Eden, The Spoiling of Middle-Earth, and Hope

In the afterword of Ents, Elves, and Eriador: The Environmental Vision of J.R.R. Tolkien, Tom Shippey writes:

“In a letter he wrote to his son Christopher in 1945, Tolkien remarked, ‘certainly there was an Eden on this very unhappy earth. We all long for it, and are constantly glimpsing it’ (Letters, 110). He provided many glimpses of it himself.

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A Christmas Note from Tolkien

Imagine getting the above Christmas note from J.R.R. Tolkien… If you had received that note as a gift from him, how would it rank as one of the most thoughtful or memorable gifts you’ve ever received? Let us know! Here’s the transcription of Tolkien’s Christmas greeting:DEAR HUGH THIS IS JUST TO WISH YOU A HAPPY…

Tolkien’s Often Missed Reference to Good Friday in The Lord of the Rings

In the quotation above, Tom Shippey gives us a window not only into the brilliance of J.R.R. Tolkien’s world-building prowess, but also into its striking and easily missed subtext. Tolkien’s point to which Shippey refers comes after The Return of the King chapter (“Mount Doom”) in which Frodo and Gollum (against all their desire) destroy the Ring,…