Martine's Reviews > J.R.R. Tolkien: Author of the Century

J.R.R. Tolkien by Tom Shippey
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's review
Dec 13, 2007

really liked it
bookshelves: literary-criticism, non-fiction
Recommended for: Tolkien fans and haters
Read in January, 2006

Tom Shippey is a Professor of Philology at Oxford, specialising in Old English and Old Norse. So he was well placed to explain what made J.R.R. Tolkien, himself a Professor of Philology at Oxford, tick. By analysing the texts Tolkien himself read and translated, Shippey introduces the reader to Tolkien's literary and linguistic sources of inspiration, many of which can be traced in The Lord of the Rings and other Tolkien works. Other chapters focus on historical, political, ethical and religious influences, as well as Tolkien's influence on later authors, all with an eye to proving that far from being an overrated writer of fairy tales, Tolkien was in fact a master of his craft. The result is a highly insightful, erudite and interesting book, which is remarkably accessible, given the nature of some of the subject matter. Highly recommended to anyone who wishes to deepen his/her appreciation of Tolkien's works.
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