Tolkien research

  (Redirected from Tolkien scholar)

The works of J. R. R. Tolkien have generated a body of research covering many aspects of his fantasy writings, principally The Lord of the Rings and The Silmarillion, along with the large legendarium that remained unpublished on his death in 1973, and the constructed languages that he invented in connection with these, especially the Elvish languages that gave rise to many of the names he used, Quenya and Sindarin. Scholars from different disciplines have examined the linguistic and literary origins of Middle-earth, and have explored many aspects of his writings from Christianity to feminism and race.

Biography and lettersEdit

Biographies of Tolkien have been written by Humphrey Carpenter, with his 1977 J. R. R. Tolkien: A Biography[1] and of Tolkien's wartime years by John Garth with his 2003 Tolkien and the Great War: The Threshold of Middle-earth.[2] Carpenter edited the 1981 The Letters of J. R. R. Tolkien, assisted by Christopher Tolkien.[3] The brief period after the war when Tolkien worked for the OED is detailed in the 2006 book The Ring of Words: Tolkien and the Oxford English Dictionary by Peter Gilliver, Jeremy Marshall and Edmund Weiner.[4]

As a writerEdit


A variety of institutions have developed to support Tolkien research. These include The Tolkien Society and The Mythopoeic Society. Tolkien archives are held in the Bodleian Library in Oxford[5] and Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.[6] Publishers of scholarly books on Tolkien include Houghton Mifflin, McFarland Press, Mythopoeic Press, Walking Tree Publishers, Palgrave MacMillan, and Kent State University Press.[7]


Early publications on Tolkien's writing were essentially fanzines; some, such as Mythlore, founded in 1969, developed into scholarly peer-reviewed (refereed) technical publications; among the non-refereed but "reputable"[7] journals is Mallorn.[7] Other specialised journals include Tolkien Studies (2004-) and Journal of Tolkien Research (2014-). There are several journals that focus on the literary society The Inklings, of which Tolkien was a member, especially Journal of Inklings Studies (2011-).[7]


A large literature examines Tolkien's Middle-earth fantasy fiction from numerous points of view, including medievalism, its philological roots in languages such as Old Norse and Old English,[8] its influences from literature of different periods, its poetry, its Christian symbolism, feminism, race, sexuality, and many other themes.[9][10] These are overviewed in Blackwell's A Companion to J. R. R. Tolkien,[11] which effectively marked his acceptance into the English literary canon.[12]

Constructed languagesEdit

Tolkien's constructed languages, Quenya and Sindarin, the main languages of Elves, have inspired linguistic research. Parma Eldalamberon and Vinyar Tengwar are published by the Elvish Linguistic Fellowship of the Mythopoeic Society a non-profit organization. The Vinyar Tengwar and Parma Eldalamberon material published at an increasing rate during the early 2000s is from the stock of linguistic material in the possession of the appointed team of editors (some 3000 pages according to them), consisting of photocopies sent them by Christopher Tolkien and notes taken in the Bodleian Library around 1992. An Internet mailing list dedicated to Tolkien's languages, called tolklang, has existed since November 1, 1990.[13]


Major introductory booksEdit

  • Hammond, Wayne G.; Christina Scull (2005). The Lord of the Rings: A Reader's Companion.
  • Flieger, Verlyn; Hostetter, Carl F., eds. (2000). Tolkien's Legendarium. Greenwood Press. ISBN 0-313-30530-7.
  • Hammond, Wayne G.; Scull, Christina (2006b), The J.R.R. Tolkien Companion and Guide: Reader's Guide, London: HarperCollins, ISBN 0-007-14918-2
  • Lee, Stuart D., ed. (2020) [2014]. A Companion to J. R. R. Tolkien. Wiley Blackwell. ISBN 978-1119656029.
  • Olsen, Corey (2012). Exploring J.R.R. Tolkien's The Hobbit. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. ISBN 978-0-547-73946-5.
  • Pesch, Helmut W. (2003). Elbisch – Grammatik, Schrift und Wörterbuch der Elben-Sprache J.R.R. Tolkiens (in German). Bergisch Gladbach: Bastei-Lübbe. ISBN 3-404-20476-X.
  • Shippey, Tom (1982). The Road to Middle-earth. London: George Allen and Unwin. ISBN 0-04-809018-2. (Revised and expanded 1992, 2005)
  • Solopova, Elizabeth (2009), Languages, Myths and History: An Introduction to the Linguistic and Literary Background of J. R. R. Tolkien's Fiction, New York City: North Landing Books, ISBN 978-0-9816607-1-4


  • Fastitocalon: Studies in Fantasticism Ancient to Modern: Immortals and the Undead briefly existed in the 2010s.[14][15]


  1. ^ "Tolkien Bibliography: 1977 - Humphrey Carpenter - J.R.R. Tolkien: a biography". The Tolkien Library. Retrieved 1 November 2016.
  2. ^ Garth, John (2003). Tolkien and the Great War : the threshold of Middle-earth. London: HarperCollins. ISBN 978-0-00-711953-0. OCLC 54047800.
  3. ^ Carpenter, Humphrey, ed. (2000). "Letter 294". The Letters of J. R. R. Tolkien. Houghton Mifflin. ISBN 978-0-618-05699-6.
  4. ^ Gilliver, Peter (2006). The Ring of Words: Tolkien and the Oxford English Dictionary. Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-861069-6.
  5. ^ Barella, Cecilia (2013) [2007]. "Tolkien Scholarship: Institutions". In Drout, Michael D. C. (ed.). J.R.R. Tolkien Encyclopedia: Scholarship and Critical Assessment. Routledge. pp. 656–659. ISBN 978-0-415-86511-1.
  6. ^ "J R R Tolkien Collection - Marquette University Libraries". Marquette University Libraries. 30 November 2020. Archived from the original on 2022-02-26. Retrieved 25 January 2021.
  7. ^ a b c d Croft, Janet Brennan (2016). "Bibliographic Resources for Literature Searches on J.R.R Tolkien". Journal of Tolkien Research. 3 (1). Article 2.
  8. ^ Solopova 2009.
  9. ^ Drout, Michael D. C., ed. (2006). J. R. R. Tolkien Encyclopedia: Scholarship and Critical Assessment. New York City: Routledge. pp. xxix–xxx. ISBN 0-415-96942-5.
  10. ^ Hammond & Scull 2006b.
  11. ^ Lee 2020.
  12. ^ Higgins, Andrew (2015). "A Companion to J. R. R. Tolkien, ed. Stuart D. Lee, reviewed by Andrew Higgins". Journal of Tolkien Research. 2 (1). Article 2.
  13. ^ Bradfield, Julian. "The Tolkien Language List". Retrieved 25 January 2021.
  14. ^ Petersen, Vibeke Rützou (2012). "Review of Fastitocalon. Studies in Fantasticism Ancient to Modern: Immortals and the Undead 1.2 (2010): 91–200". Journal of the Fantastic in the Arts. 23 (2 (85)): 334–337. ISSN 0897-0521.
  15. ^ Croft, Janet Brennan (2010). "Review of Fastitocalon: Studies in Fantasticism Ancient to Modern: Immortals and the Undead". Mythlore. 29 (1/2 (111/112)): 188–192. ISSN 0146-9339.

External linksEdit