The Road to Middle-earth and over 2 million other books are available for Amazon Kindle . Learn more


or
Sign in to turn on 1-Click ordering.
Trade in Yours
For a 1.03 Gift Card
Trade in
More Buying Choices
Have one to sell? Sell yours here
Sorry, this item is not available in
Image not available for
Colour:
Image not available

 
Start reading The Road to Middle-earth on your Kindle in under a minute.

Don't have a Kindle? Get your Kindle here, or download a FREE Kindle Reading App.

The Road to Middle-earth: How J. R. R. Tolkien Created a New Mythology [Paperback]

Tom Shippey
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
Price: 12.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o
Only 1 left in stock (more on the way).
Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.
Want it Monday, 25 Aug.? Choose Express delivery at checkout. Details

Formats

Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle Edition 3.95  
Hardcover --  
Paperback 12.99  
Trade In this Item for up to 1.03
Trade in The Road to Middle-earth: How J. R. R. Tolkien Created a New Mythology for an Amazon Gift Card of up to 1.03, which you can then spend on millions of items across the site. Trade-in values may vary (terms apply). Learn more

Book Description

3 Jan 2005

The definitive guide to the origin of J.R.R. Tolkien’s books, from The Hobbit to The History of Middle-earth series – includes unpublished Tolkien extracts and poetry.

The Road to Middle-Earth is a fascinating and accessible exploration of J.R.R.Tolkien’s creativity and the sources of his inspiration. Tom Shippey shows in detail how Tolkien’s professional background led him to write The Hobbit and how he created a work of timeless charm for millions of readers. He discusses the contribution of The Silmarillion and Unfinished Tales to Tolkien’s great myth-cycle, showing how Tolkien’s more ‘complex’ works can be read enjoyably and seriously by readers of his earlier books, and goes on to examine the remarkable 12-volume History of Middle-earth by Tolkien’s son and literary heir Christopher Tolkien, which traces the creative and technical processes through which Middle-earth evolved. The core of the book, however, concentrates on The Lord of the Rings 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.

By following the routes of Tolkien’s own obsessions – the poetry of languages and myth – The Road to Middle-earth shows how Beowulf, The Lord of the Rings, Grimm’s Fairy Tales, the Elder Edda and many other works form part of a live and continuing tradition of literature. 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.

This new edition is revised and expanded, and includes a previously unpublished lengthy analysis of Peter Jackson’s film adaptations and their effect on Tolkien’s work.


Special Offers and Product Promotions


Frequently Bought Together

The Road to Middle-earth: How J. R. R. Tolkien Created a New Mythology + J. R. R. Tolkien: A Biography + The Letters of J. R. R. Tolkien
Price For All Three: 35.97

Buy the selected items together


Product details

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins; Revised, Enlarged Third edition edition (3 Jan 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0261102753
  • ISBN-13: 978-0261102750
  • Product Dimensions: 19.2 x 13 x 3.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 26,705 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, and more.

Product Description

Review

“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

About the Author

Professor Tom Shippey taught at Oxford, overlapping chronologically with Professor Tolkien and teaching the same syllabus, giving him an intimate familiarity with the poems and the languages which formed the main stimulus to Tolkien’s imagination. He subsequently held the same Chair of English Language and Medieval Literature at Leeds University which Tolkien held early in his career, and currently holds the Walter J. Ong Chair of Humanities at Saint Louis University, USA.


Inside This Book (Learn More)
Browse Sample Pages
Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index
Search inside this book:

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?


