• Title: Tolkien and the Great War: The Threshold of Middle-earth
  • Author: John Garth
  • ISBN: 9780618574810
  • Page: 353
  • Format: Paperback
  • Tolkien and the Great War The Threshold of Middle earth Revealing the horror and heroism the creator of Middle earth experienced as a young man Tolkien and the Great War also introduces the close friends who spurred the modern world s greatest mythology i
    Revealing the horror and heroism the creator of Middle earth experienced as a young man, Tolkien and the Great War also introduces the close friends who spurred the modern world s greatest mythology into life It shows how the deaths of two comrades compelled Tolkien to pursue the dream they had shared, and argues that Tolkien transformed the cataclysm of his generation whRevealing the horror and heroism the creator of Middle earth experienced as a young man, Tolkien and the Great War also introduces the close friends who spurred the modern world s greatest mythology into life It shows how the deaths of two comrades compelled Tolkien to pursue the dream they had shared, and argues that Tolkien transformed the cataclysm of his generation while many of his contemporaries surrendered to disillusionment The fruit of five years of meticulous research, this is the first substantially new biography of Tolkien since 1977, distilled from his personal wartime papers and a multitude of other sources.

    One Reply to “Tolkien and the Great War: The Threshold of Middle-earth”

    1. 2.5 – 3 stars_Tolkien and the Great War_ is an obviously well-researched book that goes into explicit (at times I must admit tedious) detail on J. R. R. Tolkien’s involvement in World War I and its possible impact on his then-current and later writings. We begin by observing Tolkien’s earliest close friendships formed at St. King Edward’s Grammar School under the auspices of the “TCBS” (an acronym for Tea Club, Barrovian Society) where the core group of Tolkien, Christopher Wiseman, [...]

    2. DOES ANYONE REALIZE HOW CLOSE WE WERE TO LOSING TOLKIEN?!?!?? Can you imagine a world without his Hobbits, his elves, his orcs? The man is a genius, not just a literary genius, but an absolute linguistic pedant. I finished this book simply fascinated and now I want to learn Norse, Welsh, Latin, and Greek. Not only have I gained a better understanding of the warfront during WWI, but I also appreciate the gifts Tolkien gave to us more than ever. I will cherish this book. A perfect audio read becau [...]

    3. This is a necessary book - worth reading not just for the inside dope on Tolkien's mythology (which frankly I'm not that interested in, but the book was compelling anyway). This book is also a thoughtful, sensitive, well-written consideration of the WWI generation, and how the pre-War world and the War itself formed Tolkien and his fellowship of four friends. It is the best kind of cultural-literary criticism, especially when Garth talks about how the accepted narrative of WWI became the pessimi [...]

    4. This book was something quite different from what I expected. Going in I expected a book focused on J.R.R. Tolkien almost exclusively, with discussions of the hells of the Western Front in WWI and then a deeper discussion of the themes of loss or nature and industrialization play out in The Lord of the Rings. I was looking forward to that analysis of the 'coming of the machine age' that Peter Jackson had played up so beautifully in the movie version of The Two Towers.Instead, Garth treats us to [...]

    5. I actually really enjoyed this book. Other books about Tolkien seem to skip over the time he spent in WWI. They talk briefly about it and then move on. This book was based all around the time he spent in the army and it's effect on his writing. It seemed very logical for his war experiences to be portrayed in his writing some way, so I agree with the author. Also I was happy that they went not only into detail about Tolkien's war experience, but also Rob Gilson's, G.B. Smith's and Christopher Wi [...]

    6. One has indeed personally to come under the shadow of war to feel fully its oppression; but as the years go by it seems now often forgotten that to be caught in youth by 1914 was no less hideous an experience than to be involved in 1939 and the following years. By 1918, all but one of my close friends were dead.— J.R.R. Tolkien, forward to The Lord of the Rings World War I represented everything Tolkien hated: the destruction of nature, the deadly application of technology, the abuse and corru [...]

