I have a new paper out! “Image and the Tree in Middle-Earth” came out in issue 23 of the BFS Journal. Technically it came out a couple of months ago, but it doesn’t quite feel real as the issue, while posted, hasn’t arrived here yet. It takes an age to send things to New Zealand! (When my most recent book came out, and my Canadian publisher sent me copies, they took five months to get here.) I don’t know why the postal system’s so very slow, but I’d like to post this in the same year the paper was published, so here we are.
I actually wrote the paper over a decade ago, I think, in a class on fantasy literature. It stayed, in its school-draft form, on my hard drive for ages before I decided to pull it out and see if I could make it publishable. I sent it off to the good people at BFS Journal, who have published some of my academic work before, and happily they took it – but they also took it before the new Tolkien tv series came out, so if you’re expecting any mention of that in there, don’t.
It was a fun paper to write, in that my primary research was reading Tolkien over and over again (such a chore!) and I do that anyway, so it was killing two birds with one stone. How tree imagery reflects throughout Middle-Earth, and how it reflects historical tree imagery in Europe, is a particularly interesting topic, at least it is for me, so I’m glad to be able to share it.