The Worlds of J.R.R. Tolkien: The Places that Inspired Middle-earthby John Garth
A lavishly illustrated exploration of the places that inspired and shaped the work of J.R.R. Tolkien, creator of Middle-earth.
This new book from renowned expert John Garth takes us to the places that inspired J.R.R. Tolkien to create his fictional locations in The Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit and other classic works. Featuring more than 100 images, it includes Tolkien’s own illustrations, contributions from other artists, archive images, maps and spectacular present-day photographs.
Inspirational locations range – particularly Tolkien’s beloved West Midlands and Oxford – but also overseas to all points of the compass. Sources are located for Hobbiton, the elven valley of Rivendell, the Glittering Caves of Helm’s Deep, and many other key spots in Middle-earth, as well as for its mountain scenery, forests, rivers, lakes and shorelands.
A rich interplay is revealed between Tolkien’s personal travels, his wide reading and his deep scholarship as an Oxford professor. Garth uses his own profound knowledge of Tolkien’s life and work to uncover the extraordinary processes of invention, to debunk popular misconceptions about the inspirations for Middle-earth, and to put forward strong new claims of his own.
Organised by theme, The Worlds of J.R.R. Tolkien is an illustrated journey into the life and imagination of one of the world’s best-loved authors, an exploration of the relationship between worlds real and fantastical, and an inspiration for anyone who wants to follow in Tolkien’s footsteps.
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John Garth is winner of the Mythopoeic Scholarship Award for Tolkien and the Great War, acclaimed as ‘very much the best book on Tolkien’. He studied English at Oxford, worked for many years for the London Evening Standard, and is now a freelance writer, editor and researcher.
His website, www.johngarth.co.uk, carries more of his writing and further information.
He has spoken about Tolkien on TV and radio; on Peter Jackson’s Return of the King extended edition and National Geographic’s Beyond the Movie: The Fellowship of the Ring; at London’s National Army Museum and at international conferences. He writes regularly for the annual scholarly journal Tolkien Studies and contributed to the Routledge JRR Tolkien Encyclopedia.
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