: Lastly, though I am totally on Tolkien's side: There was
: no fantasy MARKET back then but orcs, goblins and
: elves existed exactly with those names and in almost
: identical guises in local folklore. One of Tolkien's
: achievments was not that he created fantasy but that
: he utilized it with such skill.
Weeeell... that's not /entirely/ true. Before Tolkien, the most accepted kind of Elf was the Shakespearean Midsummer Night's Dream flavour (which Tolkien criticised as being too small). Tolkien was going back to the Alfs and the Shee for inspiration, who were much more sinister (notice the way that /everyone/ who isn't an Elf speaks of Lothlorien with dread in LOTR...)
Similarly, while Goblins already existed, Tolkien did a lot to flesh out what had, till then, been largely a race of malicious tricksters, and was the first to use the word "Orc".
As for Hobbits, well, there were no Hobbits before Tolkien.