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I was reading Rednells discussion group from way back and it was just simply awesome. I realize though that life has somehow become so busy that it almost seems a dream that such a thing could have been organized and carried out. However, I think it would be a good thing, a timely thing in view of the the fact that the movie is in production, to start a discussion group for the book The Hobbit. Chapter by chapter So I am going to go ahead with this and there will be a couple of hard and fast rules. First, take a while to think whether or not you can honestly take part, because it would mean reading the book chapter by chapter and commenting on what you have read. Second, you must not go ahead , only stay with the group and comment on the appropriate points as we go along. I aim to have the thread so easy to follow that someone who has never picked up the book might be inspired to do so. Well, think about it and we can move on from there in a day or two, giving everyone who would like to a chance to prepare. We would spend about a week on each chapter, maybe longer due to the time zones, the schedules of the participants and so on. So, if there are anyone at all interested in joining this book discussion let me know please. Whether I have any particpants or not I will go ahead with it because I think it would be a very productive thing to actually read the book and actually have a good understanding of it. That can only enhance our enjoyment of the movie itself, or cause an outright uproar at anything not in keeping with the vision of our beloved professor Tolkien.

good idea
i like that
I would like to participate

I'd like to, I haven't read The Hobbit in ages. 


 

Thankyou

Anyone is free to comment, only not on any pages we have not yet read, it is neater and more organized that way please.

Because time is almost like gold these days if you can only read one page a day or a week, that is just fine. Comment on what you have read and dig deep into your senses, your heart and give us something to really think on. Sometimes the simplest observation is astounding and makes everything in the book so alive.

So anyone ready or interested, come prepared to share your thoughts from the first chapter first page thru the fourth page. I hope we have a meaningful time.  And we start monday in four days.

Hi Leelee,

I'm still around, but haven't read the hobbit in years, since I lost many of my books long ago. However just bought a new copy - with the beautiful Alan Lee drawings, so I'll be taking part in this once I'm up to speed.

Gwindor

 

How very wonderful dear Gwindor, to hear from you. As I told someone else a little whiile ago, our lives really are like Bilbo Baggins of the Shire explained to his beloved Frodo in the movie. He showed how we are all players in a great drama and each one of us in our turn comes upon or leaves the setting. So whenever you are able to join us it will be our privelege and honor.

We shall start this journey I think with our thoughts upon the person who created this work, this epic master piece. Now some will say it was all from his creative genius, others will say Illuvatar, but whatever the ratio and however it came to be, we here can at least agree that it was a magnificent grand  amazing work that was not only a story, but an entire sub world complete with fully usable languages , maps and directions to places so aptly described, so real to our imagination  that we can breathe the rarified air of Imladris, suffer thirst and noses burning with the acrid stench and death dealing air of Mordor; feel the utter joy of seeing beloved faces after seeing Mordor, the symbol of all evil go down like a house of cards, or feel the crawling fear as we wait with bated brearh along side Frodo and Sam for the orcs to pass or the ringwraiths and their steeds. I cannot think personally of many writers who I am familiar with that have touched me in the way professor Tolkien did.

So here he is , in a seemingly ordinary moment of time, marking papers, tired , maybe hungry, perhaps even a tad bit depressed at things he was going through in the household such as illness, money problems, thwarted hopes and dreams in relation to moving upward in his appointments at university

Suddenly, he sees a blank sheet of paper, something quite coveted in those hard monetary times, and voila , just like that he grabbed it and immediately wrote; In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit. Just like that with no seeming prior inspiration.

So before we get into the first chapter proper I would like a few thoughts on JRR Tolkien himself.

Did you know of this author prior to reading the Hobbit? If so , did the first page of the Hobbit just sweep you away, or did you find it tedious or hard to go along with until you got into the story line and began to identify with the characters?

I am sorry to say I never had the privelege of having read the book or any of Tolkien's work until I was cajoled into viewing The Fellowship.... But although I thought the opening line of the book novel and interesting and although I immediately wanted to know more about Gandalf, I did not appreciate the book for about a chapter. I had, never in my life, been remotely interest in what I called Fantasy so the entire concept left me rather cold. i had always been a Dosteovsky , Du Maurier, Christie , Victoria Holt sort of person, and of course Tolstoy. But after the first chapter and feeling rather fatigued and perhaps annoyed with the too over the top antics and such of the dwarves and Bilbo I sort of fell in with them and became one with them in purpose and adventure to my own amazement. By the third chapter I was terribly depressed and  also fiercely determined that all evil, should be overcome and extinguished. It was always to me a battle against all darkness in order to achieve that which one was in fact purposed for in life. The jewels meant zero but I was on edge to see how each character dealt with the lure of wealth. I wanted to see the dwarves and Bilbo rise to the occasion and beat evil fairly and come out pristine and I wept over those who failed the mark.

Anyone else have thought? We will take the whole week, everyone is busy and then move into chapter one, the first four pages for the next week. This study is not going to fly away in quick speed, but will be like life in the Shire, slow and methodic and comfortable with plenty of time for tea and cakes and second breakfasts for all.

Humphrey Carpenter wrote a book Tolkien: A Biography. I have not checked to see if it was authorized or not, but I read some things I have read else where so I will share and amend if necessary down the road.

