J. R. R. Tolkien

Edited by Stuart Lee

© 2017 – Routledge

1,418 pages | 20 B/W Illus.

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pub: 2017-04-03
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About the Book

J. R. R. Tolkien (1892–1973) is widely regarded as one of the most important writers of the twentieth century. His popularity began with the publication in 1937 of The Hobbit, and was cemented by the appearance of The Lord of the Rings in the early 1950s. However, engagement with his work was until relatively recently sidelined by literary and other scholars. Consequently, many foundational analyses of his fiction, and his work as a medievalist, are dispersed in hard-to-find monographs and obscure journals (often produced by dedicated amateurs). In contrast, over the last decade or so, academic interest in Tolkien has risen dramatically. Indeed, interpretative and critical commentary is now being generated on a bewildering scale, in part aided by the continuing posthumous publication of his work (most recently, his Beowulf translation which appeared in 2014). The dizzying quantity—and variable quality—of this later criticism makes it difficult to discriminate the useful from the tendentious, superficial, and otiose.

Now, in four volumes, a new collection from Routledge’s Critical Assessments of Major Writers series meets the need for an authoritative reference work to collect early evaluations and to make sense of the more recent explosion in research output. Users are now able easily and rapidly to locate the best and most influential critical assessments. With material gathered into one easy-to-use set, Tolkien researchers and students can now spend more of their time with the key journal articles, book chapters, and other pieces, rather than on time-consuming (and sometimes fruitless) archival searches.

Table of Contents

Volume I: Tolkien’s Life – Writer and Medievalist

Biographical Studies

1. Humphrey Carpenter, ‘He had been inside language’, in Humphrey Carpenter, J. R. R. Tolkien: A Biography, (London: Allen & Unwin, 1977), pp. 131-142.

2. Douglas A. Anderson, ‘"An industrious little devil": E. V. Gordon as Friend and Collaborator with Tolkien’, in Jane Chance (ed.), Tolkien the Medievalist, (NY and London: Routledge, 2002), pp. 15-25.

3. David Bratman, ‘The Inklings and Others: Tolkien and His Contemporaries’, in Stuart D. Lee (ed.), A Companion to J. R. R. Tolkien, (Malden and Oxford: Wiley Blackwell, 2014), pp. 317-334.

4. Diana Pavlac Glyer, ‘Inklings: Building Community’, in Diana Pavlac Glyer, The Company They Keep: C. S. Lewis and J. R. R. Tolkien as Writers in Community, (Kent: Kent State University Press, 2007), pp. 1-26.

5. John Garth, ‘Postscript: One who dreams alone’, in John Garth, Tolkien and the Great War: The Threshold of Middle-earth, (London: Harper Collins, 2003), pp. 287-313, 366-369.

6. J. S. Ryan, ‘J. R. R. Tolkien’s Formal Lecturing and Teaching at the University of Oxford 1929-1959’, SEVEN, 19, 2002, pp. 45-62.

The Medievalist

7. Simon Horobin, ‘J. R. R. Tolkien as a Philologist: A Reconsideration of Northernisms in Chaucer’s "Reeve’s Tale"’, English Studies 82, 2, 2001, pp. 97-105.

8. Thomas Honegger, ‘The Homecoming of Beorhtnoth: Philology and the Literary Muse’, Tolkien Studies, 4, 2007, pp. 189-99.

9. Tom Shippey, ‘Tolkien as Editor’, in Stuart D. Lee (ed.), A Companion to J. R. R. Tolkien, (Malden and Oxford: Wiley Blackwell, 2014), pp. 41-55.

10. Gergely Nagy, ‘The Medievalist(‘s) Fiction: Textuality and Historicity as Aspects of Tolkien’s Medievalist Cultural Theory in a Postmodernist Context’, in Jane Chance and Alfred K. Siewers (eds.), Tolkien’s Modern Middle Ages, (NY: Palgrave Macmillan, 2005), pp. 29-41.

11. Bruce Mitchell, ‘J. R. R. Tolkien and Old English Studies: An Appreciation’, in Patricia Reynolds and Glen H. Goodknight (eds.), Proceedings of the J. R. R. Tolkien Centenary Conference, Keble College 1992, Mythlore 80 and Mallorn 30 in one volume,(Milton Keynes: Tolkien Society; Altadena: Mythopoeic Press, 1995), pp. 206-212.

12. Stuart D. Lee, ‘J. R. R. Tolkien and The Wanderer: From Edition to Application’, Tolkien Studies, 6, 2009, pp. 189-211.

