Wednesday, November 18, 2009

MEM 07 - J.R.R. Tolkien: Secret Agent 007

Covering the news and events from the last couple of months, Michael Kaiser and Pieter Collier bring you up to date on specific items of interest to any fan of Tolkien.

J.R.R. Tolkien trained as a British spy?

On Sept. 16, 2009, the Telegraph reported that "Novelist JRR Tolkien secretly trained as a Government spy in the run up to the Second World War, new documents have disclosed" (emphasis added). Pieter shows how this story isn't news by citing sources such as the J.R.R. Tolkien Companion and Guide, as well as other Tolkien scholars.

MGM: The Lion, The Ditch, and The Hobbit

The studio with the most recognizable logo in movie history continues to make news. MTV Movies Blog reported on Sept. 25, 2009 that "things are looking bleak", and that the studio needs a total of $170 million to finish out the year and to "fund high-profile projects like The Hobbit". reported on Oct. 1, 2009 that MGM has "secured enough support from key lenders to allow the studio enough cash to proceed with its participation in The Hobbit." And has reported on Nov. 11, 2009 that, according to several sources, MGM "will essentially be auctioned off within the next few weeks."

We discuss all these things, as well as the great news coming out about the progress regarding the script, casting rumors, and more including:

According to SciFi, "Gandalf" has read the script, and Comic Book asks "Could we being seeing Brian Cox as a Dwarf in The Hobbit?"


This episode features the song "The Grey Havens" by New York band Fathom.

New Segment: Browsing the Tolkien Library

Each episode Pieter will step out of the Tolkien Library with a prized book, or news of upcoming releases, to share with us. This time we discuss his article about The Book of Jonah, which is to become available in February, 2010. Talk centers around Tolkien's work as editor of The Jerusalem Bible, his translation, and possible as-of-yet unsubstantiated participation in translating other books of the Old Testament.

Did C.S. Lewis and Tolkien plan to write together? conducted an interview with Dr. Steven Beebe about the forthcoming publication about his discovery of a "previously undiscovered fragment" of a manuscript in the Oxford library. A manuscript which he believes is the much-sought-after beginnings of a collaboration between Lewis and Tolkien.


We reported last episode about the Festival In The Shire. Now we have more news; and it is shaping up to be the pinnacle of Tolkien festivals! Pieter fills in some of the particulars on this episode, and we know that you will be anxious to attend this event.

Also, the Edge of the Wild annual Middle-earth Art Exhibition, now into its 7th year, is scheduled for March 26-29, 2009 according to the Facebook Page.

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