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Tolkien’s last friend in Oxford when the world went to war

‘Not a single man I know is up except Cullis,’ Tolkien lamented at the start of his final year as an Oxford student. It was 1914, war had just broken out, and their friends had left in droves to enlist in the army.

Cullis died one hundred years ago this month – not a victim of war, but as young . . .

Why World War I Is at the Heart of ‘Lord of the Rings’

War runs like iron ore through the bones of Tolkien’s Middle-earth—and most of all through The Lord of the Rings, the masterpiece which first saw the light 60 years ago today.

The Fellowship of the Ring, the first volume of three, was published on July 29, 1954, a date picked by his publisher for solely practical reasons. Yet it is a curious coincidence that it was almost exactly the 40th anniversary of the outbreak of the First World War. Because it was during that war that Tolkien first created Middle-earth.

Through 1914–1918 and beyond, he used his mythology . . .

Lost volume sheds new light on Tolkien’s devotion to Chaucer

Abandoned project discovered in Oxford basement helps confirm influence of 14th-century master on Lord of the Rings.

The influences on JRR Tolkien’s writings were many, from Norse mythology to Beowulf, the eighth-century poem. Now the extraordinary discovery of his previously unpublished Clarendon Chaucer edition, a project that he abandoned after 30 years, has revealed his masterpieces were also influenced by the medieval author.

. . . 

To ‘Look Foul and Feel Fair’: Tolkien’s Influence on a Romantic YA Trope

When the hobbits Frodo and Sam first meet the rightful king of Gondor, he’s passing himself off as “Strider,” a mere Ranger. In deciding whether or not to trust him, Sam says, “You have frightened me several times tonight, but never in the way the servants of the Enemy would, or so I imagine. I think one of his spies would—well, seem fairer and feel fouler, if you understand.” To which Strider replies, “I see. I look foul and feel fair. Is that it?” Obviously this exchange is not a romantic encounter, but the main principle of the trope applies.

. . .

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What we're reading. Enjoy our curated list of articles, audio and video from around the web. What do you think? Do you agree? Disagree?  Let us know in the comments!Tolkien’s last friend in Oxford when the world went to war ‘Not a single man I know is up except Cullis,’ Tolkien lamented at the start of his…

Enjoy our curated list of articles, audio and video from around the web.

We  do the work so you don’t have to. Each month we release our list of what we’re reading. This installment includes:

  • Tolkien’s last friend in Oxford when the world went to war
  • Why World War I Is at the Heart of ‘Lord of the Rings’
  • Lost volume sheds new light on Tolkien’s devotion to Chaucer
  • To ‘Look Foul and Feel Fair’: Tolkien’s Influence on a Romantic YA Trope

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