13. Jane Chance, ‘The Germanic King: Tolkien’s Medieval Parodies’, in Jane Chance, Tolkien’s Art: A Mythology for England, (NY: St. Martin’s Press, 1979, rev. ed. Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 2001), pp. 75-96.

14. Jonathan Evans, ‘The Dragon-lore of Middle-earth: Tolkien and Old English and Old Norse Tradition’, in George Clark and Daniel Timmons (eds.), J.R.R. Tolkien and His Literary Resonances: Views of Middle-earth (Westport: Greenwood Press, 2000), pp. 21-38.

15. Tom Shippey, ‘Tolkien and the Gawain-Poet’, in Patricia Reynolds and Glen H. Goodknight (eds.), Proceedings of the J. R. R. Tolkien Centenary Conference, Keble College 1992, Mythlore 80 and Mallorn 30 in one volume,(Milton Keynes: Tolkien Society; Altadena: Mythopoeic Press, 1995), pp. 213-219.

16. Arne Zettersten, ‘The AB Language Lives’, in Wayne G. Hammond and Christina Scull (eds.), The Lord of the Rings 1954-2004: Scholarship in Honor of Richard E. Blackwelder, (Milwaukee: Marquette University Press, 2006), pp. 13-24.

17. Michael D. C. Drout, ‘The Rhetorical Evolution of "Beowulf: The Monsters and the Critics", in Wayne G. Hammond and Christina Scull (eds.), The Lord of the Rings 1954-2004: Scholarship in Honor of Richard E. Blackwelder, (Milwaukee: Marquette University Press, 2006), pp. 183-215.

Lit. and Lang.

18. Jill Fitzgerald, ‘A "Clerkes Compleinte": Tolkien and the Division of Lit. and Lang.’, Tolkien Studies, 6, 2009, pp. 41-57.

19. Peter Gilliver, Jeremy Marshall and Edmund Weiner, ‘Tolkien as Wordwright’, in Peter Gilliver, Jeremy Marshall and Edmund Weiner, The Ring of Words: Tolkien and the Oxford English Dictionary, (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006) pp. 45-86.

Volume II: The Roots of Middle-earth

A Secret Vice – Inventing Languages

20. Elizabeth Solopova, ‘Invented Languages’, in Elizabeth Solopova, Languages, Myths and History: An Introduction to the Linguistic and Literary Background of J. R. R. Tolkien’s Fiction, (NY: North Landing Books, 2009) pp. 75-90.

21. Christopher Gilson, ‘Gnomish is Sindarin: The Conceptual Evolution of an Elvish Language’, in Verlyn Flieger and Carl F. Hostetter (eds.), Tolkien’s Legendarium: Essays of the History of Middle-earth, (Westport: Greenwood Press, 2000), pp. 95-104.

22. Arden R. Smith, ‘Certhas, Skirditaile, Fuðark: A Feigned History of Runic Origins’, in Verlyn Flieger and Carl F. Hostetter (eds.), Tolkien’s Legendarium: Essays of the History of Middle-earth, (Westport: Greenwood Press, 2000), pp. 105-111.

23. Carl F. Hostetter and Patrick Wynne, ‘Stone Towers’, Vinyar Tengwar, 30 1993), pp. 8-25.

24. Carl F. Hostetter, ‘Elvish as She Is Spoke’, in Wayne G. Hammond and Christina Scull (eds.), The Lord of the Rings 1954-2004: Scholarship in Honor of Richard E. Blackwelder, (Milwaukee: Marquette University Press, 2006), pp. 231-255.

Sources, analogues, and Inspirations

25. Jason Fisher, ‘Tolkien and Source Criticism: Remarking and Remaking’, in Jason Fisher (ed.), Tolkien and the Study of His Sources, (Jefferson and London: McFarland, 2011) pp. 29-44.

26. Carl Phelpstead, ‘Mythological Sources’, in Carl Phelpstead, Tolkien and Wales: Language, Literature, and Identity, (Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 2011), pp. 53-68, 136-143.

27. Richard C. West, ‘Setting the Rocket Off in Story: The Kalevala as the Germ of Tolkien’s Legendarium’, in Jane Chance (ed.), Tolkien and the Invention of Myth: A Reader, (Lexington: University of Kentucky Press, 2004), pp. 285-294.

28. Marjorie Burns, ‘Two Norths and their English Blend’, in Marjorie Burns, Perilous Realms: Celtic and Norse in Tolkien’s Middle-earth, (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2005), pp. 12-29.

