbara Strachey as well, here are a few errors I spotted in that book:

4. Woody End: The elves were met after the split of the roads to Stock and Woodhall, not before. It follows also that the Stockbrook was crossed much further downstream than indicated.​
7. Bucklebury and the Hedge: Brandy Hall lies on the wrong side of the ferry road. There should have been a barn opposite the road from Crickhollow.​

This was peanuts, really; both books are wonderful indeed and they much increase the joy of reading JRRT.
 

Olorgando

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A bit off topic, but now that Olorgando mentioned Journeys of Frodo by Barbara Strachey as well, here are a few errors I spotted in that book:
…..
This was peanuts, really; both books are wonderful indeed and they much increase the joy of reading JRRT.
Eoin Colfer wrote "And Another Thing …", Part Six of Three of Douglas Adams's "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy", published in 2009, eight years after Douglas's death, sanctioned by the family. And it certainly wasn't the worst book of the series - and absolutely certainly the only one finished ahead of publication date. :eek:
My point?
I'm always fascinated how people like you, Merroe, or Alcuin, or at least a couple of names from other sites, spot such minutiae, and seem to reel of the quotes from all over HoMe etc. I'm almost tempted to say: hey, go ahead, give us authoritatively revised and updated versions of Foster, Tyler, Fonstad, Strachey … (I pointedly omit Christopher T from the list)
But then going (semi-) professional with your hobbies could very well spoil the fun. :(
Seriously, I've read plenty of stuff about intrinsic and extrinsic "motivation" (the latter ususall taking the form of "incentives") to take a very dim view about the latter. :mad:
The experiments described in the stuff I've read make me want to bang my head against a wall whenever the term "incentives" is voiced. 🤮
 

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