HJ, definately the best time to come with the good weather, really shows off well what they have done.
Robert. Welcome, hope you find the chat as interesting as I have done. Always good to get another insight/perspective.
Thanks everyone for making me feel so welcome. I will participate as I can!
Hey, Robert, once upon a time we were all newbies. Fortunately, Janny is one of those authors who seems to have classy fans. It also helps that the Gryphon (Trys) keeps out the riffraff.
As for participation, well, while it is agonizing to wonder what Janny will pull off next, it is a lot of fun, in the meantime, to speculate on exactly what she might do next. She usually turns all expectations on their ears, but it is still fun to try to anticipate. Be ready for ANYTHING in the books, is probably the best advice I could give you.
Hello everyone I am another newbie but have been reading the books since about '92. Hello to HJ and Steve, I am a black country girl myself and have never met anyone who has read the books! You have given me the encouragement to send a message...thank you
And to Janny...I've never read anything that has gripped my imagination so much and left me begging for more. Can't wait for Stormed Fortress...Thank You
I'm from Oxford: the city of dreaming spires and aspiring dreams (also Lewis Carroll, Tolkien and Inspector Morse).
Janny, when you make it back to the UK I'd love to show you around Oxford and Oxfordshire.
Hello Sharon, I'm in London.
I think I probably bought Curse of the Mistwraith in Birmingham (I lived there back in 92-95).
Outside of the UK "the black country" might be misunderstood...was it mining that gave it its name?
Some claim that The Black Country was named after the pollution caused by industry but historians believe that it was indeed named after the mining; or more accurately the outcrops of coal that made the heathlands dark.
The Black Country is believed to be the inspiration for Mordor. Tolkien lived in Warwickshire as a child and Mordor means "Dark Land".
HJ - I have driven all over your country, coast to coast, east west, north south, AND - I would NEVER drive in your major towns! Just picking up a rental car in Manchester about did us in! Oh, and don't ASK about us doing loop de loops in a few of the Welsh towns, or getting messed up in Chester.
PurplePenny - I'll take you up on that, if it happens!
You've reminded me of a great day I spent in Oxford in the early 60's. It was the village pub coachtrip. I spent the first part of the day in a wonderful bookshop that had all the Burrough's books that I was after and I stocked up for weeks to come. I still remember that blissful afternoon stretched out in a punt immersing myself in John Carter's adventures on Mars! Mind you, some of my friends were a bit choked that I'd spent most of my card winnings from the up trip on books.
How strange this seems. It looks like plenty of us Brits have delurked for the sneak peek, so I thought, why not delurk for the first time in over a year as well.:D
Janny, as always your sneak peek's have left me wanting to read the book, which I guess is the point but still. Fantastic. :D
Hey i don't want to be left out!
I'm a Malaysian(near Singapore}....we were under the British rule once.
Been reading Ms Wurts books since 2003.Can't wait till the next book.
Welcome Raja Velloo - I know at least one of your fellow country persons visits this site....!
Thanks Mrs Wurts.I am glad that there are other Malaysians here as well.....i managed to introduce the books to a few of my friends.
Thank you for the wonderful novels!
lol janny, guilty as charged.
*waves* hi raja! good to see other malaysians here too.
Ah well, good thing they aren't quiet either!
Malaysians seem a friendly bunch....amazing to think of the books traveling so far and wide, and to places I have never been.
Hi PurplePenny, I missed your post. Just caught up with it and will tell you what I know.
The Black Country, an urban area to the west of and adjoining Birmingham, is traditionally a place of heavy industry, overcrowded and poor socio-economic conditions. I've always been told our area derived it's name from the density of smoke in the air years ago. My Grandfather suvived the Battle of the Somme only to die at the age of 59, in 1945, of TB, supposedly caused by the horrific conditions of the iron foundry he worked in. He was untypical of his generation in that he survived WWI, but typical in that he died as a result of the poor conditions people lived and worked in at that time.
I've also heard that The Black Country was the inspiration for Mordor and can understand if it was especially given that Tolkein moved here from South Africa and must have found it a cold and ugly place. The West Midlands is still far from the most picturesque area of our country to visit, but as I told an idealistic and naive friend of mine years ago, Britain has more to it's heritage than pretty thatched cottages, medieval castles and rolling hills.
Our local bus company does a tour called "The Tolkein Trail" which includes many of the landmarks Tolkein is supposed to have been inspired by. I think this is wonderful and one day when I have the time, I will do it!!
I think that there used to be Tolkien tours here in Oxford too (walking tours) but not now. We've also had CS Lewis tours, Morse tours and Brideshead tours!
A lot of the Shire names seem to have been inspired by the area around Oxford: we even have Buckland! I always think of the Shire, or the area around Hobbiton anyway, as looking very Cotswolds. We (Oxfordshire) do have thatched cottages, lots of them :-)
I spent a very cold Easter Weekend camping just outside Morton-in-Marsh when I was a student. I remember us doing a pub crawl of the main street. It's a lovely part of the country.
I was so cold I didn't get a wink of sleep all night. I gave up at around 5:30am and went for a drive to Stow-on-the-Wold, with the car heater on to warm up. The following night we camped with a traveller and her kids, horses, dog & chickens. She had a real reconstructed "Gypsy" caravan because she said it was more economical to run that a van. What a wonderful evening we had with that lady. An inspiration and an education.
Tolkien explicitly rejects allegory in all its forms in the preface.
The destruction of the English countryside was the basis of the scouring of the shire, no more than that was intended.
Although the reader was left free to form his own associations...