The Keys of Middle-earth
|The Keys of Middle-earth:|
Discovering Medieval Literature through the Fiction of J.R.R. Tolkien
|Author||Stuart D. Lee & Elizabeth Solopova|
|Released||16 December 2005|
The Keys of Middle-earth: Discovering Medieval Literature through the Fiction of J.R.R. Tolkien is a scholarly book by Stuart D. Lee and Elizabeth Solopova, published in 2005. It aims to provide an understanding of J.R.R. Tolkien's fantasy writings in the context of medieval literature, including Old English, Middle English, and Old Norse.
The main body of the book offers short excerpts from fourteen medieval literary works in these languages. Each section consists of a plot summary of the relevant part of Tolkien's story; an introduction to the medieval text; a discussion of Tolkien's use of the text; and finally a text. The texts are facing-page (parallel) with new line-by-line translation if it's Old English or Old Norse, or no translation but plentiful notes for Middle English.
A second edition was published in 2015, adding several new texts and essays, with updated discussions in the light of more recent publications.
Contents[edit | edit source]
- How to Use This Book
- Medieval literature and language: the basics
- Specific medieval languages and literatures
- Thematic and technical parallels
- The Editions
- The Texts
- Túrin Turambar – the Kalevala
- Eärendil – Christ I
- Gandalf and the Dwarves – Völuspá
- Bilbo and Gollum's Riddle-Game – Solomon and Saturn II; Vafþrúðnismál; and two Old English riddles
- Bilbo meets Smaug – Beowulf
- The Elves at Rivendell – Sir Orfeo
- Legolas's 'Lament of the Stones' – The Ruin
- The Fight at Balin's Tomb – The Fight at Finnsburg and 'Cynewulf and Cyneheard'
- The Crossing of the Nimrodel – Pearl
- Boromir's Death – Beowulf
- Treebeard's List – Maxims II
- The Rohirrim – The Wanderer and Beowulf
- The Battle of Pelennor Fields, the Death of Théoden, and the Arrival of the Mûmakil – The Battle of Maldon, Ælfric's Homily on the Maccabees, and Jordanes' Getica
- The Landscape of Mordor – Beowulf and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight
- The final journey – The Seafarer
From the Publisher[edit | edit source]
The Keys of Middle-Earth uniquely introduces the reader to the world of Medieval Literature through the fiction of J.R.R. Tolkien. Using key episodes in The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, readers are taken back to the works of Old, Middle English and Old Norse literature that so influenced Tolkien. The original texts are presented with helpful new translations to help the reader approach the medieval poems and tales, and introductory essays draw on recent scholarship and Tolkien's own unpublished notes. Presenting a new era of Tolkien studies, this book will be of use to students (and teachers) of Medieval/Old English literature and general readers interested in the origins of Tolkien's most widely-known works.
Publication history and gallery[edit | edit source]
- Palgrave Macmillan, hardcover (2015), pp. 395. ISBN 978-1137454683
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