- Paperback: 240 pages
- Publisher: McFarland (July 22, 2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0786464828
- ISBN-13: 978-0786464821
- Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 5.9 x 0.7 inches
- Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,412,744 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Tolkien and the Study of His Sources: Critical Essays
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"This critical collection provides a solid defense of the sometime-maligned literary discipline of 'source-hunting' along with outstanding examples of the value of this approach in understanding the depths of Tolkien's literary creation." --Douglas A. Anderson, author of "The Annotated Hobbit"
"A valuable book for anyone serious about Tolkien. It not only adds new, confirming material to what is known about Tolkien's sources but covers areas of influence previously denied or underplayed." --Marjorie J. Burns, author of "Perilous Realms: Celtic and Norse in Tolkien's Middle-earth"
"The most exhaustive examination yet published of demonstrable, probable, and conjectural sources for Tolkien's legendarium." --Verlyn Flieger, author of Splintered Light: Logos and Language in Tolkien's World
"An intriguing work that provides another angle on one of the most influential writers of the twentieth century." --Midwest Book Review</I
"Well-written and well-edited volume...excellent...can serve as a how-to guide for both research and writing." --Beyond Bree
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Top Customer Reviews
Though Tolkien himself did not like source criticism and he discouraged fans from trying to deconstruct his works I feel that this book has much to offer the modern reader. Modern readers are even further removed from the works that Tolkien studied and loved than when his books were first published, and I feel that this book helps regain some of the ground that has been lost. I am a fan of Tolkien's works and have done some academic reading on the Professor. This book contains academic essays, and I learned a great deal from it. Some chapters were of higher personal interest to me, such as the Anglo-Saxons and Byzantium, but the variety of topics benefited the book. It's definitely peaked my interest to read several of the works listed in the bibliography.
There are a number of other articles by lesser known Tolkien scholars, but they are just as interesting and astute. Beyond the three mentioned above, my personal favorites were Kristine Larsen's "Sea Birds and Morning Stars," and Thomas Honegger's "The Rohirrim: 'Anglo-Saxons on Horseback'?"
The one criticism I have of this collection is I wish that it was a bit longer--I personally would have liked to have seen at least one contribution from the editors of Tolkien Studies (Anderson, Drout, Flieger). And, of course, there is still much more to be said about Tolkien's sources--this book doesn't pretend to be exhaustive (is any book?), but it remains a worthwhile contribution to Tolkien studies in particular and source study in general.
I highly recommend this book to general readers and libraries alike. If you like books about Tolkien and his fiction, this is a must have and must read. It is multifaceted enough for everyone to find something enlightening, thought-provoking, or compelling. I, for one, found all three.