Customer Reviews

3 star
0
2 star
0
1 star
0
4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
By Tommo32
Format:Paperback
The road to middle earth is one which Tolkein followed throughout his entire life. Shippey goes into great detail in describing how Tolkein created the Hobbit, Lord of the Rings, Silmarillion and all the other related works. He follows Tolkein's journey through life from his time in the trenches of world war 1 to his death nearly 60 years later still writing about middle-earth.
Shippey's work, similarly to 'Author of the Century', is compelling, rich and very educational. For anyone interested in history or language this is an excellent tool. Written by an Oxford scholar about the work of another Oxford scholar it contains numerous references to the great poems and sagas of the dark ages and how they were to influence a man who dealt with them as part of his everyday work. The way that Tolkein turned old, and sometimes meaningless, words into creatures and places and how he used the stories of old to create a modern myth is discussed in depth.
Indeed to read this book gives a greater insight into what Tolkein was trying to achieve and even how his books should be read. The stories alone are fascinating but they lead to a yearning for more information and greater knowledge which this book provides.
For anyone looking to expand their knowledge of writing, history or middle-earth itself this book is invaluable. 'Author of the Century' by the same author is very similar and sometimes overlapping but certainly the next step for anyone who enjoys this book and 'Realm of the Ring Lords' by Laurence Gardner is also a fascinating addition along the deconstucting history line. Read on and enjoy.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
Shippey is an academic with an interest in both science fiction and fanatsy literature. As such, it is excellent to see intellectual resources of this calibre being used on a literary work loved by millions, and usually sneeringly dismissed by the academic fraternity - Lord of the Rings (and the other associated works and jottings).
I found this book very interesting as it laid out some of the influences in Northern European mythology which led to the creation of Middle Earth and which shaped it subsequently. It also puts it in the context of Tolkien's day job as a philologist at Oxford University, and what Tolkien was trying to achieve through his writing (besides simply enjoying himself).
In particular, it was nice to see an intelligent exposition of these matters by someone who clearly enjoyed Tolkien's works, and who was able to bring to bear the academic background to give justice to Tolkien's achievement.
This book was written long before the films were a twinkle in Peter Jackson's eye, and so this is not a cheap attempt to cash in. Instead, it is a passionate and learned book which I recommend highly to anyone interested in the genesis of Middle Earth.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
By Tommo32
Format:Paperback
The road to middle earth is one which Tolkein followed throughout his entire life. Shippey goes into great detail in describing how Tolkein created the Hobbit, Lord of the Rings, Silmarillion and all the other related works. He follows Tolkein's journey through life from his time in the trenches of world war 1 to his death nearly 60 years later still writing about middle-earth.
Shippey's work, similarly to 'Author of the Century', is compelling, rich and very educational. For anyone interested in history or language this is an excellent tool. Written by an Oxford scholar about the work of another Oxford scholar it contains numerous references to the great poems and sagas of the dark ages and how they were to influence a man who dealt with them as part of his everyday work. The way that Tolkein turned old, and sometimes meaningless, words into creatures and places and how he used the stories of old to create a modern myth is discussed in depth.
Although a good knowledge of Tolkein's works would be useful it is not essential. Indeed to read this book gives a greater insight into what Tolkein was trying to achieve and even how his books should be read. The stories alone are fascinating but they lead to a yearning for more information and greater knowledge which this book provides.
For anyone looking to expand their knowledge of writing, history or middle-earth itself this book is invaluable. 'Author of the Century' by the same author is very similar and sometimes overlapping but certainly the next step for anyone who enjoys this book and 'Realm of the Ring Lords' by Laurence Gardner is also a fascinating addition along the deconstucting history line. Read on and enjoy
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "The road goes ever on and on..." 23 July 2013
By pacem et amorem TOP 1000 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Whilst this is not an easy read, it gives a fascinating insight into the long journey Tolkien took when he started his own 'Road to Middle-Earth' in his youth. A gifted scholar, this quiet linguist would go on to create one of the most famous literary works of modern times. He has influenced many fantasy authors who have followed him and can be seen to have lifted the genre to new heights.
As Shippey states in his title for this book, Tolkien did not just write fantasy stories, he 'created a new mythology' and that is his greatest gift and the source of his genius. Whilst his first commercial foray was the children's story The Hobbit, he soon found himself writing a sequel and it was this that would propel him to literary greatness. Tolkien had begun creating his new mythology during The Great War of 1914-1918, work that would evolve into The Silmarillion. When sitting down to write a sequel to The Hobbit, he found himself writing The Lord of the Rings - a different beast entirely although some familiar faces and places crop up in its many pages. The epic feel of LOTR gave us the new mythology, a new fantasy epic never before seen and whose popularity allowed Tolkien to further explore his earlier tales.
Shippey's research is great and he gives us a real insight into the tale which 'grew in the telling.' We began 'In a hole in the gorund' with a friendly, hairy-toed Hobbit and ended up in totally different territory. We travelled with Tolkien on an amazing journey into his imagination and genius and we are extremely lucky that he shared his wonderful, inspirational tales with us. Like Bilbo said, "It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to."
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
Would you like to see more reviews about this item?
Were these reviews helpful?   Let us know

Customer Discussions

This product's forum
Discussion Replies Latest Post
No discussions yet

Ask questions, Share opinions, Gain insight
Start a new discussion
Topic:
First post:
Prompts for sign-in
 

Search Customer Discussions
Search all Amazon discussions
   


Look for similar items by category


Feedback