John Garth on Tolkien: publications
Biographical research, literary criticism, reviews and other articles

›Contributions to other books, original biographical research, literary criticism
›Newspaper reviews and articles
›Other reviews and articles
›Blog posts


1. Monographs (back to top↑)

Garth – Worlds of JRR TolkienThe Worlds of J.R.R. Tolkien: The Places that Inspired Middle-earth

(Click on the title for an online bookstore link, or click on the publisher’s name for its webpage about the book. For links to reviews and further bookstores, click here…)

◼︎ English London: Frances Lincoln, 2020; Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2020.
◼︎ French Les Mondes de Tolkien: Les lieux qui ont inspiré la Terre du Milieu (Paris: Hachette Heroes, 2020), translated by Xavier Hanart.
◼︎ Russian Миры Дж. Р. Р. Толкина. Реальный мир легендарного Средиземья (Moscow: AST, 2020), translated by Constantin Pirozhkov.
◼︎ Spanish Los Mundos de J.R.R. Tolkien: Los Lugares que Inspiraron al Escritor (Barcelona: Minotauro, 2021), translated by Martin Simonson.
◼︎ Czech Světy J.R.R. Tolkiena: Místa, Která Inspirovala Středozem (Prague: Argo, 2021), translated by Vit Penkala.
German Die Erfindung von Mittelerde: Was Tolkien zu Mordor, Bruchtal und Hobbingen inspirierte (Darmstadt: WBG, 2021), translated by Andreas Schiffmann.
◼︎ ItalianI Mondi di J.R.R. Tolkien: I luoghi che hanno inspirato la Terra di Mezzo (Milan: Mondadori, 2021), translated by Stefanno Giorgianni.
◼︎ FinnishJ.R.R. Tolkienin Maailmat: Näin syntyi Keski-Maa (Helsinki: WSOY, 2021), translated by Jaakko Kankaanpaa.
◼︎ HungarianTolkien Világai: Középfölde Helyszíneinek Ihletői (Budapest: Corvina, 2021), translated by Németh Anikó.
◼︎ JapaneseJ. R. R. Tolkien no Sekai: Naka-tsu-kuni no Umareta Basho (Tokyo: Hyōronsha, 2021), translated by Kaori Numata, Tsukusu (Jinn) Ito and Junko Setogawa.
◼︎ PolishJ.R.R. Tolkien i jego światy: Miejsca, z których wyrosło śródziemie (Warsaw: Arkady, 2022), translated by Joanna Kokot.

◼︎ Croatian Svjetovi J.R.R. Tolkiena: Mjesta koja su nadahnula Međuzemlje (Zagreb: Lumen, 2022), translated by Marko Maras.
◼︎ SerbianSvetovi Dž.R.R. Tolkina: Mesta Koja Su Bila Nadahnuće Za Srednju Zemlju (Belgrade: Data Status, 2022), translated by Jelena Vitezović and Ivan Racić.

◼︎ Slovakian Svety J.R.R. Tolkiena: Miesta, ktoré inšpirovali Stredozem (Bratislava: Slovart, 2022), translated by Katarína Varsiková.

◼︎ Chinese托尔金的世界 (Warsaw: YoYoYo iDearBook, 2023) translated by Joy Teng and Dianna Han (Ecthelion).

Garth – Tolkien and the Great WarTolkien and the Great War: The Threshold of Middle-earth

