|On the 25th of April 2013 I was intrigued by something I read in an interview with author Mark T. Hooker about his fabulous book Tolkien and Welsh.
"You think that you know all the players in the sub-field of Welsh Tolkienistics, because there are not a lot of us, but when Tolkien and Welsh was published, I got an eMail from Wales from Steve Ponty who is working on a book entitled The Hobbit: Professor J.R.R. Tolkien's Magic Mirror Maps of Wales. In his book, he points out—much to my embarrassment, because I wish I had seen it—that when Gandalf introduces Thorin and Company to Beorn, he announces that they are on their way to the “land of their fathers.” (H.122) Ponty explains that if Thorin had introduced himself, he would have said that they were going to the *‘land of my fathers,’ which, as any specialist in things Welsh should know, is the common English translation of the title of the Welsh National Anthem: Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau."
Now more then a year later I can finally announce the book, that so many have been waiting for, can be pre-ordered and will be available from 28 March 2014.
Stephen Ponty takes a unique look at Tolkien's map-making methodology, in Middle-earth in Magic Mirror Maps... Of the Wilderland in Wales... Of the Shire in England
This work is a fresh look at the Maps of the Wilderland in The Hobbit, leading to the discovery that Professor Tolkien drew the imaginary maps from the Map of Wales back to front, or in reverse.
The maps of the Shire in The Lord of The Rings are drawn likewise, of England.
'They are on their way to visit the land of their fathers, away east beyond Mirkwood, put in Gandalf...'
Gandalf's talk of the 'land of their fathers' is, by translation of its national anthem, Professor J.R.R. Tolkien's hidden clue to the geography of Wales, which we learn the Professor loved, including its language.
The focal point of The Hobbit, the Lonely Mountain, is identified as Cadair Idris of North-West Wales. Many of the topographical features of the Mountain coincide. The volcano-mouth Lake of the Lonely Mountain so resembles Llyn Cau of Cadair Idris.
The marvel is that the lake has been overlooked so long: not only by Smaug the Dragon, but also by most commentators on The Hobbit.
Which reader remembers there is a lake at all? Stephen interprets many of the allusions borrowed by Tolkien in his fantastic tale, including Beorn at the Carrock, the herons of Wales at Lake Town, and dragon fire at the Withered Heath.
The work is divided into nine parts, with three site groupings. His unique focus on Tolkien's map-making methodology will make his book relevant not only to Tolkien fans worldwide, but those interested in geography too.
Stephen Ponty was born in Wales. He studied Latin and French literature and poetry for entry to Cambridge University in use of English, leading to a Law Degree and legal experience in London. He worked abroad for a while, then returned to England in 2003, where he researched the topography of Worcestershire, Oxforshire and Gloucestershire. He discovered J.R.R. Tolkien's 'The Shire' using by close map comparison; he had previously discovered 'The Wilderland' of The Hobbit in Wales.
|Title: Middle-Earth in Magic Mirror Maps... of the Wilderland in Wales... of the Shire in England
Author: Steve Ponty
Publication Date: March 28, 2014
Type: hardcover, 256 pages
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