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Old 05-04-2021, 09:54 AM   #36
Ghost Prince of Cardolan
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Originally Posted by Thinlˇmien View Post
Originally Posted by Legate
I have one more remark about the first adventure. So we have painstakingly analysed the "real historical period" of when this takes place, figured out that it goes maybe into around 7th century or somesuch, and then we have Giles using a muskette. Um...? Talk about "suspending disbelief", Mr. Tolkien!
Yes, this confused me too. Certainly one of the humorous elements of the story that reveal it's tongue-in-cheek, but again, I feel like I lack the context to fully appreciate it. To be honest, sometimes reading Farmer Giles feels a little like reading someone else's inside joke. But I guess that's what it is, to a degree. (Even though, I guess you could say all writing is the author's "inside joke", but here it is perhaps more evident than usual.)
I love the blunderbuss. I've always felt that Tolkien was poking fun at the likes of the King Arthur stories, which always seem to depict Arthur in full late-medieval plate armour, as if he had ridden out of Camelot and straight into the Hundred Years' War! St. George is depicted the same way (WW1 example), despite living at least a thousand years before it was invented.

So, says Tolkien, what's another half-millennium between friends? Give 'em all firearms too! I love it. XD

Originally Posted by Legate
Another side-remark: what is the deal with there being specific effort to remark that Giles has a ginger beard when he is being introduced?
Thank you for asking, because now I've looked this up. ^_^

Originally Posted by Farmer Giles of Ham
In full his name was Ăgidius Ahenobarbus Julius Agricola de Hammo... I will in what follows give the man his name shortly, and in the vulgar form: he was Farmer Giles of Ham, and he had a red beard.
  • Ăgidius - Late Latin name and origin of the English 'Giles'.
  • Ahenobarbus - Latin cognomen meaning 'red-beard' or 'copper-beard'.
  • Agricola - Latin for 'farmer'.
  • de Hammo - 'of Ham', I assume in Latin.

So Tolkien is here being 100% literal: 'farmer', 'Giles', 'of Ham', and 'he had a red beard' are all parts of the good farmer's name!

(I don't know what happened to the Julius. Perhaps a dragon ate it.)

Have you burned the ships that could bear you back again? ~Finrod: The Rock Opera
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