I was searching the information to see how early in life John Ronald Ruel Tolkien, mostly called Ronald when young, was drawn to words , languages , the love of philology. The earliest I could find was when his mother Mabel, having become sick and tired of the 'wild' and strange life and terrain, the oppressive heat etc of Bloemfountain Africa, the place John and his little Brother Hilary were born, and wanting to go to England, her home until she had relocated in AFrica with Arthur the children's father,and did. The boys were very young and just as they were celebrating their first real English Christmas they received word of Arthur's death. The little forlorn family stayed with Mabel's relatives and were comsfortabe , but being the sort of woman she was, Mabel thought it wrong to impose any longer and moved the children to a decent brick home in Sarehole I think it was where so much of Bag End seems to be drawn from  including a mill and a farmer who grew mushrooms which the boys pilfered and who chased them away and was known as the 'black ogre' by the two ever after.

Befpre that though, at some point, Ronald had looked out of the window in a not so nice place and would be fascinated by the strange names and words on the Welsh coal mining trucks. That fascination never died and the Welsh language was in part used in one of his made up Elven languages far down the road.

It also said that, once Mabel and her sister were ostrasized by the family and Mabel cut off from financial assistance for becoming Catholic, she homeschooled her boys for a while. She herself spoke English, German, Latin Frencn and perhaps other languages and played piano and could teach art. Seeing that her oldest boy was absolutely drawn by words she gave him several books to read that would assist and challenge that love. Thus the fascination with words and where they come from, the unique sounds and meanings.

In view of this it seems the most natural thing in the world then for our hero's absorption and creation of a different or sub world in which to show case his self created languages.

This morning after I put the banana muffins to bake in the hot oven at five I had a few moments before people would begin to stir for the day and so I started again at the beginning of The Letters, something I have only done once before.I generally start at whichever letter heading seems most informative or interesting at that particular moment. Being Jewish I get exhausted reading from left to right , so it is relaxing if I must read in English which I do love just the same, it is relaxing to just start reading something in the middle or wherever and start on the right hand side which is silly I know..........

So I took the time to read the gentleman I mentioned previously as having written about JRR and how he would chose a letter from the mountain that existed then Christopher would hear what he had to say, then they would come toa collaberative decision.I finally knew why so few letters to Edith were included and to the other boys and Prisca(Priscilla) If the letter did not include anything really about Tolkien's works it could be omitted just because of the space and how much things cost. So I was finally alright with that. I must say it was rather shocking really how Ronald went from poverty and abject grief over his mother and lingering grief over his father to having his own room at college, his own name painted at the bottom of the stairs, tea in his room and great friends to read what he wrote in those days to.There was such a comraderie between the fellow, you could see a definite loving family emerge between them. It was lovely and he could try all sorts of things out and get a good critical judgment between the close yet tough and discriminating group. So that too was a good time to practise his craft in writing.  

I like the idea of this thread; I think I'll be popping in, in future, as and when I can.  Smile Smilie  

Yes, Humphrey Carpenter's biography was authorized; the family allowed him full access to Tolkien's papers including his diaries and  his fiction and non-fiction typescripts and manuscripts , and I think he did a very good job. Similarly with the editing of Tolkien's letters though, as Leelee mentions, Humphrey and Christopher were sort of constrained by space, so they had to pick and choose carefully. But not all the letters are about JRR's writings; some are 'good advice' to family and friends. They're all of them pretty absorbing. I'd like nothing better than to see another volume (or two, or more).

Carpenter's biography of Tolkien was the standard work for many years, and is still a very good introduction to the subject, but there are several other works which may be of interest - the first and most important being Scull and Hammond's two-volume work, 'The JRR Tolkien Companion and Guide'. If you enjoy reading 'Letters', Leelee, you'll love this! The first volume, the Chronology, gives an account of Tolkien's life year by year, and is absolutely fascinating. for example, few people knew that Tolkien was down for creating an entire edition of Chaucer's works - he was commissioned by the Oxford University Press; it was to be called 'The Clarendon Chaucer', and if it had seen the light of day, it would be (probably) what Tolkien would be most famous for, outside of his fiction. but he didn't finish it, for one reason or another, and one of life's great opportunities passed him by.

On another note - Wayne and Christina also give a lively account of Tolkien's visit to Italy in the fifties, using much previously unpublished material from Tolkien's diaries. There's so much to read here - and in Volume II, there's even more - much information on Tolkien's life and works; a sort of 'Who's Who?' and 'What's What?'  for Tolkien studies. Fascinating stuff.  I may say, with all modesty, that my name appears in the (long) list of folk who in some way helped Christina and Wayne over the book's nine years of preparation; in my case with snippets of information. For instance, I once had occassion to write to Priscilla Tolkien, asking about a list of names I found pencilled in a book, including that of Joan Blomfield. I'd met Priscilla several times before and since, at various functions; and always found her to be a warm and welcoming person, always happy to answer questions about her father. I gather that, in the family, she is regarded as the fount of family knowledge. 

Miss Tolkien wrote me a charming letter, giving information on all the people in this short list; and mentioned that Joan Blomfield was a student of her father's who married another of his former students, the eminent Icelandic scholar, Gabriel Turville-Petre.  Prisca's parents, Ronald and Edith  were guests at the wedding.

