I’m the author of the award-winning Tolkien and the Great War, and I’m currently writing a new book on Tolkien which I began as Fellow in Humanistic Studies at the Black Mountain Institute, UNLV, Nevada. I’m a freelance writer, editor and consultant; I give talks and teach courses internationally; and I’ve been web editor of university magazine Oxford Today for two years. On this website you will find:


11 June 2017: I’m interviewed on the Prancing Pony Podcast, a free biweekly podcast by Tolkien enthusiasts Alan Sisto and Shawn E Marchese (60 minutes). The listening links are beneath the preamble and the links to my website.


28 October 2017: I present a new research paper, ‘Ilu’s Music: The creation of Tolkien’s Creation myth’, as keynote speaker at the German Tolkien Society’s conference on Literary Worldbuilding at Augsburg University.

13 October 2017: New research paper, ‘The likeness of Lúthien: How Britain and Edith Tolkien are reflected in Middle-earth’, at the Spanish Tolkien Society’s annual convention at Miravet Castle, Tarragona.

6–12 August 2017: I teach a one-week course on Tolkien and CS Lewis in Oxford for the Oxford Experience, a residential summer programme held in the grand surroundings of Christ Church.

31 May to 5 June: Multiple interviews about Tolkien’s Beren and Lúthien.
—On television, ITV’s News at Ten (below) on 1 June; Australia’s ABC News Weekend Breakfast on 4 June.
Garth News at Ten Beren and Lúthien—On radio, BBC Radio Oxford (segment begins at 1 hour 47 minutes) on 31 May; Newstalk National Radio Ireland (last item on the show) on 1 June; BBC Radio 5 Live on 2 June, and Canadian CBC’s As It Happens (at the 21:20 mark) on 5 June.
—Online, quotes from my Radio Oxford interview were used in 1 June BBC News article and reused by dozens of worldwide media outlets online.

27 May: ‘Here be dragons’, Telegraph Review section and online as ‘The man who brings Tolkien to life’ – I interview Oscar-winning artist Alan Lee about his work on Tolkien’s Beren and Lúthien, the Peter Jackson movies, and other highlights of his career.

26 May: Love, war and Tolkien’s lost tales – I review Beren and Lúthien in the New Statesman.

23 May: Catch a virus, kill a cancer: The new world of virotherapy, Oxford Today (also in the Trinity 2017 print issue, p20).

25 April: I’m the winner of the Tolkien Society’s Outstanding Contribution Award. The various annual awards ‘recognise excellence in the fields of Tolkien scholarship and fandom’.

7 April: Routledge’s J.R.R. Tolkien (Critical Assessments of Major Writers), a four-volume anthology for libraries, includes my ‘Postscript: One Who Dreams Alone’ from Tolkien and the Great War and my scholarly paper ‘As Under a Green Sea: Visions of War in the Dead Marshes’.

April: ‘The good sport: Lightweight rowing’, Oxford Today print issue, p54.

April: The making of the Oxford English Dictionary, interview with Peter Gilliver, author of the landmark history, published online in 24 October 2016, appears in Oxford Today print issue, p50.

31 March: New blog post, When Tolkien reinvented Atlantis and Lewis went to Mars, adds a further discovery to my December article for the Telegraph – this time, especially relevant to Lewis readers.

25–26 March: Talks in Oslo at ArtheCon, annual convention of Arthedain, the Tolkien Society of Norway, about the revenant dead of The Lord of the Rings and the invention of Númenor.

24 February: Visions of paradise reveal unknown vistas of history, Oxford Today (also in the Trinity 2017 print issue, p19).

8 February: The drone inspired by a dragonfly, Oxford Today (also in the Trinity 2017 print issue, p17).

17 January: Atlantis and Mars: New Light on Tolkien, Lewis, and their Science-Fiction Pact – talk to the Oxford CS Lewis Society.

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Consultancy: I acted as a consultant on BBC4’s 2016 Sleuths, Spies and Sorcerers: Andrew Marr’s Paperback Heroes, and advised on BBC2’s 2014 War of Words: Soldier-Poets of the Somme. I was historical consultant for Simon Tolkien’s novel No Man’s Land. I have assisted Oxford’s Story Museum in its developmental planning.

Talks and media appearances on Tolkien, the First World War and related subjects: I regularly speak to general and specialist audiences internationally and give interviews on television, radio and online.

