1.1 (Winter 2017)

“The Medieval and the Modern in Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings”

Stefani Muñoz
Fitchburg State University

Throughout the development of new war tactics during the 1900’s, many authors began to experience and express sufficiently reimagined literature, exposing both the tragic wins and losses personally seen during not only in World War I but World War II as well. Essentially, the idea of the “heroic” character began to morph into a less idealized image as modern authors at the time presented characters more realized, deconstructing the “ideal” and transforming it into the “real.” Author J.R.R. Tolkien was one of many others who began to pave the way for the more realized heroic character, but unlike some authors at the time Tolkien held an advantage in the area of heroic ideals. Having had extensive experience with epic texts such as Beowulf and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (Sir Gawain), Tolkien’s knowledge of the “heroic” ideal of Anglo-Saxon culture was exceptional. And during this period of war-time struggle, the idea of the heroic ideal of modern times compared to that of Anglo-Saxon culture held distinct similarities. By Christopher Garcia’s definition, a hero within Anglo-Saxon was “a warrior,” and this warrior had to be “strong, intelligent, and courageous […] willing to face any odds, fight to the death for their glory and people” and was able to do so while also being “humble and kind” (Garcia para. 1). With this in mind, I argue that during the time of the First World War, the figure of the ideal soldier held many of the same characteristics with the Anglo-Saxon warrior: courageous, self-sacrificing, and gracious.

But having had experienced his own trials and tribulations in a “quest” of his own during the First World War as a soldier, we may begin to wonder how the medieval and the modern matched up for Tolkien, especially within his fantasy creation The Lord of the Rings. With that being said, is it possible to infer that Tolkien himself might have interpreted his experiences during the First World War through medieval texts such as Beowulf and Sir Gawain and then within his creation The Lord of the Rings? Some argue that Tolkien’s experiences with medieval texts is the sole influence behind The Lord of the Rings, but within this article I will be exploring a more complex relationship between the two. In this case, I will argue for the idea that Tolkien’s experiences combined with his extensive knowledge of medieval literature allowed him to entwine the two within an epic fantasy that, ultimately, helped reimagine the “heroic” ideal for decades to come.

The “Heroic” Ideal

Within his article titled “Frodo and the Great War,” John Garth makes a claim that “[i]n their writing, predominantly, soldiers are passive sufferers” (41). This assertion, most notably, speaks homage to the literary figures of the First World War. From poets to philologists and everything in between, common men were thrust into the terrible horrors that battle wrought upon their country. Tolkien was one of them. Close to achieving his degree at Oxford, Tolkien faced the difficult choice of enlistment. With his degree so close at hand Tolkien was reluctant to disrupt his studies like most of his fellow colleagues though he knew that, sooner or later, he would be at the forefront of the battle (Zaleski and Zaleski 67).

Thus, in 1914, Tolkien joined the Lancashire Fusiliers, obtaining a commission as a temporary second lieutenant. Two years later and Tolkien was off to France, deposited at the front four weeks before the Battle of the Somme to fight in what is commonly referred to as the “Trench War” (Zaleski and Zaleski 68). Whilst the entirety of the First World War in itself was a calamity, the Battle of the Somme, arguably, may have been one of the most impactful for the literary figures of that time, especially Tolkien. Described as the “soul-deadening” trenches by Robert Graves, the Battle of the Somme left Tolkien broken; he felt that “something ha[d] gone crack” (69). And with the death toll rising exponentially on both sides, few, albeit vastly important, distractions kept Tolkien afloat amongst the carnage. One of those distractions was writing.

