Publications and appearances



Winner of the Mythopoeic Award for Scholarship in Inklings Studies, 2004, for Tolkien and the Great War.


Tolkien and the Great War: The Threshold of Middle-earth, London: HarperCollins, 2003; New York: Houghton Mifflin Co, 2003. Read reviews...

Translated into Italian as Tolkien e la Grande Guerra: La soglia della Terra di Mezzo (Milan: Marietti, 2007) and Chinese (Shanghai: Wenhui, 2008). An excerpt has also been translated into Polish: Najstarsza wersja legendarium J.R.R. Tolkiena (‘The oldest version of Tolkien’s legendarium’), Aiglos 6 (Katowice: Śląski Klub Fantastyki, 2006).

Tolkien and the Great War has been cited in the Oxford English Dictionary.

Contributions to other books

J.R.R. Tolkien Encyclopedia: Scholarship and Critical Assessment, ed. Michael D.C. Drout (Routledge, November 2006): entries on Artists and Illustrators’ Influence on Tolkien, ‘English and Welsh’, R.Q. Gilson, Jennie Grove, Nazi Party, A Spring Harvest, T.C.B.S., Francis Thompson, Christopher Wiseman and World War I.

Frodo and the Great War, in The Lord of the Rings, 1954–2004: Scholarship in Honor of Richard E. Blackwelder, ed. Wayne G. Hammond and Christina Scull (Milwaukee: Marquette University Press, 2006). Presented at Marquette University, 2004.

Tolkien e la Grande Guerra: ‘orrore animalesco’ nella Terra di Mezzo, in Mitopoiesi: Fantasia e storia in Tolkien, ed. F. Manni (Brescia: Grafo, April 2005). Expanded and translated version of ‘Tolkien and the Great War: “animal horror” in Middle-earth’, a conference paper presented in Brescia, Italy, 2004.

‘As under a green sea’: visions of war in the Dead Marshes, in The Ring Goes Ever On: Proceedings of the 2005 Tolkien Conference, ed. Sarah Wells (Tolkien Society, 2008), and (in slightly expanded form) in Myth and Magic: Art according to the Inklings, ed. Eduardo Segura and Thomas Honegger (Zürich: Walking Tree, 2007). Italian translation, as ‘Visioni di guerra nelle Paludi Morte’, forthcoming in Tolkien: La Luce e l'Ombra, ed. Giovanni Agnoloni (Ascoli Piceno: Senzapatria Editore).

Sources of InspirationTolkien, Exeter College, and the Great War, in Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings: Sources of Inspiration, ed. Stratford Caldecott and Thomas Honegger (Zurich: Walking Tree, 2008). Presented at the conference held at Exeter College, Oxford, 21 August 2006; cited in the Oxford English Dictionary. A provisional version can be read here...

J.R.R. Tolkien and the boy who didn’t believe in fairies, biographical article about a manuscript item from Tolkien on Fairy-stories, with previously unseen photographs, in Tolkien Studies 7, ed. Douglas A. Anderson, Michael D.C. Drout, and Verlyn Flieger (Morgantown: West Virginia University Press, 2010). Read via Project Muse…

Robert Quilter Gilson, T.C.B.S.: A brief life in letters, the fullest extant account of the life of one of Tolkien's key friends, in Tolkien Studies 8, ed. Anderson et al (WVUP 2011). Read via Project Muse...


Press features, interviews, news and comment by John Garth

Interview with Aung San Suu Kyi, forthcoming in Oxford Today, Michaelmas 2012.

Obama again? Guide to the 2012 US elections through the eyes of four Members of Congress, Oxford Today, Trinity 2012. Read...

America's Oxford home, profile of the Rothermere American Institute, Blueprint, March 2012. Read (download)...

Oxford and the Olympics, Oxford Today, Hilary 2011. Read...

Interviews with UK ambassador to Mexico Judith Macgregor, writer and polemicist Naomi Wolf, Pulitzer prize-winner Siddhartha Mukherjee, Olympic modern pentathlon gold medallist Stephanie Cook, author Prajwal Parajuly, and Reuters editor-at-large Chrystia Freeland. In Oxford Today, Hilary 2011 to Hilary 2012.

The making of an exhibition, behind the scenes at the Ashmolean Museum, Blueprint, November 2011. Read (download)...

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. Read...

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.


Press reviews by John Garth

Oxford English Dictionary OED 4.0 CD-Rom edition, Daily Mail Online. Read…

Ursula le Guin, Lavinia, in The Sunday Telegraph, May 2009. Read…

J.R.R. Tolkien, The Legend of Sigurd and Gudrún, in The Times, 29 April 2009, 'A time before Hobbits'. Read…

J.R.R. Tolkien, The Children of Húrin, in The Sunday Telegraph, 26 April 2007, ‘A last, sombre visit to Middle-earth’. Read…

Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, trans. Simon Armitage, in The Sunday Telegraph, Seven, 28 January 2007, 'Sir Gawain rides again'. Read…

J.R.R. Tolkien Encyclopedia: Scholarship and Critical Assessment, ed. Michael D.C. Drout, and The J.R.R. Tolkien Companion and Guide, by Christina Scull and Wayne G. Hammond, in The Times Literary Supplement, 22/29 December 2006, ‘Where’s what, Gollum?’

C.S. Lewis, Collected Letters, Vol. 3: Narnia, Cambridge and Joy, 1950-1963, ed. Walter Hooper, in The Observer, 3 December 2006, ‘Last lines of a lion in winter’. Read…

Peter Gilliver, Jeremy Marshall and Edmund Weiner, The Ring of Words: Tolkien and the Oxford English Dictionary, in The Times Literary Supplement, 23 June 2006, ‘S for Smial’.

