J.R.R. Tolkien provided an elaborate textual history for his writings about Middle-earth, but did not do so for his now-iconic maps. This paper examines how this difference, in concert with the general tendency of readers to treat maps as objective records of geography, has manifested in Tolkien's work and fan works based upon it. An examination of fan cartography shows a strong tendency to treat the published maps as records of geographical fact rather than historical documents from within Middle-earth.



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