I have always admired how much work Tolkein put into Middle Earth. I think I have read somewhere that, when he died, he still hadn’t finished working on the world. In my opinion, that makes it even more amazing.
Last week a British meteorologist at the University of Bristol published a weather analysis of Middle Earth. Tres cool.
Here’s a link to the paper: http://www.bristol.ac.uk/news/2013/10013-english.pdf
According to the report, the weather in The Shire was much the same as that of Lincolnshire – which is pretty much what Tolkien was envisaging. It’s also like Belarus, but that may be coincidence. The place in New Zealand where the weather is closest to The Shire is north of Dunedin. Curiously – though the report didn’t mention it – there’s an area there called Middlemarch, which sounds suitably Tolkienish.
When it comes to Mordor, the real-world place I immediately think of is the open cast coal mine on the Stockton Plateau, which I visited earlier this year. Tolkien’s explicit imagery was First World War trenches and Birmingham factories. But that isn’t where the British meteorologist found Mordor weather. Oh no. turns out the…
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