    7. I read Tolkien and the Great War as part of a group read with the Tolkien group on , and I'm so glad I did. I've read a lot of books about Tolkien, and this is one of the very best. Garth delves into the biographical details of Tolkien's youth and young adulthood, looking especially at Tolkien's friendship with three other schoolmates: G. B. Smith, Rob Gilson, and Christopher Wiseman. Together, these four formed the Tea Club and Barrovian Society (TCBS), a brotherhood dedicated to rekindling the [...]

    8. A good book, but not one that flowed particularly well (at least for me). I'll be honest: I find Tolkien's writing to be difficult at times, and this book felt like it was written by Tolkien's literary brother. I read the book in fits and starts because it often felt like I was reading a textbook.Despite this, I enjoyed the book thoroughly. I found it to be a thorough and informative look at Tolkien and the experiences that molded him and his mythology. And for history buffs, it offered a glimps [...]

    9. I really found this book very interesting. He ties events going on in the war and his friendships to themes and ideas being developed in Tolkien's imaginative world. There are some really powerful ideas to think about.

    10. I probably have in-mind something more like 4.75 stars. This is a phenomenal history, a heck of a book.

    11. This is an intensely poignant book of two genres: English fiction literature of the first half of the twentieth century (including J.R.R. Tolkien’s “The Lord of the Rings” and “The Silmarillon”); and World War 1 non-fiction. On the back cover A.N. Wilson is quoted: “I have rarely read a book which so intelligently graphed the relation between a writer’s inner life and his outward circumstances”. That nails it; and a very unusual fascinating combination it makes, too.We are often [...]

    12. nhwvejournal/325040ml[return][return]This book carries a recommendation by A.N. Wilson to the effect that it's "the best book about Tolkien that has yet been written". While I don't think it is actually better than Tom Shippey's work, it is none the less a very good book, moving well beyond the cliches of equating the Dead Marshes to the Somme. It basically concentrates on the story of the friendship between Tolkien and three of his schoolmates, G.B. Smith, Rob Gilson and Christopher Wiseman, wh [...]

    13. As of this day of reviewing this book, I have only read The Lord of the Rings The Fellowship of the Ring. Some factors may have affected in the rating of this book. This book is not what I really expected. I thought I was going to read War Stories of J.R.R. Tolkien and how that became a factor in shaping Middle-Earth. It was more of a combination of Literary History, Military History and Biography, focusing more on Literary. Literary History:John Garth explains the pieces of literature that infl [...]

    14. I was inspired to read this book after hearing John Garth speak at the National WWI Museum about how the Somme Battle affected Tolkien's writing. The discussion opened my eyes to how my own experiences of war have shaped my own writing, and I hoped for more insights. It took a while, but this book ultimately delivered.The author takes us through Tolkien's life, exploring in great detail his relationship with his three friends of the "TCBS." I felt at times this discussion dragged on and chased a [...]

    15. Even if you're not a fan of Tolkien, this is a facinating biography of Edwardian England. The biography follows Tolkien and his three best friends, all incredibly talented and literate in a way that only this generation really was, having met at public school at the height of Britain's classical public school system. The biography charts the origins of both his fiction and his scholarship (Tolkien held one of the most prestigious chairs at Oxford and his scholarship on medieval language is still [...]

    16. This is probably the only book I will ever be able to classify as both 'military' and 'non-military' history. It's true, WWI is discussed often, including in the book's title, but it's really just a framing device to tell the story of the beginning of JRR Tolkien's writing. It worked really well. The book was good; I love the poems that were included. I knew Tolkien was a poet, but I'd never made any effort to read any of them outside of LOTR; I may have to go pick up a poetry book now. I was ex [...]

    17. Wow. When this first came out, I had no interest in reading it. I thought it would be very dry and not all that relevant. Boy, was I wrong!After reading this, I feel I have a much greater understanding of Tolkien and his works and interests. I knew, of course, that he had fought in WWI and that it had a profound impact on his life (losing most of his friends) and viewpoint. I was not aware that it was during this time that he was doing a great deal of work developing his original languages, Quen [...]

