Languages, Myths and History provides brief introductions to Old Norse, Old English, Gothic and Finnish languages and literatures, and discusses key aspects of their influence on tolkien's fiction. The book demonstrates how tolkien's literary-critical, philosophical and moral ideas, particularly his understanding of heroism and courage, were inspired by medieval literature and folklore. The book offers an overview of tolkien's invented languages and his principles for language creation. In addition it provides a summary of tolkien's academic career.
- chapters on languages and literatures which inspired Tolkien as a writer;
- a discussion of tolkien's literary-critical and philosophical ideas influenced by medieval literature, such as his 'theory of courage';
- a detailed overview of the history and language of the Goths, rarely offered as part of university courses, and little known to students of literature;
- an extract from Jordanes's Gothic History and a discussion of its influence on Tolkien;
- an introductory discussion of tolkien's languages and alphabets, a notoriously confusing subject, rarely approached in an accessible, non-technical way;
- further reading' sections with suggestions for additional study.
This book is a clearly written introduction to some of tolkien's most important ideas, as well as more specialist aspects of his fiction, such as its grounding in linguistics and medieval culture. The book is essential reading for students of literature and anyone with an interest in Tolkien as a writer.
About the Author
Dr Elizabeth Solopova works in the Department of Special Collections and Western Manuscripts at the Bodleian Library, Oxford University. Her research focuses on medieval manuscripts, literature, historical linguistics and the fiction of J. R. R. Tolkien. She is a co-author , with Dr Stuart Lee, of The Keys of Middle-Earth: Discovering Medieval Literature through the Fiction of J.R.R. Tolkien (Palgrave Macmillan, 2005) and Key Concepts in Medieval Literature (Palgrave Macmillan, 2007).
Spread the news about this J.R.R. Tolkien article: