Forum: Geography and Maps

Discussing: Where is ...

Where is ...

I didn't know where else to put this, but I want to have a character in my story from Southlinch. It's mentioned only once -- in ROTK by Barliman Butterbur when he offers Gandalf and the hobbits leaf from Southlinch but says it's not as good as the South Farthing leaf. I checked Karen Fostad's Atlas of ME and there's no mention Soutlinch. I checked Encyclopedia of Arda, again no Southlinch. I have seen a map http://www.shirepost.com/ShireMap.html where they have Southlinch along the Greenway, east of the Shire. (Yes, I recognize this is not a recognized/acceptable/canon source) But does anyone have any idea of where Southlinch really is? Thanks for any help you can give me.

 

 

Re: Where is ...

Hi Leaward, I checked The Hobbit, Unfinished Tales, and the History of Middle-earth series index, and couldn't find anything more about Southlinch. But, looking at the single quote that we do have, I think there is a clue: When [Barliman Butterbur] came back he brought them enough to last them for a day or two, a wad of uncut leaf. 'Southlinch,' he said, 'and the best we have; but not the match of Southfarthing, as I've always said though I'm all for Bree in most matters, begging your pardon.' The Return of the King, LoTR Book 6, Ch 5, Homeward Bound Butterbur gives the impression that Southlinch might be associated with Bree somehow (though it is clearly not one of the four communities that Tolkien mentioned.) If the shirepost.com map shows it as being on the Greenway *in the general vicinity of Bree*, then I'd say the mapmaker has made the most reasonable guess possible with the little information we have. - Barbara [Edit: ] And yes, this is the right forum for such questions... welcome to the discussion!

 

 

Re: Where is ...

Leaward, I just glanced at the shirepost.com map, and it is seriously inaccurate (for example, Undertowers is in the Far Downs, not the Tower Hills, and the Far Downs is south of the Tower Hills, not east... It's a delightful map -- I downloaded it to maybe display on my desktop -- but it's basically a cartoon, rather than a serious attempt at cartography. It does appear to have a lot of the Shire place names, but I would not count on the geographical relationships between them to be accurate. (I've found errors in the Atlas of Middle-earth as well -- Tookburrow, anyone? -- but there are fewer errors per inch, so to speak... ;-) However, I still think the mapmaker made the best guess as to where Southlinch is! - Barbara

 

 

Re: Where is ...

That's why I came here to check it out -- The Shirepost map isn't anything near a canon map. But it's the only place I could find that listed Southlinch though there are websites that talk about its tobacco as compared to Longbottom leaf. But now I'm wondering if thearea that far south (where the mapmaker on the Shirepost has placed it) would still be considered to be Bree. Or would it be acceptable for me to place it closer to Bree since there's no real canonical reference other than it's 'near Bree'? I am trying to stay as 'near canon' as possible to avoid as few nits as possible. Thanks for all your help -- you certainly have gone through a lot of trouble checking all those sources for me.

 

 

Re: Where is ...

I am trying to stay as 'near canon' as possible to avoid as few nits as possible. LOL! Trust me... if I couldn't find anything after making an effort, no one else is going to pick that particular canon nit! And if they do, you send them on to me for a tongue lashing! Seriously, the only quote we have doesn't even state that Southlinch is near Bree, it just implies that it is somehow more associated with Bree than with the Shire. If you choose to move your Southlinch a few miles closer to Bree, I won't tattle! It does seem reasonable to put it near a major road, though, just because that's where villages tend to spring up... Thanks for all your help You're welcome! When I have the time, I like to help out... - Barbara

 

 

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