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Tom Shippey

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'''Thomas Alan Shippey''' (1943) is one of the most well known scholars on [[J.R.R. Tolkien]], as well as fantasy and science fiction in general. He describes himself as a "Tolkien polemic".<ref>Shippey to [[Cliff Broadway]], [http://www.theonering.net/torwp/2002/09/02/27876-dragoncon-2002-sunday-2/ DragonCon 2002]</ref>
+
'''Thomas Alan Shippey''' (1943) is one of the most well known scholars on [[J.R.R. Tolkien]], as well as fantasy and science fiction in general. He describes himself as a "Tolkien polemicist".<ref>Email from Tom Shippey (as of 17 February 2012) to [[User:Morgan]].</ref>
  
 
==Life==
 
==Life==
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Here he was introduced to science fiction, and ''[[The Hobbit]]'', which was lent to him when he was 14 years old.<ref name="white">Claire E. White, [http://www.writerswrite.com/journal/mar02/shippey.htm ''Talking Tolkien With Thomas Shippey]''</ref> Shippey quickly developed an affinity for [[Old English]], Old Norse, German and Latin (like Tolkien) and playing rugby (like Tolkien), and he was able to afford ''[[The Lord of the Rings]]'' when he won a school contest.<ref name="hanley"/>  
 
Here he was introduced to science fiction, and ''[[The Hobbit]]'', which was lent to him when he was 14 years old.<ref name="white">Claire E. White, [http://www.writerswrite.com/journal/mar02/shippey.htm ''Talking Tolkien With Thomas Shippey]''</ref> Shippey quickly developed an affinity for [[Old English]], Old Norse, German and Latin (like Tolkien) and playing rugby (like Tolkien), and he was able to afford ''[[The Lord of the Rings]]'' when he won a school contest.<ref name="hanley"/>  
 
===Academic career===
 
===Academic career===
Shippey did not immediately pursue an academic career after graduation, as the British economy in the early 1960's did not offer much work. Not until the mid-sixties did he enroll in Cambridge.<ref name="white"/> His first academic work on Tolkien was from late 1969 or early 1970. Shippey, a junior lecturer at the University of Birmingham, was asked to speak at a Tolkien day organised by a student association. That lecture, "Tolkien as philologist", would form Shippey's view of Tolkien - a philologist - for years to come. Unbeknownst to him, [[Joy Hill]], the private secretary of Tolkien, was in the audience. After the lecture, she asked him for the script, for Tolkien to read. Tolkien wrote to Shippey on [[April 13]], [[1970]], with what first seemed like a formal reply.
+
Shippey did not immediately pursue an academic career after graduation, as the British economy in the early 1960s did not offer much work. Not until the mid-sixties did he enroll in Cambridge.<ref name="white"/> His first academic work on Tolkien was from late 1969 or early 1970. Shippey, a junior lecturer at the University of Birmingham, was asked to speak at a Tolkien day organised by a student association. That lecture, "Tolkien as philologist", would form Shippey's view of Tolkien - a philologist - for years to come. Unbeknownst to him, [[Joy Hill]], the private secretary of Tolkien, was in the audience. After the lecture, she asked him for the script, for Tolkien to read. Tolkien wrote to Shippey on [[13 April|April 13]], [[1970]], with what first seemed like a formal reply.
 
<ref name="Preface"/>
 
<ref name="Preface"/>
  
The first meeting between Shippey and Tolkien took place in [[1972]]. [[Norman Davis]], successor of Tolkien at the Merton Chair of English Language, invited Shippey over for diner. Shippey, then a Fellow of [[Oxford University|St. John's College]], taught Old and Middle English with Tolkien's syllabus, and his meeting with Tolkien at the diner left him full of professional piety.<ref name="Preface"/>
+
The first meeting between Shippey and Tolkien took place in [[1972]]. [[Norman Davis]], successor of Tolkien at the Merton Chair of English Language, invited Shippey over for dinner. Shippey, then a Fellow of [[Oxford University|St. John's College]], taught Old and Middle English with Tolkien's syllabus, and his meeting with Tolkien at the diner left him full of professional piety.<ref name="Preface"/>
  
