The Ecological Augury in the Works of JRR Tolkien

From Tolkien Gateway
The Ecological Augury in the Works of JRR Tolkien
Ecological Augury.png
AuthorLiam Campbell
PublisherWalking Tree Publishers
Released3 August 2011[1]
SeriesCormarë Series
Preceded byMusic in Middle-earth
Followed byThe Loss and the Silence: Aspects of Modernism in the Works of C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien & Charles Williams

The Ecological Augury in the Works of JRR Tolkien is a 2011 book investigating environmental topics in J.R.R. Tolkien's books. It is published as No. 21 in the Cormarë Series.

From the publisher[edit | edit source]

A new death for the old world, winds of industrial change that gust across green hills and dales, machines and callous hearts that dig deep into the ecosystems of Earth as trees crash upon the shrinking forest floors and ecological devastation is visited upon the land. This is the darkest hour of Middle-earth as presented in J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings – how curiously all of this resembles our reality, and the environmental crisis that threatens the modern world...This new study, in a clear and engaging tone, explores and unfolds the environmental dimension of Tolkien's work and worldview, not only in terms of the themes observable in his masterwork The Lord of the Rings, but also across his wider fiction, essays and private papers.With discerning recourse to the work of leading ecologists and ecothinkers, this book argues that Tolkien in his unfolding narratives of machine against nature, where regimes of power ruthlessly move against the land – holds up a mirror to the ecological crisis of the primary world and offers a vivid depiction of (and thus a warning against) where the reckless abandonment of concern for the green face of the planet may lead. Tolkien, Campbell argues, by virtue of his consistent adherence to such striking and compelling environmental themes, was a visionary defender of nature who, before the emergence of any organised Green Movement, may have anticipated the scale of the environmental emergency that was yet to dawn. In the exploration of Tolkien's green themes and the critical analysis of his tales of Middle-earth and wider fiction, Campbell re-evaluates Tolkien as a contemporary writer, and offers new insights into Tolkien's work and new perspectives on the literature of the fantastic.

Contents[edit | edit source]

  • Introduction
  • Chapter One: "Rage against the Machine"
  • Chapter Two: "Contrasting Environmental Personas in The Lord of the Rings: Tom Bombadil and Saruman"
  • Chapter Three: "Contrasting Environmental Personas in The Lord of the Rings: Gandalf and Sauron"
  • Chapter Four: "Seeing the World through Elvish Eyes: An Examination of the Human & Non-Human in Tolkien's Fiction"
  • Chapter Five: "Tales That Grew in the Telling"
  • Conclusion: "Mirrors of the Golden Wood"
  • Afterword: "Trouble with the Trees"

Formerly unpublished material by Tolkien[edit | edit source]

Included in The Ecological Augury in the Works of JRR Tolkien is a one-sentence statement by J.R.R. Tolkien (p. 252) as remembered by Pamela Chandler (quoted from her journal).

Rare (or hard-to-find) material by Tolkien appearing in the book include a generous quote from the 1966 Oxford Mail interview (pp. 55-6) and a brief quote from the 1965 BBC Interview (p. 214).

External links[edit | edit source]


  1. Latest news at (accessed 1 October 2011)

Cormarë Series volumes
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