Green Suns and Faërie

From Tolkien Gateway
Green Suns and Faërie:
Essays on J.R.R. Tolkien
Green Suns and Faerie.png
AuthorVerlyn Flieger
IllustratorTed Nasmith (cover)
PublisherThe Kent State University Press
ReleasedAugust 2011 (available for purchase in February 2012)[1]

Green Suns and Faërie: Essays on J.R.R. Tolkien is a collection of essays by Verlyn Flieger on J.R.R. Tolkien and his works.[2]

From the publisher[edit | edit source]

'A major contribution to the growing body of Tolkien scholarship'

With the release of Peter Jackson's 'The Lord of the Rings' movie trilogy and forthcoming film version of The Hobbit, J. R. R. Tolkien’s popularity has never been higher. In Green Suns and Faërie, author Verlyn Flieger, one of world’s foremost Tolkien scholars, presents a selection of her best articles—some never before published—on a range of Tolkien topics.

The essays are divided into three distinct sections. The first explores Tolkien’s ideas of sub-creation–the making of a Secondary World and its relation to the real world, the second looks at Tolkien’s reconfiguration of the medieval story tradition, and the third places his work firmly within the context of the twentieth century and “modernist” literature. With discussions ranging from Tolkien’s concepts of the hero to the much-misunderstood nature of Bilbo’s last riddle in The Hobbit, Flieger reveals Tolkien as a man of both medieval learning and modern sensibility—one who is deeply engaged with the past and future, the regrets and hopes, the triumphs and tragedies, and above all the profound difficulties and dilemmas of his troubled century.

Taken in their entirety, these essays track a major scholar’s deepening understanding of the work of the master of fantasy. Green Suns and Faërie is sure to become a cornerstone of Tolkien scholarship.

Content[edit | edit source]

  • Preface and Acknowledgments
  • Abbreviations and Conventions
PART ONE - Tolkien Sub-creator
  • Fantasy and Reality: J.R.R. Tolkien's World and the Fairy-story Essay
  • The Music and the Task: Fate and Free Will in Middle-earth
  • Tolkien and the Idea of the Book
  • Tolkien on Tolkien: "On Fairy-stories," The Hobbit, and The Lord of the Rings
  • When Is a Fairy Story a Faerie Story? Smith of Wootton Major
  • The Footsteps of Ælfwine
  • The Curious Incident of the Dream at the Barrow: Memory and Reincarnation in Middle-earth
  • Whose Myth Is It?
PART TWO - Tolkien in Tradition
  • Tolkien's Wild Men from Medieval to Modern
  • Tolkien and the Matter of Britain
  • Frodo and Aragorn: The Concept of the Hero
  • Bilbo's Neck Riddle
  • Allegory Versus Bounce: Tolkien's Smith of Wootton Major
  • Flieger
  • Shippey
  • A Mythology for Finland: Tolkien and Lonnrot as Mythmakers
  • Tolkien, Kalevala, and "The Story of Kullervo"
  • Brittany and Wales in Middle-earth
  • The Green Knight, the Green Man, and Treebeard: Scholarship and Invention in Tolkien's Fiction
  • Missing Person
PART THREE - Tolkien and His Century
  • A Cautionary Tale: Tolkien's Mythology for England
  • The Mind, the Tongue, and the Tale
  • A Post-modern Medievalist
  • Taking the Part of Trees: Eco-conflict in Middle-earth
  • Gilson, Smith, and Baggins
  • The Body in Question: The Unhealed Wounds of Frodo Baggins
  • A Distant Mirror: Tolkien and Jackson in the Looking-glass
  • Permissions and Acknowledgments
  • Notes
  • Works Cited
  • Index


  1. Douglas C. Kane, "Green Suns and Faërie" dated 12 February 2012, MythSoc mailing list (accessed 12 February 2012)
  2. "Green Suns and Faerie", (accessed 12 February 2012)