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Old 07-17-2003, 12:28 PM   #1
Annunfuiniel
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Sting Man behind the Mythology

We have a trivia for every book and for the movies and even one concerning us B-Ders... But what about the dear Professor himself? Have we totally forgotten the one who has made this all possible?

So, the idea of this quiz is to ask trivia questions about JRR Tolkien, about his entire life before, during and after writing such works as the Hobbit and the LOTR. Preferably the questions should somehow be related to his writings and to the creation of the mythology, ie. "What occasion led to the creation of 'Mr. Bliss'?" is a (somewhat) better question than "When was Tolkien born?". Possible sources would be Tolkien biographies, the Letters, commentaries in the HoME series etc.

Got it? Good! Now let's begin...

And the first question is the one I used as an example. So, when was...er, I mean what occasion led to the creation of 'Mr. Bliss'?

~Annun

*waits exitedly whether the perfect, brilliant, dazzling, kind-hearted (etc. etc.) Mr. Saucepan man will close this thread or not*
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Old 07-17-2003, 01:00 PM   #2
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Tolkien

Quote:
*waits exitedly whether the perfect, brilliant, dazzling, kind-hearted (etc. etc.) Mr. Saucepan man will close this thread or not*
Are you suggesting that flattery alone will persuade me to allow this thread to continue? Well, it helps ... [img]smilies/wink.gif[/img]

... but its the fact that it seems to me to be a perfectly good idea for a new and original game that really clinches it. [img]smilies/cool.gif[/img]

Mind you, I'm more au fait with the Professor's Books than his life, so I might not participate too much myself. [img]smilies/frown.gif[/img]
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Old 07-17-2003, 03:18 PM   #3
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Silmaril

This is a great quiz idea, Annunfuiniel! It took some searching to find the answer to your question, but skimming pages and pages of Carpenter's biography finally proved successful. Here's what he says about the background for the story of 'Mr Bliss':
Quote:
The purchase of a car in 1932 and Tolkien's subsequent mishaps while driving it led him to write another children's story, 'Mr Bliss'. This is the tale of a tall thin man who lives in a tall thin house, and who purchases a bright yellow automobile for five shillings, with remarkable consequences (and a number of collisions).
I haven't read that story yet; is anyone familiar with it?
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'Mercy!' cried Gandalf. 'If the giving of information is to be the cure of your inquisitiveness, I shall spend all the rest of my days in answering you. What more do you want to know?' 'The whole history of Middle-earth...'
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Old 07-17-2003, 08:35 PM   #4
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Saucy, Esty - many thanks! [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img]

And Estelyn: congrats for the first and first of all correct answer! You may take the lead now.

The story in question is unknown to me too but I must say that reading those lines of Carpenter's has made me rather curious...

~Annun
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Old 07-18-2003, 12:56 AM   #5
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Silmaril

Here's a bit of trivia that tickled my fancy; it's quite appropriate for this site!

What do the initials "B.S." stand for, and from what place with the same initials were they taken?
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'Mercy!' cried Gandalf. 'If the giving of information is to be the cure of your inquisitiveness, I shall spend all the rest of my days in answering you. What more do you want to know?' 'The whole history of Middle-earth...'
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Old 07-18-2003, 03:20 PM   #6
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"Barrovian Society" from the Barrow Store's. Tolkien and Wiseman were two of the founders of this little "society".
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Old 07-18-2003, 03:25 PM   #7
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Estelyn Telcontar has reached the Cracks of Doom and destroyed the Ring!Estelyn Telcontar has reached the Cracks of Doom and destroyed the Ring!Estelyn Telcontar has reached the Cracks of Doom and destroyed the Ring!Estelyn Telcontar has reached the Cracks of Doom and destroyed the Ring!Estelyn Telcontar has reached the Cracks of Doom and destroyed the Ring!Estelyn Telcontar has reached the Cracks of Doom and destroyed the Ring!Estelyn Telcontar has reached the Cracks of Doom and destroyed the Ring!Estelyn Telcontar has reached the Cracks of Doom and destroyed the Ring!Estelyn Telcontar has reached the Cracks of Doom and destroyed the Ring!Estelyn Telcontar has reached the Cracks of Doom and destroyed the Ring!
Silmaril

That's it, Beren! Your turn!
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'Mercy!' cried Gandalf. 'If the giving of information is to be the cure of your inquisitiveness, I shall spend all the rest of my days in answering you. What more do you want to know?' 'The whole history of Middle-earth...'
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Old 07-18-2003, 09:42 PM   #8
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Thank ye Esty. *bows*

What play was Tolkien in in his last summer at King Edwards? (Bonus points for the part he played! Not..that we have points..or anything..)
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Old 07-19-2003, 09:45 PM   #9
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Are you referring to his role as Mrs. Malaprop in the excellent play, The Rivals?
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Old 07-22-2003, 06:33 PM   #10
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Actually, I wasn't, strangly enough. Let me go back and check to make sure, but that's not what I was thinking of.
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Old 07-22-2003, 06:41 PM   #11
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Yes, I had the wrong year. My apologies. Still, I would love to have seen that performance.
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Old 07-23-2003, 11:31 PM   #12
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Silmaril

Ah, I found the answer to that one in Carpenter's biography - the play was Aristophanes' The Peace, and Tolkien played Hermes. It must have been an interesting performance! -
Quote:
a Greek play with the choruses set to music-hall tunes
[img]smilies/rolleyes.gif[/img]
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'Mercy!' cried Gandalf. 'If the giving of information is to be the cure of your inquisitiveness, I shall spend all the rest of my days in answering you. What more do you want to know?' 'The whole history of Middle-earth...'
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Old 07-24-2003, 08:02 PM   #13
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Esty has it! (And the majority of my information seems to come from Carpenter's Biography, strangly.)