 
After Tolkien's death, Shippey's admiration only grew. His first printed essay, "Creation from Philology in ''The Lord of the Rings''", was much of an elaboration of his 1970 lecture. In 1979, he was elected to the Chair of English Language and Medieval English Literature at the [[Leeds University|University of Leeds]], a former position of Tolkien. He published his first book, the famed ''[[The Road to Middle-earth]]'', in [[1982]]. At this time, Shippey shifted from the view of Tolkien as a philologist to a view of a post-war writer, or what he called "traumatised authors", like [[wikipedia:Kurt Vonnegut|Vonnegut]] and [[wikipedia:William Golding|Golding]].<ref name="Preface"/>
 
After Tolkien's death, Shippey's admiration only grew. His first printed essay, "Creation from Philology in ''The Lord of the Rings''", was much of an elaboration of his 1970 lecture. In 1979, he was elected to the Chair of English Language and Medieval English Literature at the [[Leeds University|University of Leeds]], a former position of Tolkien. He published his first book, the famed ''[[The Road to Middle-earth]]'', in [[1982]]. At this time, Shippey shifted from the view of Tolkien as a philologist to a view of a post-war writer, or what he called "traumatised authors", like [[wikipedia:Kurt Vonnegut|Vonnegut]] and [[wikipedia:William Golding|Golding]].<ref name="Preface"/>
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===Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings===
 
===Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings===
Being considered the foremost expert on Tolkien, Shippey appeared in several documentaries surrounding ''[[Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings]]''. He also assisted the dialect coaches<ref name="white"/> and is personally thanked in the closing credits.<ref name="imdb">[http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0794142/ Tom Shippey] at [http://www.imdb.com/ IMDb]</ref>
+
Being considered the foremost expert on Tolkien, Shippey appeared in several documentaries surrounding ''[[The Lord of the Rings: The Motion Picture Trilogy]]''. He also assisted the dialect coaches<ref name="white"/> and is personally thanked in the closing credits.<ref name="imdb">[http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0794142/ Tom Shippey] at [http://www.imdb.com/ IMDb]</ref> He later recollected his experiences:
 +
{{quote|The funny thing about interviews is you never know which bits they're going to pick. It always feels as if they sit you down, shine bright lights in your eyes, and ask you questions till you say something really silly, and that's the bit they choose. At least they didn't waterboard me. But it was good fun, and I'd cheerfully do it again.|Tom Shippey<ref>[http://www.tolkienlibrary.com/press/885-Tom_Shippey_chat_session.php Transcript of chat session with Pr. Tom Shippey during The Legend of Sigurd and Gudrun Online Release Party (09.05.09)] at [[Pieter Collier|TolkienLibrary]]</ref>}}
  
 
==Bibliography==
 
==Bibliography==
The below list is extensive, but not complete. Scroll down for more.
+
The list below is extensive, but not complete.
{{scroll box
+
|content=
+
 
===Books===
 
===Books===
 
* [[1982]]: ''[[The Road to Middle-earth]]'' (first edition)  
 
* [[1982]]: ''[[The Road to Middle-earth]]'' (first edition)  
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* [[1980]]: ''[[Amon Hen 45]]''
 
* [[1980]]: ''[[Amon Hen 45]]''
 
** "A Wose by any Other Name"
 
** "A Wose by any Other Name"
* [[1988]]: ''Arda'' 1984
+
* [[1988]]: ''[[Arda 1984/1985|Arda 1984]]''
 
** "Commentary and translation of ''The Clerkes Compleinte'' by J.R.R. Tolkien"
 
** "Commentary and translation of ''The Clerkes Compleinte'' by J.R.R. Tolkien"
 
* [[1989]]: ''[[Amon Hen 100]]''
 
* [[1989]]: ''[[Amon Hen 100]]''
Line 52: Line 51:
 
* [[1991]]: ''[[Leaves from the Tree: J.R.R. Tolkien's Shorter Fiction]]''
 
* [[1991]]: ''[[Leaves from the Tree: J.R.R. Tolkien's Shorter Fiction]]''
 
