that I knew took up the art long ago, and became as skilful in it as in all other things that he put his mind to."
Words of Meriadoc Brandybuck
from the introduction to Herblore of the Shire
quoted in the Prologue to The Lord of the Rings
After his return from the War of the Ring, Merry Brandybuck became well known among the Shire-hobbits for his writing. Among his works were discussions of calendars and place-names, but perhaps most important was his Herblore of the Shire. In that book, he discussed the origins and history of the Hobbits' 'art' of smoking Pipe-weed, tracing it back through Tobold Hornblower (who introduced it to the Shire) to its ultimate origins in Middle-earth, in the lands along the southern banks of the Anduin. In the Shire, in fact, Merry's reputation rested more on books like Herblore of the Shire than on his adventures in the distant War.
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