The Road to Middle-earth

The Road to Middle earth The Road to Middle earth Tom Shippey s classic work now revised in paperback explores J R R Tolkien s creativity and the sources of his inspiration Shippey shows in detail how Tolkien s professiona

  • Title: The Road to Middle-earth
  • Author: Tom Shippey
  • ISBN: null
  • Page: 195
  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • The Road to Middle earth, Tom Shippey s classic work, now revised in paperback, explores J.R.R Tolkien s creativity and the sources of his inspiration Shippey shows in detail how Tolkien s professional background led him to write The Hobbit and how he created a timeless charm for millions of readers Examining the foundation of Tolkien s most popular work, The Lord of thThe Road to Middle earth, Tom Shippey s classic work, now revised in paperback, explores J.R.R Tolkien s creativity and the sources of his inspiration Shippey shows in detail how Tolkien s professional background led him to write The Hobbit and how he created a timeless charm for millions of readers Examining the foundation of Tolkien s most popular work, The Lord of the Rings, Shippey also discusses the contribution of The Silmarillion and Unfinished Tales to Tolkien s great myth cycle, showing how Tolkien s difficult books can be fully appreciated He goes on to examine the remarkable twelve volume History of Middle earth, written by Tolkien s son and literary heir Christopher Tolkien, which traces the creative and technical processes by which Middle earth evolved.

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    About "Tom Shippey"

    1. Tom Shippey

      Publishes as T.A Shippey and Tom Shippey.

    916 thoughts on “The Road to Middle-earth”

    1. If you're going to study Tolkien, you probably can't avoid Shippey. Fortunately, his work is reasonably readable -- although long-winded: for the size of the book it took me surprisingly long to get through it -- and he has a good grasp of Tolkien's 'sources'. Not that Tolkien would have liked that term, as Shippey quite rightly points out in the appropriate places: better say, then, that Shippey knew what influenced Tolkien, through being a medievalist as well, and through teaching Tolkien's ow [...]


    2. We all know (or wrongly deny) that J.R.R. Tolkien was a genius. But Shippey, who took over Tolkien's chair at Oxford, looks at Tolkien's teaching curriculum and comes up with a definitive vote that Tolien was the greatest writer of the English-speaking world. By studying the place names in the Lord of the Rings (and the other works), Shippey shows how Tolkien recaptured English history from long before the 1006 Conquest, and conencted with the myths and tales that had been transmitted into Engla [...]


    3. From my Weekly Standard review (link here [tinyurl/3x7pha]):IN THE NEWLY REVISED and expanded version ofThe Road to Middle-earth,Tom Shippey, a colleague of Tolkien at Oxford, has delved deep into Middle-earth's Northern roots. What Tolkien set out to do in "The Hobbit," Shippey suggests, was recreate the forgotten literatures of ancient northern Europe. The dwarves to which Bilbo is introduced in the first chapter--Dori, Nori, Ori, Oin, Gloin, Fili, Kili, Bombur, Bifur, Bofur, Dwalin, Balin, an [...]


    4. Analysis of Tolkien's sources and the uses he put to them is a stape of Tolkien criticism. However, it is seldom done terribly well. What Shippey has done that no one else has done anywhere near as well (so far as I'm aware) is look at Tolkien's use of those sources and use it to illuminate Tolkien's creative process. In so doing, Shippey brings together Tolkien's scholarly identity as a philologist and his authorial identity as a writer of fantasy, and shows that those two identities are one an [...]


    5. It can be a little dry at time, but definitely worth the read if you're a Tolkien fan. The worst part about it is it makes you want to read all of Tolkien's work. again.


    6. oh, I am going to use this book for my thesis. Shippey shows such interesting insights into Tolkien and his writings and I owe several thoughts for my thesis to him and his appearances on the extended edition Lord of the Rings bonus materials. And this book.


    7. Loved this. Shippey is a Anglo-Saxon scholar who met Tolkien and actually took over his teaching position at Leeds, teaching the same courses. Thus, Shippey has mastered all the northern European languages and source texts that Tolkien drew on for his creation of Middle Earth. The pay off is that Shippey is able to show the reader how Tolkien constructed his languages, built his new mythology out of the old, and what Tolkien's aims were in his whole project. Some of the earlier chapters are more [...]


