Mark T. Hooker, Tolkien and Welsh

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Essays on JRR Tolkien's Use of Welsh in His Legendarium

Llyfrawr, 2012. 1st edition. Paperback. Illustrated. Signed by the author.

Tolkien and Welsh provides an overview of J.R.R.Tolkien's use of Welsh in his Legendarium, ranging from the obvious (Gwynfa), to the apparent (Took), to the veiled (Gerontius), to the hidden (Goldberry).

Though it is a book by a linguist, it was written for the non-linguist with the goal of making the topic accessible. The unavoidable jargon is explained in a glossary, and the narrative presents an overview of how Welsh influenced Tolkien's story line, as well as his synthetic languages Quenya and Sindarin.
The study is based on specific examples of attested names, placed in the context of their linguistic and cultural background, while highlighting the peculiar features of Welsh, "the senior language of the men of Britain" (MC 189), that Tolkien found so intriguing. It supplements, rather than competes with Carl Phelpstead’s excellent Tolkien and Wales, which sidestepped the topic of the Celtic linguistics behind Tolkien's work. Learn the story behind Lithe, Buckland, Anduin, and Baranduin.

Pagination: xxx + 274, B&W illustrations by James Dunning, maps, Index, Trade Paper

Jason Fisher--the editor of Tolkien and the Study of His Sources (McFarland, 2011), and the host of the blog 'Lingwë: Musings of a Fish' -- says:

Tolkien and Welsh "should be pretty accessible to most readers." Mark gets "into some of the particulars of Welsh (and Sindarin) phonology--especially on the matter of mutation, a prominent feature of both languages--but Mark writes primarily for the lay person." Where Carl Phelpstead's book Tolkien and Wales "presents a broad survey of the forest as a whole, Mark's book is down at the level of the trees within it, even single leaves, grappling with individual words and names. If you are familiar with his previous books, it is much like those, but with the driving thread being the influence of Welsh on Tolkien's nomenclature and storytelling. I think Mark's book and Carl's complement each other and could be profitably read together." *