The Evolution of Tolkien’s Mythology
A Study of the History of Middle-earth
About the Book
The History of Middle-earth traces the evolution of J.R.R. Tolkien’s literary world, stories, and characters from their earliest written forms to the final revisions Tolkien penned shortly before his death in 1973. Published posthumously by Tolkien’s son Christopher, the extensively detailed 12-volume work allows readers to follow the development of the texts that eventually became Tolkien’s immensely popular The Hobbit, The Lord of The Rings, The Silmarillion, and Unfinished Tales.
This work provides a thorough study of Tolkien’s life and influences through an analysis of The History of Middle-earth. The work begins with a brief biography and an analysis of the major influences in Tolkien’s life. Following chapters deal with elements common to Tolkien’s popular works, including the cosmogony, theogony, cosmology, metaphysics, and eschatology of Middle-earth. The study also reviews some of the myths with which Tolkien was most familiar—Greek, Roman, Finnish, and Norse—and reveals the often overlapping relationship between mythology, biblical stories, and Tolkien’s popular works.
About the Author(s)
Elizabeth A. Whittingham. Series Editors Donald E. Palumbo and C.W. Sullivan III
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Bibliographic Info: bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2008
Series: Critical Explorations in Science Fiction and Fantasy
Table of Contents
1. Influences in Tolkien’s Life 13
2. Tolkien’s Mythology of Creation 37
3. Tolkien’s Mythology of Divine Beings 64
4. The Physical World of Middle-earth and of Eä 100
5. Death and Immortality among Elves and Men 123
6. The Last Days of Middle-earth 170
7. The Final Victory 192
Works Consulted 201
Book Reviews & Awards
Finalist, Mythopoeic Scholarship Award in Inklings Studies—The Mythopoeic Society
“a most valuable…handbook”—SFRA Review; “relatively little attention has been focused on the twelve volumes of The History of Middle-earth…a very useful teaching and reference tool…stresses the enormous role that Tolkien’s readers had in prompting him to rethink, revise and refine some of the more complex elements of his mythology”—Tolkien Studies; “an excellent ‘primer’ for those who found The History of Middle-earth itself intimidating. It is to be hoped that others will follow her fine example”—SEVEN; “an insightful and thought provoking examination”—Critical Mass; “welcome…a weighty contribution to Tolkien commentary”—St. Austin Review; “show[s] the seriousness of the topics that Tolkien addressed…examin[es] not just the factual evolution of Tolkien’s story but the stylistic evolution as well…this consideration of style is a real achievement, as this topic—requiring a command of the whole body of the History—has attracted little previous comment”—Mythlore; “painstakingly combs through the many versions of J.R.R. Tolkien’s writings…undoubtedly a work of scholarship, but it’s a lot more accessible than most of the genre. This isn’t an introduction to the stories, it’s a way to deepen your understanding of them”—Green Man Review.