The Great Tales Never End

From Tolkien Gateway
The Great Tales Never End:
Essays in Memory of Christopher Tolkien
Publication Information
EditorRichard Ovenden and Catherine McIlwaine
PublisherBodleian Libraries
Released24 June 2022
Pages240 pages

The Great Tales Never End: Essays in Memory of Christopher Tolkien is a book of essays about Christopher Tolkien, edited by Richard Ovenden and Catherine McIlwaine. The essays are all contributed by well-known Tolkien scholars. It was published by the Bodleian Library in June 2022 in UK, and by University of Chicago in September in US.[1][2]

The book serves as a memorial to Christopher Tolkien, who passed away on 16 January, 2020.


  • 1. Introduction
  • Timeline
  • 2. Eulogy delivered at Christopher Tolkien’s funeral
  • 3. A Personal Memory
  • 4. The Son Behind the Father: Christopher Tolkien as a Writer
  • 5. Listening to the Music
  • 6. The Chronology of Creation: How J.R.R. Tolkien Misremembered the Beginnings of his Mythology
  • 7. 'I Wisely Started with a Map': J.R.R. Tolkien as Cartographer
  • 8. Editing the Tolkienian Manuscript
  • 9. A Milestone in BBC History? The 1955-56 Radio Dramatization of The Lord of the Rings
  • 10. 'King Sheave' and 'The Lost Road'
  • 11. 'Down from the door where it began…': Portal images in The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings
  • Bibliography for Christopher Tolkien
  • Notes
  • About the Contributors
  • Further Reading
  • Picture Credits
  • Index

From the publisher

Over more than four decades J.R.R. Tolkien’s son and literary executor, Christopher Tolkien, published some twenty-four volumes of his father’s work, much more than his father had succeeded in publishing during his own lifetime. Standing on the mountain of his son’s colossal publishing effort and extraordinary scholarship, readers today are therefore able to survey and understand the vastness of the landscape of Tolkien’s legendarium.

This collection of essays by world-renowned scholars, together with family reminiscences, sheds new light on J.R.R. Tolkien’s work, his son Christopher’s unique gifts in communicating and interpreting that work and the debt owed to Christopher by the many Tolkien scholars who were privileged to work with him. What was Tolkien’s intended ending for The Lord of the Rings? Did it leave echoes in the stripped-down version that was actually published? What was the audience’s response to the first ever adaptation of The Lord of the Rings – a radio dramatization that has now been deleted forever from the BBC’s archives? What was the significance of the extraordinary array of doorways which confronted the hobbits as they journeyed through Middle-earth?

The book is illustrated with colour reproductions of J.R.R. Tolkien’s manuscripts, maps, drawings and letters and, with the kind permission of his estate, photographs of Christopher Tolkien and extracts from his works, some of which have never been seen before, making this volume essential reading for Tolkien scholars, readers and fans.[1]

External links


  1. 1.0 1.1 "Great Tales Never End, The: Essays in Memory of Christopher Tolkien", Bodleian Libraries Shop (accessed 12 September 2021)
  2. "The Great Tales Never End: Essays in Memory of Christopher Tolkien", The University of Chicago Press (accessed 6 April 2022)