Winner of the 2004 Mythopoeic Award for Scholarship. For reviews, click here…

◼︎ EnglishTolkien and the Great War: The Threshold of Middle-earth (London: HarperCollins, 2003; New York: Houghton Mifflin Co, 2004). An audiobook read by John Garth (HarperCollins, 2011) is also available.
◼︎ Italian — Tolkien e la Grande Guerra: La soglia della Terra di Mezzo (Milan: Marietti, 2007), translated by Roberto Arduini, Giampaolo Canzonieri, Lorenzo Gammarelli and Alberto Ladavas.
◼︎ Chinese托尔金与世界大战——跨过中土世界的门槛 (Shanghai: Wenhui, 2008) translated by Chen Zhuo.
◼︎ French – Tolkien et la Grande Guerre: Au Seuil de la Terre du Milieu (Paris: Christian Bourgois, 2014).
◼︎ German – Tolkien und der Erste Weltkrieg: Das Tor zu Mittelerde(Stuttgart: Klett-Cotta, 2014), translated by Marcel Aubron-Bülles. Audiobook from Der Hörverlag.
◼︎ Spanish – Tolkien y la Gran Guerra: El Origen de la Tierra Media(Barcelona: Minotauro, 2014), translated by Eduardo Segura and Martin Simonson.
◼︎ Polish – Tolkien i Pierwsza Wojna Światowa: U progu Śródziemia (Poznań: Zysk, 2020), translated by Agnieszka Sylwanowicz. (A brief excerpt was previously published as Najstarsza wersja legendarium J.R.R. Tolkiena, ‘The oldest version of Tolkien’s legendarium’, in Aiglos 6 [Katowice: Śląski Klub Fantastyki, 2006].)
◼︎ Russian – Толкин и Великая война. На пороге Средиземья (Moscow: AST, 2022), translated by Svetlana Likacheva.
◼︎ Romanian – Tolkien si Marele Razboi. Originile Pamantului de Mijloc (Barcelona: Editura RAO, 2022), translated by Eduardo Segura and Martin Simonson.
◼︎ Portuguese – Tolkien e a Grande Guerra: O limiar da Terra-média (Rio de Janeiro: HarperCollins Brasil, 2022), translated by Eduardo Segura and Martin Simonson.

Garth – Tolkien at Exeter CollegeTolkien at Exeter College: How an Oxford undergraduate created Middle-earth

(Oxford: Exeter College, first edition 2014, second edition 2022). Finalist for the Mythopoeic Award for Scholarship, 2015. Incorporates much fresh research to enlarge and clarify our picture of Tolkiens crucial years from 1911 to 1915, including the creative breakthrough that ultimately led to The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings and The Silmarillion. Second edition features a colour cover, 68 pages, and more than 45 images, many of them rare or previously unpublished. Read reviews and buy here on this website ...


2. Contributions to other books, original biographical research, and literary criticism (back to top↑)

How J.R.R. Tolkien came to write the stories of ‘The Rings of Power’, major feature for the October issue of Smithsonian Magazine, revealing vital and unexpected inspirations for Númenor. 10 September 2022.

Great Tales Never EndThe chronology of creation: How J.R.R. Tolkien misremembered the beginnings of his mythology: Examining the manuscripts of ‘The Book of Lost Tales’, I overturn previous ideas about when Tolkien wrote it. In The Great Tales Never End: Essays in Memory of Christopher Tolkien, edited by Richard Ovenden and Catherine McIlwaine, from Bodleian Publishing, published on 24 June 2022.

Something Has Gone Crack Revenants and angels: Tolkien, Machen, and Mons, the first half of my exploration of how aspects of Tolkien’s legendarium relate to Arthur Machen’s 1914 story ‘The Bowmen’ and the modern legend of the Angels of Mons. In Something Has Gone Crack: New Perspectives on J.R.R. Tolkien in the Great War (Zürich: Walking Tree, 2019), edited by Janet Brennan Croft and Annika Röttinger.

Su-creating ArdaIlu’s Music: The creation of Tolkien's creation myth, my investigation of the original sources and inspirations for the opening story in The Silmarillion, in a collection on Tolkien and world-building, Sub-creating Arda (Zürich: Walking Tree, 2019) edited by Dimitra Fimi and Thomas Honegger.

McIlwaine – Tolkien: Maker of Middle-earthTolkien and the Inklings, chapter in Catherine McIlwaine’s Tolkien: Maker of Middle-earth (Oxford: Bodleian Publishing, 2018) the landmark book accompanying the major exhibition at the Bodleian Library in Oxford. (Other chapters are by Verlyn Flieger, Carl F. Hostetter, Tom Shippey, and Wayne G. Hammond and Christina Scull.)

Bru – Uncle CurroPreface to Uncle Curro’: J.R.R. Tolkien’s Spanish Connection (Edinburgh: Luna Press, 2018), José Manuel Ferrández-Bru’s biography of Tolkien’s guardian and ‘second father’, Francis Morgan. Also in Spanish as ‘El Tio Curro’: La Conexión Española de J.R.R. Tolkien.

Tolkien l'EsperantistaForeword to Tolkien the Esperantist (Barletta: Cafagna Editore, 2017), with essays by J R R Tolkien, Oronzo Cilli, Arden R Smith and Patrick H Wynne. First published in Italian in 2015 as Tolkien l’Esperantista. Read the preface in Italian…

‘The road from adaptation to invention’: How Tolkien came to the brink of Middle-earth in 1914, in Tolkien Studies 11, ed. David Bratman, Michael D.C. Drout, and Verlyn Flieger (Morgantown: West Virginia University Press, 2014). Read via Project Muse...

