Tolkien the Medievalist

Overview

"Tolkien the Medievalist explores how Tolkien's creative worlds were shaped by his own scholarship on medieval literature. In trying to create a "mythology for England" in the space of his fiction, Tolkien inevitably drew upon extant medieval languages and literatures." "This is the first recent collection to examine anew the question of Tolkien's medievalness. Interdisciplinary in approach, the essays explore Tolkien's position within the context of twentieth-century medieval scholarship and religious movements and his use of various works of
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Tolkien the Medievalist

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Overview

"Tolkien the Medievalist explores how Tolkien's creative worlds were shaped by his own scholarship on medieval literature. In trying to create a "mythology for England" in the space of his fiction, Tolkien inevitably drew upon extant medieval languages and literatures." "This is the first recent collection to examine anew the question of Tolkien's medievalness. Interdisciplinary in approach, the essays explore Tolkien's position within the context of twentieth-century medieval scholarship and religious movements and his use of various works of medieval literature as a palimpsest for the development of his own ideas." "In the first section, essays focus on how Professor Tolkien invested his professional interests in his writing and how those works and the movements of his day may have affected his fiction. The second and third sections focus on specific episodes, characters, concepts, and images and how they correspond to medieval literary antecedents, in Old Norse, Old and Middle English, medieval Latin, and in medieval Catholicism. In the fourth section, essays discuss how mythological retextualization in his fiction assumed a medieval form." Essential reading for all scholars interested in J. R. R. Tolkien, this work will also be of vital interest to those working in the fields of medieval history and literature, literary history, and literature in the early twentieth century.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
‘The..essays…[are] remarkable for their originality and thoroughness and are important contributions to the study of Tolkien’s rhetorical artistry… [the] result is a handsomely and carefully edited book that is worth reading and—in my case—re-reading.’Thomas Honegger, Friedrich-Schiller-University
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Product Details

Meet the Author

Jane Chance, Professor of English, teaches medieval literature and J. R. R. Tolkien, at Rice University. Among her seventeen books are Tolkien's Art: A Mythology for England and The Lord of the Rings: The Mythology of Power and two guest-edited issues of Studies in Medievalism. She also edits two series, the Library of Medieval Women and the Greenwood Guide to Historic Events in the Medieval World.

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Table of Contents

Notes on contributors
Acknowledgments
List of abbreviations
1 Introduction 1
Pt. I J. R. R. Tolkien as a medieval scholar: modern contexts 13
2 "An industrious little devil": E. V. Gordon as friend and collaborator with Tolkien 15
3 "There would always be a fairy-tale": J. R. R. Tolkien and the folklore controversy 26
4 A kind of mid-wife: J. R. R. Tolkien and C. S. Lewis - sharing influence 36
5 "I wish to speak": Tolkien's voice in his Beowulf essay 50
6 Middle-earth, the Middle Ages, and the Aryan nation: myth and history in World War II 63
Pt. II J. R. R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings and medieval literary and mythological texts/contexts 93
7 Tolkien's Wild Men: from medieval to modern 95
8 The valkyrie reflex in J. R. R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings: Galadriel, Shelob, Eowyn, and Arwen 106
9 Exilic imagining in The Seafarer and The Lord of the Rings 133
10 "Oathbreakers, why have ye come?": Tolkien's "Passing of the Grey Company" and the twelfth-century Exercitus mortuorum 155
Pt. III J. R. R. Tolkien: The texts/contexts of medieval patristics, theology, and iconography 169
11 Augustine in the cottage of lost play: the Ainulindale as asterisk cosmogony 171
12 The "music of the spheres": relationships between Tolkien's The Silmarillion and medieval cosmological and religious theory 183
13 The anthropology of Arda: creation, theology, and the race of Men 194
14 "A land without stain": medieval images of Mary and their use in the characterization of Galadriel 225
Pt. IV J. R. R. Tolkien's Silmarillion mythology: medievalized retextualization and theory 237
15 The great chain of reading: (inter-)textual relations and the technique of mythopoesis in the Turin story 239
16 Real-world myth in a secondary world: mythological aspects in the story of Beren and Luthien 259
References 268
Index 285
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