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Myth and Middle Earth: Exploring the Legends Behind J.R.R.Tolkien's "The Hobbit" and "The Lord of the Rings": Exploring the Legends ... "The Hobbit" and "The Lord of the Rings" Paperback – 22 May 2003


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Product details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Cold Spring Press (22 May 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1892975815
  • ISBN-13: 978-1892975812
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 1.3 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,753,313 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Leslie Ellen Jones is an especially well-qualified guide to Tolkien's mythological roots, holding a Ph.D. in Folklore and Mythology Studies from UCLA with a specialization in comparative and Celtic mythology. She has written extensively on modern uses of mythology in popular fiction, film, and television, teaches a course on Tolkien and his work for Barnes and Noble Online University, and is the author of a forthcoming biography of Tolkien (Greenwood Press, Summer 2002, title not finalized yet).

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 12 May 2003
Format: Paperback
Myth & Middle Earth
I have for a long time been interested in Dark Age and Medieval history and the myths and legends that are a part of it. I read The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings a few years ago to see what all the fuss was about, and, although I enjoyed the stories, I felt a little disappointed by the experience. I bought this book to see if I had missed something.
The Preface gives a brief overview of Tolkien, his works and the book's content.
The Preliminary Mythology Note mentions ancient works which have been used as reference in the comparisons.
Chapters 1 and 2 give an overview of Tolkien's life and his area of expertise respectively.
Chapters 3 to 14 concentrate on the races, characters, creatures and beings represented in Tolkien's books and compares them to those from myth and legend.
Chapter 15 summarises how these traditional folk tales fit into Tolkien's books. It also makes the important point that Tolkien didn't take the traditional tales and simply re-tell them, but that he used them for reference and influence to tell his own unique stories.
This book does a good job of explaining the influences on Tolkien's works, whilst allowing the reader to make up their own mind whether to agree with the comparisons. I'm glad that I bought and read this book. It has certainly made me regard Tolkien's works in a new light.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 3 reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Holiday winner 9 Dec 2002
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
"As a long-term fan of JRR Tolkien and all things Middle-earth, I was very happy to pick up this concise and readable book tracing the main mythic sources that inspired Tolkien. Most books focus on the Norse and Germanic myths to the exclusion of all else, and while Dr. Jones covers these areas, she also goes well beyond to look at the Celtic myths of Ireland and Wales to complete the picture. Put this on your holiday shopping list if you're a fan of The Lord of the Rings!"
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
A must read for fans 11 Dec 2002
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I just finished reading this wonderful book about the Northern European myths that Tolkien borrowed and reshaped to make the lands, people, and languages of Middle-earth come alive. For the price and content, this is a great value. I highly recommend it to anyone interested in Tolkien's fiction!"
6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Mediocre mythic study of Tolkien 20 Dec 2003
By David Bratman - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Juggles large numbers of mythic references with some skill but not full confidence or accuracy, and doesn't really have a lot of insight. The book is also burdened with a Hildebrandt cover. I recommend David Colbert's "The Magical Worlds of The Lord of the Ring" for juvenile readers, or Anne C. Petty's "Tolkien in the Land of Heroes" for adults.
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