Past English Here's is a podcast about a huge database of dialogue from google books, and checking the dialogue in Mad Men and Downton Abbey for authenticity. For example "wartime" didn't come into use until WW2, possibly because WW1 was perceived as anomaly, but when another big war happened, "wartime" became a sort of thing that could have a name.
I'm willing to accept Rivendell-- they can make magic waybread and rope. We don't have nearly enough information to know what their economy requires. One of these years, I will reread LOTR, and I hope to be able to ignore that the Shire seems to have more advanced tech than anyone, including the Dwarves.
Authenticity and Chinese Cookbooks-- just a little reminder that people make up a lot more than they realize. Authenticity is yet another of those shifting cultural values.