Teaching: I have taught courses for graduates and undergraduates on Tolkien as a major British author and as heroic epic at the University of Nevada in Las Vegas. In 2015 I taught a 24-week course on Tolkien’s Wars and Middle-earth for students seeking MA credit with the online Mythgard Institute; and I jointly devised and taught a week-long course on Tolkien and Oxford for the Oxford University Summer School for Adults in 2014. In August 2017 I will teach a further residential week on Tolkien and CS Lewis in Oxford, for the Oxford Experience.

Journalism for clients including The Times, Telegraph and Oxford University includes interviews with Burmese democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi (pictured below by Joby Sessions) and Oscar-winning artist Alan Lee, with features on virotherapy, insect-inspired drone design, the Ethiopian Garima Gospels and many more.

John Garth and Aung San Suu Kyi

Other noteworthy interviewees include Newbery-winning novelist Susan Cooper, polemicist Naomi Wolf, Pulitzer winner Siddhartha Mukherjee, broadcaster and writer Ruby Wax, Carnegie-winning author Alan Garner, Olympic gold medallists Stephanie Cook and Andrew Triggs Hodge, and Sir Tommy Macpherson (then Britain’s most decorated living soldier). I first trained as a reporter on London papers.

Beren and Lúthien
The Gurkha's Daughter by Prajwal Parajuly

Book reviews have appeared in The Guardian, New Statesman, Daily Beast, Sunday Telegraph, Times, Observer, Mail On Sunday, Evening Standard, Times Literary Supplement and elsewhere, dealing with modern historical fiction, contemporary short stories, fantasy, medieval literature, literary reference, biography, and lexicography.

Editorial: I’ve worked in new media, newspapers and books. I was an Evening Standard sub-editor for more than a decade, and (twice) digital editor of Oxford Today, the University magazine. I copyedited the ‘superbly compendious and entertaining’ Golden Age of Murder by Martin Edwards (now chair of the Crime Writers’ Association). Regular proofreading work has included books by Robin Hobb, Simon Tolkien, Peter V. Brett, Greg Iles, Jack Higgins, Patrick O’Brian, E.R. Eddison and Agatha Christie.

Research: I’m currently completing a book on Tolkien in his times, begun during my year as Fellow in Humanistic Studies at the Black Mountain Institute, UNLV.
◼︎ Research for Tolkien and the Great War took me to Oxford’s Bodleian Library where I examined Tolkien’s personal papers; to the British Library; to the National Archives at Kew; and to the battlefields of the Somme.
◼︎ Supplementary research in college archives and elsewhere led to Tolkien at Exeter College.
Agatha Christie's The Grand Tour◼︎ I researched and wrote the chronology for Agatha Christie’s The Grand Tour, about her round-the-world 1922 trip, filling gaps she left in her account.
◼︎ My research on one of Tolkien’s friends, an artist and junior officer killed on the first day of the Battle of the Somme, has led to a documentary film, RQ Gilson: Memoirs of an Infantry Officer, and to a play by Mike Levy commemorating Gilson’s battalion, I Regret to Inform You.
◼︎ Research on another of their circle, GH Bonner, led to the rediscovery of lost issues of the historic Hydra magazine, edited variously by Bonner and war poet Wilfred Owen.
◼︎ I have traced my family to the early 18th century, and have used genealogy extensively in other biographical research.

Tolkien and the Great War spineOn Tolkien
Tolkien and the Great War, hailed on publication in 2003 as ‘the best book that has been written about Tolkien’, won the Mythopoeic Award for Scholarship. The only substantially new narrative biography of Tolkien since 1977, it is available in English, German, French, Spanish, Italian and Mandarin Chinese, and also as an audiobook in English (voiced by the author) and in German.

Tolkien at Exeter College, by John GarthTolkien at Exeter College: How an Oxford undergraduate created Middle-earth (2014) is the definitive account of Tolkien’s life in the vitally formative years 1911–15, drawing on extensive new research to enlarge the account in Tolkien and the Great War. 64 pages, with 40 images include previously unseen pictures by and of Tolkien. Michael Ward, Planet Narnia author and Mythopoeic Award winner, calls it ‘a must-read for all Tolkien aficionados’. Mythlore says: ‘good things come in small packages, and John Garth’s latest chronicle … is a very good thing indeed’. Elbakin.net describes it as ‘rich in surprises and discoveries’. Buy here...

