Orcrist: Its History

No. 1 | No. 2 | No. 3 | No. 4 | No. 5 | No. 6 | No. 7 | No. 8 | No. 9

Return to main Tolkien Society page.

ORCRIST no. 1 (1966/1967)

Editors: Richard C. West and James B. Robinson
Art Editor: Ivor A. Rogers

The original printing had a plain green cover. The 4th printing (1968) had cover illustrations by Laura Haglund: the front cover was called “Niggle — by Leaf” while the back cover was untitled but depicted three hobbits.

Dedication: For Ivor Rogers

  • “Introduction” (editorial) (pp. i-iii)
  • “Return of the King” (poem) — Janet Boatner (p. 1)
  • “Tolkien in the Letters of C. S. Lewis” — Richard C. West (pp. 2-16)
  • “The Wizard and History: Saruman’s Vision of a New Order” — James Robinson (pp. 17-23)
  • “Music To Read Tolkien By: Tunes for Two Poems” — Deborah Webster (p. 24) [musical settings for “The Elves Welcome the 14 to Rivendell” and “Lay of Beren and Luthien”]
  • “The Interlace and Professor Tolkien: Medieval Narrative Technique in The Lord of the Rings” — R. C. West (pp. 26-47) [a revised version of this essay was later published in A Tolkien Compass, ed. Jared Lobdell]
  • “The Picnic” (parody) — Paulette Carroll (p. 50)
  • “An Annotated Bibliography of Tolkien Criticism” — Richard West (pp. 51-90)

ORCRIST no. 2 (1967/1968)

Editors: Richard C. West and James B. Robinson
Art Editor: Ivor A. Rogers

The 1st printing had a cover with a drawing of a sword (Orcrist) by Ivor Rogers. The 2nd printing had cover illustrations by Laura Haglund: the front cover showed a two-headed dragon; the back cover showed a Gollum-like creature.

Dedication: For the Boatner clan: Henry, Janet, Charlie, and Mr. Spock: we name them elf-friends

  • “Introduction” (editorial) pp. i-iv
  • “Paean to Editors” (verse: double dactyl) — Deborah Webster (p. 1)
  • “Errata to Orcrist 1″ (pp. 2-3)
  • “The Tolkinians: Some Introductory Reflections on Alan Garner, Carol Kendall, and Lloyd Alexander” — Richard C. West (pp. 4-15)
  • “Constitution of the University of Wisconsin Tolkien Society” — The Members (pp. 16-17)
  • “Good Guys, Bad Guys: A Clarification on Tolkien” — Deborah C. Webster, Jr. (pp. 18-23)
  • “The Tolkien Society Meeting: a no-act play” — Paulette Carroll (pp. 24-27)
  • “Grendel, Gollum, and the Un-Man: The Death of the Monster as an Archetype” — Karen Corlett Winter (pp. 28-37)
  • “Sing Along With Tolkien” — Deborah Webster, Jr. (pp. 38-39) [musical settings for “The Dwarves’ Treasure Song” and “The Wind” , both from The Hobbit]
  • “An Annotated Bibliography of Tolkien Criticism, Supplement One” — Richard West (pp. 40-54)

ORCRIST No. 3 / TOLKIEN JOURNAL v. 4, no. 1, whole no. 11 (1969/1970)

Editor: Richard West
Art Editor: Glen GoodKnight

front cover: “The Hornberg in Helm’s Deep” — Tim Kirk

Dedication: For Deborah Webster: critic, composer, poet: who has heard the horns of elfland

  • Introduction (editorial) pp. 2-4
  • “The Genre of The Lord of the Rings” — Alexis Levitin (pp. 4-8, 23)
  • “Contemporary Medieval Authors” — Richard C. West (pp. 9-10, 15) [on J. R. R. Tolkien, C. S. Lewis, and T. H. White]
  • “Hobbits: Common Lens for Heroic Experience” — David M. Miller (pp. 11-15)
  • “Tolkien and Coleridge” — Clyde S. Kilby (pp. 16-19) [Rime of the Ancient Mariner]
  • “At the Back of the North Wind: George MacDonald: A Centennial Appreciation” — Glenn E. Sadler (pp. 20-22)
  • “An Annotated Bibliography of Tolkien Criticism, Supplement Two” — Richard West (pp. 22-23)

Illustrations by: George Barr (pp. 4, 7, 9, 10); Bonnie Bergstrom (pp. 3, 5, 6, 8, 11, 24); Steve Fabian (p. 3); Tim Kirk (pp. 3, 14, 16); Bruce McMenomy (pp. 2, 15, 19); Diana Paxson (p. 20); Bernie Zuber (pp. 12, 13).

Lettering: George Barr (p. 9); Bruce McMenomy (pp.2, 4, 11, 16, 20, 22).

