Tolkien's legendarium : essays on The history of Middle-earth


    • Flieger, Verlyn
    • Hostetter, Carl F.


Tolkien's legendarium : essays on The history of Middle-earth

edited by Verlyn Flieger and Carl F. Hostetter

(Contributions to the study of science fiction and fantasy, no. 86)

Greenwood Press, 2000

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Includes bibliographical references and index



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 When he died in 1973, he left behind a vast body of unpublished material related to his fictive mythology.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.


Introduction Conventions and Abbreviations The History Early Days of Elder Days by Rayner Unwin The Development of Tolkien's Legendarium: Some Threads in the Tapestry of Middle-earth by Christina Scull "A Continuing and Evolving Creation": Distractions in the Later History of Middle-earth by Wayne G. Hammond On the Construction of "The Silmarillion" by Charles E. Noad The Literary Value of The History of Middle-earth by David Bratman The Languages Gnomish Is Sindarin: The Conceptual Evolution of an Elvish Language by Christopher Gilson Certhas, Skirditaila, Fupark: A Feigned History of Runic Origins by Arden R. Smith Three Elvish Verse Modes Ann-thennath, Minlamad thent/estent, and Linnod by Patrick Wynne and Carl F. Hostetter The Cauldron and the Cook Tolkien's Lyric Poetry by Joe R. Christopher Some of Tolkien's Narrators by Paul Edmund Thomas The Footsteps of AElfwine by Verlyn Flieger The Lost Road, The Dark Tower and The Notion Club Papers: Tolkien and Lewis's Time Travel Triad by John D. Rateliff Gandalf and Odin by Marjorie Burns Turin's Ofermod: An Old English Theme in the Development of Turin by Richard C. West Appendix :Christopher Tolkien: A Bibliography by Douglas A. Anderson Suggested Further Reading Index About the Contributors

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