So it was with great glee on my part when I saw this snippet of information repeated in a bookseller's catalogue earlier this year; the book in question was a copy of Tolkien's  'A Middle English Vocabulary' (1925) with Joan's ownership signature.  So what comes around goes around..

 

Joan Turville-Petre was asked by Christopher to edit his father's lecture notes on the Old English poem 'Exodus' - this book was published in 1982.

Thank you very much each of you for your contributions, it helps others, many who have not been inclined to read The Hobbit, to get the flavour of the writing and peek into the private and public life of a man of such charm, integrity, honesty and talent. Geordie your associations and opportunities are invaluable and thank you for that.

In the depths of my heart, I still feel that whatever detours or mistakes if one can call them that, were made by Christopher in the works, scholarly or no would have been respected by his father and allowed to exist. He himself did not finish what he had started so many years before, he longed for it to be out there, and really when you look at the amazing   changes in the characters in his works, the several different renditions of things , like the story of Galadriel. I am of the opinion that story wise the son was very very close in thought to the father, whatever their differences were in life such as the fact the father abhoured the thought of the son flying a plane, one of those'machines' that destroy. But if the letters that were included in The letters are any proof of the extreme closeness of thought then I honestly do not think writing or scholarly approach makes a difference, John Ronald gave the body of work to a trusted son who, in turn wished to honor his father's heart and direction perfectly.

It is rather late on this monday I confess, but we had a terrible family crisis yesterday, I am still rather shaken and tomorrow I  dread, but things must move forward just the same. ;

                                                          Chapter One

 

                                                The Unexpected Party

This first classic and immortal line I shall now quote, and no more for obvious reasons still thrills me

In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit. John Ronald Ruel Tolkien said that when he scribbled those words on a student's fresh unwritten on paper he then told himself he ought to go and find out about just what a Hobbit was. Think of it. The first page just sweeps me right into the ambiance of the story. The description of the Hobbit home is for me the most English part of the entire first chapter. The description of the green paint and the polished brass knob in the exact middle of the door. Inside you simply wallow in well made and polished floors, furniture, sumtuous rugs, everything including well stocked pantries that any English gentleman now even would be so pleased and comfortable dwelling in. You immediately get the sense of , if not wealth, then more than enough of everything and somehow proper manners sort of float about the place in whispy words.

It is the sort of place I should like to take a stroll to on a mild sunny day with just a hint of cotton candy cloud, a gentle warm breeze the temperature of a baby's warm bath. And, if I was invited to by the dwelling's master to come in and have tea and cake and then go and sit outside and close my eyes in companionable silence and feel the sun's warmth against my elven face, the playful breeze rippling thru my hair, well I doubt I would think much in life could be finer.

I might sneak a peek or two over at my host and even whisper the name Baggins once or twice. I like the sound of it and I like this Hobbit's appearance and fashionable well cared for clothes.

Any one else prepared to give first impressions of the first page of chapter one?

Hi i have to decided to join in this thread because I personally love The Hobbit. Although I just read it a month ago, I would love to read it again and discuss it with fellow lovers of our dear Professor.

 

The first page is very descriptive which is what i really love about J.R.R. I love how half way down the page he wrote "the hobbit was fond of visitors". This is, of course, is foreshadowing which i love. The hobbit hole is just one of those places you could just live in forever and just relax. I love his emphasis on comfort. This of course is number one for hobbits. The descriptiveness is almost overwhelming on this page. The color and the depth this one page holds alone is enough to blow a grown man's mind. Tolkien puts you right in the middle of the hobbit hole.

 

P.S.: I am sorry to here about your Family Crisis LeeLee. I wish you and your family best of health and peace of mind.

A warm welcome Mim. I must say I always read your name incorrectly and see in my mind Mim the Pretty Dwarf. It makes me smile.

I love the way you get the picture of 'time out of mind' as John Ronald wrote about the Bagginses and I laugh when I read that besides being , most of them very rich, they were so predictable you knew what one would say before he  said it, so no one bothered to ask.

 

                                                        SECOND PAGE

 

My mind then feels peaceful for the Bagginses, like sitting and watching  water  from a brook lazily drifting by you , the air heavy with sun and the scent of flowers; one could almost fall asleep.

And then just like that, we are informed that here then is a story of one Baggins who actually went against the tide of all the other Baggins.  "This is a story of how a Baggins had an adventure, and found himself doing and saying things altogether unexpected." (The Hobbit   JRR Tolkien)

Now my mind jerks to full attention and I am excited and wish to plunge into the narrative to find out what this particular Baggins is up to and why and how and just who is this sudden adventurer.

There is a great deal of information on page two. The description of what a hobbit is and looks like. I always get the same magical feeling when i read this page as I did when Lucy Peavensy comes out of the wardrobe to behold snow and a victorian type lamp burning brightly of gas, and then sees a remarkable being, a really really real faun and one with a scarf and an umbrella and packages. The wonder of both scenes!   Further we read that his mother is illustrious, she is of almost noble blood as it were for she is one of three remarkable daughters of the founder of the colony. across the water. I like the way the writer says that it is hinted at that perhaps generations ago the Tookish side of the family of which Belladona Took, Bilbo Baggins mother, had married in with a fairy, but then he says that is nonsense followed by a hint that something must have happened anyway because the Tooks now and then snuck away, some of them, to have an adventure and it was always hushed up. Whereas of course the Bagginses simply did not do such things. So it seems that in Bilbo Baggins of the Shires blood there was just enough mix of the Baggins and Took to make of him a sort of fairy minded, adventure doing Hobbit.