Other writings include a life of Tolkien in the Blackwell Companion to J.R.R. Tolkien; major scholarly papers in Routledge’s forthcoming J.R.R. Tolkien (Critical Assessments of Major Writers); and articles in the Routledge J.R.R. Tolkien Encyclopedia, Exeter College: The First 700 years and Tolkien Studies. I’ve written and commented on Tolkien for the press in Britain and the US. I’ve also spoken live around Britain, the US and Europe; taught for the Oxford University Summer School for Adults; and been interviewed on TV, radio, DVD, in print and online.

Further news

John Garth and Julia Margretts with cast of "I Regret to Inform You" by Mike LevyWith Rob Gilson's niece Julia Margretts (left) and the cast of ‘I Regret to Inform You’, a play by Mike Levy about Gilson’s battalion and partly based on my research (8 December 2016)


January–June 2017: Digital editor of Oxford Today: The University Magazine.

Telegraph Culture Garth 8-12-168 December: Nearly 75,000 people read my Telegraph online feature on the origin of Tolkien’s story of Númenor in a historic wager with CS Lewis (left, free registration required). Also a double-page Sunday Telegraph spread on 11 December.

8 December: In Ely, Cambridgeshire, I read from the letters of Tolkien's friend Rob Gilson in a commemoration of his battalion. The letters and my research also featured in a play, I Regret to Inform You, by Mike Levy, conveying the experience of soldiers and their loved ones. The event was followed by a commemorative publication about the 11th Suffolk Battalion, Sons of Cambridgeshire, by Gordon Phillips and Nicky Stockman.

16 November 2016: My review of Tolkien’s The Lay of Aotrou and Itroun is published at Telegraph online (free registration required), having appeared in the newspaper’s Saturday Review on 12 November.

11 November: I revealed my latest discoveries about ‘The Great Wave: Tolkien’s Atlantis myth, the 1930s crisis of civilisation, and the bridge to The Lord of the Rings’ as part of a great line-up at Tolkien Day, hosted by Liverpool Hope University.

24 October: BBC4 screened ‘Fantasy’, an episode of Sleuths, Spies and Sorcerers: Andrew Marr’s Paperback Heroes on which I acted as consultant.

19 October: New blog post on Tolkien’s Beren and Lúthien, a centenary publication.

1 October: Teaching Tolkien in Nevada: Former OT digital editor John Garth on his move to Las Vegas – article for Oxford Today about my year as Fellow of the Black Mountain Institute.

3 September: Double-length talk, ‘Revenants: How the ghosts of World War One returned to haunt The Lord of the Rings, at the annual conference of Seryn Ennor, the Swiss Tolkien Society, hosted by the Greisinger Museum in Jenins.

25 July: Talk on Tolkien, writing and publication, to the Henderson Writers’ Group, Las Vegas.

John Garth talk at National WW1 Museum, July 201616 July: Great turnout for my talk on Tolkien’s ghosts, right, followed by book signing, at the National World War 1 museum, Kansas City, Missouri (picture courtesy of the museum).

11 July to 12 August: 25-session graduate/undergraduate course on Tolkien and Heroic Epic, University of Nevada in Las Vegas.

3 July: Repeat BBC4 showing for War of Words: Soldier-Poets of the Somme to mark the centenary of the battle.

2 June 2016: In consultation with me, the German Tolkien Society launches a series of online posts on Tolkien in the Great War (in German as Tolkien im Ersten Weltkrieg) charting key dates in his Somme experience.

13 May: French website Tolkiendil showcases my work, including links, reviews, and the film Tolkien’s Great War with French subtitles.

Robert Quilter Gilson11 May: New blog post discussing a superb documentary on which I help tell the story of Tolkien’s TCBS friend Robert Quilter Gilson (right) up to his death in the Battle of the Somme. Commissioned by King Edward’s School in Birmingham, it is closely based on my work with his letters.

15 April: In the New Statesman I review A Secret Vice: Tolkien on Invented Languages, edited by Dimitra Fimi and Andrew Higgins.

19 April: My blog post ‘Tolkien’s “immortal four” meet for the last time’ is named Best Article in the Tolkien Society Awards 2016 – the second time in three years that one of my pieces has won this award. You can read the 2014 winner here. Spanish versions of the two pieces are here and here; a Portuguese version of the more recent piece is here.

Writer's Block Garth posterApril: I review Grevel Lindop’s biography Charles Williams: The Third Inkling for Oxford Today.

16 February: Tolkien talk and discussion, at the fabulous Writer’s Block bookshop, Fremont Street, Las Vegas.

21 January to 12 May: Course for undergraduates on Tolkien as British Literature, in 17 double-length sessions at the University of Nevada in Las Vegas.




