Art and Literature News / Tolkien News

New Tolkien Book: ‘The Hobbit in Tolkien’s Mythology: Essays on Revisions and Influences’

TheHobbitinTolkiensMythologyIt all started back at the 2013 “Celebrating The Hobbit” conference at Valparaiso University. This conference marked the 75th anniversary of the publication of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit as well as the release of Peter Jackson’s first Hobbit movie, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.

Two Tolkien scholars presented previously unpublished work. John D. Rateliff provided numerous examples of The Hobbit‘s influence on Tolkien’s legendarium in his plenary paper “Anchoring the Myth: The Impact of The Hobbit on Tolkien’s Legendarium.” Verlyn Flieger discussed French influences on the development of Bilbo Baggins and his adventures in “Tolkien’s French Connections.”

In discussions with the plenary speakers and other presenters, it became apparent that a book focusing on how The Hobbit influenced the subsequent development of Tolkien’s legendarium was sorely needed.

Thanks to the kind assistance of editor Bradford Lee Eden and author Michelle Markey Butler, we are able to publish the full table of contents for the resulting effort — The Hobbit in Tolkien’s Mythology: Essays on Revisions and Influences. The book has obviously been a hot item; it’s temporarily out of stock while McFarland awaits the reprint, though they are accepting backorders. With many fascinating, and dare I say, controversial topics, it’s no wonder that US Tolkien fans are snatching up their own copies.

Never fear! If you aren’t in the United States, the book is available for pre-order on Amazon.co.uk and will be released in paperback and Kindle editions in late December. If you reside in the US, but you aren’t able to purchase one of the two remaining copies on Amazon.com, you can pre-order the Kindle version before its release on December 31, 2014.

Table of Contents

Introduction

Bradford Lee Eden

The evolution of the Dwarven race

Anchoring the myth: the impact of The Hobbit on Tolkien’s legendarium
John D. Rateliff

From Nauglath to Durin’s Folk: The Hobbit and Tolkien’s Dwarves
Gerard Hynes

Durin’s Day

“It passes our skill in these days”: primary world influences on the evolution of Durin’s Day
Kristine Larsen

A scientific examination of Durin’s Day
Sumner Gary Hunnewell

Themes

French influences

Tolkien’s French connection
Verlyn Flieger

Northern influences

Tolkien’s Hybrid Mythology: The Hobbit as Old Norse “Fairy-Story”
Jane Chance

Linguistics

From “The Silmarillion” to The Hobbit and back again: an onomastic foray
Damien Bador

Animal sentience

Civilized goblins and talking animals: how The Hobbit created problems of sentience for Tolkien
Gregory Hartley

Invisibility

Seeing in the dark, seeing by the dark: how Bilbo’s invisibility defined Tolkien’s vision
Michael A. Wodzak

Bilbo as Tolkien personified

A Victorian in Valhalla: Bilbo Baggins as the link between England and Middle-earth
William Christian Klarner

The characters of Beorn and Bombadil

Beorn and Bombadil: mythology, place, and landscape in Middle-earth
Justin T. Noetzel

Pilgrimage

Travel, redemption, and peacemaking: hobbits, dwarves and elves and the transformative power of pilgrimage
Vickie L. Holtz Wodzak

Environmentalism and authorship

A Baggins’ backyard: environmentalism, authorship, and the Elves in Tolkien’s legendarium
David Thiessen

Contemporary interpretations of The Hobbit

Polytemporality and epic characterization in The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey: reflecting The Lord of the Ring‘s modernism and medievalism
Judy Ann Ford and Robin Anne Reid

The wisdom of the crowd: Internet memes and The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
Michelle Markey Butler

Contributors

About the Book

At the 2013 “Celebrating The Hobbit” conference at Valparaiso University—marking the 75th anniversary of the book’s publication and the first installment of Peter Jackson’s Hobbit movies—two plenary papers were presented: “Anchoring the Myth: The Impact of The Hobbit on Tolkien’s Legendarium” by John D. Rateliff provided numerous examples of The Hobbit’s influence on Tolkien’s legendarium; and “Tolkien’s French Connections” by Verlyn Flieger discussed French influences on the development of Bilbo Baggins and his adventures. In discussions with the plenary speakers and other presenters, it became apparent that a book focusing on how The Hobbit influenced the subsequent development of Tolkien’s legendarium was sorely needed.

This collection of 15 previously unpublished essays fills that need. With Rateliff’s and Flieger’s papers included, the book presents two chapters on the Evolution of the Dwarven Race, two chapters on Durin’s Day examining the Dwarven lunar calendar, and 11 chapters on themes exploring various topics on influences and revisions between The Hobbit and Tolkien’s legendarium.

About the Editor

Bradford Lee Eden is Dean of Library Services at Valparaiso University in Valparaiso, Indiana.

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One Comment

  1. Joanna Hautin says:

    I do hope that there will be an insightful examination of Tolkien’s study of Finno-Ugric myths and linguistics as well as the Anglo-Saxon elements in his works.

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