marycatelli (marycatelli) wrote,

Farmer Giles of Ham

Farmer Giles of Ham by J. R. R. Tolkien

In which Tolkien takes on the comic side of fighting dragons. . . .

Farmer Giles of Ham, in the vulgar (in Book Latin, he is much more plentifully supplied with names) deals one day with a giant by shooting his blunderbuss at it.  This leads to two things:  the king's sending him an old sword, and a dragon who's told how pleasant the lands are -- despite the stinging insects -- decides it sounds delicious.

When the king's knights have many valid reason not to undertake the dragon hunt, Farmer Giles learns the secret of the sword -- it can't be kept sheathed when within five miles of a dragon.  One thing leads to another in extravagant whimsy, and ends with the foundation of the Little Kingdom.  And Tolkien solemnly recounting the true story of certain English place names.
Tags: fiction reviews: historical fantasy, j. r. r. tolkien, whimsy

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