31 December 2015: ‘A must-have for anyone seriously interested in Tolkien’s life and work is John Garth’s Tolkien at Exeter College. Garth, who wrote the ground-breaking study Tolkien and the Great War, has extended his research to Tolkien’s time as an undergraduate, with new discoveries and insights (and photographs). This new, short book is an excellent complement to the longer study, and deepens our understanding of the origins of Tolkien’s lifelong work on The Silmarillion.’ —Holly Ordway, ‘The Best Books I Read in 2015’, Catholic World Report.

18 December: Publication of Tolkien l’esperantista (‘Tolkien the Esperantist’, Cafagna Editore, Italy), with essays by Tolkien, Oronzo Cilli, Arden R Smith and Patrick H Wynne, and a preface by me.

December: Longform interview on Tolkien in German-language journal of fantastic literature Quarber Merkur.

John Garth Mail On Sunday Story of Kullervo Tolkien review17 November: I talk about my research as Fellow in Humanistic Studies at the Beverly Rogers, Carol C Harter Black Mountain Institute, as part of International Education Week at the University of Nevada in Las Vegas.

6 September: My review of Tolkien’s Story of Kullervo (right) appears in the Mail on Sunday.

27 August: I speak to BBC News about The Story of Kullervo, and Tolkien’s fascination with Finnish language and lore.

August–November: I teach a 24-session online course for the Mythgard Institute, on Tolkien’s Wars and Middle-earth, heralded by a Q&A.

Exon Tolkien Garth article17 August: I take up my position as Fellow in Humanistic Studies for 2015-16 at the Beverly Rogers, Carol C Harter Black Mountain Institute, the University of Nevada in Las Vegas.

13 August: ‘The birth of a legend’, article on Tolkien at Exeter College for the college’s Exon magazine.

August: Widely quoted in media ahead of publication of Tolkien’s The Story of Kullervo (ed. Verlyn Flieger).

3 July: ‘“Quickened to full life by war”: A fresh look at why Tolkien fell for Faërie’ — talk at the Tolkien Society Seminar 2015, Leeds.

John Garth and Peter Jackson25 June: I joined Sir Peter Jackson (right) and his partner Fran on their visit to Exeter College, Oxford, and showed them highlights of the Tolkien-related archives there.

7 June: I talk to the Sunday Times about the imminent book publication of Tolkien’s Story of Kullervo, predecessor to the Middle-earth tales. Also in India’s Daily News and Analysis.

30 May: Tolkien at Exeter College is named a finalist for the Mythopoeic Award for Scholarship (won by Tolkien and the Great War in 2004).

April: ‘John Garth’s latest chronicle on the early life of JRR Tolkien is a very good thing indeed. Like its predecessor ... it belongs on the bookshelf of every Tolkien scholar.’ —Tolkien at Exeter College reviewed by Mike Foster in Mythlore.

9 April: Tolkien talk for the Brigham Young University London Centre, LDS Church, London.

5 April: Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers in the Great War, a web resource by Edward James and partly inspired by Tolkien and the Great War, wins the Best Non-Fiction prize in the 2014 British Science-Fiction Association awards.

31 March: Review of Tolkien at Exeter College at Elbakin.net: ‘riche en surprises et en découvertes … une lecture à conseiller à tous les fans de Tolkien qui s’intéressent tout particulièrement à la genèse de la Terre du Milieu’.

27 March: Podcast, ‘100 years on, how Tolkien came to the brink of Middle-earth’ — a recording of my paper at last November’s Merton College Tolkien in Oxford symposium.

‘How Tolkien discovered fairy-tale through Beowulf and war’, previously presented at October’s Oxford English roundtable, published at the launch of the Sci-Fi and Fantasy Network.

John Garth at SHSU, 25 March 201525 March: I talk on Tolkien and the Great War at Sam Houston State University, Texas, left, for the Tenth Annual Joan Coffey Symposium.

25 March 2015: For Tolkien Reading Day, on the theme of friendship, the Tolkien Society filmed me reading a deeply moving letter to Tolkien from the trenches, 1916.

20 March: I’m honoured to be named Fellow in Humanistic Studies for 2015-16 at the Black Mountain Institute, the University of Nevada in Las Vegas.

16 March: ‘Root and branch’, interview with the extraordinary gardener of one of Oxford’s most extraordinary college gardens. Previously appeared, slightly cut, in Oxford Today’s Michaelmas 2014 issue, 16 October.

