This work is a fresh look at the Maps of the Wilderland in The Hobbit, leading to the discovery that Professor Tolkien drew the imaginary maps from the Map of Wales back to front, or in reverse. The maps of the Shire in The Lord of The Rings are drawn likewise, of England.
‘“They are on their way to visit the land of their fathers, away east beyond Mirkwood,” put in Gandalf...’
Gandalf’s talk of the ‘land of their fathers’ is, by translation of its national anthem, Professor J.R.R. Tolkien’s hidden clue to the geography of Wales, which we learn the Professor loved, including its language.
The focal point of The Hobbit, the Lonely Mountain, is identified as Cadair Idris of North-West Wales. Many of the topographical features of the Mountain coincide. The volcano-mouth Lake of the Lonely Mountain so resembles Llyn Cau of Cadair Idris. The marvel is that the lake has been overlooked so long: not only by Smaug the Dragon, but also by most commentators on The Hobbit. Which reader remembers there is a lake at all?
Stephen interprets many of the allusions borrowed by Tolkien in his fantastic tale, including Beorn at the Carrock, the herons of Wales at Lake Town, and dragon fire at the Withered Heath. The work is divided into nine parts, with three site groupings. His unique focus on Tolkien’s map-making methodology will make his book relevant not only to Tolkien fans worldwide, but those interested in geography too.