This forthcoming issue presents previously unpublished writings about an early version of one of J.R.R. Tolkien’s invented scripts, edited and annotated by Arden R. Smith, under the guidance of Christopher Tolkien and with the permission of the Tolkien Estate.
The Qenya Alphabet is an edition of Tolkien’s charts and notes from circa 1931 dealing with the earliest version of the type of writing later called “Fëanorian Tengwar.” This issue of Parma Eldalamberon contains 40 documents in which Tolkien’s examples of the scripts are reproduced using electonic scans of black-and-white photocopies of the original manuscripts.
The documents include different versions of a detailed explanation of the use of the script for representing English, both phonetically and also according to English spelling. These have charts of the theoretical values of the sounds represented by the letters, and various English words and texts written in the scripts.
There are also various specimen texts written by Tolkien in the Qenya Alphabet. These exemplify some conceptual changes in mode, and there is a great variety of different styles, ranging from formal “book-hand” to rapidly written cursive. Most of these examples are in English, but there are also texts in Latin, Old English and Old High German. The editor has provided transcriptions of the example texts along with commentary on their dating and historical background.