As stated by Garth before, soldiers are passive sufferers; they would rather pour their horrific experiences into literary prose rather than actively voicing them out loud. For Tolkien, the best way to release the turbulent thoughts and emotions as direct byproducts of the trauma around him was through “finding a voice.” Ultimately, the war had altered the voice of the literary figures of the First World War, including Tolkien. Some could conclude these voices would be the result of acts of honor: of glory and heroic deeds. It offered its own heroic opportunity in the form of the young man fighting for his country. But the “ideal” and the “real” turned out to be wholly separate: the former a dream whilst the latter became the truth. Though their duties held import over all else, what Tolkien and many others wished to do was to simply escape, and prose, in all forms, allowed them, in Tolkien’s words, to “get out and go home” (Zaleski and Zaleski 71). And there, within the few blood-stained pages they owned, the literary voices changed the heroic ideal. Gone was the ideal heroic warrior. Instead, the soldier took his place, both heroic and tragic, his faults and feats creating a truly recognized hero of the times. The war had allowed the soldier to “sharpen their sense of beauty, prophecy, and mission,” essentially opening “the gap between expectation and fulfillment” (70).  In Garth’s eyes, the war challenged preexisting notions of “what heroes are and how to write about them” (Garth 41).  Within Tolkien’s epic fantasy The Lord of the Rings, composed years after his experiences during the First World War, we begin to experience the full extent to which he internalized the grim and the grotesque during his time as a soldier and how the heroic ideal was not only changed, but wholly shattered, reconstructed into a mold fit for the reality of war.

The “Wyrd”

For Tolkien, language became one of the greatest gateways into the “wyrd” of medieval literature. Having been exposed to several foreign languages and myths by his mother Mabel, Tolkien himself began to journey into medieval epics. During his time in Oxford as a Literature and Language student, Tolkien launched into the wyrd of epics such as Beowulf, becoming invested in the atmosphere and quest of the Anglo-Saxon legends. On November 26, 1963, Tolkien delivered a ground-breaking lecture, “Beowulf: The Monsters and the Critics,” which many believe to have been the ultimate reintroduction of Beowulf into the literary world (Olivares-Merino 188).

But Tolkien’s experiences with Beowulf, as well as Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, both essential to the central argument of this paper, begins before Tolkien’s academic lectures. During his time in Oxford, before his enlistment into the First World War, Tolkien yearned for companionship after having lived without his mother and father for many years. Thus he created the Tea Club and Barrovian Society (TCBS) with some of his closest colleagues: Rob Gilson, Geoffrey Smith, and Christopher Wiseman (Zaleski and Zaleski 26). Considered one of the many proto-Inklings groups, Tolkien began to delve into the medieval prose of Beowulf, Pearl, and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, essentially coming into his own and “finding his voice” (26). But most notably, Tolkien admitted that Beowulf was one of his “most valued sources” (Olivares-Merino 191). And with the coming of war and his unwanted enlistment, Tolkien was thrust into battle with Beowulf and other medieval texts on his mind. Unlike many others, Tolkien himself did not think of escape from the everyday horrors of war as a fault in his character; he did not find dishonor in wanting to go home. And as he stood at the front of the Battle of the Somme, Tolkien began to make connections between his beloved medieval texts and the realities of his time. As Olivares-Merinos states, “powerful events in our lives exert an influence on how and what we read,” arguing that, given the significance of a specific event, the consequences hold the power to change the way we go about our everyday lives (192).

From 1914 and thereafter I am apt to think that Tolkien’s literary voice became heavily influenced by his wartime experiences, his knowledge of medieval literature working hand-in-hand, allowing Tolkien the chance of reinterpreting medieval prose into modern literature, reflecting realities and deconstructing ideals. Olivares-Merino offers the insight of scholar Tom Shippey, who argues that The Lord of the Rings “in particular is a war-book, also a post-war book, framed by and responding to the crisis of Western Civilization” (194). This I believe supports my argument that Tolkien’s devotion to medieval literature allowed him to channel the experiences he acquired during the First World War into The Lord of the Rings, creating a relationship of the medieval and the modern into a literary fantasy that outlines the realities of the now changed heroic ideal as well how modern men began to change the world, possibly not for the better. Tolkien himself was not a fan of modern industrialization before his enlistment into the First World War, and it seems that what he saw during his time as a soldier only intensified his contempt for industrialization.

The Fellowship and the First World War

As we see before the formation of the Fellowship, with the threat of Sauron on the horizon, we may wonder why some characters, especially the Hobbits, take their time coming face to face with the threat to Middle-Earth. And as we are, finally, plunged into the quest bestowed upon the Fellowship of the Ring, we are also subject to occasions of drawn-out periods of suspended action between the ever-evolving journeys to Mordor. Often we see the Fellowship stopping and going, seen even more so as Frodo and Sam are separated from the rest. Rather than being subjected to a fast-paced story of suspense some may expect to experience considering the dangers posed by Sauron and his minions, more often than not we receive bouts of deferred action replaced with inner contemplation and doubt.