3 March: Talk on Tolkien and the First World War at the Hudson Library and Historical Society, Ohio.

27 February: Tolkien on the brink of Middle-earth 100 years ago: I talk at Regent’s Park College, Oxford.

21 February: My work on Tolkien is the focus of a blog post by Dr Anna Smol of Mount St Vincent University, Nova Scotia. With videos: my Oxonmoot 2014 talk and Tolkien’s Great War.

20 February 2015: Rites of passage: student experiences abroad – singing at the Sorbonne, particle physics at CERN . . . and building loos in Cambodia. Oxford Today. Also at Oxford University’s Annual Review.

18 January: Dragon scale: Why it’s impossible to size up Tolkien’s Middle-earth – blog post. Also in Portuguese.


27 December: A big feature by Javier Noriega in ABC, Spain's third-largest newspaper, based on my book. ‘Asistido por su notable intuición y erudición, nos acerca a un Tolkien en sus múltiples facetas, de oficial, escritor, estudioso y ser humano.’

22 December: I interview Tim Severin about his famous ‘Brendan Voyage’ across the Atlantic in a replica sixth-century leather boat, and about his first adventure: retracing Marco Polo’s route to China – on a motorbike with Boris Johnson’s dad.

18 December: Interviewed about ‘the trenches where Middle-earth was conceived’ in the Spanish Catholic paper Alfa y Omega.

14 December: ‘Der wahre Krieg des Herrn der Ringe’ (‘The real war of The Lord of the Rings’), in Die Welt, an abridged text of my 2 November talk to a capacity crowd at the Militär Historisches Museum in Dresden.

13 December: Comments in the Boston Globe on the final Hobbit movie, here and here.

9 December: ‘Tolkien’s death of Smaug: American inspiration revealed’, in the Guardian and (20 December) South China Morning Post.

8 December: Interviewed for the Daily Mirror centre-spread feature, ‘How First World War inspired Middle-earth epics’. Read online here...
— Comments in the Oxford Mail at the opening of the Ashmolean Museum exhibition William Blake: Apprentice and Master.

7 December: Interviewed for the lead Sunday Times News Review feature, ‘The hobbit's guide to our warring world’ (subscription needed). Also at The Australian.

4 December: I talk about Tolkien’s life and work in a France 5 TV special, JRR Tolkien: Le Seigneur des Ecrivains, also featuring George R.R. Martin and French Tolkien scholars Vincent Ferré, Leo Carruthers, Isabelle Pantin and others.

November: I appear in a splendid half-hour film, Tolkien’s Great War, made for the First World War centenary exhibition at King Edward’s School, Birmingham – the best video accompaniment to Tolkien and the Great War you’ll find right now. Also available at Tolkiendil with French subtitles.

28 November: Tolkien and Oxford, article in German for TV magazine Arte.

Tolkien Studies 1127 November: In Tolkien Studies 11, ‘The road from adaptation to invention’: How Tolkien came to the brink of Middle-earth in 1914, the in-depth exploration I only touch on in my Guardian piece. In the same issue I Tolkien’s first Elvish lexicon and major later work too (as published in Parma Eldalamberon 12 and 21). The book can be ordered here.

26 November: Tolkien’s Dead Marshes, at Great War and Modern Imagination Conference, Beverley, East Yorks.

18 November: I spoke on Tolkien’s 1914 creative breakthrough at Tolkien in Oxford: A Symposium, Merton College. The talk can now be heard as a podcast.

17 November: Video interview for French website Tolkiendil (in English).

16 November: ‘Es fällt schwer, den Enthusiasmus des Autors für sein Thema nicht zu teilen. Garth beschreibt Tolkiens Leben so facettenreich und liebevoll, dass es eine Freude ist.’ Review of Tolkien und der Erste Weltkrieg, n-tv.de.

John Garth in BBC2's War of Words: Soldier-Poets of the Somme15 November: I talk on location about Tolkien in BBC2 documentary War of Words: Soldier-Poets of the Somme, left.

15 November: Live Q&A, Compiègne’s Bibliothèque Saint-Corneille, as part of exhibition, Tolkien et la Grande Guerre, le fondement d'une mythe.

11 November: Talk to the Oxford CS Lewis Society on Tolkien’s 1914 creative breakthrough.

9 November: I read from the letters of Robert Quilter Gilson, TCBS, as part of the centenary Remembrance Sunday events at his alma mater, Trinity College, Cambridge.

