Tolkien's Middle-earth has endured cataclysmic wars and critical battles, causing great men and women to arise and shape the course of its history. In his latest book, best-selling author and Tolkien expert David Day examines the complexities surrounding Tolkien's portrayal of good and evil, analysing the most celebrated heroes from the creation of the world of Arda until the end of the War of the Rings. This work is unofficial and is not authorized by the Tolkien Estate or HarperCollins Publishers.
J.R.R. Tolkien's novels of Middle-earth – The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings trilogy, and The Silmarillian – have become some of the most famous, and most beloved, literary works of the twentieth century. And the Lord of the Rings films by director Peter Jackson have re-ignited interest in Tolkien and his works, as well as introduced his stories to a new generation of fans. Even if you've never read the novels and have only seen the films, you know that the world of Middle-earth is a complicated one. Tolkien took great care in representing this world, from creating new languages to including very particular cultural details that add to the richness of the world's fabric. Many other books have been written about Tolkien and his works, but none have come close to providing the kind of reference needed to comprehend the world of Middle-earth. That's what veteran Dummies author and unabashed Tolkien fan Greg Harvey attempts to do in The Origins of Tolkien's Middle-earth For Dummies. As the author says in his introduction to the book, this is not an encyclopedia or quick guide to all the diverse beings, languages, and history that make up Tolkien's Middle-earth. Nor is it a set of plot outlines for the novels. Rather, what you'll find in The Origins of Tolkien's Middle-earth For Dummies is a basic guide to some of the possible linguistic and mythological origins of Middle-earth, plus a rudimentary analysis of its many themes and lessons for our world. This book can help enrich your reading (or re-reading) of Tolkien's novels, and it will challenge you to think about the themes inherent in Tolkien's Middle-earth and their implications in your own life. Here's just a sampling of the topics you'll find covered in The Origins of Tolkien's Middle-earth For Dummies: Exploring the main themes in Tolkien's works, including immortality and death; the heroic quest; love; fate and free will; and faith and redemption Investigating the diverse lands of Middle-earth – including the Shire, Gondor, and Mordor – and their significance Examining the different cultures of Middle-earth, such as Hobbits, Elves, Men, and those wily Wizards Touring the history of Middle-earth Understanding Tolkien's creation of new languages to enrich the story of Middle-earth Top Ten lists on the battles in the War of the Ring, online resources, and the ways the films differ from the novels So, whether you're reading Tolkien's novels or watching the films for the first time, or you've been a fan for many years and are looking for a new take on Tolkien's works, The Origins of Tolkien's Middle-earth For Dummies can help you enhance your reading or viewing experience for years to come.
Although Tolkien's literary works have, over the past few decades, attracted a considerable and varied body of criticism, much of this material is inaccessible, unreflective, and repetitive. Though various scholars have treated Tolkien's sources and his concept of fantasy, this study situates the author in a broad literary context that includes ancient metrical modes, medieval culture, Renaissance poetics, 19th-century social movements, and modern critical thought. Each chapter is written by an expert contributor and examines the literary resonances of Tolkien's works from a variety of informed perspectives.
Thus, in words composed by a host of nameless bards, the songs of Serbia carry on the nation's story, and every Serb feels himself an actor in a great drama that is being played out across the centuries. He continues the work of his forefathers. He avenges their sufferings. But he also works for the future. He builds the framework of an age to come. He is a living link in one great chain that stretches backward far into the past and reaches forward to the generations who shall see Serbia great and free. It is more than obvious that Sam Gamgee was thinking in much the same way, in the moment he realized that he and Frodo were in the same story as the heroes of old stories and songs. He then said: Why, to think of it, we're in the same tale still! It's going on. – Then he asked: – Don't the great tales never end? Frodo answered on his question: No, they never end as tales. But the people in them come and go when their part's ended. Our part will end later... or sooner. By writing this dialogue between Frodo and Sam, Tolkien was more than clear. In addition to the ongoing Great War of the Ring, the Hobbits consider themselves participants in the great tale that stretches far into the past, a story that is transmitted orally from generation to generation through folk legends, myths and songs, without breaking it... J.R.R. Tolkien was trying to learn Serbian language in order to read Serbian epic poems in the original. These were the poems about great heroes from the Serbian past (Czar Lazar, King Marko, Karageorge...), and great battles that changed the course of Serbian history (Kosovo battle, battle of the Misar...). There is no evidence that J.R.R. Tolkien was inspired by the heroes and battles from the Serbian history and epic poetry while writing his epic trilogy. But when you open the pages of this book you will realize they are not needed. Serbian history and epic poetry are fully within the fantasy world of "The Lord of the Rings".The Guardians of the Fallen Kingdom is not a book for blind admirers of Tolkien's Middle-earth but for an intelligent and well-read reader who is trying to penetrate to the real essence of things. Unlike most books on similar topics, this book explains which historical White City might be hiding behind Minas Tirith, whose coat of arms might be an inspiration for the Eye of Sauron, which field and flowers that grow on it might serve as inspiration for the Field of Cormallen and Culumalda trees, where could be the historical Crossroads of the Fallen King, Black Gate of Mordor and many other places from J.R.R. Tolkien's legendarium.
Selected essays on Tolkien's trilogy include W. H. Auden's essay on the hero's quest, C. S. Lewis's piece on the value of myth, Marion Zimmer Bradley's article on hero worship, Tim Shippey's piece on the film trilogy, and much more. Original.
The definitive Tolkien companion—an indispensable guide to The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, and more, from the author of The Road to Middle-earth. This “highly erudite celebration and exploration of Tolkien’s works [is] enormous fun,” declared the Houston Chronicle, and Tom Shippey, a prominent medievalist and scholar of fantasy, “deepens your understanding” without “making you forget your initial, purely instinctive response to Middle-earth and hobbits.” In a clear and accessible style, Shippey offers a new approach to Tolkien, to fantasy, and to the importance of language in literature. He breaks down The Lord of the Rings as a linguistic feast for the senses and as a response to the human instinct for myth. Elsewhere, he examines The Hobbit’s counterintuitive relationship to the heroic world of Middle-earth; demonstrates the significance of The Silmarillion to Tolkien’s canon; and takes an illuminating look at lesser-known works in connection with Tolkien’s life. Furthermore, he ties all these strands together in a continuing tradition that traces its roots back through Grimms’ Fairy Tales to Beowulf. “Shippey’s commentary is the best so far in elucidating Tolkien’s lovely myth,” wrote Harper’s Magazine. J.R.R. Tolkien: Author of the Century is “a triumph” (Chicago Sun-Times) that not only gives readers a deeper understanding of Tolkien and his work, but also serves as an entertaining introduction to some of the most influential novels ever written.
Mapping the Catholic Cultural Landscape explores the intersection of Catholicism with cultural expressions of literature and art, holiness and personal devotion, faith and secular society. With essays selected from the world's first International Conference of Catholic Studies, this volume is a primary resource for Catholic Studies directors in curriculum development and for students in the classroom. This text emerges as an objective way of studying the relationship between religion, history, and culture.