Frodo himself confesses, “I am not made for perilous quests” (61). And as we see from the very beginning as Frodo is first given the chance to become the Ring-Bearer, it is revealed that Frodo himself is unsure of whether or not he is worthy or willing. As John Garth finds, Tolkien himself admits that Hobbits “were versions of rural Englishry from the start of the twentieth century […] apparently not up to facing real danger, they are insular, domestic, and prone to squabble” (42). As we see, Frodo, at first, denies his place in the looming war coming to Middle-Earth, stating that “I wish it need not have happened in my time” (51). As Garth describes him, Frodo is “neither an aspiring hero nor a promising one” (42). But on the contrary, Frodo is real. While Frodo himself may not exhibit the customary characteristics of a hero, I tend to argue that Frodo can still be considered a heroic character in his own way. As mentioned before, the First World War greatly reimagined the written prose for many literary voices of the time, especially the way in which they not only saw the war through their words, but also how they saw heroes. Tolkien exemplifies this. Rather than being given an epic hero Tolkien had previously experienced through medieval texts such as Beowulf, we instead have Frodo, a seemingly unheroic character who would rather have the obstacles before him occur in a time where he would not be in the direct line of conflict. But as the story progress we begin to see a change in both Frodo as well as the idea of the heroic character.

Furthermore, we also begin to see change within other characters, especially within the Fellowship itself. Aragorn, also known as Strider, is first revealed to us as a solemn character who seems to have no part in the war of Middle Earth. And then he is revealed to us as the heir of Isildur and soon becomes one of the many characters who seem to fit the Anglo-Saxon ideal of the heroic trope. But, as seems to be a common occurrence, Tolkien deconstructs our expectations. Aragorn, leader of the Fellowship, questions his position after the fall of Gandalf and the Balrog as well as the death of Boromir.

Even Sam, Frodo’s servant, defies conformity to what we expect from his character. As the quest becomes more tedious, we begin to experience a reversal of roles when it comes to Frodo and Sam. Frodo, at times courageous and proactive in the quest, is often apt to default to the more dependent role. And as we soon see Sam Gamgee comes to the forefront, taking on many responsibilities that Frodo, as the Ring-Bearer, is expected to handle for himself. As Garth interestingly argues, “[t]he relationship between Frodo and Sam closely reflects the hierarchy of an officer and his servant […] [o]fficers were given commissions for class reasons, not because they were experienced, whereas the privates and batmen had the age, experience, and wisdom” (44). Closely related to Tolkien, who was given a temporary lieutenant position at time of enlistment, these instances of reversal roles seem to exemplify the realities of everyday heroics.

I am less apt to argue for the idea that Tolkien, with his previous knowledge of heroic quest and characters within medieval literature, sought to directly insert such characteristics into his fantasy literature. Instead, I am more willing to agree with Roger Schlobin’s argument, within his chapter titled “The Monsters Are Talismans and Transgressions: Tolkien and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight,” that Tolkien, also having extensive knowledge of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (Sir Gawain), took away the kinder virtues of Sir Gawain and used it as a means of influencing several characteristics within his own in relation to his experiences during the First World War. This, in turn, allowed Tolkien to essentially reveal the realities of who and what the “hero” truly is. For example, Gawain himself exemplifies humility, dissuading the reader of his competence as a knight. Furthermore, as Gawain embarks on his own quest, we see his character evolve. He becomes conscious of both his actions and the consequences of his choices and how that in turn affects him as a person. This, in itself, can be closely related with Frodo. As Schlobin puts it, “[l]ike Gawain, Frodo is bound by the same geas that compels Gawain and all the virtuous and inescapable promises that even affect Gollum and ultimately extend to Samwise” (75). I believe that, for Tolkien, this unconventional hero in its own way reminded Tolkien of his comrades during the First World War.

