Charles Jared Lobdell (29 November 1937 – 22 March 2019) was an American author and one of the first Tolkien scholars. He is best known for some thirty academic books on American history and the Inklings including J. R. R. Tolkien, C. S. Lewis, and Charles Williams.
Jared Lobdell was born to Charles and Jane Elizabeth (Hopkins) Lobdell in New York. He was educated at Yale University. He wrote many books on aspects of American history, and on each of the three major Inklings, the Oxford literary society centred on C. S. Lewis that also included J. R. R. Tolkien and Charles Williams. He died at Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania.
Lobdell wrote some 30 non-fiction books, including:
- A Tolkien Compass (editor) (Open Court, 1975)
- England and Always: Tolkien's World of the Rings (Eerdmans, 1981)
- The Detective Fiction Reviews of Charles Williams, 1930-1935 (McFarland, 2003)
- The World of the Rings: Language, Religion, and Adventure in Tolkien (Open Court, 2004) — an expansion of England and Always
- The Scientifiction Novels of C. S. Lewis: Space and Time in the Ransom Stories (McFarland, 2004)
- The Rise of Tolkienian Fantasy (Open Court, 2005)
- Eight Children in Narnia: The Making of a Children's Story (Open Court, 2016)
Lobdell wrote 23 of the essays in the 2006 J.R.R. Tolkien Encyclopedia: Scholarship and Critical Assessment.
Among Lobdell's many scholarly articles are:
- "Words That Sound like Castles" (Rally, August, 1966)
- "A Medieval Proverb in The Lord of the Rings" (American Notes and Queries Supplement I, 1978)
- "Mr. Bliss: Notes on the Manuscript and Story" (Selections from the Marquette J.R.R. Tolkien Collection, 1987)
- "C.S. Lewis's Ransom Stories and Their Eighteenth-Century Ancestry" (Word and Story in C.S. Lewis, 1991)
- "Ymagynatyf and J.R.R. Tolkien's Roman Catholicism, Catholic Theology, Religion in The Lord of the Rings" (Light Beyond All Shadow: Religious Experience in Tolkien's Work, 2011)
- "Humour, Comedy, the Comic, Comicality, Puns, Wordplay, 'Fantastication', and 'English Humour' in and around Tolkien and His Work, and among the Inklings" (Laughter in Middle-earth, 2016)