Michael Cox, The Meaning of Night, in the Evening Standard, 18 September 2006, ‘A Victorian labyrinth of elegant darkness’. Read…

T.A. Shippey, J.R.R. Tolkien: Author of the Century, in the Evening Standard, 27 November 2000, ‘Far too successful — can’t be any good’.
— Reprinted in La Rivista, journal of Endóre (Italian Tolkien Society), issue 5 (September 2002).


Further Tolkien articles by John Garth

J.R.R. Tolkien, Tengwesta Qenderinwa and Pre-Fëanorian Alphabets Part 2 (Parma Eldalamberon 18, ed. Christopher Gilson, Patrick H. Wynne and Arden R. Smith), in Tolkien Studies 7, ed. Anderson et al (WVUP, 2010). Read via Project Muse…

Hilary Tolkien, Black and White Ogre Country: The Lost Tales of Hilary Tolkien, ed. Angela Gardner, in Mallorn 48, October 2009. Read…

Guest editorial, Mallorn 48, October 2009.

J.R.R. Tolkien, Words, Phrases and Passages in Various Tongues in The Lord of the Rings (Parma Eldalamberon 17, ed. Gilson), in Tolkien Studies 6, ed. Anderson et al (WVUP, 2009). Read via Project Muse…

J.R.R. Tolkien, Early Elvish Poetry and Pre-Fëanorian Alphabets (Parma Eldalamberon 16, ed. Gilson, Smith, Wynne, Carl F. Hostetter and Bill Welden), in Tolkien Studies 5, ed. Anderson et al (WVUP, 2008). Read via Project Muse…

Christina Scull and Wayne G. Hammond, The J.R.R. Tolkien Companion and Guide, in Tolkien Studies 4, ed. Anderson et al (WVUP, 2007). Read via Project Muse…

J.R.R. Tolkien, Sí Qente Feanor and other writings (Parma Eldalamberon 15, ed. Smith, Gilson, Wynne and Welden), in Tolkien Studies 3, ed. Anderson et al (WVUP, 2006). Read via Project Muse…

Janet Brennan Croft, War and the Works of J.R.R. Tolkien, in Tolkien Studies 3. Read via Project Muse…

J.R.R. Tolkien, Smith of Wootton Major, extended edition edited by Verlyn Flieger, 2005. This previously unpublished review can be read here.

J.R.R. Tolkien, The Alphabet of Rúmil and Early Noldorin Fragments and Early Qenya and the Valmaric Script (Parma Eldalamberon 13 and 14, ed. Gilson, Smith, Welden, Hostetter and Wynne), in Tolkien Studies 2, ed. Anderson et al (WVUP, 2005). Read via Project Muse…

Talks and presentations

I have spoken about Tolkien and the First World War in Britain, the United States, Hungary and Italy:

  • Hungarian Tolkien Society conference in Budapest, 16 June 2012.
  • Festival in the Shire, Pontrhydfendigaid, Wales, 15 August 2010.
  • Oxford University C.S. Lewis Society, Pusey House, Oxford, 8 June 2010.
  • Penkridge Library, Staffordshire, 10 July 2009.
  • National Army Museum, London, 5 July 2007.
  • Tolkien 2005 conference, Aston University, Birmingham, 13 August 2005.
  • The Lord of the Rings, 1954–2004: Scholarship in Honor of Richard E. Blackwelder, conference at Marquette University, Milwaukee, 21 October 2004.
  • Tolkien e la Terra di Mezzo conference, Italian Tolkien Society, Brescia, Italy, 21 March 2004.
  • Tolkien Society annual general meeting, the White Hart Hotel, Lincoln, 24 April 2004.
  • Rice University, Houston, Texas (Medieval Studies Workshop, Center for the Study of Cultures) 6 February 2004.
  • Oxford Tolkien Society, Christ Church College, 21 November 2003.
  • Eltham College, London, 29 November 2002.
  • Oxonmoot (annual Tolkien Society gathering) at St Anthony’s College, Oxford, on 22 September 2001 and 19 September 2003.
  • Cambridge Tolkien Society, 13 March 2001.

I have been a panellist in discussions on ‘Tolkien and war’ at Oxonmoot, 20 September 2003 (with Jane Chance, Colin Duriez and Ted Sherman) and at the Tolkien 2005 conference, 12 August 2005 (with Tom Shippey).


Film and TV interviews

Dan Arden, Beyond the Movie: The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring DVD and video (National Geographic, 2002).

The Real Middle-earth DVD (Multi Media Arts, 2004).

Steve Richards, The Sunday Programme (GMTV, 15 February 2004).

Brian Sibley, The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King extended DVD (New Line Cinema, 2004).

Online interviews

Q&A with Pieter Collier of the Tolkien Library website, 28 March 2009. Read...

Q&A with Michael Martinez of the Middle-earth and JRR Tolkien News website, 15 June 2012. Read...

Radio interviews

The Verb, BBC Radio 3, 9 November 2002.

BBC local radio (Tim Wedgewood, BBC Radio Stoke; Jerry Scott, BBC Yorkshire; Anna Quarendon, BBC Wiltshire; John Florence, BBC Radio Leicester; Julie Maddocks, BBC Kent; Georgy Spanswick, Good Afternoon with Georgy Spanswick, BBC Radio Leeds; Lisa Bradley, BBC Radio Jersey), 7 November 2003.

Open Book, BBC Radio 4, 14 August 2005.

Roy Noble Show, BBC Radio Wales, August 2010.

Talking History with Patrick Geoghegan, Newstalk, Ireland, 28 August 2011.

Print interviews

Rodrigo Gonzalez, ‘Tolkien: entre las trincheras y la Tierra Media’, La Tercera, Santiago, Chile, 7 December 2003.

Iain Emsley, Oxford Times, November 2003.


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© John Garth 2006