Blackwell Companion to TolkienA brief biography, in A Companion to J.R.R. Tolkien, edited by Stuart D. Lee (Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, 2014), part of the Blackwell Companions to Literature and Culture series. Includes chapters by Tom Shippey, Verlyn Flieger, John D. Rateliff and other key figures in Tolkien scholarship. My opening chapter gives a detailed chronological overview of the life and work in 8,500 words, and is available as a downloadable excerpt at the Wiley website.

Exeter College, The First 700 YearsThe undergraduate Tolkien, in Exeter College: The First 700 Years, ed. Frances Cairncross with Hannah Parham (London: Third Millennium, 2013) – a condensed and slightly revised form of my Tolkien, Exeter College and the Great War (see below).

Robert Quilter Gilson, T.C.B.S.: A brief life in letters, the fullest published account of the life of one of Tolkien’s key friends, in Tolkien Studies 8, ed. Douglas A. Anderson, Michael D.C. Drout, and Verlyn Flieger (WVUP, 2011). Read via Project Muse...

Tolkien Studies 7J.R.R. Tolkien and the boy who didn’t believe in fairies uncovers the incident which first taught the young Tolkien that fairy-stories are not kids’ stuff. When it was published in Tolkien Studies 7 (WVUP 2010), veteran Tolkien scholar David Bratman said, ‘I have never read a scholarly paper that left me more thoroughly charmed.’ It was voted best article of 2013 in the inaugural Tolkien Society Awards after being published (with previously unseen photographs) on my website here. Also available in Spanish.

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. Now comprehensively revised, expanded and illustrated as a monograph, Tolkien at Exeter College: How an Oxford undergraduate created Middle-earth.

Tolkien: La Luce e l'Ombra‘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’, in Tolkien: La Luce e l'Ombra, ed. Giovanni Agnoloni (Ascoli Piceno: Senzapatria Editore).

J.R.R. Tolkien Encyclopedia: Scholarship and Critical Assessment, edited by 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, the T.C.B.S., Francis Thompson, Christopher Wiseman and World War I. Now available in paperback and ebook, and at Routledge Literature Online via participating libraries and institutions.

Tolkien Marquette 2004 proceedingsFrodo 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. See here for one discussion of this paper. Revised version published as Volt egyszer egy földbe vájt lyuk – Tolkien és a lövészárkok in J.R.R. Tolkien: Fantázia és erköles, ed. Dr Pődör Dóra, Nagy Andrea and Füzessy Tamás (Budapest: Magyar Tolkien Társaság, 2012), the proceedings of the Hungarian Tolkien Society’s Budapest 2012 conference. Revised and abridged version published 14 December 2014 as Der wahre Krieg des Herrn der Ringe in Die Welt, based on my 2 November talk at Dresden’s Militär Historisches Museum.

MitopoiesiTolkien 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.


3. Journalism reviews and articles (back to top↑)

J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fall of Númenor, edited by Brian Sibley and illustrated by Alan Lee, in the Guardian, 23 November 2022.

‘A funny thing happened on the way to Middle-earth’: The polar bear outfit, the neck-risking party trick, the best recipe for freshly killed dwarf … I write about Tolkien's sense of humour in the Telegraph, 16 August 2022.

‘A Tolkien scholar dissects our first glimpse of Amazon’s The Rings of Power’: I review the series teaser trailer, for the Telegraph, 14 February 2022.

Garth Tolkien Big Issue article 25-6-20‘Lie of the land: Digging deeper into the mythical landscapes of Tolkien’s Middle-earth, John Garth finds those places still exist’ – author feature for the Big Issue, 25 June 2020 (right), marking the publication of The Worlds of J.R.R. Tolkien.

‘Looking for Middle-earth? Go to the middle of England’, excerpt from the opening chapter of The Worlds of J.R.R. Tolkien, at LitHub, 24 June 2020.

The Lord of the Rings: Toughest quiz ever, BBC Arts website, 16 March 2020.

Obituary of Christopher Tolkien, in the Guardian online 20 January and in print 25 January 2020.

‘The forbidden love that saved JRR Tolkien from the horrors of war’, feature on Tolkien’s early life and First World War experiences for the Mail On Sunday magazine, 27 April 2019.

J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fall of Gondolin, in The Times, 25 August 2018 (register here to read two free articles per week).

‘A once-in-a-generation event’ – I review the Bodleian Library exhibition Tolkien: Maker of Middle-Earth for the Sunday Telegraph, 2 June 2019.

