Tolkien Journal

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Title: Tolkien Journal
Publisher: New York Tolkien Society
Editor(s): Dick Plotz (Frodo)
Date(s): Spring 1965-
Medium: print
Fandom: Tolkien
Language: English
External Links:
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Tolkien Journal is a gen anthology of reviews, articles and art about J.R.R. Tolkien. For three issues, it was a dual-publication with Orcrist.

v.1 n.1

Tolkien Journal 1 was published Spring 1965 and is a single sheet of paper, printed only on one side.

the first issue

It consists mainly of club rules and expectations for the journal.

v.1. n.2

v.1 n.2 was published in "Winterfilth 1965" and contains 3 pages, printed on one side. This issue contains a short bibliography of articles by Alexis Levitin "of interest to Tolkien fans."

first page of issue #2
  • Bob Foster is in the middle of the monumental task of producing another complete Tolkien index. This one will be cross-referenced, for a change. Bob has over 1200 items on index cards.
  • Esquire Magazine lists J,R,R, Tolkien as one of the hundred best people in the world. We're inclined to agree.
  • "The Ring-Inscription," analysis by Mark Mandel (Lhaurhir): [excerpt]: These are the only words we know of the pure Black Speech, but Tolkien shows his genius by making these lines so regular that we can analyze from them a number of elements of the Black Speech grammar and vocabulary.
  • [from the editor]: The Tolkien Society of America has been successful beyond my greatest hopes. I had originally anticipated ab«ut thirty or forty members. I now have 156 names on my mailing list. Of these, close to 100 have written to me, and perhaps 70 did so in response to the original advertisement in the New Republic. I find Tolkien fans wherever I go. One member reports that a book store near Columbia displayed a notice for the Society. I like to find out about these things. Membership ranges throughout the United States, and there are members In Canada and England. The largest group is concentrated about New York, but there are also sizable concentrations in Chicago, Boston, and Los Angeles. As for occupational groups, by far the majority of members are students. Also represented are teachers, artists, writers, and scientists. The students are mostly interested in Anglo-Saxon literature, but there are many psychology and science majors as well. In short, the membership is highly diversified. The meeting on 11 September (18 Halimath) brought 25 members to my house to discuss LotR. Soon afterward, I received a six-page letter from Professor Tolkien himself. Tolkien's friend, poet W.H. Auden, is a member of the Society; he calls himself Gimli. Frankly, I would prefer that all this name-calling stops I don't want to be called Frodo, and I'm sure most members agree on that count.
  • The attempt to finance the Journal by voluntary contributions has not worked well enough. Despite substantial contributions, more than half of which came from Steve Patt of Baltimore, the Journal has continued to run at a deficit, I have therefore decided, out of necessity, to charge a nominal fee for the Journal (but not for membership, which continues to be free). Starting with the next issue, a subscription to the Journal will cost 50 cents per year. For this low price the subscriber receives four issues of the Journal and notices of all meetings. In addition, all members, whether or not they subscribe to the Journal, will receive an annual notice of one general meeting. The Journal will appear in Afteryule, Astron, Afterlithe and Winterfilth.
  • "The Ace Books Controversy" by Dick Plotz "(The facts in this article were largely contained in Prof. Tolkien's recent letter to me.)": [excerpt]: As Prof. Tolkien explains it, "(The law) says in effect (that) if any property is left unguarded, by inadvertance or otherwise, a person who appropriates it cannot be called a thief, even if he can be shovrn to have known to whom the property in justice belonged. " It was on this law that Ace relied in publishing their pirated edition. Since the publication of the Ace edition, public opinion and comment have been so un favorable to Ace that they have tried to save face by offering an "honorarium" to Tolkien, They did not, as is widely believed, offer Tolkien a royalty before they commenced publication of the trilogy. The advantages of the Ballantine paperbacks are many. Ballantine has included The Hobbit, while Ace has only LotR, The paper used in the Ballantine edition is of better quality than that used by Ace. Only small portions of the Middle-earth maps are included in the Ace editions; they are complete in the Ballantine. The Ace books were poorly edited; in at least one place an entire line of a poem is omitted. The Ace appendices are useless, for the page references contained therein refer only to the Houghton Mifflin edition.
  • Prof. Tolkien would like an explanation of the cover of the Ballantine Hobbit, "Can any member of the T.S.A, tell me," he writes, "what a lion and emus are doing in the vignette, or what is the thing with pink bulbs in the foreground? The publishers won't say and merely sob because I don't approve,"

v.1 n.3

v.1 n.4

v.2 n.1

cover of v.2 n.1

Tolkien Journal v.2 no.1 was published in 1966 and contains 11 pages.

v.2 n.2

v.2 n.3

Tolkien Journal v.2 no.3 was published in 1966. Richard Plotz, ed. Front coverby Ann Kruger. It contains 15 pages.

