Read Tolkien and the Great War by John Garth Online


A new biography exploring J R R Tolkien s wartime experiences and their impact on his life and his writing of The Lord of The Rings To be caught in youth by 1914 was no less hideous an experience than in 1939 by 1918 all but one of my close friends were dead So J R R Tolkien responded to critics who saw The Lord of the Rings as a reaction to the Second World War Tolkien and the Great War tells for the first time the full story of how he embarked on the creation of Middle earth in his youth as the world around him was plunged into catastrophe This biography reveals the horror and heroism that he experienced as a signals officer in the Battle of the Somme and introduces the circle of friends who spurred his mythology to life It shows how, after two of these brilliant young men were killed, Tolkien pursued the dream they had all shared by launching his epic of good and evil John Garth argues that the foundation of tragic experience in the First World War is the key to Middle earth s enduring power Tolkien used his mythic imagination not to escape from reality but to reflect and transform the cataclysm of his generatuion While his contemporaries surrendered to disil...

Title : Tolkien and the Great War
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 0007119534
Format Type : Paperback
Language : English
Publisher : HarperCollins Publishers September 3, 2004
Number of Pages : 416 pages
File Size : 789 KB
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Tolkien and the Great War Reviews

  • Berni
    2019-05-02 06:35

    Wow. When this first came out, I had no interest in reading it. I thought it would be very dry and not all that relevant. Boy, was I wrong!

  • Holly E. Ordway
    2019-05-20 00:41

    John Garth's "Tolkien and the Great War" is essential reading for any enthusiast of Tolkien (and indispensable for anyone interested in studying Tolkien's life and work). Garth's groundbreaking research forms the basis for an insightful, in-depth, and very well-written analysis of the way that Tolkien's WWI experiences shaped his writing. This study is not just outstanding as a biography, but also as a literary study, and it is written in a clear and readable style - all of which is a considerable achievement! Garth is an appreciative and attentive reader of Tolkien's writings; the result of reading Tolkien and the Great War is to come away with a deeper and fuller appreciation of Tolkien's work and its depth. Now that it's available in paperback, there's no excuse not to add it to your shelves right away.

  • Wounded Combat Veteran
    2019-04-29 08:43

    If I could say anything to this author, I would say, "Thank you!." I now feel that I am closer to understanding Tolkien by knowing as much as can be learnt from the available information regarding his wartime experiences. It would also be interesting to know more about Tolkien's feelings regarding his medevac and recuperation. Was he simply relieved, or - after he recovered from exhaustion and sickness - did feel guilt toward those who stayed in the combat zone? He didn't attend reunions of his unit. Why? How was he remembered by the surviving officers? I am a wounded combat veteran myself, and I understand - because I share this experience - that it is often haunting, and memories of it are unhappy and unsettling, not something that one welcomes. Things don't go well in combat, and honest memories of it are difficult. All pre-mission planning is optimistic and inadequate, and the consequences are frustrating (weather, the enemy, unforeseen circumstances, and coordination w/ other units). Memories of the myriad of mistakes can only conjure up regrets! The emotions of an officer who has been medevac'ed out of combat are difficult to describe. I share this experience w/ Lieutenant Tolkien, and so I have a unique insight into at least this facet of his personal history and personality.

  • Brandoniusrex99
    2019-04-19 07:35

    This book is fantastic and has a lot of great details on Tolkien's early life, down to specific address of where he lived while at Oxford. It also gives a great deal of emphasis on his closest friends and their war experiences. My only real quibble is that the "Great War" portion of the book is less meaty than I would have thought. Something like "Tolkien's Early Life" would have been a much more apt title. Overall well written, this was a quick read and I recommend it to any fan of Tolkien the man.

  • Diana Glyer
    2019-05-04 03:41

    There are very few Tolkien books that deserve to be called indispensable: this is one of them. Tolkien is so popular that lots and lots of people want to jump in and have their say. This book is grounded in exquisite research and offers page after page of significant insight. I cannot imagine any serious student of Tolkien managing without it.

  • PastAgesandFutureWorlds
    2019-04-26 00:41

    This book is mainly for people really digging into Tolkien studies. Indeed, he was a rare author that warrants such study. The depth, layers and influences behind his Middle Earth mythos are significant. Few probably realize, while reading his books, his depictions of conflict, war and loss aren't completely from his imagination. A veteran of World War I, a war that brought unimaginable new ways to kill at unimaginable cost, was forever in the back of his mind. This book is as much about that experience as it is about his first creations that would later become Middle Earth. The very first inkling of those tales began before the war, continue somewhat during it, and would later explode. Tolkien was of a generation of scholarly writers, many who went off to war in an age when war was seen more as an obligation and adventure, where fiction and myth were part of intellectual thought. They were written to entertain, but also had much more to them. Tolkien's fantasy is more "literary" than most books that now carry that title. His works will last far into the future. While this book can be dense with detail, it will fill in those early years of Tolkien's writing better than any other source. See also