Art and Literature News

Kings, Queens, and Halflings: A Historian Looks at Middle-earth, by David Cofield

Official Announcement:

Oloris Publishing is happy to announce the release of Kings, Queens, and Halflings: A Historian Looks at Middle-earth by David Cofield!

David Cofield first read The Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings when he was 12. He loved the stories, but he was also drawn to the rich material in the Appendices to The Lord of the Rings, where Tolkien provided details on the histories of the Elves, Men, Dwarves, and Hobbits of Middle-earth. He already loved reading and studying history, and the names and stories of the Kings and Queens of Numenor, Arnor, and Gondor in Appendix A and the chronologies in Appendix B appealed to him. Later, as he studied history in college, he realized that Middle-earth was a historically plausible place: that the migrations of peoples, outbreaks of epidemic disease, and wars and rebellions described in Appendix A were all similar to historical events in the history of our own time. Furthermore, Middle-earth societies were plausible as well. Hobbits lived and behaved in the Shire very much as we expect settled rural folk to live and behave, and the more developed societies of Men and Elves made sense too.

When he started writing articles for Beyond Bree, the newsletter of the Mensa Tolkien Special Interest Group, it was partly in hopes of helping other Tolkien lovers recognize Middle-earth’s historical accuracy and partly in order to satisfy some of his own ponderings over the years about such things as the source of Minas Tirith’s water supply, or why King Atanatar Alcarin neglected the watch on Mordor, or what Gandalf was doing between his arrival in Middle-earth around the year 1000 and his first journey to Dol Guldur in 2063 of the Third Age. He’s come up with some pretty intriguing theories. In true historical fashion they aren’t the only possible theories, and he hopes readers will be inspired to develop their own ideas or explanations for Belladonna Took’s fame, or for the connection between Romendacil I’s military policy and the Kin-Strife, or . . .

Kings, Queens, and Halflings: A Historian Looks at Middle-earth will be available from Oloris on March 25, 2017!

David Cofield was born in Georgia in 1956. His life took a magical turn at age 12 in the spring of 1969 when he pulled a copy of The Hobbit from a shelf in his school library. He fell in love with Tolkien’s books from the moment he first read “In a hole in the ground . . .” Beginning in elementary and continuing through high school his best subject and greatest love was history. He earned his bachelor’s degree in history at Lipscomb University in Nashville, Tennessee in 1978 and his master’s degree at West Georgia State University in 1980. David began teaching high school social studies in 1981 in Cherokee County, Georgia, first at Cherokee High and then at Sequoyah High. In the fall of 2001 at Sequoyah High he became one of the first teachers in the country to teach the new Advanced Placement World History course. He was Sequoyah High’s Teacher of the Year in 2007-08. Now retired, he lives in a small Georgia town where he is an avid reader and writer, contributing over 1100 reviews to In addition, he walks seven miles a day, gardens, does genealogy, and travels.

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