** "Tolkien and ''The Homecoming of Beohrtnoth''"
 
** "Tolkien and ''The Homecoming of Beohrtnoth''"
* [[1992]]: ''Arda'' 1987
+
* [[1991]]: ''[[Unquendor|Lembas Extra]]''
 +
** "Heroes and Heroism: Tolkien's Problems, Tolkien's Solutions"
 +
* [[1992]]: ''[[Arda (annual)|Arda]]'' 1987
 
** "Long Evolution: ''The History of Middle-earth'' and Its Merits"
 
** "Long Evolution: ''The History of Middle-earth'' and Its Merits"
 
* [[1993]]: ''[[Scholarship and Fantasy: The Tolkien Phenomenon]]''
 
* [[1993]]: ''[[Scholarship and Fantasy: The Tolkien Phenomenon]]''
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* [[1995]]: ''[[Unquendor|Lembas Extra]]''  
 
* [[1995]]: ''[[Unquendor|Lembas Extra]]''  
 
** "Tolkien and the West Midlands: The Roots of Romance"'  
 
** "Tolkien and the West Midlands: The Roots of Romance"'  
 +
* [[1997]]: ''[[Digging Potatoes, Growing Trees|Digging Potatoes, Growing Trees: A Selection from 25 Years of Speeches at the Tolkien Society's Annual Dinners. Vol. 1. ]]''
 +
** [Speech at the Tolkien Society's Annual Dinner 1991]
 +
* [[1997]]: ''[[The Ways of Creative Mythologies: Imagined Worlds and their Makers]]''
 +
** "Grimm, Grundtwig, Tolkien: Nationalisms and the Invention of Mythologies"
 
* [[2000]]: ''[[J.R.R. Tolkien and His Literary Resonances]]''
 
* [[2000]]: ''[[J.R.R. Tolkien and His Literary Resonances]]''
 
** "Orcs, Wraiths, Wights: Tolkien's Images of Evil"
 
** "Orcs, Wraiths, Wights: Tolkien's Images of Evil"
* [[2000]]: ''The Ways of Creative Mythologies: Imagined Worlds and their Makers''
 
** "Grimm, Grundtwig, Tolkien: Nationalisms and the Invention of Mythologies"
 
 
* [[2000]]: ''Literary Appropriations of the Anglo-Saxons from the Thirteenth to the Twentieth Century''
 
* [[2000]]: ''Literary Appropriations of the Anglo-Saxons from the Thirteenth to the Twentieth Century''
 
** "The Undeveloped Image: Anglo-Saxon in Popular Consciousness from Turner to Tolkien"
 
** "The Undeveloped Image: Anglo-Saxon in Popular Consciousness from Turner to Tolkien"
 +
* [[2000]]: "[[J.R.R. Tolkien. Modern Critical Views]]"
 +
** "Lit. and Lang"
 
* [[2001]]: ''Journal of the Fantastic in the Arts'' 12/2  
 
* [[2001]]: ''Journal of the Fantastic in the Arts'' 12/2  
 
** "Allegory versus Bounce: Tolkien's ''Smith of Wootton Major''" (with [[Verlyn Flieger]])
 
** "Allegory versus Bounce: Tolkien's ''Smith of Wootton Major''" (with [[Verlyn Flieger]])
 
* [[2001]]: ''[[Lembas (journal)|Lembas]]'' 100
 
* [[2001]]: ''[[Lembas (journal)|Lembas]]'' 100
 
** "The Versions of ''The Hoard''"
 
** "The Versions of ''The Hoard''"
* [[2002]]: ''The Daily Telegraph'' ([[January 2]])
+
* [[2002]]: ''The Daily Telegraph'' ([[2 January|January 2]])
 
** "Why the Critics Must Recognize ''Lord of the Rings'' as a Classic"
 
** "Why the Critics Must Recognize ''Lord of the Rings'' as a Classic"
 
* [[2002]]: ''[[A Tolkien Compass]]''
 
* [[2002]]: ''[[A Tolkien Compass]]''
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* [[2002]]: ''[[wikipedia:World Literature Today|World Literature Today]]'' 77/2
 
* [[2002]]: ''[[wikipedia:World Literature Today|World Literature Today]]'' 77/2
 
** "From Page to Screen"  
 
** "From Page to Screen"  
 +
* [[2003]]: [[Christian History 78|''Chistian History'', Issue 78]]
 +
** "A Feeling for Language"
 
