Tolkien and the Study of His Sources : Critical Essays

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Overview

Source criticism—analysis of a writer's source material—has emerged as one of the most popular approaches in exploring the work of J.R.R. Tolkien. Since Tolkien drew from many disparate sources, an understanding of these sources, as well as how and why he incorporated them, can enhance readers' appreciation. This set of new essays by leading Tolkien scholars describes the theory and methodology for proper source criticism and provides practical demonstrations of the approach.

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Tolkien and the Study of His Sources: Critical Essays

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Overview

Source criticism—analysis of a writer's source material—has emerged as one of the most popular approaches in exploring the work of J.R.R. Tolkien. Since Tolkien drew from many disparate sources, an understanding of these sources, as well as how and why he incorporated them, can enhance readers' appreciation. This set of new essays by leading Tolkien scholars describes the theory and methodology for proper source criticism and provides practical demonstrations of the approach.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780786464821
  • Publisher: McFarland & Company, Incorporated Publishers
  • Publication date: 7/22/2011
  • Pages: 240
  • Sales rank: 1,177,723
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Jason Fisher is an independent scholar specializing in J.R.R. Tolkien, the Inklings, and Medieval Germanic philology. He is also the editor of Mythprint, the monthly publication of The Mythopoeic Society, and has written for Tolkien Studies, Mythlore, Beyond Bree, North Wind, Renaissance, and other publications.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix

Abbreviations xi

Preface Jason Fisher 1

Introduction: Why Source Criticism? Tom Shippey 7

Source Criticism: Background and Applications E. L. Risden 17

Tolkien and Source Criticism: Remarking and Remaking Jason Fisher 29

The Stones and the Book: Tolkien, Mesopotamia, and Biblical Mythopoeia Nicholas Birns 45

Sea Birds and Morning Stars: Ceyx, Alcyone, and the Many Metamorphoses of Eärendil and Elwing Kristine Larsen 69

"Byzantium, New Rome!" Goths, Langobards, and Byzantium in The Lord of the Rings Miryam Librán-Moreno 84

The Rohirrim: "Anglo-Saxons on Horseback"? An Inquiry into Tolkien's Use of Sources Thomas Honegger 116

William Caxton's The Golden Legend as a Source for Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings Judy Ann Ford 133

She and Tolkien, Revisited John D. Rateliff 145

Reading John Buchan in Search of Tolkien Mark T. Hooker 162

Biography as Source: Niggles and Notions Diana Pavlac Glyer Josh B. Long 193

About the Contributors 215

Index 219

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 11, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Serious reading for the avid Tolkien scholar and fan

    Since Tolkien didn¿t care for source criticism, or people spending hours trying to decide where he got his ideas, it seems strange that this book should come together. The author makes it clear from the beginning that there is indeed value in wondering what influences might have been present when Tolkien wrote his most famous work. One of the most valid reasons to me is that the time period has changed, education has changed, and the world has changed. We aren¿t as familiar today with the literature of Tolkien¿s lifetime as he was, for example. If for no other reason than this one, it is worthwhile considering source criticism. With that in mind, I set off to read this book. Some of the essays are better than others. A couple of them are little more than endless comparisons between various works of Tolkien and obscure writers that may have been familiar to Tolkien. It is interesting in one respect: these writers are unknown to most of us today, so I suppose there is value in learning a little about them. The last essay, "Biography as Source", is the one that I enjoyed the most. These essays are not light reads; I suspect they are geared more for the Tolkien scholar rather than those of us who enjoy Tolkien's work for what it is. But, if I am understanding Tolkien correctly, he intended only that we enjoy Middle Earth and not try to second-guess how it came into being.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 29, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

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