29. Sharin Schroeder, ‘She-who-must-not-be-ignored: Gender and Genre in "The Lord of the Rings" and the "Victorian Boys’ Book"’, in Janet Brennan Croft and Leslie Donovan, (eds.), Perilous and Fair: Women in J.R.R. Tolkien’s Work and Life, (Altadena: Mythopoeic Press, 2014), pp. 70-96.

30. Michael Milburn, ‘Coleridge’s Definition of Imagination and Tolkien’s Definition(s) of Faery’, Tolkien Studies, 7, 2010, pp. 55-66.

Mythology and Mythmaking

31. Verlyn Flieger and Douglas A. Anderson, ‘Introduction’, in V. Flieger and D. A. Anderson (eds.). Tolkien: On Fairy-stories, (London: Harper Collins, 2008), pp. 9-23.

32. Verlyn Flieger, ‘The Motives’, in Verlyn Flieger, Interrupted Music: The Making of Tolkien’s Mythology, (Kent: Kent University Press, 2005), pp. 3-26.

33. Dimitra Fimi, ‘The Fairies, Faith and Folklore’, in Dimitra Fimi, Tolkien, Race and Cultural History: From Fairies to Hobbits, (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2008), pp. 40-61.

34. David Bratman, ‘The Literary Value of "The History of Middle-earth"’, in Verlyn Flieger and Carl F. Hostetter (eds.), Tolkien’s Legendarium: Essays of the History of Middle-earth, (Westport: Greenwood Press, 2000), pp. 69-91.

35. John D. Rateliff, ‘"And All the Days of Her Life Are Forgotten": "The Lord of the Rings" and Mythic Prehistory’, in Wayne G. Hammond and Christina Scull (eds.), The Lord of the Rings 1954-2004: Scholarship in Honor of Richard E. Blackwelder, (Milwaukee: Marquette University Press, 2006), pp. 67-100.

36. Rayner Unwin, ‘Early Days of Elder Days’, in Verlyn Flieger and Carl F. Hostetter (eds.), Tolkien’s Legendarium: Essays of the History of Middle-earth, (Westport: Greenwood Press, 2000), pp. 3-6.

37. Carl F. Hostetter and Arden R. Smith, ‘A Mythology for England’, in Patricia Reynolds and Glen H. Goodknight (eds.), Proceedings of the J. R. R. Tolkien Centenary Conference, Keble College 1992, Mythlore 80 and Mallorn 30 in one volume,(Milton Keynes: Tolkien Society; Altadena: Mythopoeic Press, 1995), pp. 281-290.

38. T.A. Shippey, ‘The Course of Actual Composition’, in T. A. Shippey, The Road to Middle-earth: How J. R. R. Tolkien Created a New Mythology, (London: Harper Collins, 2005, revised and expanded edition), pp. 329-377.

Volume III: Key Works and Themes

The Silmarillion

39. Charles Noad, ‘On the Construction of The Silmarillion’, in Verlyn Flieger and Carl F. Hostetter (eds.), Tolkien’s Legendarium: Essays of the History of Middle-earth, (Westport: Greenwood Press, 2000), pp. 31-68.

40. Douglas C. Kane, ‘Introduction: Reconstructing Arda’, in Douglas C. Kane, Arda Reconstructed: The Creation of the Published Silmarillion, (Bethlehem: Lehigh University Press, 2009), pp. 23-29.

41. Carl F. Hostetter, ‘Over Middle-earth Sent unto Men: On the Philological Origins of Tolkien’s Earendel Myth’, Mythlore, 65,1991, pp. 5-10.

The Hobbit

42. Douglas A. Anderson, Extract from ‘Introduction’, in D. A. Anderson (ed.), The Annotated Hobbit, (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1988), pp. 15-23, notes 21-26 on p.28.

43. J. D. Rateliff, ‘Chronology of Composition’, in J. D. Rateliff (ed.), The History of The Hobbit Part One: Mr Baggins, (London: Harper Collins, 2007), pp. 8-20.

44. Jane Chance, ‘Tolkien’s Hybrid Mythology: "The Hobbit" as Old Norse ‘Fairy Story’, in B.L. Eden (ed.), The Hobbit and Tolkien’s Mythology: Essays on Revisions and Influences, (Jefferson and London: McFarland, 2014), pp. 78-96.

45. Mark Atherton, ‘The Heart of the Mountain’, in Mark Atherton, There and Back Again: J. R. R. Tolkien and the Origins of "The Hobbit", (London: Tauris, 2012), pp. 55-75, 272-3.

46. Corey Olsen, ‘A Most Excellent and Audacious Hobbit’, in Corey Olsen, Exploring J. R. R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit, (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2012), pp. 17-38.

