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J. R. R. Tolkien, Inkling and Hobbit

By Andrea Koczela. Sep 2, 2018. 9:00 AM.

Topics: J. R. R. Tolkien, Science Fiction

 

“I would that I might with the minstrels sing
and stir the unseen with a throbbing string.”
-J. R. R. Tolkien, “Mythopoeia”

 

Today we celebrate the life of John Ronald Reuel Tolkien, author of The Hobbit (1937) and The Lord of the Rings (1954-1955).  The tremendous success of these novels has earned Tolkien the title “father of high fantasy”, yet he did more than create tales of elves and dragons. An Oxford professor and expert in Old English and mythology, Tolkien believed that all myths contain “fundamental truths” that speak deeply to the human condition. He imbued his novels with these primordial themes, and it is perhaps for this reason that his works have maintained such enduring popularity.

     
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The Significance of J.R.R. Tolkien's Tree and Leaf

By Adrienne Rivera. Jul 17, 2018. 9:00 AM.

Topics: J. R. R. Tolkien

English fantasy writer and J.R.R. Tolkien is widely considered to the be the father of the modern fantasy genre. The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings trilogy are some of the most enduring and beloved novels in the genre. In the years since readers were first introduced to Middle Earth (The Hobbit was published in 1937), the novels have served as in inspiration to countless writers, filmmakers, video game creators, and even the creator of the Dungeons & Dragons tabletop role playing game. His most famous works have remained in print since their publication, and even some of his lesser-known posthumous publications have garnered attention. For example, The Silmarillion, a history of the mythology of Middle Earth, won the Locus Award for Best Fantasy in 1978. One volume that has remained mostly under the radar, however, is the charming Tree and Leaf. What exactly about this book makes it such a treasure?

     
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The History of Children's Literature: 19th Century to Today

In part 1 of this series, we discussed how the history of children's literature can be traced back to the late 16th century. As time passed and more and more writers began to see the merit in writing books specifically for children, children's literature came into its own. The 19th century brought a whole new generation of writers to the field, and soon the golden age of children's literature was in full swing.

     
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Beyond the Shire: Four Fun Facts About J.R.R. Tolkien

By Adrienne Rivera. Jan 3, 2018. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Movie Tie-Ins, J. R. R. Tolkien

J.R.R. Tolkien is widely considered the father of modern high fantasy. The Hob bit and the Lord of the Rings trilogy have captivated readers since their original publication and created a boom in popularity for the genre. Tolkien's influence could be seen in fiction published shortly after the release of his masterpiece trilogy, and it is still being felt today. With the popularity of Peter Jackson's film adaptations of both The Hobbit as well as The Lord of the Rings trilogy, Tolkien's most famous works have reached an even larger audience. Even people who aren't fans of fantasy fiction have a cursory familiarity with the legendary author and the characters that populate Middle Earth. Though Tolkien may be a household name, here are some interesting details about the life of the man behind the epic.
     
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Collecting J.R.R. Tolkien: His Letters

By Leah Dobrinska. Jan 3, 2017. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Book Collecting, J. R. R. Tolkien

Nearly everyone can name titles written by J.R.R. Tolkien. Often considered the father of modern fantasy, it’s no surprise that his works are well-known and well-loved. Whether fans have read his books or watched the film adaptations, Tolkien’s Middle Earth and its inhabitants have infiltrated 20th and 21st century culture to an astounding degree. For collectors of the great British author, information and works about his own life may prove to be both satisfying and necessary additions to a Tolkien Library. Where should you begin if you’re looking to add to the books in your collection? It makes sense to start with his letters. Tolkien wrote a vast number of letters. Fortunately for collectors, a compilation was put together by biographer Humphrey Carpenter.

     
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Mixed Reviews of J.R.R. Tolkien's The Fellowship of the Ring

By Andrea Diamond. Jul 29, 2016. 9:00 AM.

Topics: J. R. R. Tolkien

As a community of readers and writers, we are all too familiar with the sentiments of Bilbo Baggins. “Look, I know you doubt me, I know you always have. And you're right. I often think of Bag End. I miss my books. And my armchair. And my garden. See, that's where I belong. That's home…” We are a people torn between reading about adventures, and creating one of our ownrising from the safety of our armchairs to take on the persona of the heroes and heroines we’ve grown to know and love. Of course, leaving our comfort zones always comes with a risk: the risk that our pursuits will not go as planned, and that we will face doubt, rejection, and failure.

     
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Welcome to Middle Earth: Collecting Unusual Tolkien Publications

By Nick Ostdick. Mar 14, 2016. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Book Collecting, Literature, J. R. R. Tolkien

When you hear the name of certain authors, you immediately draw associations with a style or idea. Hemingway = ex-patriotism. Fitzgerald = The Jazz Age. Kerouac = The Beats and their nomadic existence. And J.R.R. Tolkien = bringing the fantasy and science-fiction genres into the mainstream consciousness.

     
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Ten Magnificent Tolkien Collectibles

By Matt Reimann. Jan 3, 2016. 9:00 AM.

Topics: J. R. R. Tolkien

Books are their own little world, and no writer has taken this to heart quite like J.R.R. Tolkien. Through Middle-Earth, the British author imagined a land of such history and vastness that, although he has many imitators, Tolkien still has no equal. Beyond the billion-dollar films and merchandise, Tolkien has left behind an expansive bibliography which can take even the most serious collectors time to navigate. It’s not quite as hard as learning Elvish, but building the perfect Tolkien library requires a bit of enthusiastic study. Here's a look at ten magnificent items for a Tolkien collection.

     
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Ten Things You Didn't Know About The Lord of the Rings

By Brian Hoey. Nov 2, 2015. 9:00 AM.

Topics: J. R. R. Tolkien

J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings (1954, '55) stands today, more than fifty years after its initial publication, as one of the most popular and influential works of all time. Though Tolkien was dedicated to the notion that his sweeping, Beowulf-inspired epic was more akin to history than fantasy, it has effectively shaped the face of modern fantasy in both literature and film, seeping into the broader culture in ways that even Tolkien himself could hardly have foreseen. Here are ten surprising facts about The Lord of the Rings.

     
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Libraries and Special Collections: The Tolkien Archive at Marquette University

J. R. R. Tolkien was raised in South Africa, fought in World War I, lived most of his life in England, and taught for a long time at Oxford University. So it may surprise you to know that a great portion of his original manuscripts and papers can be found at Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. It seems an unlikely location for such precious documents – how on Earth did they find their way to Wisconsin?

     
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How can I identify a first edition? Where do I learn about caring for books? How should I start collecting? Hear from librarians about amazing collections, learn about historic bindings or printing techniques, get to know other collectors. Whether you are just starting or looking for expert advice, chances are, you'll find something of interest on blogis librorum.

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