5 November: ‘Fire, Fawkes and fisticuffs’, Oxford Today.

22 October: I talked with four Oxford Anglo-Saxon professors in ‘Tolkien’s Beowulf: A Roundtable’, a Medieval English Research Seminar with the Faculty of English at Oxford University. The text is now online at the Sci-Fi and Fantasy Network.

17 October: China’s new long march: 80 years after Mao set out, what lies ahead for a nation he would barely recognise?

10 October: Talk on Tolkien to Western Front Association (Herts and Beds branch), Harpenden.

6 October: ‘Recovering Hydra’, Oxford Today – how my Tolkien research led me to discover historic lost issues of a Great War magazine edited by Wilfred Owen. A fuller account appeared in September in the Wilfred Owen Association Journal, 2014 issue 2, on 17 June on my blog, and on 12 June in Oxfordshire Limited Edition (Oxford Times).

24 September: In a triple whammy for the centenary of Middle-earth, I give three different considerations of the 1914 creative breakthrough that started it all — in the Guardian, in a video of my Oxonmoot talk, and at my blog (also in Italian). At Oxonmoot I was interviewed on video on this topic and others by Jay Johnstone.

Tolkien at Exeter College, by John Garth12 September: My 64-page illustrated book Tolkien at Exeter College: How an Oxford undergraduate created Middle-earth is published with the college.
— I also talk at Oxonmoot, the Tolkien Society annual gathering, on ‘Tolkien on the brink of Middle-earth, 1914’. Video highlights here...

August: I am now digital editor of Oxford Today: The University Magazine.

27 August: Guest appearance on Son Rise Morning Show, EWTN Radio.

23 August: Tolkien y la Gran Guerra is profiled in major Spanish daily paper El Mundo.

9 August: I celebrate Tove Jansson, creator of the Moomins, on her centenary – at the Daily Beast.

4–8 August: Articles on the First World War for UniteLive, focusing on workers who went to war, the ‘Red Clydeside’ agitation over living and working conditions, women, war and the work revolution, agricultural workers, and the changing balance of power.

2–8 August: I teach a week’s course on Tolkien and Oxford with Dr Maria Artamonova for the Oxford University Summer School for Adults, exploring Tolkien the war writer and academic.

John Garth's talk on the breaking of Tolkien's first fellowship1 August: Illustrated biographical talk, The Breaking of Tolkien's First Fellowship, opening a weekend of Great War commemorations in Marston Green (home of the Gilson family).

29 July: ‘Why World War One Is at the heart of Lord of the Rings’, Daily Beast – for The Fellowship of the Ring’s 60th anniversary. Also available in Portuguese.

26 July: I talk to a journalist about how the First World War turned Tolkien into a writer in this article in the major Brazilian newspaper Estadão. For my full comments, in English, see here.

23 July: Talk on Tolkien to the University of Alabama’s Oxford summer school, Worcester College.

John Garth signs Tolkien und der Erste Weltkrieg at Tolkien Thing 2014, Burg BreubergSigning copies of Tolkien und der Erste Weltkrieg after my talk as guest of honour at Tolkien Thing 2014, Burg Breuberg

18–20 July: Guest of honour at Tolkien Thing, the annual gathering of the German Tolkien Society, at Castle Breuberg in Hesse.

14 July: Why your grandchildren may work as hard as you – or even harder. Oxford Today.

11 July: I talk to a scientist whose work is inspired by the heart disease that runs in his family. Oxford Today.

1 July: I review John Carey’s autobiography The Unexpected Professor, for Oxford Today.

John Garth, Tolkien y la Gran Guerra (Minotauro)5 June: Tolkien y la Gran Guerra published in Spain by Minotauro.

29 May: My review of Tolkien’s Beowulf: A Translation and Commentary, together with ‘Sellic Spell’, in the New Statesman.

28 May: Spanish daily La Razón publishes a double-page feature on Tolkien y la Gran Guerra. Subscription only.

21 May: Panel discussion on Tolkien and the First World War, éStoria festival, Gorizia, Italy. Watch the discussion here (in Italian and English)...

18 May: I comment on Tolkien’s Beowulf in the New York Times.

15 May: Review in L’Humanité — ‘Si, jusqu’ici, Tolkien ne semble pas avoir l’attention qu’il méritait de la part des écrivains français, la faute sera sans doute réparée avec la traduction d’un ouvrage d’importance, Tolkien et la Grande Guerre, de John Garth… Lisez ce livre. Lisez le Seigneur des anneaux, le Silmarillion, Bilbo le Hobbit. Lire Tolkien ce n’est pas fuir le monde, c’est le rencontrer différement.’