    8. This is quite a book. Very interesting and informative, but you have to be very familiar with Tolkien's work (all of it) to fully appreciate everything. A good understanding of old English and Scandinavian literature and mythology helps too. Since I have not read everything Tolkien ever wrote and haven't read Beowulf since high school, I don't think I did fully appreciate everything. It took me a while to make it through the entire book.But I still liked it. I had no idea there was so much under [...]


    9. A bit too erudite and esoteric even for the likes of me. Enjoy The Hobbit an LOTR for what they are and don't dig too deeply in what they purportedly are all about. A friend insists that LOTR is an "allegory"--something that even given my feeble knowledge of Tolkien I knew he abhorred-- of the political climate surrounding WWII (then again this same friend insists "Close Encounters of the Third Kind" is an allegorical rendering of the conversion of St. Paul--so you might fathom where he is comin [...]


    10. It took me a while to really get into this book (the first chapter or so deviated from my interests and why I picked up this book to begin with (i.e the lit vs. lang topic escapes me)), but once it got rolling, I was transfixed. I already knew Tolkien was a genius, but Shippey really illuminated for me what Tolkien was doing in his writing with language.


    11. I enjoyed this book, but it's very much meant for hard-core lovers of words. So if etymologies make you yawn, this is probably not for you! However, since Tolkien himself was a philologist and while writing was always very much aware of the meaning of words and how they had changed over time, it gives interesting insights into his work and sources.


    12. The more i read about Middle-earth the more I love it. Now all I have to do is wait until May and read The Tale of Beren and Lúthien.


    13. nwhytevejournal/2304185ml[return][return]This is not a book for beginners - it's a text in dialogue with Tolkien (a letter from him to the author is quoted and deconstructed at the very start of the book), with many other critics, with Shippey's own Author of the Century, and with its own previous editions, which were published before the History of Middle Earth came out - Shippey is frank about where his guesses about Tolkien's creative processes have been disproved by later revelations (and ne [...]


    14. Para variar, encontré este libro a última hora en una feria perdida donde nunca se me habría ocurrido que podría estar. Gracias a Dios que ahora lo tengo, pero es demasiado tarde para el trabajo que debo presentar. Menos mal que sólo es una aproximación preliminar al tema. En todo caso lo tomo como un buen augurio. (Es entretenido ver como los Valar en los libros de Tolkien actúan bajo la idea del azarí que pondré este incidente en esa perspectivaxD! )No lo conocía :/ y ahora me pego c [...]


    15. A fascinating look at some of the influence on Middle Earth.I'm particularly fond of the portion where he discusses how philology works to trace words, and how a hapax legomenon in Anglo-Saxon can have its meaning eludicated by tracing what would be the equivalent word in German, and discovering it had something to do with sworn oaths, and so probably means "sworn band."But it has other interesting stuff: the contrasting of hobbit views vs. dwarven in The Hobbit. The double level of fate vs chan [...]


    16. This is another work that is purely for fans of Tolkien who want to better understand the underpinning's of his works and potentially the inspirations.I am an admitted Tolkien geek, but don't consider myself a scholar. I was very interested to learn about the stories that influenced Tolkien's works and am glad to have the opportunity to read many of them that have been published by his son Christopher by way of translations by his father.In this work, Shippey does a wonderful job of speaking to [...]


    17. A provocative reflection on Tolkien's work by another English philologist, mostly concerned with proving that critics who called The Lord of the Rings trash were wrong on their own terms. Some of his ideas are impressively insightful, some are stretches, some downright implausible, but practically all of them worth thinking about. Often it's hard to make up your mind independently because Shippey knows so much more about Germanic philology and it's professional history than the rest of us. The m [...]


    18. This is simply the best book on Tolkien out there. It opened my eyes with regard to stories that I had read dozens of times and pretty much knew by heart - and how many books will you ever read that you can say that about?Shippey's basic point is that Tolkien was by nature and profession a philologist, by which he means not simply someone who studies words but someone who specifically studies words in relation to old texts. From here he proceeds to point out all sorts of insightful features of T [...]


    19. I'm not good with words, and I'm sure Tolkien would be banging on his coffin if he even caught a glimpse of my writing, but I can write that he was a mastermind. Not because he created "The Lord of the Rings", it was because he wrote a truly English novel where ever word meant something and every sentenced weaved into a grand tapestry. Tom Shippey, if I remember correctly, taught English literature, alongside Tolkien, in Oxford and has a through understanding of Tolkien and his work. I can't thi [...]


