Tolkien's Legendarium: Essays on The History of Middle-earth

Overview

As a scholar of medieval languages and literature, J.R.R. Tolkien brought to his fiction an intense interest in myth and legend. When he died in 1973, he left behind a vast body of unpublished material related to his fictive mythology. Now edited and published as The History of Middle-earth by his son and literary executor, Christopher Tolkien, these 12 volumes provide a record of the growth of J.R.R. Tolkien's mythology from its beginnings in 1917 to the time of his death more than 50 years later. The material ...

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Overview

As a scholar of medieval languages and literature, J.R.R. Tolkien brought to his fiction an intense interest in myth and legend. When he died in 1973, he left behind a vast body of unpublished material related to his fictive mythology. Now edited and published as The History of Middle-earth by his son and literary executor, Christopher Tolkien, these 12 volumes provide a record of the growth of J.R.R. Tolkien's mythology from its beginnings in 1917 to the time of his death more than 50 years later. The material in these volumes offers an unparalleled insight into Tolkien's process of myth-making and is a guide to the world of his literary works. This book is the first comprehensive critical examination of Christopher Tolkien's compilation of his father's Middle-earth legends.

An opening essay by Rayner Unwin, Tolkien's publisher for many years, surveys the publication history of the collection. The essays that follow, each written by an expert contributor, explore a wide range of topics related to The History of Middle-earth. Included are discussions of Tolkien's languages, the evolution of his vision over time, the shifting importance of central characters, and the effect of his mythology on The Lord of the Rings. By exploring this mythological compendium, the volume sheds further light on the entire body of J.R.R. Tolkien's works and is a valuable resource for all readers interested in his writings.

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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
The 14 essays consider and draw from the 12-volume published between 1983 and 1996, in which Christopher Tolkien has collected fragments and unpublished work relating to his father J.R.R. Tolkien's classic fantasy series . Among the topics are the construction of The Silmarillion, the conceptual evolution of an Elvish language, some of Tolkien's narrators, the footsteps of Aelfwine, and Gandalf and Odin. A bibliography of Christopher Tolkien is also provided. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
From The Critics
These essays are rich in complexity and detail and are recommended for college-level students of Tolkien's writings: they discuss the history of his Middle-Earth world, from the concept of Elvish language and the structure of Elvish verse to Tolkien's lyric poetry. An excellent set of technical discussions on the inviting world of Tolkien.
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Product Details

Meet the Author

VERLYN FLIEGER is Professor of English at the University of Maryland, where she teaches courses in Tolkien, Medieval Literature, Comparative Mythology, and Fantasy and Science Fiction.

CARL F. HOSTETTER is a computer scientist at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix
Introduction xi
Conventions and Abbreviations xv
I. The History
Early Days of Elder Days 3
The Development of Tolkien's Legendarium: Some Threads in the Tapestry of Middle-earth 7
"A Continuing and Evolving Creation": Distractions in the Later History of Middle-earth 19
On the Construction of "The Silmarillion" 31
The Literary Value of The History of Middle-earth 69
II. The Languages
Gnomish Is Sindarin: The Conceptual Evolution of an Elvish Language 95
Certhas, Skirditaila, Fupark: A Feigned History of Runic Origins 105
Three Elvish Verse Modes: Ann-thennath, Minlamad thent / estent, and Linnod 113
III. The Cauldron and the Cook
Tolkien's Lyric Poetry 143
Some of Tolkien's Narrators 161
The Footsteps of AElfwine 183
The Lost Road, The Dark Tower, and The Notion Club Papers: Tolkien and Lewis's Time Travel Triad 199
Gandalf and Odin 219
Turin's Ofermod: An Old English Theme in the Development of the Story of Turin 233
Christopher Tolkien: A Bibliography 247
Suggested Further Reading 253
Index 255
About the Contributors 271
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