15 May: An exploration of Oxford’s new Story Museum. Oxford Today.

Blackwell Companion to TolkienMay: A Companion to J.R.R. Tolkien, edited by Stuart D. Lee, published by Wiley-Blackwell, including my ‘A Brief Biography’.

30 April: I give the Rector’s seminar on Tolkien, Exeter College, Oxford.

16 April: I write on the explosion in migration studies, Oxford Today.

12 April: Guest speaker, Tolkien Society AGM, Hay-on-Wye. My Tolkien and the boy who didn’t believe in fairies is voted best article in the inaugural Tolkien Society Awards. It’s also available in Spanish.

11 April: I interview writer and comedian Ruby Wax, Oxford Today.

8 April: I talk about my book and researches on the German Tolkien Society website. German and English.

6 April: Founder’s Day talk on Tolkien, Exeter College, Oxford.

4 April: I hear from TV historian Lucy Worsley, Arthurian author Kevin Crossley-Holland and Beatles biographer Mark Lewisohn at the Oxford Literary Festival, for Oxford Today.

31 March: I talk to Australian news website The New Daily about Tolkien’s enduring appeal.

27 March:I talk to major German news website Spiegel Online about Tolkien.

25 March: Discussion of Tolkien und der Erste Weltkrieg on Deutschlandradio Kultur.

Tolkien und der Erste Weltkrieg24 March: Tolkien und der Erste Weltkrieg published by Klett-Cotta, with audiobook from Der Hörverlag.
Here, also in German, Marcel Aubron-Bülles talks about translating the book.

22 March: Bring on the monsters! My Guardian preview feature on Tolkien’s forthcoming Beowulf translation is an Editor’s Pick.

19 March: Interviewed in the Guardian and Telegraph and quoted in El País on Tolkien’s Beowulf.
— My review of A Strong Song Tows Us, Richard Burton’s biography of Basil Bunting, published at Oxford Today.

Tolkien et la Grande Guerre par John Garth6 March: Tolkien et la Grande Guerre, left, published by Christian Bourgois; highlighted in L’Express and reviewed in La Nouvelle Quinzaine.

5 March: Blog post, Tolkien at fifteen, a warrior-to-be, reveals the facts behind a newly discovered photo. Also in Italian, French and Portuguese.

27 February: Somme feature in El País highlights Tolkien and the Great War.

20 February: Le Monde reviews ‘le passionant essai Tolkien et la Grande Guerre’ in a (subscription-only) piece on the literary impact of the war.

February: Blog posts: Sam Gamgee and Tolkien’s batmen (now also in Portuguese and French) and The Tolkien brothers of Bumble Dell.
The J.R.R. Tolkien Encyclopedia: Scholarship and Critical Assessment out in paperback and ebook, with several of my contributions.

29 January: Blog post, Tolkien, the Somme, and scholarship. Also in Portuguese.

26 January: ‘100 years of Middle-earth’ – the debut post on my blog. Also in Portuguese at Tolkien Brasil.

6 January: Review, Peter Lewis’s A Rogue’s Gallery, Oxford Today.

Jeremy Banning, Peter Barton, Sebastian Barfield and John Garth at Thiepval, October 2013At the old front line, October 2013, with Great War researcher Jeremy Banning, historian Peter Barton and director Sebastian Barfield, filming the BBC2 documentary War of Words: Soldier-Poets of the Somme.


6 December: Review, Ian Wilson’s Little Dictionary of Big Words You Should Know, for Oxford Today.

5 December: Lire special issue previews Tolkien et la Grande Guerre, with extract.

3/12 December: Comments on Tolkien and the First World War, as the Imperial War Museum displays his revolver. The Guardian, MailOnline and The Times.

25 November: Report on the JFK anniversary talk by biographers Randall Woods and Godfrey Hodgson at Oxford’s Rothermere American Institute.

22 November: Tolkien Brasil gives me a regular guest column.

20 November: My appreciation of artist and friend Pauline Baynes – guest column at JJ Books.

14 November: Launch of Exeter College: The First 700 Years, including my contribution on ‘The Undergraduate Tolkien’.

Three great men died that day – John Garth13 November: On The Oxfordians, a new art group, for Oxford Today.

