Tolkien in the New Century

From Tolkien Gateway
Tolkien in the New Century: Essays in Honor of Tom Shippey
Publication Information
EditorJohn Wm. Houghton, Janet Brennan Croft, Nancy Martsch, John D. Rateliff and Robin Anne Reid
IllustratorPatrick H. Wynne (cover illustration)
Released30 May 2014[1]
FormatSoftcover, E-book

Tolkien in the New Century: Essays in Honor of Tom Shippey is a Festschrift for Tom Shippey, published in 2014 on the occasion of his retirement from the Walter J. Ong, S.J., Endowed Chair in Humanities at St. Louis University in Missouri.

From the publisher

Widely considered one of the leading experts on the works of J.R.R. Tolkien, Thomas Alan Shippey has informed and enlightened a generation of Tolkien scholars and fans. In this collection, friends and colleagues honor Shippey with 15 essays that reflect their mentor's research interests, methods of literary criticism and attention to Tolkien's shorter works. In a wide-ranging consideration of Tolkien's oeuvre, the contributors explore the influence of 19th and 20th century book illustrations on Tolkien's work; utopia and fantasy in Tolkien's Middle-earth; the Silmarils, the Arkenstone, and the One Ring as thematic vehicles; the pattern of decline in Middle-earth as reflected in the diminishing power of language; Tolkien's interest in medieval genres; the heroism of secondary characters; and numerous other topics. Also included are brief memoirs by Shippey's colleagues and friends in academia and fandom and a bibliography of Shippey's work.


  • Preface  1
  • Introduction by John Wm. Houghton  3
  • Abbreviations and Other Conventions  7
  • I. Memoirs
    • "Counseling the Scippigræd: How T.A. Shippey Taught Us to Read" (John R. Holmes) 11
    • "Shippey: The Philologist and the Critics" (David Bratman) 14
    • "Tom Shippey, and a Few New Leaves on Some Old Roots and Branches" (E.L. Risden) 16
    • "A Talk by Tom Shippey" (Todd Jensen) 20
    • "Tom Shippey and the Tolkien Society" (Jessica Yates) 22
    • "Shippey Amongst the Mercians" (John Wm. Houghton) 25
  • II. Answering Questions
    • "The 'Lady with the Simple Gown and White Arms' or Possible Influences of 19th and Early 20th Century Book Illustrations on Tolkien's Work (Nancy Martsch) 29
    • "Places Where the Stars Are Strange: Fantasy and Utopia in Tolkien's ­Middle-earth" (Robert T. Tally, Jr.) 41
    • "Middle-earth and the Waste Land: Greenwood, Apocalypse, and ­Post-War Resolution" (E.L. Risden) 57
    • "The Jewels, the Stone, the Ring, and the Making of Meaning" (Verlyn Flieger) 65
    • "Tolkien and Apposition" (Leslie Stratyner) 78
  • III. "Philological Inquiries"
    • "Keeping Counsel: Advice in Tolkien's Fiction" (John R. Holmes) 87
    • "Tolkien's Wraiths, Rings and Dragons: An Exercise in Literary Linguistics" (Jason Fisher) 97
    • "'He chanted a song of wizardry': Words with Power in Middle-earth" (B.S.W. Barootes) 115
  • IV. "The True Tradition"
    • "Inside Literature: Tolkien's Explorations of Medieval Genres" (John D. Rateliff) 133
    • "'Poor Sméagol': Gollum as Exile in The Lord of the Rings" (Yvette Kisor) 153
    • "The Presence of the Past in The Lord of the Rings" (John B. Marino) 169
    • "Night-wolves, ­Half-trolls and the Dead Who Won't Stay Down" (Marjorie Burns) 182
  • V. Perspectives from Outside the Cycle
    • "Vainamoinen in ­Middle-earth: The Pervasive Presence of the Kalevala in the Bombadil Chapters of The Lord of the Rings" (David L. Dettman) 197
    • "'Lack of Counsel Not of Courage': J.R.R. Tolkien's Critique of the Heroic Ethos in The Children of Húrin" (Richard C. West) 216
    • "'Alone Between the Dark and Light': "The Lay of Aotrou and Itroun" and Lessons from the Later Legendarium" (Kristine Larsen) 221
  • Appendix: Recent Work--Shippey on Tolkien Since 2004  235
  • About the Contributors  237
  • Extended Acknowledgments  241
  • Index  247

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