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T A Shippey THE ROAD TO MIDDLE EARTH First Edition

T A Shippey THE ROAD TO MIDDLE EARTH First Edition

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First Edition, first print hardback of THE ROAD TO MIDDLE EARTH, by T. A. Shippey and published by George Allen & Unwin (Publishers) Ltd., London in 1982.

The book is in very good condition (clean dark blue cloth boards with gilt lettering on spine) with only slight wear to the illustrated dust jacket, which is not price clipped (light creasing to the edges and very slight tanning). Internally, the pages are clean and tight and there are no tears and no inscriptions.

Thomas Alan Shippey is a scholar of medieval literature, including that of Anglo-Saxon England; of medievalism; and of modern fantasy and science fiction, in particular the works of J. R. R. Tolkien, about whom he has written several scholarly studies. He is widely considered one of the leading academic scholars on Tolkien. Shippey retired from the Walter J. Ong Chair of Humanities at Saint Louis University's College of Arts and Sciences in 2008.

"Professor Tom Shippey is ideally suited to write about his predecessor, Professor Tolkien, in a way that Tolkien would have approved. He holds at present the Chair of English Language and Medieval Literature at Leeds University which Tolkien also held early in his career. Before that he taught at Oxford, overlapping chronologically with Professor Tolkien and teaching the same subject and the same syllabus. His intimate familiarity with the poems and the languages which formed the main stimulus to Tolkien's imagination has meant that his book reaches the core of Tolkien's creativity and explains the secrets of his appeal in a way unmatched by any other critic.

But Professor Shippey's qualifications are biographical and personal as well as scholarly. Like Tolkien, he was born abroad; like him, he was brought up in Birmingham, attending the same school and living in the same landscape; the same devotion to English words and names set both on their philological careers, and resulted in an identical conviction that there is a genius in language as well as in literature, which all can feel if few can analyse. This trained feeling for the continuity of English means that Professor Shippey's book can consider simultaneously ancient text and modern issues, learned cruxes and everyday phrases. Without simplifying or distorting it shows how Beowulf, and The Lord of the Rings, and Grimm’s Fairy Tales,and the Elder Edda and many more form part of a live and continuing tradition of literature.

The Road to Middle-Earth shows why the appeal of The Lord of the Rings will be timeless, how The Hobbit and early works grew from the dry soil of philology. Unlike any previous book it shows how even such difficult works as The Silmarillion and the Unfinished Tales can be read enjoyably and seriously by ordinary readers. It takes issue with many basic premises of orthodox criticism and offers a new approach to Tolkien, to fantasy, and to the importance of language in literature. It stands as worthy counterpart to Humphrey Carpenter's official biography.

The core of The Road to Middle-Earth consists of three chapters considering The Lord of the Rings successively as a linguistic and cultural map, as a twisted web of a story, and as a response to the inner meaning of myth and poetry. Three earlier chapters lead from the early work, including all the professional papers, to The Hobbit and Farmer Giles, with special stress on the problem of heroism in what is now a sceptical society. Three later ones deal in detail with The Silmarillion and the later works, explaining Tolkien's private symbolism and the problems of reading archaic literary modes."

'Shippey’s exploration of Tolkien’s themes, especially the nature of evil, is superb' - Independent

'Shippey’s research seems limitless. He writes with unusual clarity and presents his arguments well' - Sunday Times

'Shippey deepens your understanding of the work without making you forget your initial, purely instinctive response to Middle-earth and hobbits' - Houston Chronicle

252 pages.

ISBN: 0 04 809018 2

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The Road to Middle-Earth by T. A. Shippey

 


1 In Stock

£9.99
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T A Shippey THE ROAD TO MIDDLE EARTH First Edition {PRODUCT-SHORTDESC}
£9.99

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