ORCRIST no. 4 / TOLKIEN JOURNAL v. 4, no. 3, whole no. 13 (1970)

Editor: Richard C. West
Art Editor: Ivor A. Rogers

front cover: Bilbo and giant spider — Pete Poplaski

Dedication: In Memoriam: Francis Christensen: He was gold that did not rust

  • “Introduction” (editorial) p. 2
  • “Tolkien and Spiders” — Bob Mesibov (pp. 3-5)
  • “Errata to Orcrist no. 3″ — The Editor (p. 5)
  • “Progress Report on the Variorum Tolkien” — Richard C. West (pp. 6-7)
  • “A Dose of Double Dactyls” — Diverse Hands (pp. 8-10) [Royce Buehler, Carleton W. Carroll, Paulette Carroll, Duane Dobry, William F. Orr, Richard C. West]
  • “Letters” from Lloyd Alexander (16 January 1969) and Bonniejean Christensen (3 December 1968)
  • “Power in The Lord of the Rings” — Alexis Levitin (pp. 11-14)
  • “Report from the West: Exploitation of The Hobbit” — Bonniejean Christensen (pp. 15-16) [Don and Fred Bluth musical, Down in Middle Earth]
  • “An Ace Mystery: Did Tolkien Write His Own Retraction?” — Bonniejean Christensen (p. 16)
  • “The Insurrection of the Toolies from Twee” — Joe Snow (pp. 17-18)
  • “Satire” — Paulette Carroll (pp. 19-20) [Free University course on fantasy]
  • “A Proposal for a Doctoral Dissertation in the Department of Comparative Literature at the University of Wisconsin-Madison” — Deborah Webster Rogers (pp. 21-23) [dissertation on J. R. R. Tolkien and C. S. Lewis; proposal accepted 19 May 1970]

Illustrations by: Laura Haglund (pp. 5, 13, 14, 16, 19 ); Pete Poplaski (pp. 3, 8, 12, 14, 15, 20); Ivor Rogers (p. 11, 17, 18); Deborah Webster, Sr. (pp. 5, 19)

Back cover: Nazgul in flight — Laura Haglund

ORCRIST no. 5 / TOLKIEN JOURNAL v. 4, no. 3, whole no. 14 (1971)

Editor: Richard C. West
Art Editor: Ivor A. Rogers

front cover: “Mirkwood” — etching by George D. Asdell

Dedication: For Duane and Peggy Jo Dobry: Shire-folk from the science culture

  • “Errata to Orcrist no. 4″ — The Editor (p. 2)
  • “Introduction” (editorial) (p. 2)
  • “Eschata for Charles Williams” — Jared Lobdell (p. 3)
  • “The Critics, and Tolkien, and C. S. Lewis: Reviews” — Richard C. West (pp. 4-9)

[reviews of:

  • William Ready, The
    Tolkien Relation
    (Regnery, 1968)
  • Lin Carter, Tolkien:
    (Ballantine, 1969)
  • Gracia Fay Ellwood, Good
    News from Tolkien’s Middle Earth: Two Essays on the
    “Applicability” of THE LORD OF THE RINGS
    (Eerdmans, 1970)
  • Neil D. Isaacs and
    Rose A. Zimbardo, eds. Tolkien and the Critics: Essays on J. R. R.
    (University of Notre Dame Press,
  • Mark R. Hillegas, Shadows
    of Imagination: The Fantasies of C. S. Lewis, J. R. R. Tolkien, and
    Charles William
    s (Southern Illinois University Press, 1969)
  • Catharine R.
    Stimpson, J. R. R. Tolkien (Columbia University Press, 1969)
  • Peter Kreeft, C.
    S. Lewis: A Critical Essay
    (Eerdmans, 1969)
  • Nathan Comfort Starr,
    C. S. Lewis’s TILL WE HAVE FACES: Introduction and Commentary
    (Seabury Press, 1968)
  • William Luther White,
    The Image of Man in C. S. Lewis (Abingdon Press, 1969)
  • Clyde
    S. Kilby, A Mind Awake: An Anthology of C. S.
    (Harcourt, Brace, and World, 1969)
  • C. S. Lewis, Narrative
    , ed. Walter Hooper (Geoffrey Bles, 1969)
  • C. S. Lewis, Selected
    Literary Essays
    , ed. Walter Hooper (Cambridge University Press, 1969)

    “The Lay of Beren and Luthien” — musical setting by Laura Haglund (p. 10) “An Interpretation of Gollum” — Stephen A. Gottlieb (pp. 11-12) “Moot Point” — letter from Edward Felipe (5 March 1971) (p. 13) “An Annotated Bibliography of Tolkien Criticism, Supplement Three” — Richard C. West (pp. 14-15)

    Other, untitled illustrations by: Danny Frolich (pp. 7, 11, 13); Laura Haglund (p. 5); Pete Poplaski (pp. 8, 9, 12); Ivor Rogers (p. 4)

    Back cover: “At the Sign of the Prancing Pony” — illustration by Deborah Webster, Sr.

