John Garth’s journalism
Selected press features, interviews, news and comment
The birth of a legend, article on Tolkien at Exeter College for the college’s Exon magazine (pdf), 13 August 2015.
‘Root and branch’, interview with David Leake, the extraordinary gardener of one of Oxford’s most extraordinary college gardens, at Corpus Christi; Oxford Today, 16 March 2015. A slightly shorter version was printed in the preceding print issue of Oxford Today, 16 October 2014 (pdf, pp. 60–61).
Rites of passage: student experiences abroad – singing at the Sorbonne, particle physics at CERN . . . and building loos in Cambodia. Oxford Today, 20 February 2015. Also at Oxford University’s Annual Review.
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. Oxford Today, 22 December 2014.
‘Tolkien and Oxford’, article in German for TV magazine Arte, 28 November 2014.
‘Fire, Fawkes and fisticuffs’, Oxford Today, 5 November 2014.
China’s new long march: 80 years after Mao set out, what lies ahead for a nation he would barely recognise? Interview with the director of Oxford’s China Centre, Oxford Today, 17 October 2014.
‘Recovering Hydra’: how my Tolkien research led me to discover historic lost issues of a Great War magazine edited by Wilfred Owen – Oxford Today, 6 October 2014. A fuller account in the Wilfred Owen Association Journal, 2014 issue 2 (September), and in Oxfordshire Limited Edition (Oxford Times), 12 June, can be read at my blog.
‘Birth of a new world: the Tolkien poem that marks the genesis of Middle-earth’: On the centenary of Middle-earth, I outline the results of a full-scale investigation I’ve written for Tolkien Studies 11. The Guardian, 24 September 2014 — a widely read piece shared more than 62,000 times via social media.
Centenary celebration of Tove Jansson, creator of the Moomins. Daily Beast, 9 August 2014.
Articles on the First World War 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. UniteLive, 4–8 August 2014.
Why your grandchildren may work as hard as you – or even harder. Oxford Today, 14 July 2014.
I talk to a scientist whose work is inspired by the heart disease that runs in his family. Oxford Today, 11 July.
An exploration of Oxford’s new Story Museum, Oxford Today, 15 May 2014.
Why the explosion in migration studies? Oxford Today, 16 April 2014.
Interview with writer and comedian Ruby Wax, Oxford Today, 11 April 2014.
J.R.R. Tolkien’s translation of Beowulf: bring on the monsters — preview feature on Tolkien’s translation of Beowulf and his story The Sellic Spell. The Guardian, 22 March 2014.
Report on the JFK anniversary talk by biographers Randall Woods and Godfrey Hodgson at Oxford’s Rothermere American Institute, 25 November 2013.
Appreciation of artist and friend Pauline Baynes – guest column at JJ Books, 20 November 2013.
President Kennedy, C.S. Lewis and Aldous Huxley – mortality and immortality. Long-form feature to mark the 50th anniversary of their deaths, at the Daily Beast, 3 November 2013, with a shorter feature at Oxford Today published on 16 October 2013.
Battle of the Somme: the ‘animal horror’ that inspired J.R.R. Tolkien, in the Sunday Telegraph’s First World War supplement, 6 October 2013.
Interview with Newbery medallist Susan Cooper on her new novel Ghost Hawk, in The Daily Beast, 31 August 2013.
Major feature on the Bodleian Library’s Magical Books summer 2013 exhibition, incorporating interviews with Carnegie-winning author Alan Garner and Newbery Medal winner Susan Cooper. In The Times (subscribers only) and at Oxford Today.
For the greater good, on the work of Oxford University's pro bono lawyers, in Blueprint, May 2013 (download).
The Storyteller, landmark interview with Alan Garner in Oxford Today, Trinity 2013.
Beatnik Girl, interview with Turner Prize winner Elizabeth Price, also in Oxford Today, Trinity 2013.
Report on the Oxford Literary Festival for Oxford Today, featuring Alister McGrath on C.S. Lewis and Lucy Hughes-Hallett on her Samuel Johnson Prize-winning biography of proto-fascist Gabriele D’Annunzio, March 2013.
Arsenic and old feathers, on investigations into historical pesticide use at Oxford’s Pitt Rivers Museum, and A garden of chemical delights, showcasing an audio trail at the Botanic Garden, in Blueprint, October and November 2013 (pdf).
Obama again? Guide to the 2012 US elections through the eyes of four Members of Congress, Oxford Today, Trinity 2012.
America’s Oxford home, profile of the Rothermere American Institute, Blueprint, March 2012 (pdf).
Interview with author Prajwal Parajuly on his book deal for The Gurkha’s Daughter and Land Where I Flee, in Oxford Today, Hilary 2012.
Oxford and the Olympics, a curious history, Oxford Today, Hilary 2011. Read...
My Oxford, interviews with the Foreign Office’s Foreign Policy Counsellor in Washington Jennifer Cole OBE, British ambassador to Mexico Judith Macgregor, writer and polemicist Naomi Wolf, Pulitzer prize-winner Siddhartha Mukherjee, Olympic modern pentathlon gold medallist Stephanie Cook, and Reuters editor-at-large Chrystia Freeland. In Oxford Today, 2011 onwards.
The making of an exhibition, behind the scenes at the Ashmolean Museum, Blueprint, November 2011 (pdf).
Bluff, guile and swagger, interview with Sir Tommy Macpherson, a special ops commando during the Second World War and Britain's most decorated living soldier, in Oxford Today, Hilary 2011.
Obituary of Paul Newman, MailOnline, 27 September 2008.
Articles on the D-Day secret weapon the Great Panjandrum, the 1942 arrest of a German spy that saved the Allied invasion of North Africa, the cockatoo that entertained Churchill, and many other items for MailOnline, 2008 to 2010 (some listed here).
From page to stage, mini-review of the Lord of the Rings musical at London’s Theatre Royal, Evening Standard, 18 May 2007. Reprinted in The Scotsman, 1 June 2007, as ‘It’s a hard hobbit to break – the expert’s verdict’. Read...
Triumph of the Tolkien Magic, op-ed, Evening Standard, 12 December 2003. Appeared as ‘No more Tolkien gestures’, The Scotsman, 15 December 2003. Read...
Tolkien fantasy was born in trenches of the Somme, Evening Standard, 13 December 2001. Read…
News, features and reviews for the Hendon & Finchley Times and the Edgware & Mill Hill Times, 1989 to 1993.