8 November: Talk to the Oxford Tolkien Society on how Tolkien’s experience in the First World War shaped Frodo in The Lord of the Rings.

3 November: Long-form feature on the coincidental deaths of JFK, CS Lewis and Aldous Huxley 50 years ago at the Daily Beast. Previously presented as a talk to the Oxford CS Lewis Society and in short form in Oxford Today. I was later interviewed on the topic by Al Jazeera English.

24 October: Filmed an interview with the BBC in and near the trenches of Thiepval Wood for a 2014 documentary on writers on the Somme.
Reviewed Alison Brackenbury’s poetry collection Then, in Oxford Today.

17 October: Talk: Tolkien’s Dead Marshes, National Army Museum.

16 October: joined Twitter as @JohnGarthWriter.

6 October: ‘Battle of the Somme: the “animal horror” that inspired JRR Tolkien.’ In the Sunday Telegraph’s First World War supplement.

4 October: I talk to the Foreign Office’s Foreign Policy Counsellor in Washington, Jennifer Cole OBE, about her time at Oxford.

Susan Cooper with John GarthSeptember: My Evening Standard article ‘Tolkien fantasy was born in trenches of the Somme’ is now in Portuguese.

31 August: I talk to Newbery medallist Susan Cooper (with whom I am pictured right) on her new novel Ghost Hawk, at The Daily Beast.

29 July: Talk on Tolkien, British Studies at Oxford summer school, St John’s College.

29 July: Interviewed by Malcolm Boyden on BBC Radio Oxford on the 59th birthday of The Fellowship of the Ring.

3 July: Launched Facebook page, John Garth, writer.

July: Interviewed outgoing Oxford English Dictionary editor John Simpson, in Blueprint. Read here.

July: Review of The Broken Scythe: Death and Immortality in the Works of J.R.R. Tolkien, in Tolkien Studies 10. Read here (Project Muse subscription only).

June: Major feature in The Times on the Bodleian Library’s summer exhibition, Magical Books. Now also available subscription-free here.

June: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Tolkien and the Great War ebook published.

May: Two-page review of Tolkien’s The Fall of Arthur, at The Daily Beast. Since published in French (September) and Portuguese (November).

John Garth at the Return of the Ring conference, 2012, by Emil Johansson John Garth at the Return of the Ring conference, 2012. Picture: Emil Johansson

April: Landmark interview with Carnegie-winning author Alan Garner in Oxford Today, plus an interview with the 2012 Turner Prize winner, Elizabeth Price.

21 March: Opening talk at the Oxford Tolkien Spring School, on Tolkien’s life.

March: Visited the Oxford Literary Festival for Oxford Today, hearing Alister McGrath on C.S. Lewis and Lucy Hughes-Hallett on her Samuel Johnson Prize-winning biography of proto-fascist Gabriele D’Annunzio.
— Reviewed Mark Atherton’s There and Back Again, on Tolkien and The Hobbit.

5 February: Talk on Tolkien, Oxford C.S. Lewis Society.

25 January: Reviewed Prajwal Parajuly’s The Gurkha’s Daughter, The Guardian.

January: Interviewed on BBC Online and ITV Meridian on Tolkien’s birthday.


December: Interviewed on BBC Radio Oxford’s James Cannon Show on the release of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.

October: Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi’s only print interview from her historic 2012 visit to Britain — in Oxford Today, alongside my interviews with £75million university bursary donor Michael Moritz and biographer Michael Korda.

30 September: Gave a talk on Tolkien via live video feed to the National World War I Museum, Kansas City, Missouri.

19 August: At the Tolkien Society’s Return of the Ring conference I spoke about Tolkien’s close friend Rob Gilson and took part in a panel discussion about research.

3 August: Spoke on the BBC Radio 4 documentary Tolkien in Love about J.R.R. Tolkien’s reunion with his childhood sweetheart Edith Bratt, their marriage, and their wartime separation.

16 June:
Hungarian Tolkien Society conference in Budapest: talk on how the First World War shaped the portrayal of Frodo Baggins in The Lord of the Rings. Published in Hungarian in J.R.R. Tolkien: Fantázia és erköles, ed. Dr Pődör Dóra, Nagy Andrea and Füzessy Tamás.

15 June: Q&A with Michael Martinez of the Middle-earth and JRR Tolkien News website.

For older publications and appearances, please visit the relevant pages via the navigation bar at the top of this page.








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(text corrected 2011)

John Garth Writer Tolkien And The Great War

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© John Garth 2006