  • The Lord of the Rings: A Christian Refounding of the Political Order by Donald Reinken
  • In Samarang by Jerome Z. Litt
  • The Last Song Sung in Lórien

v.2 n.4

Tolkien Journal v.2 no.4 was published in 1966. Richard Plotz, ed. It contains 15 pages. Front cover by Margie Reasenberg. Back cover by Dave Prestone - "Black Rider."

front cover of v.2 n.4, Margie Reasenberg
back cover of v.2 n.4, Dave Prestone
[from the editorial]:

We are sad to report the rumored demise of Entmoot, our sister Tolkien magazine. Greg Shaw, its publisher, has reportedly not found the time or motivation to continue his noble effort. It is a great loss if Entmoot will not appear again, for it helped to fill the gap between the Tolkien Society and science fiction fandom.

Hopefully, the gap will be filled, at least occasionally, by I Palantir, the official organ of The Fellowship of the Ring, the oldest extant Tolkien fan organization. I Palantlr appeared recently for the first time since 1964, and only the fourth since the founding of The Fellowship in 1960, Bruce Pelz complains that his hang-up was material, I Palantlr has been a rather more elaborate publication than either Entmoot or the Tolkien Journal. Issue U contained a cartoon-format version of the Journey through Morla, several articles on Tolkien fandom, and a musical comedy "pirated from many" entitled Hello Frodol. Perhaps the best thing about this play Is the cast, which Includes the Beatles as the four hobblts, Rlngo as Frodo; Boris Karloff as Gandalf; Tom Smothers as Sauron; and the Rolling Stones and the Animals as the Nine Nazgul. The Fellowship is a somewhat exclusive organization; membership costs one dollar plus approval by Bruce Pelz. The latter is somewhat difficult to obtain, but for those who have a photographic knowledge of the books, it may be worth a try. Bruce Selz's address is Box 100, 308 Westwood Plaza, Los Angeles. Don't a try. Bruce Belz's address is Box 100, 308 Westwood Plaza, Los Angeles. Don't write Just for the sake of writing; Bruce won't appreciate it.

Also, Niekas is still going strong. At fifty cents the copy, its probably the best buy in science fiction fandom. It was nosed out at the World Science Fiction Convention by ERBdom. the Edgar Rice Burroughs fanzine, but this was largely due to bloc voting and a special issue of ERBdom. It (Niekas) has Tolkien and Gilbert & Sullivan news as specialties, with the normal run of SF news as well. Write Felice Rolfe...
  • J.R.R. Tolkien (poem) by Julian Davidson (2)
  • The Role of Gollum, article by Alexis Levitin (2)
  • Song of the Fourth Age, article and song ("The Queens Cry or The Swansong of Arwen Undomlel") by Cathleen Collett (6)
  • Middle-earth Crossword - Names and Genealogy by Scott Smith (8)
  • The Fall of Ugluk, poem by Judy Quinn (9)
  • 3 letters from fans (11)
  • List of Reviews of The Lord of the Rings in mainstream media (14)
  • Notice of meeting (15)

v.3 n.1

Tolkien Journal v.3 no.1 was published in 1967. Richard Plotz, ed. Titled HAPPY BIRTHDAY J.R.R. TOLKIEN. Front cover by Ann Kruger. It contains 24 pages.