* [[2003]]: ''[[The People's Guide to J.R.R. Tolkien]]''
 
* [[2003]]: ''[[The People's Guide to J.R.R. Tolkien]]''
 
** Foreword
 
** Foreword
* [[2004]]: ''[[Tolkien and the Invention of Myth]]''
+
* [[2004]]: ''[[Unquendor|Lembas Extra]]''
 +
** "Indexing and Poetry in The Lord of the Rings"
 +
* [[2004]]: ''[[Tolkien and the Invention of Myth: A Reader]]''
 
** "Tolkien and the Appeal of the Pagan: ''Edda'' and ''Kalevala''"
 
** "Tolkien and the Appeal of the Pagan: ''Edda'' and ''Kalevala''"
 
* [[2004]]: ''[[Tolkien Studies: Volume 1]]''
 
* [[2004]]: ''[[Tolkien Studies: Volume 1]]''
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* [[2007]]: ''[[Myth and Magic: Art according to the Inklings]]''
 
* [[2007]]: ''[[Myth and Magic: Art according to the Inklings]]''
 
** "New Learning and New Ignorance: Magia, Goeteia, and the Inklings"
 
** "New Learning and New Ignorance: Magia, Goeteia, and the Inklings"
 +
* [[2007]]: ''[[Silver Leaves]]'' 1
 +
** "Tolkien Connections"
 
* [[2008]]: ''[[Mallorn (journal)|Mallorn]]'' 45
 
* [[2008]]: ''[[Mallorn (journal)|Mallorn]]'' 45
 
** "Encyclopedia of Ignorance", guest editorial
 
** "Encyclopedia of Ignorance", guest editorial
 
* [[2008]]: ''[[Tales from the Perilous Realm]]''
 
* [[2008]]: ''[[Tales from the Perilous Realm]]''
 
** Foreword
 
** Foreword
* [[2008]]: ''[[Tolkien 2005: The Ring Goes Ever On]]'' (originally lectures)
+
*[[2008]]: ''[[The Ring Goes Ever On: Proceedings of the Tolkien 2005 Conference]]''
** "Tolkien and the War"
+
<!--** "Tolkien and the War"-->
** "Wisdom and Wise Sayings in ''The Lord of the Rings''"
+
**"Wisdom and Wise Sayings in ''The Lord of the Rings''"
 +
* [[2011]]: ''[[Tolkien and the Study of His Sources]]''
 +
** "Introduction: Why Source Criticism?"
 +
*[[2011]]: [[Lembas Extra 2011|''Lembas Extra'' 2011]]
 +
** "The Ancestors of the Hobbits, Strange Creatures in English Folklore"
 +
 
 
===Lectures===
 
===Lectures===
 
* [[1970]]: ''Tolkien as Philologist'' ([[wikipedia:University of Birmingham|University of Birmingham]])
 
* [[1970]]: ''Tolkien as Philologist'' ([[wikipedia:University of Birmingham|University of Birmingham]])
 
* [[1993]]: ''Tolkien as a Post-War Writer'' ([[wikipedia:University of Turku|University of Turku]])
 
* [[1993]]: ''Tolkien as a Post-War Writer'' ([[wikipedia:University of Turku|University of Turku]])
* [[2002]]: ''Tolkien and Iceland: The Philology of Envy'' ([[wikipedia:University of Island|University of Island]], [http://www.hi.is/Apps/WebObjects/HI.woa/wa/dp?detail=1004508&name=nordals_en_greinar_og_erindi read here])
+
* [[2002]]: ''Tolkien and Iceland: The Philology of Envy'' ([[wikipedia:University of Iceland|University of Iceland]], [http://www.hi.is/Apps/WebObjects/HI.woa/wa/dp?detail=1004508&name=nordals_en_greinar_og_erindi read here])
 
* [[2002]]: ''J.R.R. Tolkien: The Man Behind The Lord of the Rings'' (covention, [[wikipedia:Arizona State University|Arizona State University]])
 
* [[2002]]: ''J.R.R. Tolkien: The Man Behind The Lord of the Rings'' (covention, [[wikipedia:Arizona State University|Arizona State University]])
 
