Criticism

The study of Tolkien’s work is a young but growing branch of literary studies. The first section here consists of books by scholars who are greatly admired by The Tolkien Professor. The next section contains links to Tolkien Studies, the foremost journal of Tolkien criticism, edited by Douglas Anderson, Michael Drout, and Verlyn Flieger. Finally, there is a small section on some remarkable books relating to the maps and visual art of Tolkien’s world.


jrr_tolkien_carpenterJ.R.R. Tolkien

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Humphrey Carpenter
The authorized biography; a classic.


the_inklingsThe Inklings

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Humphrey Carpenter
The lives and friendship of Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, and Charles Williams.


jrr_tolkien_shippeyJ.R.R. Tolkien: Author of the Century

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Tom Shippey
The cornerstone of Tolkien scholarship.


road_to_middle_earthThe Road to Middle-Earth

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Tom Shippey
Shippey places Tolkien’s work in its philological, philosophical, and literary context.

companion_guideJ.R.R. Tolkien Companion and Guide

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Wayne Hammond and Christina Scull
Comprehensive reference works for all things Tolkien.


understanding_lotrUnderstanding the Lord of the Rings

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Neil Isaacs and Rose Zimbardo
Seminal essays, especially valuable for early essays by Lewis and Auden.


splintered_lightSplintered Light

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Verlyn Flieger
The classic study of language and mythology in Tolkien’s works.


interrupted_musicInterrupted Music

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Verlyn Flieger
A study of the careful construction of Tolkien’s myths.


philosophy_tolkienThe Philosophy of Tolkien

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Peter Kreeft
An examination of the underlying philosophy of Tolkien’s works by an eminent philosopher.

gospel_tolkienThe Gospel According to Tolkien

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Ralph Wood
A study of the deeply Christian theology of Tolkien’s mythology.


Tolkien Studies

tolkien_studies_vol1Tolkien Studies

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Volume 1, 2004
Articles by Shippey, Anderson, Drout, and Flieger, as well as Tolkien’s Middle-English edition of Sir Orfeo.

tolkien_studies_vol2Tolkien Studies

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Volume 2, 2005
More good essays, plus meaty book reviews and an annual bibliography.


tolkien_studies_vol3Tolkien Studies

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Volume 3, 2006
Another collection of solid essays and thorough reviews.


tolkien_studies_vol4Tolkien Studies

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Volume 4, 2007
Still more good essays, and this time with more reviews than ever.


tolkien_studies_vol5Tolkien Studies

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Volume 5, 2008
Containing the first published article by the Tolkien Professor.


Art and Atlases

jrr_tolkien_artist_illustratorJ.R.R. Tolkien: Artist & Illustrator

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Hammond and Scull
A study of Tolkien’s visual art.


atlas_of_middle_earthThe Atlas of Middle-Earth

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Karen Wynn Fonstad
A wonderful study of Tolkienian geography.

 

maps_of_middle_earthThe Maps of Tolkien’s Middle-Earth

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Brian Sibley
Featuring maps drawn by John Howe.


tolkiens_worldTolkien’s World

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Featuring the art of Ted Naismith, Alan Lee, John Howe, and others.