  • Good and Evil in The Lord of the Rings by W.H. Auden (4 pp.)
  • Tolkien as Scholar and Artist by Clyde S. Kilby
  • Science Fiction Fans Salute Tolkien by Edmund R. Meskys
  • A Birthday Menu for Professor Tolkien by Nancy Smith
  • Birthday greetings from Nan Scott, P.L. Travers, Howard Nemerov, Peter Beagle, Albert Vanderburg, Gilles Gerris, George Allen & Unwin, Houghton Mifflin, Ace Books, Ballantine Books
  • Two pages of extracts from readers' reports from Houghton Mifflin Co.
  • extract of first reader's report on The Hobbit from George Allen & Unwin, 1938
cover of v.3 n.2 by Tim Kirk

v.3 n.2

Tolkien Journal v.3 no.2 was published in 1967 and contains 22 pages. All art is by Tim Kirk. Richard Plotz, ed. Front cover by Tim Kirk - Last Homely House at Rivendell & "The Passage at the Dead Marshes"

  • Maps by Mrs. Howes
  • Editorial by Dick Plotz
  • Solution to Crossword
  • The Elder Ages and the Later Glaciations of the Pleistocene Epoch by Margaret M. Howes
  • List of Tolkien Translations
  • Samwise-Halfwise? or Who is the Hero of The Lord of the Rings by Jan Wojcik, S.J.
  • Letter to the editor (actually to W.H. Auden) critiquing his characterization of Sauron and speculating on the latter's origins
  • Last issue edited by Plotz and includes his resignation and a brief history of the TSA.

v.3 n.3

Tolkien Journal v.3 no.3 was published in 1968 and contains 15 pages. Edited by Ed Meskys.

  • Editorial by Ed Meskys
  • The Rise of the Lord of the Rings, a Synopsis of Ancient Annals, by Christine Jones
  • On the Singular Incompetence of the Valar, by Burt Randolph
  • Shire Post (letters), by Cory Seldman
  • front cover by Bonnie Bergstrom
  • Back cover by Pierre Fournier
  • Interior art by Vaughn Bodē and Tim Kirk
  • Decorated paper cover

v.3 n.4

cover of issue #10

Tolkien Journal v.3 n.4 (issue 10) was published in Nov 1969 and contains 24 pages. Art is by Steve Fabian, Tim Kirk, and others.

cover of issue #11

v.4 n.1

Tolkien Journal v.4 n.1 (issue #11) (same as Orcrist #3. It was published in Jan 1970 and contains 24 pages. Editor: Richard West, Art Editor: Glen GoodKnight, front cover: "The Hornberg in Helm's Deep" -- Tim Kirk. Dedication: For Deborah Webster: critic, composer, poet: "who has heard the horns of elfland."

  • "Introduction (editorial) pp. 2-4
  • "The Genre of The Lord of the Rings" -- Alexis Levitin (pp. 4-8, 23)
  • "Contemporary Medieval Authors" -- Richard C. West (pp. 9-10, 15) [on J. R. R. Tolkien, C. S. Lewis, and T. H. White]
  • "Hobbits: Common Lens for Heroic Experience" -- David M. Miller (pp. 11-15)
  • "Tolkien and Coleridge" -- Clyde S. Kilby (pp. 16-19) [Rime of the Ancient Mariner]
  • "At the Back of the North Wind: George MacDonald: A Centennial Appreciation" -- Glenn E. Sadler (pp. 20-22)
  • "An Annotated Bibliography of Tolkien Criticism, Supplement Two" -- Richard West (pp. 22-23)


  • George Barr - pp. 4, 7, 9, 10
  • Bonnie Bergstrom - pp. 3, 5, 6, 8, 11, 24
  • Steve Fabian - p. 3
  • Tim Kirk - pp. 3, 14, 16
  • Bruce McMenomy - pp. 2, 15, 19
  • Diana Paxson - p. 20
  • Bernie Zuber - pp. 12, 13

v.4 n.2

v.4 n.3

Tolkien Journal v.4 n.3 (issue #13) (same as Orcrist #4) was published in 1970. Richard C. West, ed., Art Editor: Ivor A. Rogers, front cover: Bilbo and giant spider -- Pete Poplaski, back cover: Nazgul in flight -- Laura Haglund. Dedication: In Memoriam: Francis Christensen: "He was gold that did not rust".

