J.R.R. Tolkein’s Lord of the Rings trilogy. I only vaguely remember the details of my first time through the realms of Middle Earth. The one thing that stood out was a sense of accomplishment. That was a hard, slog of a read at times, more so because the language is so incredibly dense and complex compared the normal fare of fantasy literature at the time.
With that in mind, I’ve decided to revisit Middle Earth and the heroic deeds of the Fellowship, from reading on the history of Hobbits through to the final destruction of Sauron and the raising of the King of Gondor.
After reading the first dozen or so pages, something stood out amongst all that fine print: the races are all capitalized. What would today be an elf is Elf to Tolkein, hobbit is Hobbit, et cetera. This made me wonder when and where the current conventions against capitalization occurred, if at all. One simply doesn’t repeat another author’s style simply for convention. I distinctly remember some initial critiques on my fantasy ms that pointed out the fact that Elves were elves, despite the reasoning behind it. I’m still tempted to return and re-edit the capitals back into the Elf, and the surprise to find it in Tolkein’s work just may be the nudge required to do so.
In any case, let the Tom Bombadil tangents begin!