28 August 2017

Review: Flora of Middle-Earth: Plants of J.R.R. Tolkien's Legendarium

Flora of Middle-Earth: Plants of J.R.R. Tolkien's Legendarium Flora of Middle-Earth: Plants of J.R.R. Tolkien's Legendarium by Walter S Judd
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book makes a very nice addition to the library of those who find Middle-earth compelling. It will be an especially welcome reference for those of us who lack an extensive knowledge of the flora of the world in which we live. The entries are informative, both for Tolkien's Middle-earth and our own, and are well illustrated with images by Graham A. Judd in the style of woodcuts. The author also refers, a good touch this, to Tolkien's own illustrations of the flora, Old Man Willow, for example. which appear in J.R.R. Tolkien: Artist and Illustrator. References to the scenes in The Lord of the Rings in which the various plants appear or play a role are copious and detailed. There is even a section on hobbit names, so many of which, both first and last, spring from the names of flowers. So far so good. Yet the lack of a separate entry on Ents and Entwives might frustrate some, Yavanna not least, though it would not surprise her. One inexplicable blemish, however, needs to be pointed out. Athelas, or Kingsfoil, arguably most important plant to the plot of The Lord of the Rings is everywhere misspelled athelias.

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