The Fourth Roving Ranger


a warm welcome to this, the fourth Roving Ranger newsletter!


On July 23rd, TORn and John Garth will do a talk on his latest book & the Amazon series with Comic Con Online.

Please always refer to the International Tolkien Fellowship Facebook group for Tolkien-inspired events the world over.

Essays & Scholarship

To me it always feels a little bit like Christmas when eminent Tolkien scholars Wayne G. Hammond and Christina Scull find the time to write a blog post with Too Many Books and Never Enough. This time it is a short note on a piece in The Book Collector but most importantly the have Addenda and Corrigenda Updates to their publications.Even more surprising and welcome was another another post on Lord of the Rings text comparisons.

John D. Ratelliff of The History of the Hobbit has also posted a link to a podcast with him.

Edmund Weiner has a splendid piece on Great-Granduncle Bullroarer. He wrote The Ring of Words together with his colleagues Peter Gilliver and Jeremy Marshall at the Oxford English Dictionary which is one of the single best books on Tolkien – expect tremendous wordnerdery!

Reviews and Book NewsThe official Facebook page of the Tolkien Estate has shared the release of the paperback edition of J.R.R. Tolkien: A Secret Vice. Tolkien on invented languages, edited by Dimitra Fimi and Andrew Higgins.

Bruce Charles offers his insights on Bowers Tolkien’s Lost Chaucer.The 2021 Tolkien Calendar illustrated by Nasmith, Howe & Lee has been announced.

Other Stuff

I am not quite sure what to make of this but if I had the millions to buy this estate I would spend them on something else, I think: Inside a Whimsical Middle Earth-Inspired Estate in Carmel. P.S. I hope the paintings are at least originals!

David Downing of the Marion E. Wade Center at Wheaton College has written an Inklings novel; here is an interview with him.

Film franchise, merchandise and Amazon series

If you ever wanted to know how much one of Bilbo’s pipes cost – well, $28,200.

Weta Digital has been promoting ‘virtual’ film making as a consequence to the limitations the global pandemic has put on filming.

In other news

Celebrating the 70th anniversary of the first Narnia novel, has asked for fan submissions. Douglas Gresham himself speaks about Tolkien’s and CSL’s friendship and how their ideas on children’s literature led to The Hobbit and The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.

The award for clickbaitiest newspaper headline of the year might well be decided already:
Science Fiction: Finally, a Grown-up Fantasy. [Paywall.]
Ths Wall Street Journal headline is so misleading on so many fronts that it has garnered quite some interest, but not the good kind. Fun fact: 1. It was written by none other than Tom Shippey who seems to be freelancing for the WSJ for four years now, and 2. the “Science Fiction” bit in the headline has nothing to do with the following words – it is just the column title which in this context is bloody well stupid. For those with access do let me know whether it is anything beyond a supposedly decent fantasy series’ review!

The Blog Roll

These are blogs you really should be following if you’re interested in Tolkien …

Some of these, you may find, are not as active as one would hope; but even if they have not posted anything new for a long time they are repositories of great essays and research on all things Tolkienian and always worth your time. The blog roll – and this very newsletter! – has been inspired by Troels Forchammer’s Parma-kenta and his excellent Tolkien Transactions he did for seven years – they are still sorely missed!

Christina Scull and Wayne G. Hammond, ‘Too Many Books and Never Enough
Dimitra Fimi, ‘Dr. Dimitra Fimi
Jason Fisher, ‘Lingwë — Musings of a Fish
Douglas A. Anderson, ‘Tolkien and Fantasy’
John D. Rateliff — ‘Sacnoth’s Scriptorium
John Garth, ‘John Garth
David Bratman, ‘Kalimac’s Journal
Jenny Dolfen, ‘Jenny’s Sketchbook
Andrew Higgens, ‘Wotan’s Musings
Anna Smol, ‘A Single Leaf
Edmund Weiner, ‘Philoloblog
Robin Anne Reid, her blog
Annalisa Palmer, her blog
Various, The Mythopoeic Society
Various (Bradford Eden, ed.) Journal of Tolkien Research (JTR)
Various, The Tolkien Society (TS)
Southfarthing Mathom
Various, The Mythopoeic Society, ‘The Horn of Rohan Redux
Sue Bridgwater, ‘Skorn
Tom Hilman, ‘Alas, not me
Michael Martinez, ‘Middle-earth
Bruce Charlton, ‘Tolkien’s The Notion Club Papers
Various, ‘Middle-earth News
Jeffrey R. Hawboldt, ‘Expressions of Substance
Ryszard Viajante Derdzinski, ‘Tolknięty
Stephen C. Winter, ‘Wisdom from The Lord of the Rings
Troels Forchhammer, ‘Parma-kenta
Marcel Aubron-Bülles, ‘The Tolkienist
Jeremy Edmonds, ‘Tolkien Collector’s Guide
Aubrey, ‘Diverse Tolkien
Elyanna, ‘itariilles

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Marcel R. Bülles

Marcel R. Bülles is the author of, a specialist blog centering on worldwide Tolkien fandom, geekdom and research. He works as a freelance translator, journalist and writer and is the founder of the German Tolkien Society as well as a co-founder to RingCon, Europe's formerly biggest fantasy film convention. You can find him in cafés all over the world sipping an espresso blogging, writing, reading. At one point he was married to an extremely lovely French lady by the nickname of Sauron. Yes, that Sauron. He is also active with the International Tolkien Fellowship on Facebook and the Tolkien Folk on Instagram.