Your turn!
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Old 07-25-2003, 05:01 PM   #14
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Silmaril

Tolkien was the model for a character in C. S. Lewis' books - who is it?
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'Mercy!' cried Gandalf. 'If the giving of information is to be the cure of your inquisitiveness, I shall spend all the rest of my days in answering you. What more do you want to know?' 'The whole history of Middle-earth...'
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Old 07-25-2003, 06:14 PM   #15
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Dr. Ransom, from the three "science fiction novels"(Out of the Silent Planet, Perelandra, and That Hideous Strength) If I recall correctly from the biography, he wasn't terribly flattered, either!

What a fun idea!
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Old 07-25-2003, 11:10 PM   #16
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Silmaril

Ransom is correct - like Tolkien, a philologist! Your turn, peony!
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'Mercy!' cried Gandalf. 'If the giving of information is to be the cure of your inquisitiveness, I shall spend all the rest of my days in answering you. What more do you want to know?' 'The whole history of Middle-earth...'
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Old 07-26-2003, 07:06 PM   #17
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Question

Thank you!

What, besides their own names and their birth and death years, did Ronald and Edith Tolkien have inscribed on their gravestones?
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Old 07-26-2003, 08:29 PM   #18
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Beren and Luthien, respectively.
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Old 07-27-2003, 08:13 PM   #19
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Sting

But of course you would know, Beren 87. [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img]

For all that Tolkien moved in such a masculine-centered world from which Edith was mostly excluded, I found those inscriptions quite sweet and touching.

Your turn, then, Beren 87.
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Old 07-27-2003, 08:42 PM   #20
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Sting

Perhaps he was a romantic, at heart. [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img]

What was Tolkien proffesor of at Oxford?
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Old 07-28-2003, 04:56 AM   #21
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Sting

Tolkien held two chairs at Oxford during his career: the Rawlinson and Bosworth Chair of Anglo-Saxon and the Merton Chair of English Language. His tenure of these positions overlapped briefly.
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Old 07-28-2003, 12:40 PM   #22
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A detailed, and not to mention, correct answer, dear Squatter. Your go.
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Old 07-28-2003, 03:35 PM   #23
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Sting

What's more disturbing is that I didn't have to look those up. Someone has too much time on his hands.

One of Tolkien's characters was "a nimble plum-gatherer" but someone he knew could have been described in the same way. Name both of them and Tolkien's relationship with the real-life fruit collector.
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Old 08-02-2003, 07:47 PM   #24
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I'm thinking we need a clue, Squatter. [img]smilies/confused.gif[/img] [That icon is supposed to be "confused" but it looks like a frownie to me...]
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Old 08-04-2003, 06:49 AM   #25
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You won't find this one in Carpenter, nor will you find it in Tolkien's more famous fictional writings. It's best to begin in one of his short stories and work back from there. The real-life personage is someone that he knew very well.

[ August 04, 2003: Message edited by: The Squatter of Amon Rdh ]
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Old 08-04-2003, 09:05 AM   #26
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Silmaril

Squatter, I have found the character who's referred to as a plum-picker, so one half of the question could be answered. However, I cannot find any references to the person in Tolkien's real life who could compare, despite searching in both of Shippey's books, the Letters, and the Inklings biography. Just thinking about persons Tolkien knew well gave me no insight - the character doesn't sound like either C.S.Lewis or Father Francis. Can you give any clue as to where to find a reference? Perhaps the book in which the story is published has a comment, but alas, I do not have it.
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Old 08-04-2003, 10:26 AM   #27
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Well, this is why we have libraries Estelyn. [img]smilies/wink.gif[/img]

The answer has to do with the Vale of Evesham.
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Old 08-04-2003, 12:40 PM   #28
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Estelyn Telcontar has reached the Cracks of Doom and destroyed the Ring!Estelyn Telcontar has reached the Cracks of Doom and destroyed the Ring!Estelyn Telcontar has reached the Cracks of Doom and destroyed the Ring!Estelyn Telcontar has reached the Cracks of Doom and destroyed the Ring!Estelyn Telcontar has reached the Cracks of Doom and destroyed the Ring!Estelyn Telcontar has reached the Cracks of Doom and destroyed the Ring!Estelyn Telcontar has reached the Cracks of Doom and destroyed the Ring!Estelyn Telcontar has reached the Cracks of Doom and destroyed the Ring!Estelyn Telcontar has reached the Cracks of Doom and destroyed the Ring!Estelyn Telcontar has reached the Cracks of Doom and destroyed the Ring!
Silmaril