Garth Telegraph Alan LeeInterview with Oscar-winning artist Alan Lee about his work on Tolkien’s Beren and Lúthien, the Peter Jackson movies, and other highlights of his career, Telegraph Review section, 27 May 2017 (right).

J.R.R. Tolkien, Beren and Lúthien, in the New Statesman, 26 May 2017.

When JRR Tolkien bet CS Lewis: the wager that gave birth to The Lord of the Rings, Telegraph online (free registration required) on 8 December 2016 and as a double-page spread in the Sunday Telegraph (Living section) on 11 December. The article reveals for the first time the date Tolkien conceived his story of Númenor.

J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lay of Aotrou and Itroun, Telegraph online (free registration required) on 16 November 2016 and in the newspaper’s Saturday Review on 12 November. Reproduced at my blog.

A Secret Vice: Tolkien on Invented Languages, edited by Dimitra Fimi and Andrew Higgins, New Statesman, 15 April 2016.

J.R.R. Tolkien, The Story of Kullervo, edited by Verlyn Flieger, in the Mail On Sunday, 6 September 2015. Reproduced at my blog.

The birth of a legend, article on Tolkien at Exeter College for the college’s Exon magazine (pdf), 13 August 2015. Reproduced at my blog.

Tolkien’s death of Smaug: American inspiration revealed, in the Guardian (9 December 2014) and South China Morning Post (20 December 2014).

Der wahre Krieg des Herrn der Ringe (‘The real war of The Lord of the Rings’), in Die Welt, 14 December 2014 – an abridged text of my 2 November talk to a capacity crowd at the Militär Historisches Museum in Dresden.

Tolkien and Oxford, article in German for TV magazine Arte, 28 November 2014.

Birth of a new world: the Tolkien poem that marks the genesis of Middle-earth: I outline the results of a full-scale investigation I’ve written for Tolkien Studies 11. The Guardian, 24 September 2014.

Secrets of the Hydra, Oxfordshire Limited EditionWhy World War One Is at the heart of Lord of the Rings – for The Fellowship of the Ring’s 60th anniversary. Daily Beast, 29 July 2014.

Secrets of The Hydra: How my Tolkien research uncovered lost Wilfred Owen magazines: in Oxfordshire Limited Edition, 12 June 2014, and on my blog.

Tolkien’s Beowulf: A Translation and Commentary, together with Sellic Spell: Review in the New Statesman, 30 May 2014, and preview feature in the Guardian, 22 March 2014.

Battle of the Somme: the ‘animal horror’ that inspired JRR Tolkien, in the Sunday Telegraph’s First World War supplement, 6 October 2013.

The magical books of Alan Garner, JRR Tolkien and other fantasy author, feature previewing the Bodleian Library’s summer exhibition Magical Books, in The Times, 8 June 2013 (subscribers only). Reproduced by Oxford Today as ‘The Magical Books of the Bodleian’ (open access).

J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fall of Arthur, in The Daily Beast, 23 May 2013, ‘Tolkien’s unfinished epic’. My review is also available in French.

Mark Atherton, There and Back Again: J.R.R. Tolkien and the origins of The Hobbit, Oxford Today, March 2013.

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

From page to stage, 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...

J.R.R. Tolkien, The Children of Húrin, in The Sunday Telegraph, 26 April 2007, ‘A last, sombre visit to Middle-earth’. 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?’ 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’. 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…
— Also in Portuguese at the Tolkien Brasil website.

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).

4. Other reviews and articles (back to top↑)

‘How Tolkien discovered fairy-tale through Beowulf and war’, published at the launch of the Sci-Fi and Fantasy Network, 27 March 2015. Previously presented at‘Tolkien’s Beowulf: A Roundtable’, a Medieval English Research Seminar with the Faculty of English at Oxford University, 22 October 2014.

J.R.R. Tolkien, Qenya Noun Structure, ed. Christopher Gilson, Patrick H. Wynne, and Arden R. Smith; J.R.R. Tolkien, Qenyaqetsa: The Qenya Phonology and Lexicon, together with The Poetic and Mythologic Words of Eldarissa, ed. Gilson, Carl F. Hostetter, Wynne and Smith; Proceedings of the Third International Conference on J.R.R. Tolkien’s Invented Languages, Omentielva Nelya, Whitehaven, 2009, ed. Anders Stenström. In Tolkien Studies 11, ed. David Bratman, Michael D.C. Drout and Verlyn Flieger (Morgantown: West Virginia University Press, 2014). Read via Project Muse...