**"Trees, Chainsaws, and the Visions of Paradise in J.R.R. Tolkien" (in [[2003]] also in [[wikipedia:Cleveland State University|Cleveland State University]])
 
**"Trees, Chainsaws, and the Visions of Paradise in J.R.R. Tolkien" (in [[2003]] also in [[wikipedia:Cleveland State University|Cleveland State University]])
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===Reviews===
 
===Reviews===
 
* [[1977]]: ''The Times Literary Supplement''  
 
* [[1977]]: ''The Times Literary Supplement''  
** ([[May 13]]): "The Foolhardy Philologist" (review of ''[[J.R.R. Tolkien: A Biography]]'' by [[Humphrey Carpenter]])
+
** ([[13 May|May 13]]): "The Foolhardy Philologist" (review of ''[[J.R.R. Tolkien: A Biography]]'' by [[Humphrey Carpenter]])
 
* [[1977]]: ''Oxford Mail''
 
* [[1977]]: ''Oxford Mail''
** ([[September 15]]): "Silmarillion: The Oddest Tolkien Yet" (review of ''[[The Silmarillion]]'')
+
** ([[15 September|September 15]]): "Silmarillion: The Oddest Tolkien Yet" (review of ''[[The Silmarillion]]'')
 +
* [[1978]]: ''The Times Literary Supplement''
 +
** "Return Trip" (review of ''[[The Complete Guide to Middle-earth]]''
 
* [[1979]]: ''[[Mallorn (journal)|Mallorn]]'' 13
 
* [[1979]]: ''[[Mallorn (journal)|Mallorn]]'' 13
 
** "An Introduction to Elvish" (review of ''[[An Introduction to Elvish]]'' by [[Jim Allan]])
 
** "An Introduction to Elvish" (review of ''[[An Introduction to Elvish]]'' by [[Jim Allan]])
 
* [[1980]]: ''Notes and Queries'' 225
 
* [[1980]]: ''Notes and Queries'' 225
** (December): "Tolkien's Art" (review of ''[[Tolkien's Art]]'' by [[Jane Chance]]''
+
** (December): "Tolkien's Art" (review of ''[[Tolkien's Art: A Mythology for England]]'' by [[Jane Chance]]'')
 
* [[1981]]: ''The Times Literary Supplement''  
 
* [[1981]]: ''The Times Literary Supplement''  
** ([[August 28]]): "A Philologist in Purgatory" (review of ''[[The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien]]'')
+
** ([[28 August|August 28]]): "A Philologist in Purgatory" (review of ''[[The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien]]'')
 
* [[1982]]: ''The Times Literary Supplement''  
 
* [[1982]]: ''The Times Literary Supplement''  
** ([[November 26]]): "Blunt Belligerence" (review of ''[[Mr. Bliss]]'')
+
** ([[26 November|November 26]]): "Blunt Belligerence" (review of ''[[Mr. Bliss]]'')
 
* [[1995]]: ''The Library''  
 
* [[1995]]: ''The Library''  
 
** (March issue): "J.R.R. Tolkien: A Descriptive Bibliography" (review of ''[[J.R.R. Tolkien: A Descriptive Bibliography]]'' by [[Wayne G. Hammond]])
 
** (March issue): "J.R.R. Tolkien: A Descriptive Bibliography" (review of ''[[J.R.R. Tolkien: A Descriptive Bibliography]]'' by [[Wayne G. Hammond]])
 
* [[2001]]: ''The Times Literary Supplement''
 
* [[2001]]: ''The Times Literary Supplement''
** ([[December 21]]): "Temptations for All Time" (review of ''[[Peter Jackson's The Fellowship of the Ring]]'')
+
** ([[21 December|December 21]]): "Temptations for All Time" (review of ''[[The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring]]'')
 
* [[2002]]: ''The Times Literary Supplement''
 
* [[2002]]: ''The Times Literary Supplement''
** ([[December 20]]): "The Plot Unravels" (review of ''[[Peter Jackson's The Two Towers]]'')
+
** ([[20 December|December 20]]): "The Plot Unravels" (review of ''[[The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers]]'')
 
