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England was J.R.R. Tolkien's home country. Parts of the land such as Sarehole were the inspiration for the Shire and other parts of Middle-earth.


MythologyEdit

In Tolkien's mythology for England which evolved into Middle-earth legenderium;

Eriol or Ælfwine is an English mariner of the ‘Anglo-Saxon’ period who, sailing far westwards over the ocean, came at last to Tol Eressëa, the Lonely Isle, where dwelt Elves who had departed from ‘the Great Lands’, afterwards ‘Middle-Earth’. During his sojourn in Tol Eressëa he learned from them the true and ancient history of the Creation, of the Gods, of the Elves, and of England.[1]

England (Angol, Luthany, Luthien, Leithian, Leithien, Ingolonde, Engaland, Ongulcynne) is an island of Arda (Earth) in some versions of Tolkien's mythology. In general it lies next to Ireland (Isle of Ivren, Hibernia, Erin) and is located within Britain (aka Leithian, Luthian, Luthien).Which is entering considering that Leithien/Luthien had several meanings for Tolkien, including name of elf princes, an alternate name for England, and also "release/release from bondage" (see Lay of Leithian).

The geographical context of England changes depending on the version within development. Sometimes Ælfwine leaves from England (and this is the case in much of the late stories concerning the mariner and Pengolod).

In some stories England lies off the coast of the Outer Lands (Great Lands of the East/Middle-earth) where it was brought there by the Gods, or was shattered during the war of the Gods (creating several islands including nearby Ireland). But became home of elves. In some stories this island is associated with Tol Eressëa and is located to the far West, in sight of Valinor.

Sometimes its just an island off the main coast of Middle-earth (perhaps west of Forodwaith. But with Middle-earth as seen as the north continent of Earth (Arda) in an imaginary period of the Earth's past[2] (Tolkien placed the end of the Third Age at about 6,000 years before his own time),[3] in the sense of a "secondary or sub-creational reality".[4] Its general position is reminiscent of Europe, with the environs of the Shire intended to be reminiscent of England (more specifically, the West Midlands, with Hobbiton set at the same latitude as Oxford).[5]

While Tolkien never fully dropped the idea of Arda being 'earth' even into the late 1970s, he became less concerned with maintaining consistent 'geography' (though he did experiment with both flat earth and round earth versions of his tales, and in later sources the connections between locations in Arda and on modern earth became more abstract (continental Hobbiton and Rivendell for example being part of England, roughly the latitude of Oxford, yet not being on an island, and Minas Tirith being at the latitude of modern Florence, and Pelargir located close to the same spot as ancient Troy[6]).

ReferencesEdit

  1. Beren and Lúthien
  2. Template:Cite interview Fellowship of the Ring, "Prologue" and Appendix D. Tolkien, Letters, ed. Humphrey Carpenter, nos. 151, 165, 183, 210, 211, 212, 294, 325.
  3. Letters, no. 211, footnote; "... a brief episode of History" Letters, nos. 325, 328, and p 457.
  4. Letters, nos. 180, 200, 328.
  5. Letters, no. 294.
  6. Letters 294

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