    20. The Road to Middle-earth sets out the creation of J. R. R. Tolkien's legendarium, consisting of The Hobbit, Lord of the Rings and The Silmarillion, and then explores it critically – not from a "literature" perspective that was often at-odds with Tolkien (and Tolkien at odds with it), but from the scholarly viewpoint that Tolkien himself approached the writing of his life's work from. Once I got past the bewildering (to me, anyway) introduction that draws much on discussions of philology, I fou [...]


    21. Of you are looking to really study Tolkien more in depth, then this text is a vital starting point. Tom Shippey takes a look at much of how Tolkien approached the craft of writing, and especially how he approached writing _The Lord of the Rings_. At times the reading is a bit dry, which is why I can't give more than three stars. Also, there are some conclusions that Shippey makes that are a bit tenuous and that I can't necessarily agree with (most notably regarding his assertion that the _Beowul [...]


    22. As I've stated in many of my reviews: This is for the hardcore Tolkien fans. What Shippey does is he takes Tolkien's work and adds a detailed Works Cited page. He explores many of Tolkien's sources and established an in-depth discussion on all things Tolkien. From the bourgeois burglar to a discussion on Secondary and Primary ArtIf you've watched the movies twice and have never picked up the books then this book probably isn't for you. If you, like myself, have read the LOTR, The Silmarillion, T [...]


    23. There are many, many more serious Tolkien scholars than the causal reader might assume, but Tom Shippey, through his knowledge, his background, and his diligence stands far above the rest. This work is an exhaustive study of Tolkien's works, but also of how his scholarship and his philologist background were critical to his composition of Middle-Earth, and his other work as well. A fantastic read for students of language and fans of Tolkien alike. One of the most enjoyable chapters shows this sc [...]


    24. No book of Tolkien criticism is a 5 star read, but this is as good as it gets. Shippy's argument here is crucial for Tolkien Studies (and helpful for any serious reader of the books). It focuses largely on the role Tolkien's profession as a philologist played into the development of his writing. A little too "intentionalist," it doesn't explore incidental, accidental, and counter-productive representations that appear in the books; and like all Tolkien criticism its scholarship is watered down t [...]


    25. Shippey is a competent medievalist and a specialist in Old English literature and language. There is no doubt about that, his essays are packed with information you would not get from any literary critic. It is a mekka of things you would like to know about Tolkien’s fiction, no kidding here. What lacks is perhaps a more literary approach, but I still loved it – it proved to be indispensable when writing a dissertation on Tolkien’s fiction. Additionally, few excerpts were simply breathtaki [...]


    26. I really enjoyed this book. I came close to rating it 5 stars. However, it is difficult reading in places, especially the first chapter, and that holds me back. Not for the casual Tolkien fan. Unless you've read the Silmarrillion, you probably aren't enough of a Tolkien reader to enjoy this book. But if you have read beyond LOTR and The Hobbit, then you are probably going to love this book, for its discussion of Tolkien's sources and inspirations, exposition of his themes, and the etymology of h [...]


    27. Perfect reading for everyone who doesn't feel the urge to wrestle through 12 books of 'History of Middle Earth', but IS interested in the creative process behind Middle-Earth. Like Tolkien's own work, it is filled with detail, so it's worth revisiting as well. No book I've read comes close to revealing the wealth of both Tolkien's professional working field AND it's relations to his personal mythology.


    28. An excellent exploration of Tolkien's invented world. Taking in old English, Teutonic fairy tales and much more besides, Shippey skewers Tolkien's critics by pointing out that many of them weren't reading the book in the right way, or wanted something that the book didn't intend to provide for them in the first place. Academic without being impenetrable, and easy to pick up and put down. Well, maybe not to put down His views on Jackson's film adaptations were particularly interesting.


    29. Not necessarily an easy book and a lot of both the mythological details and the Tolkien details sometimes ask a bit much of a novice (such as myself). The core message, though, of Tolkien's philological take on the world informing both his work and his method of working, is told uniquely well. Shippey is a professor that followed into the same chair as Tolkien and can give examples in a way that is both understandable and, you can imagine, Tolkien might actually agree with.


    30. I think this book may be of most interest to combative philologists. For the rest of us, it's nearly impenetrable. Let me save you time. Shippey essentially fusses a lot about Tolkien's subtle derivatives from ancient sources in creating his fantasy world from Lord of the Rings. Well, of course.


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