Once again the writer is very descriptive and puts you right beside Bilbo on his front porch smoking a long wooden pipe. The way that J. R. R. has you get to know the Bagginses is incredible. In this one page he shows how deep the history in Middle Earth runs. It still befuddles me to think that our professor was able to create such a character and a history that goes this deep. This 2nd and 3rd page just makes you want to read on. You want to find out who this hobbit adventure is and what he will face. Then, at the end of the third page Gandalf's name appears. And after this its as if you can't control yourself and you must read on. But I must follow the rules of the thread and I must control myself. One last thing I love how it shows that the riches were not of Baggins origin, that they were Bilbo's mothers. I just find it funny how the Tooks were and still are explorers and the Bagginses were respectable and never any adventures. And these two blood lines were mixed and Bilbo Baggins was born.

Thank you Mim for respecting the rules. At first I thought I would just have a free for all, But I am of the opinion the book should be read in measured steps because there is a lot in just one page and for some zipping along makes them feel they cannot keep up and they drop off reading at least the posts.

Do you write yourself Mim, I ask because you have a turn of phrase that is so descriptive and engaging and you too draw me on to the pages and then into the characters. Thank you very much.  

No I do not write because i do not have much extra time. Although I would love to be able to sit back and just write a book, that is not possible. LeeLee you too are also very descriptive in your word choice in which i like very much.

sorry I do not have time to post now
There follows more

That is fine Arwen, thank you for keeping us posted. Really one can just read say three lines and comment on just that, a total of about five minutes or less. I know few who have any real time to spend these days, except perhaps on sports or such, and that is important to them so that can't go.

But Mim I encourage you just the same, for noone was busier than John Ronald, and fifteen years or more, cannot remember in the making of his published works. A long long time, but look at the results. My father used to say when I was impatient over something'Rome was not built in a day. You could do it, really you could. perhaps steal a moment or two from the television or even reading or when waiting for someone. A member of my family who has been chef for sixteen years and is a father to a special needs child just keeps a tiny notebook on him and when he has a coffee, whips it out and writes maybe four lines and then puts it back into his pocket. Agatha Christie did that . She always had scraps of paper in her pocket and a pen in her purse. She would hear some one say something interesting and quickly write it down. Then later perhaps months she would assemble them on the table and with her genius put things together or start a new story. She wrote one in two days .

As for me, I was, by a great fluke a women's editor at nineteen and then went on to become free lance which I loved much more. After that I was approached by the head of the business association by someone who had heard the stories I wrote for children which stemmed from the fact that I had lived in with battered children for the Ministry and wrote personal stories for the children as part of their therapy. So I have had much experience. But you and several on this site have struck me with the poetic manner in which you tell a story and I would wish that you would consider attempting to write and perfect your craft as you go along. If just from posting you engage the audience in breathless wonder, then I say you are a writer no less than our beloved professor Tolkien and should consider giving it a try anyway,

I apologize for no entry on the next page today. The family crises I mentioned came to the full today and our eyes were too dimmed with tears, our hearts too broken for me to settle down and write anything of moment. But peace came after prayer and quiet speech to one another and being grateful things had not been much worse. So in a few hours when I have slept and life carries on I will get into the next page.

Page-the second;

 

Despite the fact that it was suspected our had some sort of strange blend of blood that yielded Tookish behaviour or hints of it, it was not until Master Bilbo Baggins of the Shire, splendid and well to do bachelor hobbit was afforded the chance to go on an adventure.

It was in the most ordinary of circumstances, at least for a Hobbit back then, his standing in the doorway smoking a pipe that nearly touched his tiny hairy feet, (noone had read the brochures back then on the dangers of smoking)just that and nothing more. Just a quiet morning after his first or second breakfast and he was looking at the scenery in the distance and feeling very tranquil when voila along came a wizard, and not just any wizard but the legendary Gandalf!

Folk that had ever seen him or at least had heard about him knew one thing for certain: this wizard was nothing less than a walking adventure conjurer, where ever he walked there was sure to be an adventure in less than the blink of a Hobbit's eye.

No one since the death of the Old Took had laid eyes on the wizard and even his appearance had been all but forgot even if the legends lived on.

The tall pointy hatted gentleman with enormous bushy eyebrows and grey cloak and silvery scarf was greeted by a "good morning that came straight from Bilbo's heart for he meant it. .

The bit about Gandalf and Bilbo exchanging greetings that memorable morning has puzzled me.Because you get the sense that the very mention of Gandaf set anyone off,in whatever way depended upon the age of the Hobbit. Then I read that it was Bilbo's mother that actually had aquaintance with Gandalf when Bilbo was a very young little Hobbit. And from the description I read in The Thain anyway it mentions that Gandalf took note of the brightness of the little Hobbits eyes and his joyful sense of adventure, something like that. So I wondered why Bilbo did not in any way act as if he knew Gandalf, surely such a strange and unique looking wizard would not be forgotten by a curious young Hobbit. I still wish I knew how this was if Mirabella Took, now Baggins saw the wizard several times over the years. oh well..................