47. Bonniejean Christensen, ‘Gollum’s Character Transformation in "The Hobbit"’, in Jared Lobdell (ed.) A Tolkien Compass, (La Salle: Open Court, 1975), pp. 9-28.

The Lord of the Rings

48. Diana Wynne Jones, ‘The Shape of the Narrative in "The Lord of the Rings"’, in Robert Giddings (ed.), J.R.R. Tolkien: This Far Land, (London: Vision, 1983), pp. 87-107.

49. W. H. Auden, ‘The Quest Hero’, Texas Quarterly, 4,, 1962, pp. 81-93.

50. Richard C. West, ‘The Interlace Structure of "The Lord of the Rings"’, in Jared Lobdell (ed.) A Tolkien Compass, (La Salle: Open Court, 1975), pp. 77-94.

51. Derek S. Brewer, ‘"The Lord of the Rings" as Romance’, in Mary Salu and Robert T. Farrell (eds.), J. R. R. Tolkien: Scholar and Storyteller – Essays in Memoriam, (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1979), pp. 249-264.

52. D. M. Waito, ‘The Shire Quest: The "Scouring of the Shire" as the Narrative and Thematic Focus of "The Lord of the Rings"’, Mythlore, 28, 3/4 (109/110), 2010, pp. 155-177.

Other Works

53. Verlyn Flieger, ‘The Footsteps of Ælfwine’, in Verlyn Flieger and Carl F. Hostetter (eds.), Tolkien’s Legendarium: Essays of the History of Middle-earth, (Westport: Greenwood Press, 2000), pp. 183-198.

54. John D. Rateliff, ‘"The Lost Road", "The Dark Tower" and "The Notion Club Papers": Tolkien and Lewis’s Time-Travel Triad’, in Verlyn Flieger and Carl F. Hostetter (eds.), Tolkien’s Legendarium: Essays of the History of Middle-earth, (Westport: Greenwood Press, 2000), pp. 199-218.

55. Kris Swank, ‘The Irish Otherworld Voyage of Roverandom’, Tolkien Studies, 12, 2015, pp. 31-57.

Poetry

56. Joe R. Christopher, ‘Tolkien’s Lyric Poetry’, in Verlyn Flieger and Carl F. Hostetter (eds.), Tolkien’s Legendarium: Essays of the History of Middle-earth, (Westport: Greenwood Press, 2000), pp. 143-160.

57. Geoffrey Russom, ‘Tolkien’s Versecraft in "The Hobbit" and "The Lord of the Rings"’, in George Clark and Daniel Timmons (eds.), J.R.R. Tolkien and His Literary Resonances: Views of Middle-earth (Westport: Greenwood Press, 2000), pp., 53-69.

Volume IV: Themes, Reactions, and Legacy

War

58. J. Garth, ‘Frodo and the Great War’, in Wayne G. Hammond and Christina Scull (eds.), The Lord of the Rings 1954-2004: Scholarship in Honor of Richard E. Blackwelder, (Milwaukee: Marquette University Press, 2006), pp. 41-56.

59. Janet Brennan Croft, ‘"The Young Perish and the Old Linger, Withering": World War II in the Works of J.R.R. Tolkien’, Mythlore, 92, 2004, pp. 58-71.

60. Michael Livingston, ‘The Shell-shocked Hobbit: The First World War and Tolkien’s Trauma of the Ring’, Mythlore, 25, 1/2 (95/96), 2006, pp. 77-92.

Spirituality/Religion/Philosophy

61. Kathleen E. Dubs, ‘Providence, Fate, and Chance: Boethian Philosophy in"The Lord of the Rings"’, in Twentieth Century Literature, 27, 1, 1981, pp. 34-42

62. Marjorie Burns, ‘Norse and Christian Gods: The Integrative Theology of J. R. R. Tolkien’, in Jane Chance (ed.), Tolkien and the Invention of Myth: A Reader, (Lexington: University of Kentucky Press, 2004), pp. 163- 178.

 

63. Colin Duriez, ‘Sub-creation and Tolkien’s Theology of Story’, in K.R. Battarbee (ed.), Scholarship and Fantasy: Proceedings of the Tolkien Phenomenon, Turku, May 1992, pp. 133-150.

Good and Evil

64. W. H. Auden, ‘Good and Evil in "The Lord of the Rings"’, Critical Quarterly, 10, 1-2, 1968, pp.138-142.

65. T.A. Shippey, ‘"The Lord of the Rings" (2): Concepts of Evil’, in T. A. Shippey, J. R. R. Tolkien: Author of the Century, (London: Harper Collins, 2000), pp. 112-160.