    ORCRIST no. 6 (1971/1972) Special C. S. Lewis Issue

    Editor: Richard C. West
    Art Editor: Ivor A. Rogers

    Front cover: photograph of C. S. Lewis, courtesy of William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company

    Dedication: For Bill Orr: Learned in the Three R’s

    • “Introduction” (editorial) (p. 2)
    • “Letters of C. S. Lewis to E. Vinaver” — ed. Richard C. West (pp. 3-6; facsimile on p. 24)
    • “An Interpretation of Till We Have Faces” — Clyde S. Kilby (pp. 7-10)
    • “Petty Curry: Salvation by a Taste for Tripe and Onions” — Jared Lobdell (pp. 11-13)
    • “Venus Redeemed” — Eugene Warren (pp. 14-16) [on That Hideous Strength]
    • “A Study of C. S. Lewis’s Dymer” — J. R. Christopher (pp. 17-19)
    • “In Review” — Richard C. West (p. 19)
      • “Monster’s Advocate” : John Gardner, Grendel (Knopf, 1971)
      • “Wizards Are People, Too” : John Bellairs, The Face in the Frost (Macmillan, 1969)
      • “C. S. Lewis, Distributist: His Economics as Seen in That Hideous Strength” — Jared C. Lobdell (p. 20-21)
    • Double dactyls by Sharyn Lawler (pp. 21, 24), John Leland (p. 16) , Deborah Rogers (p. 21), Ivor Rogers (p. 16), and Richard West (p. 16)
    • “Moot Point” (pp. 22-23) [letters from L. Sprague de Camp (1 October 1971), Glen GoodKnight (11 June 1971), Sharyn Lawler (12 September 1971), Sandra Miesel (16 November 1971), Nan C. Scott (9 June 1971)
    • “The Hunting of the Hnakra” — Karen Rockow (pp. 23-24)

    ORCRIST no. 7 (1973) Special Issue on the Medieval Tradition in Modern Literature

    Editor: Richard C. West
    Art Editor: Ivor A. Rogers

    front cover: untitled — M. Cannito

    Dedication: For Carl Carroll: un homme tant preux que nus plus

    • “Songs of Gurre” — Jens Peter Jacobsen, translated from the Danish by Poul Anderson (pp. 4-7)
    • “No Man Can Escape His Weird” — Sandra Miesel (pp. 9-12) [mostly on Poul Anderson’s The Broken Sword]
    • “Malory and T. H. White” — Richard C. West (pp. 13-15)
    • “Moot Point” (p. 15) [letters from Tim Kirk (30 April 1972) and Eugene Vinaver (12 May 1972) ]
    • “Tolkien’s Creative Technique: Beowulf and The Hobbit” — Bonniejean Christensen (pp. 16-20)
    • Farmer Giles of Ham: What Is It?” — J. A. Johnson (pp. 21-24)
    • “Lloyd Alexander’s Chronicles of Prydain and the Welsh Tradition” — Elizabeth Lane (pp. 25-29)
    • “In Review” (p. 29)
      • “Solid Gold Guide” : Robert Foster, A Guide to Middle-earth (Mirage Press, 1971) — reviewed by Deborah Rogers
      • “Brief Mentions” by Richard West of:
        • James D. Allan, A Glossary of the Eldarin Tongues (self-published, 1972)
        • Thomas D. Clareson, ed. SF: The Other Side of Realism (Bowling Green University Popular Press, 1971)
        • Charles H. Huttar, ed. Imagination and the Spirit: Essays in Literature and the Christian Faith presented to Clyde S. Kilby (Eerdmans, 1971)
        • Carolyn Keefe, ed. C. S. Lewis: Speaker and Teacher (Zondervan, 1971)
        • C. S. Lewis, God in the Dock: Essays on Theology and Ethics, ed. Walter Hooper (Eerdmans, 1970)
        • Sam J. Lundwall, Science Fiction: What It’s All About (Ace, 1971)
        • Jeremy Potter, A Trail of Blood (McCall, 1971)
        • William Ready, The Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit Notes (Coles Publishing Co., Ltd., 1971)
        • R. J. Reilly, Romantic Religion: A Study of Barfield, Lewis, Williams, and Tolkien (University of Georgia Press, 1971)
        • Mary Stewart, The CrystalCave (Morrow, 1970)
        • Gunnar Urang, Shadows of Heaven: Religion and Fantasy in the Writing of C. S. Lewis, Charles Williams, and J. R. R. Tolkien (Pilgrim Press, 1971)
    • “On The Hunting of the Snark as a Romantic Ballad” — J. R. Christopher (pp. 30-32)
    • Verse: L. Sprague de Camp (p. 12); William Linden (pp. 12, 15); John and Kathryn Lindskoog (p. 3); William F. Orr (p. 12); Deborah Webster Rogers (p. 24)

