Thursday, June 21, 2012

Q&A With Tolkien and the Great War Author John Garth on Michael Martinez’ Middle-earth website

As a subscriber to the Mythsoc listserv I was very grateful to find a link from Michael Martinez—proprietor of the fine website—to a recent interview conducted with J.R.R. Tolkien scholar John Garth, author of Tolkien and the Great War: The Threshold of Middle-earth (Houghton Mifflin Company, 2003). It’s a fascinating read and worth checking out; you can find it here.

Some reviewers have dubbed Tolkien and the Great War the best book on Tolkien that has yet been written. I wouldn’t go that far (for the record that book is Tom Shippey’s The Road to Middle-earth) but it is arguably the best book on Tolkien in the last decade. While Humphrey Carpenter’s biography is still the seminal work on the life and times of Tolkien, it brushes only lightly over his military service. Tolkien’s experiences with the Lancaster Fusiliers are stamped all over The Lord of the Rings, as Garth ably demonstrates in Tolkien and the Great War, and so any complete understanding of the influences of Tolkien’s works must account for his World War I experiences.

To read the rest of this post, visit The Black Gate website.


Lagomorph Rex said...

I used this book last year for a Freshmen paper, I was comparing Tolkien's experiences and writing with Wilfred Owen's.

I think I got an A on it, but this book was probably the most fun book I read the entire semester.

Brian Murphy said...

Nice job, Lagomorph. You should publish the paper on your blog! I'd read it.

Lagomorph Rex said...

Will do.