In addition, I also believe that, in some ways, the unconventional hero we see within Beowulf can also attest to Tolkien’s deconstruction of heroic ideals. Wiglaf, the singular soldier who exemplifies courage and loyalty to Beowulf, I believe can be related to that of Sam Gamgee, although Frodo himself also, in my opinion, reflects some of Wiglaf’s virtuous characteristics. As we see Wiglaf, in a moment of selflessness, thrusts himself in between Beowulf and the Dragon:

“Then, I have heard, in his king’s hour of need
the earl beside him showed his bravery,
the noble skill which was his nature.
He did not heed that head when he helped his kinsman;
that brave man’s hand was burned, so that
he struck that savage foe a little lower down,
the soldier in armor, so that his sword plunged in
bejeweled and bloody, so that the dire began
to subside afterwards.” (Beowulf  81, ll. 2694-2702)

This I find relates to many characteristics I see within Sam. Sam is the ultimate friend, loyal beyond normal boundaries, and willing to see Frodo finish the quest set upon him by any means. Furthermore, Wiglaf’s bravery can also be seen within Frodo at times, as despite his doubts Frodo understands that he may be the only person who can successfully end the evil that shadows Middle Earth. This may attest to real situations Tolkien might have experienced during the First World War both himself as well as those of his comrades. And medieval literature may have allowed him to solidify such acts into his own literary prose. Though Scholbin himself argues that, ultimately, we cannot say for sure whether or not Tolkien’s knowledge of medieval literature directly influenced the entirety of The Lord of the Rings, he also acknowledges that “Tolkien’s epic does share an intrinsic commitment to responsible virtue, which may be the result of the discovery of a great medieval poet by an impressionable teenager” (79). And this, essentially, may have allowed Tolkien to channel his First World War experiences through the great medieval poets he appreciated well before his enlistment into his creation of The Lord of the Rings.

The Landscape of Mordor and the First World War                                                    

Within Tolkien’s chapter titled “The Passage of the Marshes” in The Two Towers, we are given one of the first detailed descriptions of the landscape of Mordor. Here, Tolkien utilizes expressive language to describe both Frodo and Sam’s passage as they are lead by Gollum through the marshes on the outskirts of Mordor. The Dead Marshes are described as follows:

It was dreary and wearisome. Cold clammy winter still held sway in this forsaken country. The only green was the scum of livid weed on the dark greasy surfaces of the sullen waters. Dead grasses and rotting reeds loomed up in the mists like ragged shadows of long forgotten summers. (626)

At one point, Frodo even spies “floating lights” atop the pools of the grotesque fens of The Dead Marshes. At once he feels as if he must follow, but Gollum reveals that they will only cause them harm as they are the souls of the dead. They also spy ghostly faces in the waters, which Gollum knows to be the haunting faces of fallen warriors of a past battle. As we soon find out The Dead Marshes was where the Battle of Dagorlad between the Last Alliance and the forces of Mordor occurred, both sides having had tremendous amounts of fallen allies.

Further on in the books, within Tolkien’s chapter titled “The Land of Shadow” in The Return of the King, we are given more depictions of the effects that Sauron’s powers have on the landscape of Middle Earth. In this instance, Tolkien begins to describe more in-depth both Frodo and Sam’s arduous journey within Mordor. Here, they are traveling down the face of Cirith Ungol to the valley below where Mordor lies, one of the last hurdles before coming to their final destination. In one excerpt, Tolkien describes their proceedings as:

They had to struggle to get out of the thicket. The thorns and briars were as tough as wire and as clinging as claws […d]ay was coming again in the world outside, and far beyond the glooms of Mordor the Sun was climbing over the eastern rim of Middle-earth; but here all was still dark as night. The Mountain smoldered and its fires went out. The glare faded from the cliffs. The easternly wind that had been blowing ever since they left Ithilien now seemed dead. Slowly and painfully they clambered down, groping, stumbling, scrambling among rock and briar and dead wood in the blind shadows, down and down until they could go no further. (917)

As we see, the closer the pair travels to the heart of Mordor, the environment around them changes drastically, as if the evil powers of Sauron himself have affected the entire vicinity around his stronghold. And as they begin to journey farther, the more horrid the landscape becomes. As Tolkien depicts through the eyes of Frodo and Sam, they come across a desolate and dreadful terrain:

To their surprise they came upon dark pools fed by threads of water trickling down from some source higher up the valley. Upon its outer marges under the westward mountains Mordor was a dying land, but it was not yet dead. And here things still grew, harsh, twisted, bitter, struggling for life. In the glens of Morgai on the other side of the valley low scrubby trees lurked and clung, coarse grey grass-tussocks fought with the stones, and withered mosses crawled on them; and everywhere great writhing, tangled brambles sprawled […t]he sullen shriveled leaves of a past year hung p…f]lies, dun or grey, or black, marked like orcs with a red-shaped blotch, buzzed and stung. (921)

But what might this mean? Is it plausible to argue that Grendel’s lair amongst the marshes and Gawain’s journey to the Green Knight may have influenced, in some ways, the creation of the landscape of Mordor? And more pressingly, is it possible that, with the help of such medieval texts, Tolkien was able to channel his experiences during the First World War into The Lord of the Rings?