    Back cover: untitled [toad and toadstool] illustration by M. Cannito

    ORCRIST no. 8 (1977)

    Editor: Richard C. West
    Art Editor: Ivor A. Rogers
    Associate Editors: Deborah Rogers, Perri West

    Front cover: “Mordor Where the Shadows Lie” — S. Chavez

    • “Introduction” (editorial) (p. 2)
    • “The Loss of a Son” — translated by Poul Anderson (pp. 3-4) [based on “Sonatorrek” by medieval Icelandic skald, Egill Skalla-Grimsson]
    • “Beren and Tiniuviel” — illustrated by Robin Wood (p. 4)
    • ” `Her Strong Enchantments Failing’: A Study of Poul Anderson’s `Queen of Air and Darkness’ ” — Patrick L. McGuire (pp. 5-13)
    • “For John Sommerfeldt” (poem) — Deborah Rogers (p. 13)
    • “Old Dragon to Young Hero” (poem) — Anne Etkin (p. 13)
    • Other, untitled verse by Mary Kay Bond (p. 25), Arthur Winfield Knight (p. 16), Glee Knight (p. 16), Deborah Rogers (p. 25)
    • “Color Symbolism in The Lord of the Rings” — Robert A. Bunda (pp. 14-16)
    • “King Arthur in Alabama” — review by Roger Schlobin of Sanders Anne Laubenthal, Excalibur (Ballantine, 1973, 1977) (p. 16)
    • “The Conservatism of J. R. R. Tolkien” — Michael J. Ehling (pp. 17-22)
    • “Fanzine of Excellence, When Does It Come?” — double dactyl by Anne Etkin (p. 22)
    • “Moot Point” (pp. 22-25) [letters from James Allan (21 May 1972), Henry Noel (19 July 1972), Mary Kay Bond (3 August 1972), Lois Newman (21 August 1972), Maureen W. Mills (27 September 1972), Nan C. Scott (10 November 1972)
    • “What Are Ents Made Of?” — John Leland (p. 25)

    Other, untitled illustrations by Jim Cawthorn (pp. 22, 25); John Chambers (p. 23); Michael Wm. Kaluta (p. 13)

    Back cover: “Where Gollum Lives” illustrated by Carmal Palmer

    ORCRIST no. 9 (2017)

    Editors: Richard C. West, Lucas Annear, and Jack Mathie

    Special 50th Anniversary Issue [Tolkien Society at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1966-2016]

    Front cover: “Luthien Tinuviel” — illustration by Sylvia Hunnewell

    Dedication: In Memoriam: James Robinson, 1944-2016, Co-Editor of Orcrist, Scholar, Friend

    • “Foreword” (editorial by Richard C. West) (pp. 3-4)
    • “About the contributors” (pp. 5-6]
    • “The Novels of Evangeline Walton” — Douglas A. Anderson (pp. 6-9)
    • “Off to Wellington without a Handkerchief ” — Kristin Thompson (pp. 10-14)
    • “I Know What Happened to the Entwives” — Jeanne Gomoll (pp. 15-16)
    • The Lord of the Rings: An Analysis of Power and the Origin of Evil” — Peter Brummel (pp. 17-20)
    • “How The Hobbit Came to Milwaukee” — John D. Rateliff (pp. 21-33)
    • “Linguistic Diversity in Middle-earth, Malacandra, Perelandra, and England” — Thomas A. DuBois (pp. 33-39)
    • “Our ‘Precious’: A Buddhist Meditation on the One Ring ” — Zuiko Julie Redding (pp. 40-44)
    • Tales Before Tolkien: The Roots of Modern Fantasy, edited by Douglas A. Anderson (Del Rey, 2003)–A review and reminiscence by Hank Luttrell (pp. 44-48)
    • “Moot Point” (pp. 48-49) [letters from Charles Noad (24 August 2016) and Debra Daemmrich (11 December 1988, 11 July 2016)]
    • “Earendil and Auzandil” — Nelson Goering (pp. 49-52)
    • “Saint Smith: Reading Smith of Wootton Major as a Saint’s Life” — Matthew A. Fisher (pp. 53-57)
    • Facsimile of local Tolkien Society schedule for Winter, 1990/Spring, 1991 with illustration by Robert Kellough (p. 57)

    Other illustrations by Peter Brummel (“The White Tree and Seven Stars,” p. 3 and “Orcrist,” p. 21), and by Georgie Schnobrich (“Snake Year Sherry,” p. 33 and “Happy Hobbit,” p. 49)

    Back cover: “Bill the Pony” — illustration by Rachel Hunnewell

    Return to top of page.

    Return to main Tolkien Society page.