This puzzles me also. I think Bilbo was a little young and didn't remember Gandalf now that he was older. And of course hobbit our not the scholarly type. So they probably don't have the greatest memories and plus they like to relax and he probably wasn't really thinking who the wizard was.

That must be it Mim, for I can give myself no other explanation. I wish there were notes on this, it is extraordinary how many seemingly unimportant things are said by this genius and then it is those things that keep one trying to figure it all out for months following.

PAGE: The fourth

The genteel polite sort of vist continues, Bilbo and Gandalf sitting and blowing rather interesting smoke rings. Just think , had the book come out for enjoyment this year, even with the recurrence of smoking in Hollywood, there would have I am certain still been enough outraged citizens who pay extra into health care for others, worried mothers, spouses of smokers, those who have lost them from smoke related illnesses to have filled the newspapers with protests and talk shows and what not for five years down the road in response to the book. Not to mention the meticulous fussy people who , cannot bear the smell of stale tobacco in the room or on the clothing. But such was not the case when our Tolkien saw his dream realized and the book 'out there' in the world other than Middle-Earth.

But the idyllic moment is snatched away from the little Hobbit by the comment of Gandalf the wizard, for he tells his host straight out that he has no time to continue this enjoyable pass time. He was come to find the Hobbit agreeable to paricipate in an adventure he was organiing.

Bilbo, as all his folk would expect explains why that would never do, takes out his morning letters and starts to sort through them. Again he firmly says he does not wish to join in any adventure.

And Mim our question is answered right under this part for Gandalf  says that not only does he know Bilbo Baggins of the Shire's name but that Bilbo knows his although he would not remember that Gandalf belongs to that name. Well there you go and for some reason I never picked up on this before. Wonderful

That's an interesting point that Leelee raises - will this scene be changed to avoid showing the 'good guys', as it were, smoking, or will it be kept as it should be? For now, I hope not - it's an essential part of the opening, and I remember about half the Fellowship being shown lighting up in the Trilogy (Aragorn, Gandalf, Merry, Pippin etc.). We'll see.

Yea I don't think it will be changed because in the fellowship Bilbo and Gandalf smoke together in the beginning.

Ah Fornad, it is like sunshine when you stroll into Middle-Earth. Wonderful. I have to think no one would dare change anything, sanitize it as it were because the story is what it is. It is a period piece in a way and that is what folk did and to change that would be truly wierd and the ambience would be rather lost don't you think? At any rate to me it would be like changing Tom Sawyer to suit those who worry about racism or something like that. One simply has a choice not to watch the show, I would simply explain to anyone of a younger age that culture sometimes seem to fly in the face of sound medicine or behaviour because of lack of knowledge or the seemingly forever lie that each generation buys in that sickness will not touch them, only the other fellow.

NEXT

Now we get into some interesting conversation that not only tells what Bilbo remembers or has been told about Gandalf, and the effect this wizard had when last he came round. Bilbo mentions he was responsible for 'so many' lads and lasses going off to immerse themselves in adventures. Then Bilbo says ;that he did not know that the wizard was still in the business of being a wizard. Clearly he did not understand in the least who this Gandalf truly was, where he came from or maybe came from nor that the wizard had any useful purpose in his life other than creating wondrous fireworks and occasionally doing something quiet magical such as his giving Old Took magical diamond  studs that would never come undone unless ordered to. So you get a sense of surprise,wonder and nervous fear all at once in response to he wizards quest to find someone to join the upcoming adventure.

The end of this page begins, for both Bilbo and I to take upon itself a rather nightmarish quality. Gandalf remarks to the hobbit that he is grateful he is at least remembered for his fire works and then he goes on to explain that in fact he is going to grant Bilbo what he has asked for. Totally alarmed the hobbit claims he has not in fact asked for anything to which the reply comes that indeed he has, he has asked for Gandalf's pardon and so shall he have it!. Then he declares he is going to send this very hobbit for the aforementioned adventure. It is as if the walls of a certain doom are closing in on Bilbo Baggins of the Shire.

Aiya Meldor!

Yes Lee Lee.  Despite the fact that The Hobbit was intended as a children's book,  Doom, as in all of the Professors works, plays a huge part in The Hobbit.  Why is it that Gandalf, in the first place, has Bilbo in mind for this position in the company?  Bilbo has no special gifts to speak of other than a big heart, which most Hobbits seem to have.  If Gandalf simply needed a Hobbit because of their size and ability to be quick and nimble, surely a Brandybuck or a Took would have fitted the bill just as well.  Obviously Gandalf had a sense or feeling that Bilbo was required, that his gift was actually to become interested in the great journey and ultimately the finding of the ring.

This is a great thread and Ive enjoyed reading all of the replies thus far!  Good work Lee Lee.

Brego

salut Brego, merci.

i apologize for missing a day, we are still in the crises, I think it is at the worst point so that is something, it can only get better now. And besides that, my little one is on club penguin, it is a most fascinating world, probably tens of thousands of children are members. And the thing is once you are a penguin and earn the money to buy your penguin house or mansion and once you have adopted one or more puffles, tiny fuzzy little creatures that run wild on penguin island you must take care of them. They must be fed, watered, bathed played with for excercise and put to bed; also you must earn the money to buy all the things they need and it is costly! And now that our little girl has adopted twelve, yes twelve, well then just earning the money can take half an hour or more and the rest...............so of course who ends up doing it all because it is exhausting to a little one? of course , me. And if you miss feeding the little puffles it shows them in distress, hungry, worried and if that goes on they run away and voila you have your little creatures no more. It is supposed to teach the children the serious responsibility of having a pet or child and it works. So , well I had to do all that at night and did not have the strength for here.

Now then on to our Hobbit discussion.

That question my dear Brego is the crux of much of the work. I think I have an answer. Being a Catholic Jew I am very familiar with ;the fact that Tolkien, our beloved professor would be intimately educated through scripture as to how God, or in this case Eru would communicate with all he created. It was customary in the ancient times, before the coming of Messiah, to communicate with all peoples, chosen or otherwise through means of prophets. These individuals lived primarily as it were in the spirit, In otherwards they would listen to the voice of the Creator and then either tell what he heard to the general population or to a chosen few or in some cases he would simply be privy to certain very important information for just years and years and take specific steps to walk along side his people and sort of lead them in the direction they should go  and not take part in anything much just counsel them now and then. This is exactly what I see Gandalf doing- he had his marching orders and came to Middle-Earth not groping his way but with a specific set of instructions including the names of those Eru had chosen to partake in the grand page.After all all things were planned and carried out to an extant by Eru.  Please note that I am in no way encouraging a religious discussion, that is not permitted. I am merely, from my own learning and experience similar to this devoted Catholic aware that certain themes seem to weave themselves into the body of work that to me at least shout his beliefs. Now whether or not he meant that only he could say. He says quite strongly he did not in any way mean to do such a thing, but really we are what we believe, no matter how we might veil things or try smoke and mirrors. What is deep within the heart and soul of a person seems to spill out on to the page no matter how we try not. With Jack or CS,Lewis as he was generally known, he was rather in your face about his religious beliefs and you could like it or not. That sort of thing was not liked at all by Tolkien, but I rather think in the end their works accomplished the same thing-tell a ripping good story and tell a little about the beliefs of the writer.

Hello Brego welcome to the thread. LeeLee I completely agree with you. And I know religious discussion isn't allowed, but it was gonna come up sometime since our Professer was, as you said, a devout catholic. I think that everything in Middle Earth happened for a reason, and I think that Gandalf was put there by Eru to guide Bilbo and later on Frodo. That is a very interesting comparison LeeLee can't wait for more.

NEXT PAGE;

And so our poor hero, freaked out and nervous, for as it says a wizard is after all a wizard, foolishly invites Gandalf to tea the next day and slams the door shut, berating himself for the invite and feeling a little safer having the thick door between the two.

Like all Hobbits Bilbo Baggins of the Shire took comfort in a second breakfast and that included a steaming cup of tea. Ah the relief after such a traumatic scare.

Unfortunatly Mr. Baggins was not good on short term memory and unless he wrote down in his engagement book what he had done it simply vanished from his mind and this indeed was what happened the next morning! Not until Bilbo was busy with the morning's concerns and the knock came upon his door from an unknown strange scribbling on his door by you know who did the memory of the tea invitation pounce back into his brain.

At that point he was just rehearsing the apology he would make to Gandalf as soon as he opened the door when to his amazement in stepped a dwarf caped in blue who announced himself to be Dwalin.

I honestly felt so sorry for Bilbo, I had a sick feeling in my stomach. I used tp when a teen love adventures, went on them all the time. But in my twenties I started suffering from them and they got worse and worse and then I longed for stability and roots and started hating with all my heart any sort of adventure.I started writing about them instead and to this day much prefer life in my hardly bigger than a village city with its pristine water and mountains and the valley the village is in, the lakes and the walking paths. I am to the core an elf but much prefer to stay where I am now!

Sounds like Imladris Lee Lee, lovely and pure. Ahh, Tea with a Wizard indeed! One of my Favorite JRRT Gandalf devices. I love the method Gandalf uses to slowly introduce a group of not necessarily welcome Dwarves into a scenario where they become accepted. Twice he does it (dont want to skip ahead) and perhaps he would have done it again in Thranduil's Halls if he had been able to be there, however he had more important business with the Necromancer in Dol Dulgur. He was a professional diplomat.
I like how Bilbo thought they were being rude just cingular in, but Bilbo didn't know Gandalf had put a symbol on his beautiful round door. I felt quite sad for the poor hobbit, for every time he thought it was Gandalf, it was just another dwarf. And by the end he was feeling quite flustered and annoyed. When Gandalf finally arrived, Bilbo made The Great Thorin angry. It's like he can never win.

Tea with Gandalf means to an elf wisdom and lore remembered and retold, a little pain of heart at remembering the Blessed Realm and other treasured things; to a hobbit it means little waves of fear of the wizard and what he might say or do any moment, mingled with awe and wonder at his remembered fireworks and wonder just who he is along with the hope he will go and do his wizardy business very soon again and let peace reign!

