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A Companion to J. R. R. Tolkien

ISBN: 978-0-470-65982-3
602 pages
June 2014, Wiley-Blackwell
A Companion to J. R. R. Tolkien (0470659823) cover image

This is a complete resource for scholars and students of Tolkien, as well as avid fans, with coverage of his life, work, dominant themes, influences, and the critical reaction to his writing.

  • An in-depth examination of Tolkien’s entire work by a cadre of top scholars
  • Provides up-to-date discussion and analysis of Tolkien’s scholarly and literary works, including his latest posthumous book, The Fall of Arthur, as well as addressing contemporary adaptations, including the new Hobbit films
  • Investigates various themes across his body of work, such as mythmaking, medieval languages, nature, war, religion, and the defeat of evil
  • Discusses the impact of his work on art, film, music, gaming, and subsequent generations of fantasy writers
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Acknowledgments xi

Notes on Contributors xiii

Editorial Practices and Abbreviations xiv

Brief Chronology of the Life and Works of J. R. R. Tolkien xxii

Introduction 1

Part I: Life 5

1 A Brief Biography 7
John Garth

Part II: The Academic 25

2 Academic Writings 27
Thomas Honegger

3 Tolkien as Editor 41
Tom Shippey

4 Manuscripts: Use, and Using 56
Stuart D. Lee

Part III: The Legendarium 77

5 Myth-making and Sub-creation 79
Carl Phelpstead

6 Middle-earth Mythology: An Overview 92
Leslie A. Donovan

7 The Silmarillion: Tolkien’s Theory of Myth, Text, and Culture 107
Gergely Nagy

8 The Hobbit: A Turning Point 119
John D. Rateliff

9 The Lord of the Rings 133
John R. Holmes

10 Unfinished Tales and the History of Middle-earth: A Lifetime of Imagination 146
Elizabeth A. Whittingham

11 “The Lost Road” and “The Notion Club Papers”: Myth, History, and Time-travel 161
Verlyn Flieger

12 Poetry 173
Corey Olsen

13 “Minor” Works 189
Maria Artamonova

14 Invented Languages and Writing Systems 202
Arden R. Smith

Part IV: Context 215

15 Old English 217
Mark Atherton

16 Middle English 230
Elizabeth Solopova

17 Old Norse 244
Tom Birkett

18 Finnish: The Land and Language of Heroes 259
Leena Kahlas-Tarkka

19 Celtic: “Celtic Things” and “Things Celtic” – Identity, Language, and Mythology 272
J. S. Lyman-Thomas

20 The English Literary Tradition: Shakespeare to the Gothic 286
Nick Groom

21 Earlier Fantasy Fiction: Morris, Dunsany, and Lindsay 303
Rachel Falconer

22 The Inklings and Others: Tolkien and His Contemporaries 317
David Bratman

23 Later Fantasy Fiction: Tolkien’s Legacy 335
Dimitra Fimi

24 Modernity: Tolkien and His Contemporaries 350
Anna Vaninskaya

Part V: Critical Approaches 367

25 The Critical Response to Tolkien’s Fiction 369
Patrick Curry

26 Style and Intertextual Echoes 389
Allan Turner

27 The Hero’s Journey 404
Anna Caughey

28 Evil 418
Christopher Garbowski

29 Nature 431
Liam Campbell

30 Religion: An Implicit Catholicism 446
Pat Pinsent

31 War 461
Janet Brennan Croft

32 Women 473
Adam Roberts

33 Art 487
Christopher Tuthill

34 Music 501
Bradford Lee Eden

35 Film Adaptations: Theatrical and Television Versions 514
Kristin Thompson

36 Games and Gaming: Quantasy 530
Péter Kristóf Makai

General Bibliography 545

Index 555

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Stuart D. Lee is a member of the English Faculty at the University of Oxford. He is the University’s Reader in E-learning and Digital Libraries, a member of Merton College, and Deputy CIO at the University’s IT Services. He has studied medieval literature and the works of Tolkien for over 30 years. His research focuses on the impact of medieval literature on modern culture, and he lectures in Old English, Tolkien, and the Poetry of the First World War. He is co-author of Key Concepts in Medieval Literature (2006) and The Keys of Middle-earth: Discovering Medieval Literature through the Fiction of J. R. R. Tolkien (2005).

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