tolkien's View: Windows into His World by J.S. Ryan (15.08.09 by Pieter Collier) - Comments

Having been very busy lately, I'm running a bit behind on all fronts. Still in the next few weeks I'll hope to write some short articles to get back on track and talk about some interesting new releases. I am for example very excited about the new volume (No. 19) in the Cormarë Series by Walking Tree Publishers. One thing is certain, whenever they release a new book it is always very interesting! This time it is a book in which we can learn a lot about the man behind The Lord of the Rings, Tolkien himself.

tolkien's View: Windows into his World contains a number of selected essays by Professor J.S. Ryan, all but one previously published over three decades from the 1960s to the 1990s, on the theme of J.R.R. Tolkien and his works. Since most of these essays are very hard to find or the original publications very long out of print it is nice to see Walking Tree Publishers to put them all together. The good news is, as can be read at Lingwë - Musings of a Fish, that this book is only volume 1 of a series of two books. So we can expect more by Professor J.S. Ryan real soon!

Professor J.S. Ryan is one of the few person who himself studied under Professor Tolkien at the time of the publication of his masterwork The Lord of the Rings. So he is uniquely well-placed to comment on some aspects of tolkien's academic environment in Oxford, the subject matters J.R.R. Tolkien studied and brooded upon in his regular professional work and the people he personally knew, cherished and was influenced by as a student and then as a professor of Old and Middle English, a writer and a person.

tolkien's View - Windows into his world
The stunning cover photograph by John Gibbons, which extends over the full width of the front and back covers, shows the view of Merton Meadows, Oxford, seen from the window of tolkien's study.

the view of Merton Meadows, Oxford, seen from the window of tolkien's study

Thanks to, I can share the full table of contents with you:

Introduction and Background
List of Abbreviations and References

Part A. Early Biographic Pieces and Emerging Tastes
• Those Birmingham Quietists: J.R.R. Tolkien and J.H. Shorthouse (1834–1903)
• The Oxford Undergraduate Studies in Early English and Related Languages of J.R.R. Tolkien (1913–1915)
• An Important Influence: His Professor’s Wife, Mrs Elizabeth Mary (Lea) Wright
• Trolls and Other Themes – William Craigie’s Significant Folkloric Influence on the Style of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit
• Homo Ludens — Amusement, Play and Seeking in Tolkien’s earliest Romantic Thought
• Edith, St. Edith of Wilton and the other English Western Saints

Part B. The Young Professor and his Early Publishing
• Tolkien and George Gordon: or, A Close Colleague and His notion of ‘Myth-maker’ and of Historiographic Jeux d’Esprit
• J.R.R. Tolkien: Lexicography and other Early Linguistic Preferences
• The Work and Preferences of the Professor of Old Norse at the University of Oxford from 1925 to 1945
• The Poem ‘Mythopoeia’ as an Early Statement of Tolkien’s Artistic and Religious Position
• Tolkien’s Concept of Philology as Mythology
• By ‘Significant’ Compounding “We Pass Insensibly into the World of the Epic”
• Barrow-wights, Hog-boys and the evocation of The Battle of the Goths and Huns and of St. Guthlac
• Dynamic Metahistory and the Model of Christopher Dawson
• Folktale, Fairy Tale, and the Creation of a Story
• The Wild Hunt, Sir Orfeo and J.R.R. Tolkien
• Mid-Century Perceptions of the Ancient Celtic Peoples of ‘England’
• Germanic Mythology Applied – the Extension of the Literary Folk Memory
• Perilous Roads to the East, from Weathertop and through the Borgo Pass
• Before Puck – the Púkel-men and the puca

Appendix. Othin in England – Evidence from the Poetry for a Cult of Woden in Anglo-Saxon England

tolkien's View: Windows into His World

Type: Paperback
Estimate: 312 pages

Walking Tree Publication
Publication date: 15 Aug 2009

ISBN-10: 3905703130
ISBN-13: 978-3905703139

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