Friday, February 28, 2014


So, thanks to, et al., the word is now out that a new version of my edition of THE HOBBIT manuscript is on the way. Entitled A BRIEF HISTORY OF 'THE HOBBIT', it'll be about half the length of the full edition (the best text of which is the one-volume HISTORY OF THE HOBBIT [2011]). My goal is to include all the Tolkien from the original edition but to greatly condense my commentary. In short, the end result will be a book with a much greater percentage of Tolkien and a much smaller percentage of Rateliff.

Pursuant to this goal, I'm seeking to correct all the errata I can. So if you're aware of any errata in the one-volume H.o.H. volume --errors new to that edition, or older errors not corrected in it -- drop me a line via the comments and I'll check them against my list.

Here's a link to the listing for the new book:

--John R.

current reading: A GRAVEYARD FOR LUNATICS (Bradbury), TALES OF INSPECTOR LE GRASSE (Henderson)
current audiobook: THE DUNWICH HORROR
current dvd: rewatching THE HOBBIT (part one, extended edition), rewatching CALL OF CTHLUHU (silent movie)


Unknown said...


Good news about the new edition of your book, it will join the first two edition on my shelf.

One error that is in both the printed version of the 2nd one volume edition (p75, Note 5) and the ebook is that Smaug is misspelled Snaug.


Widia said...

Not really an erratum, but a query about the link between Broceliand and Hy Bresil that I seem to remember from your History (not to hand at the moment). I've been hoping to post a note on it on my blog "Utuinen Niemen", but it's been taking me a long time to figure out how blogging works. The short of it: I can't find any references to it and what I have found seems to preclude a relationship. (PS Your History is an extraordinary work that I very much enjoyed, even for quibbles like this that it sent me chasing after.)

Brocéliande: earliest Brecheliant (Wace 1160, Roman de Rou), usually analysed as Bre-Sulien 'Sulien's Hill' (Abalain, Noms de lieux Breton), where Sulien is the name of a saint (Koch, Celtic Encyclopedia) and bre < *briga, now a rare word in Breton but commoner earlier esp in place names, though there may have been influence of Breton bro 'country'.

Hy Bresil: Seems unconnected: gen. of Bre(a)sal < *Bres-(u)al < *bristo-walos = *bresta, OIr bres fight, Breton brezel war, or perhaps linked to MIr bre 'mighty, noble', Breton braz. A discussion Tolkien would likely have known: T J Westropp "Brasil and the legendary islands of the North Atlantic" (Proc Royal Irish Acad 30, 1912); another post-Hobbit but very nice: R M Smith "Guingabresil and the Green Knight" (J Eng & Germ Phil 45, 1946).