Roberto Arduini and Claudio A. Testi (eds.), The Broken Scythe: Death and Immortality in the Works of J.R.R. Tolkien, in Tolkien Studies 10, ed. Bratman et al. (WVUP, 2013). Read via Project Muse...

J.R.R. Tolkien, Quenya Phonology: Comparative Tables, Outline of Phonetic Development (Parma Eldalamberon 19, ed. Christopher Gilson), in Tolkien Studies 8, ed. Anderson et al (WVUP, 2011). Read via Project Muse...

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…

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…

5. Blog posts (back to top↑)

The dream of Geoffrey Bache Smith (18 October 2021) unearths a previously unrecognised comic essay by the poet, humourist and TCBSite friend of Tolkien.

Testing time for Tolkien, the Inklings and the T.C.B.S. (12 June 2021) reproduces their hilariously impossible Pythonesque quizzes.

Ursula Le Guin, the language of Earthsea, and Tolkien (22 January 2021) uncovers the intriguing possibility that there is a personal homage to Tolkien hidden in Ursula Le Guin’s A Wizard of Earthsea. Also translated into Polish by Agnieszka Sylwanowicz as ‘Ursula Le Guin, język Ziemiomorza i J.R.R. Tolkien’ in Aiglos no. 25, autumn 2022.

‘He lets us walk the road as JRRT walked it’: Neil Gaiman’s tribute to Christopher Tolkien, published to mark Christopher Tolkien’s birthday (21 November 2020).

Tolkien’s last friend in Oxford when the world went to war (29 July 2019): The story of Colin Cullis, who shared a flat with Tolkien in their final year as undergraduates just as Middle-earth came into being.

When Tolkien reinvented Atlantis and Lewis went to Mars (31 March 2017): New light on the date and inspirations of the story of the Fall of Númenor and Lewis’s Out of the Silent Planet.

Tanks at Gondolin (9 December 2016): Excerpt from Tolkien and the Great War showing how the extraordinary monsters of Tolkien’s 1917 story The Fall of Gondolin show the impact of Britain’s secret Somme weapon.

Beren and Lúthien, a centenary publication (19 October 2016): Speculation on the announcement of publication of a standalone book containing the love story at the heart of The Silmarillion.

Robert Quilter Gilson, TCBS – a documentary (19 October 2016): This poignant film about Tolkien’s friend, who was killed on the first day of the Somme, is based on my research among Gilson’s letters and features comment from me and from teachers at King Edward’s School, Birmingham, which commissioned it.

Tolkien’s “immortal four” meet for the last time (25 September 2015): A discovery in the archives marks the final gathering of the TCBS. Named Best Article in the Tolkien Society Awards 2016. Also available in Spanish.

A friend of Tolkien’s TCBS tells a neglected truth of war (25 May 2015): The tragic fate of a Great War survivor.

Dragon scale: Why it’s impossible to size up Tolkien’s Middle-earth (18 January 2015): I question attempts to treat the legendarium as if it were fact.

Middle-earth turns 100 (24 September 2014): uncovers the evidence that Tolkien saw this date as the foundation of his legendarium.

Tolkien at fifteen, a warrior-to-be (5 March 2014): the lowdown on a unique, newly discovered photograph of Tolkien with his school Cadet Corps.

Sam Gamgee and Tolkien’s batmen (13 February 2014): the biographical and literary implications of a fascinating Tolkien letter up for auction.

Tolkien, the Somme and scholarship (29 January 2014): report from an Oxford lecture on Tolkien’s battlefield verse-drama The ‘Homecoming of Beorhtnoth, Beorhthelm’s Son’.

100 years of Middle-earth (25 January 2014): how the undergraduate Tolkien limbered up for his career as a writer.






The Worlds of
J.R.R. Tolkien

UK hardback
John Garth – The Worlds of J.R.R. Tolkien

US hardback
John Garth – The Worlds of J.R.R. Tolkien

To buy in French, Russian, Czech, Spanish, Italian, Finnish, Hungarian, German, or another language
see links here

Tolkien and
the Great War

UK paperback/ebook
John Garth Writer Tolkien And The Great War

US paperback/ebook
Tolkien and the Great War HMH

Audiobook read by
John Garth

Amazon UK, Audible UK,
Audible US

To buy in Italian, German, French, Spanish or Polish,
see links here

Tolkien at
Exeter College

Garth, Tolkien at Exeter College

© John Garth 2006