    18. This is simply the best biographical work on Tolkien I've read yet. It sheds more light on his relationships with the members of the 'TCBS', details what he would have seen during his Great War service, and effectively puts all of his early writings into a evocative chronological context. John Garth makes convincing arguments for how Tolkien's Great War experiences and friendships shaped his writing, and for how his writing should be understood relative to his contemporaries. This book illuminat [...]

    19. I guess I'm not a big World War I fan, some of the history information bored me. But I really enjoyed learning about the bond between Tolkien and his closest friends at the time he began writing his mythology. The Inklings are the group who history would remember but it was the TCSB that sparked the imagination which Tolkien would use. These friendships were embedded in his life forever and they were in some ways the strongest. John Garth does an excellent job of weaving Tolkien's personal, scho [...]

    20. This was definitely worth reading. Garth doesn't spend a lot of time connecting the dots between Tolkien's WWI experience and his mythology, other than to discuss how the major themes of his mythology were influenced by the events of the war. He does get into a few of those discussions, but he mostly just describes the war experiences, outlines possible influence and lets you draw your own more specific conclusions. For this reason, it is probably better to read this book when you already have a [...]

    21. An excellent work that is the result of years of research on the author's part. Tolkien's life during WWI is depicted perhaps as accurately as possible. Garth delves deeply into Tolkien's life and mind in an attempt to understand the incredible man whose imagination fathered Middle Earth. If you are an avid Tolkien fan who desires to know the man whose books are permanently etched in history among the greats, this is a good place to start.

    22. Excelente libro. Trata con delicadeza y profundidad la influencia que tuvo la Gran Guerra en él y en su grupo de amigos íntimos. Describe la pérdida de inocencia en su trabajo y como el azar - su enfermedad - permitió que las generaciones posteriores contáramos con su obra (cuantos talentos se llevó la guerra y nunca sabremos!! )

    23. I finished this Tuesday and since I have to take it back to the library on Friday, I will have a real review by then.To tide you over till that happy day - This is a well-written, fascinating look at a particular moment in Tolkien's life that deepened my understanding of Tolkien's work and made me appreciate them even more.Highly recommended.

    24. excellent historical work on Tolkien's WWI experience and how/where that may have shaped his sub-creation work on Middle Earth. Really well done and well written.

    25. One of the most important and thoroughly researched works on the early Tolkien. I highly recommend this and especially hearing John Garth read it. A must for any lover of Tolkien.

    26. John Garth’sTolkien and the Great War:The Threshold of Middle-earthPreviously Published in Issue 10, Spring 2004, Journal of the Northeast Tolkien SocietySeeing John Garth’s new biography of J. R. R. Tolkien shelved next to many great books on the subject, a prospective reader wonders what Garth could add to the wealth of information. The question evaporates rapidly; reading Tolkien and the Great War is like slipping over a precipice of the Emyn Muil and free-falling into muddy march next to [...]

    27. If your a Tolkien enthusiast or anyone who is interested in English Literature then this book is a rewarding one. It is not an easy read but it does contain a lot that is interesting & illuminating. It postulates, quite rightly in my opinion, that J. R. R. Tolkien was deeply affected by his experiences in the First World War & most especially the Battle of the Somme in which he lost a dear friend. The war affected his writing in quite a different way than it did many other writers & [...]

    28. A very interesting and thorough look on the relationship between the First World War (then known as the Great War, or the War to end all Wars) and the creation of the mythology as well as languages of Middle-Earth. It does start out a bit slow, detailing Tolkien's friendships and schoolyears leasing up to the war, but it later shows why Garth starts there. It's not just the war experiences that spark Tolkien's creativity, rather it provided the final piece of the puzzle alongside his deep love o [...]

    29. The research behind this book is amazing, and having already read a few biographies of Tolkien, I felt like I was learning something new at every page. The epilogue and post script are also critical and very necessary. The author argues there in a less biographical manner that his experience in the Great War influenced Tolkien, although such influence was radically different (unorthodox) than the one that most of his fellow soldiers had.

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