This new book, The Hobbitonian Anthology, is the second volume of articles by Mark T. Hooker that picks up where A Tolkienian Mathomium left off. Hooker's analysis is from a linguistic perspective similar to tolkien's.
In his foreword to the newest collection of essays by Mark T. Hooker, The Hobbitonian Anthology, Jason Fisher casts a backward glance at James Dunning's foreword (read an interview with James Dunning) to Hooker's last collection of essays, A Tolkienian Mathomium. Dunning, says Fisher, "posed the quite reasonable question, 'Why would one wish, then, to read what Hooker has to say?' He elaborated three major reasons, each impressively introduced with Latin ordinals, so I hope I may refrain from further embroidery here in Mark’s second collection of essays on Tolkien. I certainly will resist the temptation to launch into a litany of new reasons, each impressively introduced with Old English! But were I to venture a terse answer, it need be no more than to point out that if you liked the last one, you’re going to like this one." In his review, David Bratman said that "the common thread" to the articles in A Tolkienian Mathomium "is a cheerful attention to detail."
The collection of articles in The Hobbitonian Anthology is a miscellany, but largely linguistic in nature.
Part One of the book is about names: Bilbo, Bag-End, Boffin, Farmer Maggot, Puddifoot, Stoor, Huggins, Tom Bombadil, The Ivy Bush, The Golden Perch, and a bevy of place names in the neighborhood of Evesham, the ancestral home of tolkien's mother's family, the Suffields. It discusses their meanings and their English analogues, both from a linguistic, a geographic, and biographic viewpoint.
The articles in Part Two explore the terms bootless, nine days' wonder, confusticate and bebother, hundredweight, and leechcraft.
Hooker continues his work in translation studies, looking at the Bulgarian, Belorussian, Czech, Slovak, Dutch, German, Polish, Russian, Serbian, and Ukrainian translations of The Hobbit with a series of comparative pieces on how the translators handled tolkien's nomenclature. A number of the articles were originally published in Beyond Bree, but an equal number appear here for the first time.
Beyond Bree and Hither Shore said that there is "something [in A Tolkienian Mathomium] for everyone with even a passing interest in Tolkien. All of the articles are well researched, insightful, and highly informative."
Tolkien Studies said that it is a "pleasantly eccentric volume ... Hooker has a wide variety of things to say that have not been heard before." Tolkien Collector's Guide said A Tolkienian Mathomium "is one of the most unique sets of essays on Tolkien I have read in the past 10 years."
An early review by The Lord of the Rings Fanatics Plaza of the analysis of the origin of the name Tom Bombadil appearing in The Hobbitonian Anthology ranks it as "the best explanation yet of how the name Tom Bombadil came into being." And those of us who have had spent some time on The Lord of the Rings Fanatics Plaza know that it is probably the only board on the internet that has Tolkien related discussion on the highest level possible. I have not read the book myself (yet) but I will in the neat future enjoy it. But already I will recommend this new book, it will not fail to bring you lots of pleasure!
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