When I lived in England, my American friends often inquired about our home across the pond. My response was that “I live in the Shire” – J.R.R. Tolkien’s magical green land, bordered by rivers and fertile valleys. The statement, inspired by my mental image of the land of the Hobbits, was in fact remarkably close to the truth. I later discovered that Tolkien modeled his Shire after rural Worcestershire, where he spent his childhood and where I lived more than a century later.
Mr. Tolkien, you were so right – it was and still is a lovely green land. Continue reading