OK, here goes an attempt:
The literary plum-gatherer is the wizard Artaxerxes in Roverandom.
The literal plum-gatherer is JRRT's brother, Hilary Tolkien, who owned and lived on a fruit farm at Evesham.
Right?
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'Mercy!' cried Gandalf. 'If the giving of information is to be the cure of your inquisitiveness, I shall spend all the rest of my days in answering you. What more do you want to know?' 'The whole history of Middle-earth...'
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Old 08-04-2003, 12:48 PM   #29
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That's the answer I was looking for.
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Old 08-04-2003, 02:50 PM   #30
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Estelyn Telcontar has reached the Cracks of Doom and destroyed the Ring!Estelyn Telcontar has reached the Cracks of Doom and destroyed the Ring!Estelyn Telcontar has reached the Cracks of Doom and destroyed the Ring!Estelyn Telcontar has reached the Cracks of Doom and destroyed the Ring!Estelyn Telcontar has reached the Cracks of Doom and destroyed the Ring!Estelyn Telcontar has reached the Cracks of Doom and destroyed the Ring!Estelyn Telcontar has reached the Cracks of Doom and destroyed the Ring!Estelyn Telcontar has reached the Cracks of Doom and destroyed the Ring!Estelyn Telcontar has reached the Cracks of Doom and destroyed the Ring!Estelyn Telcontar has reached the Cracks of Doom and destroyed the Ring!
Silmaril

Who sculptured the bust of Tolkien that stands in the English Faculty Library at Oxford University?
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'Mercy!' cried Gandalf. 'If the giving of information is to be the cure of your inquisitiveness, I shall spend all the rest of my days in answering you. What more do you want to know?' 'The whole history of Middle-earth...'
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Old 08-04-2003, 02:55 PM   #31
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I believe Faith Tolkien did that bust, it's one of the centers of attention at oxonmoots.
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Old 08-04-2003, 03:01 PM   #32
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Estelyn Telcontar has reached the Cracks of Doom and destroyed the Ring!Estelyn Telcontar has reached the Cracks of Doom and destroyed the Ring!Estelyn Telcontar has reached the Cracks of Doom and destroyed the Ring!Estelyn Telcontar has reached the Cracks of Doom and destroyed the Ring!Estelyn Telcontar has reached the Cracks of Doom and destroyed the Ring!Estelyn Telcontar has reached the Cracks of Doom and destroyed the Ring!Estelyn Telcontar has reached the Cracks of Doom and destroyed the Ring!Estelyn Telcontar has reached the Cracks of Doom and destroyed the Ring!Estelyn Telcontar has reached the Cracks of Doom and destroyed the Ring!Estelyn Telcontar has reached the Cracks of Doom and destroyed the Ring!
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Wow, that was a fast answer, Beren! You're right, JRRT's daughter-in-law (Christopher's wife) was the sculptor. Please proceed with another question.
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Old 08-04-2003, 03:04 PM   #33
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Ah, it was CT's wife, I couldn't find who's she was.

What did Tolkien's brother enlist as in WWI?
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Old 08-04-2003, 04:05 PM   #34
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Was Hilary a pilot in the royal airforce, perhaps?

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Old 08-04-2003, 09:47 PM   #35
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I..don't think so. It's not what he enlisted as, anyway.
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Old 08-05-2003, 11:44 AM   #36
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Hilary Tolkien signed up as a bugler, but I've been unable to track down his regiment.

For the record, the RAF didn't exist prior to April 1st 1918. It was a later generation of Tolkiens who joined the junior service.
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Old 08-05-2003, 02:01 PM   #37
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I wasn't able to find his regiment either (your saying so inspired me to check [img]smilies/wink.gif[/img] ), so that's left up in the air. Yet, he did indeed enlist as a bugler! Squatter's go.
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Old 08-06-2003, 01:56 PM   #38
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Whom did Tolkien thank for his kindness '...to a jobless soldier in 1918' in his valedictory address to the University of Oxford?
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Old 08-06-2003, 02:40 PM   #39
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Estelyn Telcontar has reached the Cracks of Doom and destroyed the Ring!Estelyn Telcontar has reached the Cracks of Doom and destroyed the Ring!Estelyn Telcontar has reached the Cracks of Doom and destroyed the Ring!Estelyn Telcontar has reached the Cracks of Doom and destroyed the Ring!Estelyn Telcontar has reached the Cracks of Doom and destroyed the Ring!Estelyn Telcontar has reached the Cracks of Doom and destroyed the Ring!Estelyn Telcontar has reached the Cracks of Doom and destroyed the Ring!Estelyn Telcontar has reached the Cracks of Doom and destroyed the Ring!Estelyn Telcontar has reached the Cracks of Doom and destroyed the Ring!Estelyn Telcontar has reached the Cracks of Doom and destroyed the Ring!
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He thanked William Craigie, who taught him Icelandic and was, incidentally, his predecessor as Professor of Anglo-Saxon at the University of Oxford.
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Old 08-06-2003, 02:49 PM   #40
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The very fellow. Your turn, Estelyn.
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