The Hobbitonian Anthology

From Tolkien Gateway
The Hobbitonian Anthology
AuthorMark T. Hooker
Released17 June 2009
FormatPaperback and hardcover

The Hobbitonian Anthology is a book by Mark T. Hooker, illustrated by James Dunning.

Reception[edit | edit source]

John D. Rateliff, in his review of The Hobbitonian Anthology in Tolkien Studies, praises Hooker for being a "indefatigable researcher". However, the review is largely negative, and Rateliff's main criticism concerns the alleged tendency in the book to make too bold claims about etymological links between Tolkien's invented names and possible real-world sources.[1] Mark T. Hooker responded to the review, and to the editors of Tolkien Studies, in an "Open Letter", stating that Rateliff is an "unqualified reviewer" and criticizes him for making a number of wrong conclusions about the book.[2]

Hither Shore, the German Tolkien Society's peer-reviewed annual, says: Hooker “displays a thorough knowledge of linguistics, etymology, and history, and is also very well versed with even obscure sources of literature. … All in all, this book is a highly interesting and worthwhile read for anyone interested in speculating about how and why Tolkien used language the way he did."[3]

From the Publisher[edit | edit source]

This monograph is the second collection of analytic articles on Tolkien's "The Lord of the Rings" and "The Hobbit," written by Tolkien scholar and Comparative Translationist Mark T. Hooker, most famous, perhaps, for his application of Comparative Translation to the study of Tolkien.

The collection is a miscellany, but largely linguistic in nature.

  • Part One of the book is about names: Bilbo Baggins, Bag End, Boffin, Farmer Maggot, Puddifoot, Stoor, Huggins, Tom Bombadil, The Ivy Bush, The Golden Perch, and a bevy of place names, including the Four Shire Stone and the Rollright Stones in the neighborhood of Evesham, the ancestral home of Tolkien’s mother’s family, the Suffields. The articles in Part One discuss the meanings of these names 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.
  • In Part Three, 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.
  • Part Four is an examination of the Russian translations of "Leaf by Niggle."

External Links[edit | edit source]


  1. John D. Rateliff, "Review of The Hobbitonian Anthology", in ’Tolkien Studies, Vol. VII (eds. Douglas A. Anderson, Michael D.C. Drout, Verlyn Flieger), pp. 330-5
  2. Mark T. Hooker, "An Open Letter to the Editors of Tolkien Studies", Llyfrawr (accessed 5 March 2012)
  3. Mark T. Hooker, "Review by Dr. Rainer Nagel", Llyfrawr (accessed 11 May 2012) Reprinted with permission from Hither Shore Volume #6 (2009), pp. 242-243.