It seems odd to be celebrating an anniversary in one’s first post, but this one is not mine. It is for Tolkien’s Middle-earth, which was created a hundred years ago yesterday (24th Sept. 1914) when Tolkien wrote a poem titled The Voyage of Éarendel the Evening Star.
John Garth talks about Éarendel and what followed after it on his blog here.
I first read The Hobbit in my early teens, and quickly followed it up with The Lord of the Rings. It took me a few years, but I eventually made it to the wild shores of The Silmarillion. Of the three, it was LotR that made the deepest impression on me. With its tale of heroism and bravery, love and sacrifice, duty versus dereliction how could it not*?
Going back to that day a hundred years ago – the poem was The Voyage of Éarendel the Evening Star. Tolkien wrote it while visiting his Aunt Jane in Nottinghamshire. In the years ahead, he would continue to write but in very different conditions on the western front.
I don’t know about you, but when I am in pain my ability to write really dries up. Tolkien was very brave to keep going with all the bombs and bullets flying about around him. I shall always be very glad that he did.
* I know The Silmarillion could be said to contain all these themes but the book was too grand, and too dark, for me to get on with it in the same way that I could The Lord of the Rings