66. Edith Crowe, ‘Power in Arda: Sources, Uses and Misuses’, in Patricia Reynolds and Glen H. Goodknight (eds.), Proceedings of the J. R. R. Tolkien Centenary Conference, Keble College 1992, Mythlore 80 and Mallorn 30 in one volume,(Milton Keynes: Tolkien Society; Altadena: Mythopoeic Press, 1995), pp. 272-277.

Heroism

67. George Clark, ‘J. R. R. Tolkien and the True Hero’, George Clark and Daniel Timmons (eds.), J.R.R. Tolkien and His Literary Resonances: Views of Middle-earth (Westport: Greenwood Press, 2000), pp. 39-51.

68. Verlyn Flieger, ‘Frodo and Aragorn: The Concept of the Hero’, in Neil D. Isaacs and Rose Zimbardo (eds.), Tolkien: New Critical Perspectives, (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2004), pp. 40-62.

69. Edith Crowe, ‘The Many Faces of Heroism in Tolkien’, Mythlore, 10, 2 (36), 1983, pp. 5-8.

Gender

70. Leslie A. Donovan, ‘The Valkyrie Reflex in J.R.R. Tolkien’s "The Lord of the Rings": Galadriel, Shelob, Éowyn, and Arwen’, in Jane Chance (ed.), Tolkien the Medievalist, (NY and London: Routledge, 2002), pp. 106-132.

71. Melanie Rawls, ‘The Feminine Principle in Tolkien’, Mythlore, 10, 4 (38) 1984, pp. 5-13.

Modernism

72. Brian Rosebury, ‘Tolkien and the Twentieth Century’, in Brian Rosebury, Tolkien: A Cultural Phenomenon, (NY: Palgrave Macmillan, 2003), pp. 134-157.

73. A. Vaninskaya, ‘Tolkien: A Man of his Time?’, in F. Weinreich and T. Honegger (eds.), Tolkien and Modernity 1, Cormarë Series 9, (Zollikofen: Walking Tree, 2006), pp. 1-30.

74. Margaret Hiley, ‘Shared Literary Concerns’, in Margaret Hiley, The Loss and the Silence: Aspects of Modernism in the Works of Lewis, Tolkien and Charles Williams, ((Zollikofen: Walking Tree, 2011), pp. 20-32.

Critical Reaction

75. C. S. Lewis, ‘The Dethronement of Power’, Time and Tide, 36, 1955, pp. 1373-1374.

76. Neil D. Isaacs, ‘On the Possibilities of Writing Tolkien Criticism’, in Neil D. Isaacs and Rose A. Zimbardo (eds.), Tolkien and the Critics, (South Bend: University of Notre Dame Press, 1968), pp. 1-11.

77. Patrick Curry, ‘The Critical Response to Tolkien’s Fiction’, in Stuart D. Lee (ed.), A Companion to J. R. R. Tolkien, (Malden and Oxford: Wiley Blackwell, 2014), pp. 369-388.

78. Brian Attebery, ‘Is Fantasy Literature? Tolkien and the Theorists’, in Brian Attebery, Strategies of Fantasy, (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1992), pp. 18-35.

79. E. Wilson, ‘Oo, those Awful Orcs!’, Nation, 182, 1956, pp. 312-313.

Fantasy

80. Edward James, ‘Tolkien, Lewis, and the Explosion of Genre Fantasy’, in Edward James and Farah Mendlesohn (eds.), The Cambridge Companion to Fantasy Literature, (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2012) pp. 62-78.

81. Farah Mendlesohn, ‘The Portal-Quest Fantasy’ (extract), in F. Mendlesohn, Rhetorics of Fantasy, (Middletown: Wesleyan University Press, 2008), pp. 30-38.

82. Douglas A. Anderson, ‘The Mainstreaming of Fantasy and the Legacy of "The Lord of the Rings"’, in Wayne G. Hammond and Christina Scull (eds.), The Lord of the Rings 1954-2004: Scholarship in Honor of Richard E. Blackwelder, (Milwaukee: Marquette University Press, 2006), pp. 301-316.

The Films

83. Daniel Timmons, ‘Frodo on Film: Peter Jackson’s Problematic Portrayal’, in Janet Brennan Croft (ed.), Tolkien on Film: Essays on Peter Jackson’s "The Lord of the Rings", (Altadena: Mythopoeic, 2005), pp. 123-148.

84. Kristin Thompson, ‘Gollum Talks to Himself’, in Janice M. Bogstad and Philip E. Kaveny (eds.), Picturing Tolkien: Essays on Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, (Jefferson and London: McFarland, 2011), pp. 25-45.

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