* [[2004]]: ''The Times Literary Supplement''
 
* [[2004]]: ''The Times Literary Supplement''
** ([[January 9]]): "Not Worn Lightly" (review of ''[[Peter Jackson's The Return of the King]]'')   
+
** ([[9 January|January 9]]): "Not Worn Lightly" (review of ''[[The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King]]'')   
 
* [[2004]]: ''The Times Literary Supplement''
 
* [[2004]]: ''The Times Literary Supplement''
** ([[February 20]]) "An Enchanted Front" (review of ''[[Tolkien and the Great War]]'' by [[John Garth]])
+
** ([[20 February|February 20]]) "An Enchanted Front" (review of ''[[Tolkien and the Great War]]'' by [[John Garth]])
 
* [[2005]]: ''[[wikipedia:Archaeology (magazine)|Archeology]]'' 58/2
 
* [[2005]]: ''[[wikipedia:Archaeology (magazine)|Archeology]]'' 58/2
 
** "Excavating Middle-earth" (review of ''[[The Real Middle Earth]]'' by [[Brian Bates]])
 
** "Excavating Middle-earth" (review of ''[[The Real Middle Earth]]'' by [[Brian Bates]])
Line 161: Line 179:
 
** Review of ''[[The Real Middle Earth]]'' by [[Brian Bates]]
 
** Review of ''[[The Real Middle Earth]]'' by [[Brian Bates]]
 
* [[2007]]: ''[[Tolkien Studies: Volume 4]]''
 
* [[2007]]: ''[[Tolkien Studies: Volume 4]]''
** Review of ''[[The Roots of Tolkien's Middle Earth]]'' by [[Janet Brennan Croft]]
+
** Review of ''[[The Roots of Tolkien's Middle-earth]]'' by [[Robert S. Blackham]]
 
* [[2008]]: ''[[Tolkien Studies: Volume 5]]''
 
* [[2008]]: ''[[Tolkien Studies: Volume 5]]''
 
** Review of ''[[The History of The Hobbit]]'' by [[John D. Rateliff]]
 
** Review of ''[[The History of The Hobbit]]'' by [[John D. Rateliff]]
 +
* [[2008]]: ''[[Aiglos (journal)|Aiglos]]'' #9
 +
** Review of ''[[The Roots of Tolkien's Middle-earth]]'' by [[Robert S. Blackham]] (translated into Polish [[Agnieszka Sylwanowicz]])
 +
* [[2009]]: ''The Times Literary Supplement'', May 6, 2009
 +
**"[http://entertainment.timesonline.co.uk/tol/arts_and_entertainment/the_tls/article6232731.ece Tolkien out-Wagners Wagner]" - Review of ''[[The Legend of Sigurd and Gudrún]]''
  
 
===Documentaries===
 
===Documentaries===
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* [[2002]]: ''[[Page to Screen: The Lord of the Rings]]'' - Himself
 
* [[2002]]: ''[[Page to Screen: The Lord of the Rings]]'' - Himself
 
* [[2003]]: ''[[J.R.R. Tolkien: Origins of Middle-Earth]]'' - Himself
 
* [[2003]]: ''[[J.R.R. Tolkien: Origins of Middle-Earth]]'' - Himself
 
}}
 
  
 
==Awards==
 
==Awards==
Line 182: Line 202:
 
* [[2006]] - '''[[The One Ring Celebration|TORn Award]]''', Best Lecture/Paper
 
* [[2006]] - '''[[The One Ring Celebration|TORn Award]]''', Best Lecture/Paper
  
==References==
 
<small><references/></small>
 
 
==External links==
 
==External links==
 
* [http://www.slu.edu/colleges/AS/ENG/faculty/shippey.html Tom Shippey profile at Saint Louis University]
 
* [http://www.slu.edu/colleges/AS/ENG/faculty/shippey.html Tom Shippey profile at Saint Louis University]
  
 +
{{References}}
 +
 +
{{DEFAULTSORT:Shippey, Tom}}
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[[Category:Authors]]
 +
[[Category:British people]]
 +
[[Category:JRRTE contributors]]
 +
[[Category:People by name]]
 
[[de:Tom Shippey]]
 
