A Companion to J.R.R. Tolkien

From Tolkien Gateway
A Companion to J.R.R. Tolkien
Publication Information
EditorStuart D. Lee
Released15 April 2014
FormatHardcover; paperback

A Companion to J.R.R. Tolkien is a scholarly book about J.R.R. Tolkien edited by Stuart D. Lee, published in 2014. It is a part of the Blackwell Companions to Literature series, which have been praised as prestigious reference works.

The book presents 36 essays, featuring a number of well-known Tolkien authors. The essays are arranged into five parts, with coverage of his life, work, dominant themes, influences, and the critical reaction to his writing.

A second edition was published in 2022, keeping up-to-date new publications, adaptations, and original scholarship. Five new essays have been added to bring in new views and insights.

From the publisher

A Companion to J.R.R. Tolkien provides readers with an in-depth examination of the author's life and works, covering Tolkien's fiction and mythology, his academic writing, and his continuing impact on contemporary literature and culture. Presenting forty-one essays by a panel of leading scholars, the Companion analyzes prevailing themes found in The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, posthumous publications such as The Silmarillion and The Fall of Arthur, lesser-known fiction and poetry, literary essays, and more.

This second edition of the Companion remains the most complete and up-to-date resource of its kind, encompassing new Tolkien publications, original scholarship, The Hobbit film adaptations, and the biographical drama Tolkien. Five entirely new essays discuss the history of fantasy literature, the influence of classical mythology on Tolkien, folklore and fairytales, diversity, and Tolkien fandom. This Companion also:

  • Explores Tolkien's impact on art, film, music, gaming, and later generations of fantasy fiction writers
  • Discusses themes such as mythmaking, medieval languages, nature, war, religion, and the defeat of evil
  • Presents a detailed overview of Tolkien's legendarium, including Middle-earth mythology and invented languages and writing systems
  • Includes a brief chronology of Tolkien's works and life, further reading suggestions, and end-of-chapter bibliographies


  • Acknowledgments
  • Brief Chronology of the Life and Works of J.R.R. Tolkien
  • Introduction to the Second Edition
  • Part I: Life
    • 1. A Brief Biography
  • Part II: The Academic
    • 2. Academic Writings
    • 3. Tolkien as Editor
    • 4. Manuscripts: Use and Using
  • Part III: The Legendarium
    • 5. Myth-making, Sub-creation, and World-building
    • 6. Middle-earth Mythology: An Overview
    • 7. The Silmarillion: Tolkien's Theory of Myth, Text, and Culture
    • 8. The Hobbit: A Turning Point
    • 9. The Lord of the Rings
    • 10. Unfinished Tales and the History of Middle-earth: A Lifetime of Imagination
    • 11. "The Lost Road" and "The Notion Club Papers": Myth, History, and Time-travel
    • 12. Poetry
    • 13. "Minor" Works
    • 14. Invented Languages and Writing Systems
  • Part IV: Context
    • 15. Fantasy: An Introduction
    • 16. Classical Literature
    • 17. "On Fairy-stories" and Folktale Research
    • 18. Old English
    • 19. Middle English
    • 20. Old Norse
    • 21. Finnish: The Land and Language of Heroes
    • 22. Celtic: "Celtic Things" and "Things Celtic" – Identity, Language, and Mythology
    • 23. The English Literary Tradition: Shakespeare to the Gothic
    • 24. Earlier Fantasy Fiction: Morris, Dunsany, and Lindsay
    • 25. The Inklings and Others: Tolkien and His Contemporaries
    • 26. Later Fantasy Fiction: Tolkien's Legacy
    • 27. Periodizing Tolkien: The Romantic Modern
  • Part V: Critical Approaches
    • 28. The Critical Response to Tolkien's Fiction
    • 29. Style and Intertextual Echoes
    • 30. The Hero's Journey
    • 31. Evil
    • 32. Nature
    • 33. Religion: An Implicit Catholicism
    • 34. War
    • 35. Women
    • 36. Difference and Otherness
    • 37. Art
    • 38. Music
    • 39. Film Adaptations: Theatrical and Television Versions
    • 40. Games: Playable Arda
    • 41. Fandom
  • General Bibliography
  • Index

Publication history and gallery

2014 first edition harcover
2014 first edition harcover  
2020 first edition paperback
2020 first edition paperback  
2022 second edition
2022 second edition  

External links

A J.R.R. Tolkien book guide
Books by or mainly by Tolkien
On Arda Authored by
J.R.R. Tolkien
The Hobbit · The Lord of the Rings
(i.The Fellowship of the Ring · ii.The Two Towers · iii.The Return of the King) ·
The Adventures of Tom Bombadil · The Road Goes Ever On · Bilbo's Last Song
Edited by Christopher Tolkien The Silmarillion · Unfinished Tales · The History of Middle-earth series
(i.The Book of Lost Tales: Part One · ii.The Book of Lost Tales: Part Two · iii.The Lays of Beleriand · iv.The Shaping of Middle-earth · v.The Lost Road and Other Writings · vi.The Return of the Shadow · vii.The Treason of Isengard · viii.The War of the Ring · ix.Sauron Defeated · x.Morgoth's Ring · xi.The War of the Jewels · xii.The Peoples of Middle-earth · Index) ·
The Children of Húrin · Beren and Lúthien · The Fall of Gondolin
Edited by others The Annotated Hobbit · The History of The Hobbit · The Nature of Middle-earth · The Fall of Númenor
Not on Arda Short stories
and others
Leaf by Niggle · Farmer Giles of Ham · Smith of Wootton Major · Letters from Father Christmas ·
Mr. Bliss · Roverandom · Tree and Leaf (compilation) · Tales from the Perilous Realm (compilation)
Fictional works The Legend of Sigurd and Gudrún · The Fall of Arthur · The Story of Kullervo · The Lay of Aotrou and Itroun
Translations and academic works Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Pearl, and Sir Orfeo · The Old English Exodus · Finn and Hengest ·
The Monsters and the Critics, and Other Essays · Beowulf and the Critics · Tolkien On Fairy-stories ·
Beowulf: A Translation and Commentary · A Secret Vice · The Battle of Maldon
Letters & poems The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien · The Collected Poems of J.R.R. Tolkien
academic works
A Middle English Vocabulary · Sir Gawain and the Green Knight · Ancrene Wisse
Books by other authors
Books on Arda The Complete Guide to Middle-earth · The Lord of the Rings: A Reader's Companion ·
The Maps of Middle-earth
Tolkien biographies J.R.R. Tolkien: A Biography · The Inklings · Tolkien and the Great War
Scholarly books The Road to Middle-earth · The Keys of Middle-earth · The J.R.R. Tolkien Companion and Guide ·
The Ring of Words · A Companion to J.R.R. Tolkien · Tolkien's Lost Chaucer · Tolkien's Library · Tolkien on Chaucer, 1913-1959
Scholarly journals Tolkien Studies · (The Chronology)
Other works by Tolkien
Linguistic journals Vinyar Tengwar various issues · Parma Eldalamberon issue 11-22
Collections of artwork
and manuscripts
Pictures by J.R.R. Tolkien · J.R.R. Tolkien: Life and Legend · J.R.R. Tolkien: Artist and Illustrator ·
The Art of The Hobbit · The Art of The Lord of the Rings · Tolkien: Maker of Middle-earth ·
Tolkien: Treasures · J.R.R. Tolkien: The Art of the Manuscript
This list is only a selection, for a fuller bibliography of Tolkien see here or here. See also a timeline and an index.