J.R.R. Tolkien

J.R.R. Tolkien

Author of the Century

Book - 2001
Average Rating:
Rate this:
Recent polls have consistently declared that J.R.R. Tolkien is "the most influential author of the century" and THE LORD OF THE RINGS is "the book of the century." In support of these claims, Tom Shippey, the prominent medievalist and scholar of fantasy, now presents us with a fascinating companion to the works of J.R.R. Tolkien, focusing in particular on THE HOBBIT, THE LORD OF THE RINGS, and THE SILMARILLION.
The core of the book consists of three chapters that examine THE LORD OF THE RINGS as a linguistic and cultural map, as a twisted web of story, and as a response to the meaning of myth. Shippey presents a unique argument to explain the nature of evil and gives readers a compelling insight into the complicated interweaving of many strands as the narrative moves between characters and into the remarkable skill behind the construction of such a rich and complex story. Other chapters examine THE HOBBIT, explaining the hobbits' anachronistic relationship to the heroic world of Middle-earth; the fundamental importance of THE SILMARILLION to Tolkien's canon; and an illuminating look at FARMER GILES OF HAM, LEAF BY NIGGLE, and other lesser-known works in connection to Tolkien's life.
With a clear and accessible style, Shippey offers a new approach to Tolkien, to fantasy, and to the importance of language in literature. He demonstrates how THE HOBBIT, THE LORD OF THE RINGS, and THE SILMARILLION form part of a live and continuing tradition of storytelling that can trace its roots back through Grimms' FAIRIY TALES to BEOWULF. J.R.R. TOLKIEN: AUTHOR OF THE CENTURY not only gives readers a deeper understanding of Tolkien and his work, but also serves as a learned and entertaining introduction to some of the finest and most influential works of fantasy ever written.

Baker & Taylor
A world-renowned Tolkien scholar presents readers with a fascinating companion to the major works of J.R.R. Tolkien, offering a critical analysis of The Lord of the Rings as a linguistic and cultural map--a reaction to the origin and nature of evil.

Book News
Shippey, who taught at Oxford U. at the same time and with the same syllabus as Tolkien, argues in favor of Tolkien's literary merits and offers a unique and revealing reading of the books that introduced the imaginary world of Middle-earth. A meditation on the evolution of a modern myth that expanded our view of the ongoing struggle between good and evil, this study examines the criticisms leveled against Tolkein as well as how his influence has extended beyond literature. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

& Taylor

Analyzes Tolkien's "The Hobbit," "The Lord of the Rings," "The Silmarillion," and his lesser works, and explains how his works tie into storytelling tradition dating back to Grimms' fairy tales and "Beowulf."

Publisher: Boston : Houghton Mifflin, 2001
ISBN: 9780618127641
Branch Call Number: 823.91 TOL
Characteristics: xxxv, 347 p. ; 22 cm


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment

Nov 12, 2016

If you're looking for an in depth biography of J. R. R. Tolkien's life, look elsewhere. If, however, you are looking for a biography of his writing, this is one you will want to read. Very interesting, and should be helpful for a school project.


Add Age Suitability

There are no ages for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings


Find it at DPL

To Top