[[de:Tom Shippey]]
[[Category:Authors|Shippey, Tom]]
 

Revision as of 21:59, 7 September 2012

Tom Shippey.jpg
Tom Shippey
Biographical information
BornSeptember 9th, 1943
EducationOxford University
OccupationAuthor

Thomas Alan Shippey (1943) is one of the most well known scholars on J.R.R. Tolkien, as well as fantasy and science fiction in general. He describes himself as a "Tolkien polemicist".[1]

Contents

Life

Youth

Many commenters have noticed the parallels between his life and Tolkien's: born in a colony, moved to Birmingham at a young age, followed by an academic career in Oxford and Leeds.

Shippey was born in India, where his father worked as a bridge builder. He spent the first several years of his life there.[2] His father then sent him to a strict boarding school in England, and when his father came back, Shippey was transfered to King Edward's School in Birmingham, where he studied from 1954 to 1960.[3]

Here he was introduced to science fiction, and The Hobbit, which was lent to him when he was 14 years old.[4] Shippey quickly developed an affinity for Old English, Old Norse, German and Latin (like Tolkien) and playing rugby (like Tolkien), and he was able to afford The Lord of the Rings when he won a school contest.[2]

Academic career

Shippey did not immediately pursue an academic career after graduation, as the British economy in the early 1960s did not offer much work. Not until the mid-sixties did he enroll in Cambridge.[4] His first academic work on Tolkien was from late 1969 or early 1970. Shippey, a junior lecturer at the University of Birmingham, was asked to speak at a Tolkien day organised by a student association. That lecture, "Tolkien as philologist", would form Shippey's view of Tolkien - a philologist - for years to come. Unbeknownst to him, Joy Hill, the private secretary of Tolkien, was in the audience. After the lecture, she asked him for the script, for Tolkien to read. Tolkien wrote to Shippey on April 13, 1970, with what first seemed like a formal reply. [3]

The first meeting between Shippey and Tolkien took place in 1972. Norman Davis, successor of Tolkien at the Merton Chair of English Language, invited Shippey over for dinner. Shippey, then a Fellow of St. John's College, taught Old and Middle English with Tolkien's syllabus, and his meeting with Tolkien at the diner left him full of professional piety.[3]

After Tolkien's death, Shippey's admiration only grew. His first printed essay, "Creation from Philology in The Lord of the Rings", was much of an elaboration of his 1970 lecture. In 1979, he was elected to the Chair of English Language and Medieval English Literature at the University of Leeds, a former position of Tolkien. He published his first book, the famed The Road to Middle-earth, in 1982. At this time, Shippey shifted from the view of Tolkien as a philologist to a view of a post-war writer, or what he called "traumatised authors", like Vonnegut and Golding.[3]

After 14 years at Leeds, Shippey moved to the Saint Louis University, where he was elected to the Walter J. Ong Chair of Humanities. Here, he could focus in teaching, research and publishing, rather than administrative work. He currently still holds this chair.[2]

Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings

Being considered the foremost expert on Tolkien, Shippey appeared in several documentaries surrounding The Lord of the Rings: The Motion Picture Trilogy. He also assisted the dialect coaches[4] and is personally thanked in the closing credits.[5] He later recollected his experiences:

"The funny thing about interviews is you never know which bits they're going to pick. It always feels as if they sit you down, shine bright lights in your eyes, and ask you questions till you say something really silly, and that's the bit they choose. At least they didn't waterboard me. But it was good fun, and I'd cheerfully do it again."
― Tom Shippey[6]

Bibliography

The list below is extensive, but not complete.

Books

Articles

Lectures

Reviews

Documentaries

Awards

External links

References

  1. Email from Tom Shippey (as of 17 February 2012) to User:Morgan.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Paul Hanley, Let us introduce you to ... Thomas Shippey, Ph.D.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Tom Shippey, The Road to Middle-earth, Preface to the Third Edition
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Claire E. White, Talking Tolkien With Thomas Shippey
  5. Tom Shippey at IMDb
  6. Transcript of chat session with Pr. Tom Shippey during The Legend of Sigurd and Gudrun Online Release Party (09.05.09) at TolkienLibrary