Ultimately, I am likely to argue for such speculations, considering other scholars have also made similar connections. Rod Giblett in his article titled “Theology of Wetlands: Tolkien and Beowulf on Marshes and Their Monsters” argues that The Dead Marshes within The Lord of the Rings can closely be related to those found within Beowulf, also commenting on the fact that they closely related to the trenches during the First World War. For example, at the beginning of the article Giblett remarks how wetlands were given a very displeasing description in Tolkien’s work, going on to add that “[t]his is so partly because of the Old and Middle English and Christian literary precursors he is drawing on in Beowulf and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight” due to his Christian belief of wetlands being “moralized as places of evil and monsters” (132). Giblett also inserts an excerpt from Beowulf in which it describes the marshes as follows:

They dwell in a land unknown, wolf-haunted slopes, wind-swept headlands, perilous marsh-paths, where the mountain stream goes down under the mists of the cliff – a flood under the earth. It is not far hence, in miles, that the lake stands over which hang groves covered with frost: the wood, firm-rooted, over-shadows the water. There may be seen each night a fearful wonder– fire on the flood![…] That is no pleasant spot. Thence rises up the surging waters darkly to the clouds, when the wind stirs up baleful storms, until the air grows misty, the heavens weep. (133)

As we can see, each scene seems to hold undeniable similarities to the other, both marshes being described as grotesque versions of once beautiful landscapes. And in both cases, the idea of evil changing the surrounding environment into a horrid place no one wishes to travel are also similar in theme. Essentially, Giblett argues that Tolkien’s creation of the horrific Mordor can be directly related to what can be read in Beowulf with the introduction of Grendel. Grendel’s home is a composed of decaying marshes that are alight with the fires of Hell upon their surfaces. The very place and the entire environment around it is seen as a breeding ground for monsters and the ilk that one would see in Hell. But not only does Giblett relate the landscape of Mordor to that found in Beowulf and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, he also acknowledges Tolkien’s experiences in the trenches during the First World War, which he agrees also factored into Tolkien’s pejorative Christian view on wetlands.

As Giblett offers from John Garth’s argument within his paper, “this and other passages in The Lord of the Rings about ‘the very air of the nightmarish Dead Marshes’ that ‘there are grounds to suspect that Tolkien was influenced by his experience [as a soldier in the First World War] of poison gas as he devised a symbolic shape for battlefield trauma, demoralization and despair'” (Giblett 140; Garth 46). Similarly, Rebekah Long within her chapter titled “Fantastic Medievalism and the Great War in J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings“, which can be found in a book titled Tolkien’s Modern Middle Ages, follows a similar argument as Garth. Within Long’s chapter, she specifically focuses on post-war soldiers and their writing, most notably how the literature created by these war-torn individuals is “linked to the experience of modern warfare, not as avoidance, but as a testimony to the newness of this horror” (125). This, I believe, can be said for Tolkien, and Long seems to agree. Regarding Tolkien, Long believes that The Lord of the Rings in itself is a testimony of Tolkien’s experiences both during and after “the world-ending violence of World War I” and the horrors during World War II (125).

Long herself offers many instances as well as direct examples from Tolkien how his experiences during the First World War influenced not only the narrative but also the atmosphere of his fictional work. She specifically remarks on Tolkien’s involvement in the Battle of the Somme and how it “remained a lingering memory brought to life in The Lord of the Rings” (128). As we see within the Dead Marshes, it is “the site of a long-past battle […] the wartime dead refuse to be frozen […] vacant faces lingering in dark pools of water” (Long 128). And as Long continues, Tolkien, within The Lord of the Rings, refused to “treat war as a play of spectral knights,” treating it instead as “a volcanic conversation in which a myriad of voices take part,” which ultimately may have changed the perspectives of many in regards to the realities of war (129).