Mim I too had those feelings for poor Bilbo because after all Gandalf alone knew what was truly going on. The dwarves were privy to only that which they needed to know and the Hobbity gentleman was in the dark about everything; he had no inkling that he was supposed to be a 'master burglar' and so his behaviour was irksome to say the least in the presence of these seasoned and war ravaged dwarves. Even the younger ones were well aquainted with sorrow and fatigue and hardships and such carryings on and lack of proper 'burglarish' responses must have made them wonder if Gandalf who looked an age was starting to lose those brilliant faculties of his.

Goodness Just saw the teaser trailer of The Hobbit film! It made me cry, very lush and beautiful & a glimpse perhaps of part of the white council. Also a view of Tea with a Wizard

I too saw the trailer last evening, my children insisted, else I would not have. I thought what I saw was indeed lovely, but as it was so disjointed and sketchy I shall reserve my judgement until more is shown down the road. I was slightly disturbed, honestly disturbed by the scene where Galadriel and Gandalf are standing on a ledge and she moves a strand of hair from Gandalf's face in a rather alarming intimate almost sexual way. That in no way could happen, she was totally in love with and devoted to Celeborn and such an action from this personage would be totally not in keeping with her dignity and honorable behavior. But since it was only a snippet I cannot conceive of the meaning of the scene. shivers.  The fact that you wept dear Brego makes me weep, honestly you seem more and more sensitive and elf like to me every time you post.

Now then, since I am rather knee deep in both Hannukah and Christmas giving and preparations, holding dinners and sucn and my prayers I will suspend this thread until around the twenty seventh. For I don't want to just come on and post without research, without proper thought. Each one that takes the time to read any or all of this thread deserves only the best. So I will wish the world peace and understanding and asking forgiveness for anything any of us have ever done to diminish this, forgiving others and making peace, and enough food, enough clothing, proper shelter , enough monies to cover such and the love of someone to help carry each of us along the path we walk on. . Happy Holidays everyone. And for those grieving, the arms of Eru about us tightly and the sure knowledge we can get up and go on. 

Peace to you Dear Lee Lee for the Holidays and New Year. Don't worry about that scene on the trailer. I saw it as two powers who care about each other as friends with Galadrial counciling Olorin re his great Doom and the hard trials he is About to face. I found it touching and possibly a look in to the workings of the White Council.

You are probably right and that is a comfort dear Brego . Thank you and have the very best holiday. hugs

Elen sķla lumenn’omentielvo Lee lee and to all of our community of Histories of Arda.

Happy Holidays to both of you and have peace this New Year.

If I can be informed on what chapter we are on, I would love to jump in and join the discussion! I have read the book five times and would enjoy going through it again! Thank you Leelee for staring this thread, I appreciate it.

At you service,

Wenlesael the Lightning of Lothlorien

What an impressive name! We are only a few pages into the first chapter. I wanted to have a discussion that goes slowly so anyone can catch up and say a few words, rather like chatting at lunch break, not a lot of time to talk but a few really good thoughts to carry one through the day.

We are just at the part where Bilbo is enjoying himself the morning after being quite shaken by Gandalf's invitation and then rather a command of being the one chosen to be in the adventure.

And as maddening as it might seem , we cannot run ahead of the page we are on , that is not allowed. I was merely concerned that many might go into the viewing of The Hobbit new year never having read a single page of the book so this discussion will take as long as need be so any one can 'tune' in on any day and get the sense of the entire page and learn something.

So in my copy I am on page 8 and Bilbo opens his door expecting Gandalf of course only to be utterly surprised by a dwarf having a remarkable blue beard tucked into a belt, and he was covered with a green hood. The only thing to do of course was to invite the stranger in for something to eat and something to drink, the favorite Hobbit pastime. Dwalin is the name of the dwarf and next time the bell rings it is Balin and by now I am sure Bilbo's heart is hammering and any hope of a quiet morning is ripped from his mind.The two, the hobbit finds out are in fact brothers and I felt as I read this part that the two were not that big on manners, the second dwarf is not content with his brother's fare but wants beer and other things. In polite society each would have accepted and been grateful for whatever given.

I am quite certain Tolkien's children , whichever ones were interested in the story would have laughed in delight at the imagery the words evoked. Chatter, a little chaotic, and perhaps a little surreal. Children in my experience and I have worked with many, love the absurd and while they might not want to experience it they truly enjoy others having to.blush


 

Page9

Many thanks! Thank you for the comment on my name! I also agree on going through the book at a slow pace.

Well, I would like to make a note on the manner in which the dwarves (and Bilbo) converse with each other. The dwarves, no matter how gruff, weather worn and manner-less they are, have quite a polite way of speaking. All the "At you service!" and how Balin puts his on his heart as he says it. Very polite!

Poor, poor Bilbo. He's exasperated. All his ideas of a nice quiet day at home eating are ruined. And as he sits in the corner half listening to the dwarves talking of "much too adventurous things" you can almost feel sorry for the little fellow...