  • "Introduction" (editorial) p. 2
  • "Tolkien and Spiders" -- Bob Mesibov (pp. 3-5)
  • "Errata to Orcrist no. 3" -- The Editor (p. 5)
  • "Progress Report on the Variorum Tolkien" -- Richard C. West (pp. 6-7)
  • "A Dose of Double Dactyls" -- Diverse Hands (pp. 8-10) [Royce Buehler, Carleton W. Carroll, Paulette Carroll, Duane Dobry, William F. Orr, Richard C. West]
  • "Letters" from Lloyd Alexander (16 January 1969) and Bonniejean Christensen (3 December 1968)
  • "Power in The Lord of the Rings" -- Alexis Levitin (pp. 11-14)
  • "Report from the West: Exploitation of The Hobbit" -- Bonniejean Christensen (pp. 15-16) [Don and Fred Bluth musical, Down in Middle Earth]
  • "An Ace Mystery: Did Tolkien Write His Own Retraction?" -- Bonniejean Christensen (p. 16)
  • "The Insurrection of the Toolies from Twee" -- Joe Snow (pp. 17-18)
  • "Satire" -- Paulette Carroll (pp. 19-20) [Free University course on fantasy]
  • "A Proposal for a Doctoral Dissertation in the Department of Comparative Literature at the University of Wisconsin-Madison" -- Deborah Webster Rogers (pp. 21-23) [dissertation on J. R. R. Tolkien and C. S. Lewis; proposal accepted 19 May 1970]
  • Illustrations by: Laura Haglund, Pete Poplaski, Ivor Rogers and Deborah Webster, Sr.

v.4 n.4

Tolkien Journal v.4 v.4 (issue 14) Same as Orcrist 5. It was published in 1971. Richard C. West, ed., Art Editor: Ivor A. Rogers, front cover: "Mirkwood" -- etching by George D. Asdell, back cover: "At the Sign of the Prancing Pony" -- illustration by Deborah Webster, Sr. Dedication: For Duane and Peggy Jo Dobry: "Shire-folk from the science culture."

  • "Errata to Orcrist no. 4" -- The Editor (p. 2)
  • "Introduction" (editorial) (p. 2)
  • "Eschata for Charles Williams" -- Jared Lobdell (p. 3)
  • "The Critics, and Tolkien, and C. S. Lewis: Reviews" -- Richard C. West (pp. 4-9) [reviews of:
  • "William Ready, The Tolkien Relation (Regnery, 1968)
  • "Lin Carter, Tolkien: A Look Behind THE LORD OF THE RINGS (Ballantine, 1969)
  • "Gracia Fay Ellwood, Good News from Tolkien's Middle Earth: Two Essays on the "Applicability" of THE LORD OF THE RINGS (Eerdmans, 1970)
  • "Neil D. Isaacs and Rose A. Zimbardo, eds. Tolkien and the Critics: Essays on J. R. R. Tolkien's THE LORD OF THE RINGS (University of Notre Dame Press, 1969)
  • "Mark R. Hillegas, Shadows of Imagination: The Fantasies of C. S. Lewis, J. R. R. Tolkien, and Charles Williams (Southern Illinois University Press, 1969)
  • "Catharine R. Stimpson, J. R. R. Tolkien (Columbia University Press, 1969)
  • "Peter Kreeft, C. S. Lewis: A Critical Essay (Eerdmans, 1969)
  • "Nathan Comfort Starr, C. S. Lewis's TILL WE HAVE FACES: Introduction and Commentary (Seabury Press, 1968)
  • "William Luther White, The Image of Man in C. S. Lewis (Abingdon Press, 1969)
  • "Clyde S. Kilby, A Mind Awake: An Anthology of C. S. Lewis (Harcourt, Brace, and World, 1969)
  • "C. S. Lewis, Narrative Poems, ed. Walter Hooper (Geoffrey Bles, 1969)
  • "C. S. Lewis, Selected Literary Essays, ed. Walter Hooper (Cambridge University Press, 1969) ]
  • "The Lay of Beren and Luthien" -- musical setting by Laura Haglund (p. 10)
  • "An Interpretation of Gollum" -- Stephen A. Gottlieb (pp. 11-12)
  • "Moot Point" -- letter from Edward Felipe (5 March 1971) (p. 13)
  • "An Annotated Bibliography of Tolkien Criticism, Supplement Three" -- Richard C. West (pp. 14-15)
  • Other, untitled illustrations by: Danny Frolich (pp. 7, 11, 13); Laura Haglund (p. 5); Pete Poplaski (pp. 8, 9, 12); Ivor Rogers (p. 4)