Farmer Giles of Ham
|Farmer Giles of Ham by J.R.R. Tolkien|
|Title:||Farmer Giles of Ham|
|Published:||December 1949 by Allen & U|
Bluff Farmer Giles lives in a land-of-fable England, full of giants and dragons. A reluctant hero like the Brave Little Tailor or Bilbo in The Hobbit, Giles wins a great reputation by firing his blunderbuss at a wandering giant--who retreats not in fear but to avoid this tiresome stinging "insect". One thing leads to another, and despite all his excuses the now famous Giles is called to save his country from the marauding dragon Chrysophylax. He has a legendary anti-dragon sword and a lot of luck, but dragons can be as devious as politicians... Tolkien crammed much sly wit into his little story, plus jokey philological explanations that Giles's amazing adventures are commemorated in Thames Valley placenames like Worminghall and Thame.
Even if the story takes place in a land-of-fable England, it is clear that Tolkien based the history on known places, and he even states clearly where it takes place:
|This is a definitely located story (one of its virtues if it has any): Oxfordshire and Bucks, with a brief excursion into Wales|
|Letters of JRR Tolkien, #116|