The Tolkien Society
A UK non-profit club founded in 1969 by Vera Chapman to "further interest in the life and works of J. R. R. Tolkien, C.B.E., the author of The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, The Silmarillion and other works of fiction and philological study."
There are three national gatherings each year, first, the Annual General Meeting and Annual Dinner, held in the spring in a different town or city in the UK. At the AGM, the running of the Society is discussed and Committee members are elected. After the gently formal Dinner there is always a guest speaker, either someone who knew J. R. R. Tolkien or someone describing how his works have affected their life and work.
The second event, the Seminar, takes place on a summer weekend at venues around the UK and occasionally overseas. Talks are presented a Tolkien-related theme. These can range from high seriousness to lighthearted in tone and there is always something for everyone. The second day is usually filled with a visit to a historic site or other local event to interest or entertain.
The third and largest gathering of the Tolkien Society year is Oxonmoot, held over a weekend in late September, often in a college of Oxford University. Events are many and varied, and may include talks, slide shows, a guided walk around historic Oxford, a lunchtime reception, and an evening party with an opportunity to present music or drama or take part in a creative costume masquerade, or simply socialize and enjoy company. On Sunday we visit Wolvercote Cemetery to remember J. R. R. Tolkien.
There are also local groups called Smials. Here both members and non-members gather to be sociable, talk about Tolkien's works and anything else that interests them and arrange outings of mutual interest. Smials are one of the social lifelines of the Society. There are also postal smials for those who live far from a local group, with regular newsletters and occasional meetings. See Smials for a list of groups.
The Society produces two regular publications. The bulletin Amon Hen appears six times a year with news from around the whole range of Tolkien-related interests, reviews, letters, artwork and articles humorous and serious. The annual journal, Mallorn, is more serious in nature with longer critical articles and essays. Nearly all the material appearing in the journals is the work of Society members, often giving them their first opportunity of presenting their work to a wider audience. There are also occasional booklets produced by the Society, its Special Interest Groups, and sometimes Smials and individual members. Previous clubzines include Anduril, Henneth Annun, Mathom, and the Tolkien Society Bulletin.
The Society also maintains an extensive Library and Archive, both of which are accessible to Society members. The Archive can also be visited by non-members. Access is currently by appointment only.
See also the American Tolkien Society.
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