Is it time to move on to page 9?

page nine and ten, well we pretty much dealt with page nine the two brother dwarves and the pitiful hobbit rushing about almost mindlessly providing the tasty morsels and drink needed for the adventure. So now in page ten in troop the twins Fili and Kili hooded in blue. A lot more bowing and blessings, at least in that they were superlative in their behaviour and we have a most alarmed little hobbit worrying at the word throng, and oh my the discussions whirling round the table, mines and troubles with goblins, dragons and well just about every terrifiying and disturbing thing to a sensible hobbit one could fear..Four more and more colored hoods and Bilbo just put his head into his hands and tried to make sense of the nightmarish scene about him.

How befuddled the wonderful Bilbo Baggins is. I love the way Tolkien uses very Victorian manners with all of the Hobbits. Any of the other races would not have put up with the intrusion of the Darves so wonderfully introduced by Gandalf. This British sensibility is what makes Tolkien so wonderful to read, even for an Australian Elf.

This is true Brego, though really I often think that The Wiggles put up with a lot and are terribly gracious. blush                 Pages 11 and 12

 

If this happened in today's society , unless Bilbo were true upper class, had a servant or ten and a large, very large income the reception might not have been so brilliant. The economy is in tatters these days, Her Royal Highness Queen Elizabeth pays her own taxes and food, spirits and such cost a pretty packet. The fact that the dwarves, however polite, sat at the table and ordered such varied food and drink, everything from tea to ale; now the seed cakes were gone, his lovely seed cakes, and the buttered scones were being consumed quickly.

Then what next did he hear? The dreaded loud , very loud knock on the door. Now into the bewilderment  is added anger, I mean really , this was too much. Bilbo flings the door open and in fall not one but four more dwarves and there finally stands Gandalf, laughing in his wizardy way.  And Bilbo's poor beautiful, flawless door, it had been quite knocked in now by Gandalf, for he had removed the mysterious mark he had originally put upon the door.

Whatever impression Bilbo had had of the other dwarves, one stood out and seemed kingly and not too pleased with being flung on to the floor by the way the Hobbit had opened the door. This was non other   than the great Thorin Oakenshield himself. He was too important and grand to say'at your service as all his companions had and Bilbo it seems came close to a stroke apologizing so that at last this emminent dwarf deigned to stop frowning.

And now Bibo might as well have hung a sign out his door reading' Master Bilbo Baggin's Diner for with no regard to his pocket or even whether he could have these things on hand the newcomers begin to order tart, mince pies, cheese pork pie and salad , and even our Gandalf asks for wine in place of the already made tea.

So red in the face and exhausted was our Bilbo that he complained out loud and instantly some of the dwarves jumped up and helped move little tables and provinder into the parlor. At last Gandalf the Grey sat at the head and all the dwarves about him, while little Bilbo, having utterly lost his appetite, a most unheard of thing, sat alone on a stool by the fire nibbling a biscuit.

My apologies for abscence yesterday, a dreadful sore throat and coughing made me too disoriented and fretful to put pen to hand as it were

 

pages thirteen and fourteen,

Because our esteemed writer pens in almost real time we are still at table or leaving it now and Bilbo being the careful and particular gentleman he is is alarmed at the thought of the dwarves ruing his dishes in the cleaning up. So along comes the famous dish washing son and afterward comes a moment or two of peace and quiet. Thorin happens now to be in the parlour smoking, his feet up on the fender and Gandalf is blowing smoke rings. Honestly, in real life if our professor smoked indoors, no wonder he and Edith had health problems. I marvel that Christopher who had a heart problem when young and his sister Priscila have lived so long!

Next aftter the elaborate blowing of smoke rings Thorin ordered the others to fetch their instruments, violins, harp, drums and so on and they began to play.Against his own previous thoughts suddenly Bilbo Baggins of the Shire found his mind and heart swept away to dark places and then after the fire had flickered down and the stars had been out a great while the dwarves all began to sing a haunting song of the Misty Mountains and a wonderful lay it was, completely capturing Bilbo's Tookish side.

.

pages 15 16 17

 

Page 15 is the rest of the poem. On page 16 Bilbo being swept away by the magnificent and stirring words suddenly has a passion almost a burning love of things hand and cunningly made, a love of beautiful things such as the dwarves crafted that were magical. And his thoughts then turned to the dragon and the firece fighting and he was right away himself again , simple Bilbo Baggins. Fear caused Bilbo to want to hide and it was Thorin who seemed to know his every thought. Bilbo suggests light but that is vetoed, dark for dark business

Then after telling Bilbo to hush Gandalf focused on Thorin who took the stage as it were to discuss all the plans made and how hard and arduous a journey they would travel. At the mention of the phrase, never return poor poor Bilbo let out a shriek that galvanized one and all to their feet in astonishment and wonder. But the poor hobbit was past helping at the moment he only could scream 'struck by lighting over and over and so he was carried to the sofa with a drink at his elbow and left to recover on his own.

Ah, I absolutely love that someone has taken it upon themselves to start this! I have been planning on rereading The Hobbit sometime this summer, however in lue of this discussion thread I'm going to go ahead and begin to read it.

Once I have caught up with all of you I'm sure I will be popping in with comments!

Also, I cannot remember who posted about the Humphrey Carter biography of Tolkien, but it really is a wonderful and informative book. It is well worth the buy and read. It was a book I read before going on a Tolkien based trip to England and helped a lot on where to go.

I look forward to joining you all! 

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