But is there more? How much beyond the landscape did Tolkien’s experiences and influences, both from reading medieval literature and having had a part in the First World War, affect his work The Lord of the Rings? Unlike other scholars, Maria Raffaella Benvenuto tackles Tolkien and his influences in a fascinating way. Within her chapter “From Beowulf to the Balrogs: The Roots of Fantastic Horror in The Lord of the Rings” found within the book The Mirror Crack’d: Fear and Horror in JRR Tolkien’s Major Works, Benvenuto explores the horror aspects of Tolkien’s writing, or in her terms the “Gothic” aspects, which she believes to be one of the most important themes within his works, especially The Lord of the Rings. Benvenuto relates these “horror” themes to that of similar motifs found in medieval literature, such as Beowulf, and how she sees this influence as Tolkien’s own “personal reinterpretation” (6). For example, Benvenuto relates Gollum to that of Grendel, in that they are both creatures of pitiable state though they no doubt commit horrific acts. Furthermore, Benvenuto relates much of the dank and dark atmosphere within Beowulf to that of what we experience in The Lord of the Rings. Here we see a more complex argument of the landscape of Mordor, leaning towards the idea of atmosphere and creation, beings rather than environment acting as symbolism for instances of influence within Tolkien’s life.

As Tolkien himself remarks, The Lord of the Rings “depicts a world besieged by the forces of evil” (Benvenuto 8). As we see with the introduction of many unsightly creatures such as the Nazgul, Orcs, Balrogs, Ringwraiths, and other monstrous creatures, we begin to experience a narrative steeped in medieval tradition as well as the memories of a time plagued by war. As Garth finds, Tolkien’s children admitted that “First World War recollections ‘formed the basis for the Black Riders’ and that ‘in the fogs and smokes […] the [German] horses appeared natural, while their riders did not’” (45). And “[o]n the Barrow-downs, echoes of the Somme landscape are as strong as those of the Oxfordshire uplands […t]he terrain is chalk, demarcated by unidentified dikes or trenches” (46). Undeniably Tolkien himself, despite arguments by some scholars, was heavily impacted by the events that occurred during the First World War, and, with the help of his knowledge of medieval literature, Tolkien found a medium to escape from the everyday horrors of that time, translating and channeling trauma and hope into a vast world of characters, creatures, and places that reflected the realities he lived so vividly.

Benvenuto, Maria Raffaella. “From Beowulf to the Balrogs: The Roots of Fantastic Horror in The Lord of the Rings.” The Mirror Crack’d: Fear and Horror in JRR Tolkien’s Major Works. Ed. Lynn Forest-Hill. Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars, 2008. 5-14. Print.

Garcia, Christopher. “The Anglo-Saxon Hero.” The Anglo-Saxon Hero. Christopher Garcia, n.d.Web. 8 May 2017.

Garth, John. “Frodo and the Great War.” The Lord of the Rings, 1954-2004 Scholarship in Honor of Richard E. Blackwelder. Eds. Richard E. Blackwelder, Wayne G. Hammond, and Christina Scull. Milwaukee, WI: Marquette UP, 2006. 41-56. Print.

Long, Rebekah. “Fantastic Medievalism and the Great War in J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings.” Tolkien’s Modern Middle Ages. Eds. Jane Chance and Alfred K. Siewers. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2009. 123-37. Print.

Olivares-Merino, Eugenio M. “A Monster That Matters: Tolkien’s Grendel Revisited.” Myth and Magic: Art According to the Inklings. Eds. Thomas Honegger and Eduardo Segura. Zollikofen: Walking Tree Publ., 2007. 187-240. Print.

Giblett, Rod. “Theology of Wetlands: Tolkien and Beowulf on Marshes and Their Monsters.” Green Letters 19.2 (2015): 132-43. Web. 8 May 2017.

Schlobin, Roger C. “The Monsters Are Talismans and Transgressions: Tolkien and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight.” J.R.R. Tolkien and His Literary Resonances: Views of Middle-earth. Ed. George Clark. Westport, CT: Greenwood, 2000. 71-81. Print.

Tolkien, J.R.R. The Lord of the Rings. 50th Anniversary ed. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2004. Print.

Zaleski, Philip, and Carol Zaleski. The Fellowship: The Literary Lives of the Inklings: J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, Owen Barfield, Charles Williams. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2016. Print.

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