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The works of J.R.R. Tolkien are quite possibly the most widely read pieces of literature written in the 20th century. But as Professor Michael Drout illuminates in this engaging course of lectures, Tolkien's writings are built upon a centuries-old literary tradition that developed in Europe and is quite uniquely Western in its outlook and style. Drout explores how that tra The works of J.R.R. Tolkien are quite possibly the most widely read pieces of literature written in the 20th century. But as Professor Michael Drout illuminates in this engaging course of lectures, Tolkien's writings are built upon a centuries-old literary tradition that developed in Europe and is quite uniquely Western in its outlook and style. Drout explores how that tradition still resonates with us to this day, even if many Modernist critics would argue otherwise. He begins the course with the allegory of a tower - a device which Tolkien himself crafted in one of the most famous academic works of all time - as a way to illuminate how Tolkien's works continue and build upon a tradition that goes back as far as Beowulf itself. Drout's lectures take us on a literary journey that explores Tolkien's most celebrated writings: The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, and The Silmarillion. As he brings these works life, he explains Tolkien's technique and themes, which he shows reverberate all the way back though the Western literary tradition. In the end, Drout shows us how J.R.R. Tolkien crafted literary worlds that the reader cares desperately about and wishes to save. Those worlds, in turn, are allegories for a Western literary tradition - a tower - that is worthy of preservation.


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The works of J.R.R. Tolkien are quite possibly the most widely read pieces of literature written in the 20th century. But as Professor Michael Drout illuminates in this engaging course of lectures, Tolkien's writings are built upon a centuries-old literary tradition that developed in Europe and is quite uniquely Western in its outlook and style. Drout explores how that tra The works of J.R.R. Tolkien are quite possibly the most widely read pieces of literature written in the 20th century. But as Professor Michael Drout illuminates in this engaging course of lectures, Tolkien's writings are built upon a centuries-old literary tradition that developed in Europe and is quite uniquely Western in its outlook and style. Drout explores how that tradition still resonates with us to this day, even if many Modernist critics would argue otherwise. He begins the course with the allegory of a tower - a device which Tolkien himself crafted in one of the most famous academic works of all time - as a way to illuminate how Tolkien's works continue and build upon a tradition that goes back as far as Beowulf itself. Drout's lectures take us on a literary journey that explores Tolkien's most celebrated writings: The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, and The Silmarillion. As he brings these works life, he explains Tolkien's technique and themes, which he shows reverberate all the way back though the Western literary tradition. In the end, Drout shows us how J.R.R. Tolkien crafted literary worlds that the reader cares desperately about and wishes to save. Those worlds, in turn, are allegories for a Western literary tradition - a tower - that is worthy of preservation.

30 review for Tolkien and the West: Recovering the Lost Tradition of Europe (The Modern Scholar)

  1. 4 out of 5

    Amy Sturgis

    I think the world of Michael Drout as a scholar and a person, and so I was primed to enjoy yet another terrific and insightful work from him. Unfortunately, this series of lectures seems rushed and poorly planned. (In addition, unlike all other Modern Scholar lectures I've purchased, this one did not come with a PDF document containing outlines and bibliographies for the talks.) If you're not familiar with this work, I recommend reading his scholarship or listening to some of his other lecture s I think the world of Michael Drout as a scholar and a person, and so I was primed to enjoy yet another terrific and insightful work from him. Unfortunately, this series of lectures seems rushed and poorly planned. (In addition, unlike all other Modern Scholar lectures I've purchased, this one did not come with a PDF document containing outlines and bibliographies for the talks.) If you're not familiar with this work, I recommend reading his scholarship or listening to some of his other lecture series. Drout sets up two very useful ways to think about Tolkien's Middle-earth writings and their relationship to the classic Western literature that inspired and informed them; one is the metaphor of the tower and the ruins, and the other is the concept of "fighting the long defeat." Both are most helpful, and Drout is at his best when he teases out how Tolkien the philologist and Tolkien the medievalist mined the sources he studied to sub-create a new world of his own. Alas, the lectures soon stray from these organizing themes as he considers The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, and The Silmarillion in turn. That's not to say there aren't gems of information embedded in the lectures - you might say that Drout proves that not all who wander are lost (!!!) - especially with regard to how Tolkien employed framing narratives and the idea of "the compiler." I'm also particularly sympathetic to Drout's well-aimed critiques of the limits of postmodern literary criticism and the disaster of contemporary intellectual property rights and copyright law. The lectures seem rushed though, as does Drout himself. (His hasty asides sometimes veer into insupportable generalizations of the "X had never happened before" or "only Tolkien did Y" variety, several of which could be contradicted quite easily, or genuine errors; for example, when he's "on script," he identifies Éowyn as Théoden's niece, but when he makes an offhand comment, he calls her Théoden's daughter.) I wish that, since he makes the effort to discuss "Leaf by Niggle," he'd also addressed the related "On Fairy-Stories," which speaks to many of Drout's larger points. I also wish, given his perspective on Christopher Tolkien's efforts in restoring/presenting his father's unpublished works in The Silmarillion and The Unfinished Tales, Drout had addressed the larger History of Middle-Earth volumes, as well. The final lecture is by far the most frustrating. Unfortunately, when Drout chooses to address Middle-Earth inspired participatory culture, two of the three examples he uses (Peter Jackson's films and the Lord of the Rings role-playing game) are licensed "products," if you will, not fan creations. Even then, his points are disconnected. He fails, for instance, to link the post-Jackson influx of women into Tolkien fandom (which he mentions without explanation) with the explosion of fan fiction, fan art, and costuming activities. His treatment of the films and the role-playing game also comes across as only partially reasoned; he criticizes the films for removing readers' opportunity to imagine Middle-earth actively for themselves, and yet praises the game designers for bringing Middle-earth to stunning visual life for gaming participants. When he discusses his personal experience with The Long-Expected Party, he does not put the event into its global context of fan-created and fan-run Tolkien conventions and gatherings, a point well worth noting (and supportive of his larger argument). Most disappointing of all, he completely ignores major ingredients in Tolkien-related participatory culture, such as the immense and decades-long phenomenon of Tolkien-based world music, from U.S. country/western music based on The Hobbit and Argentinian folk music based on The Lord of the Rings to German death metal based on The Silmarillion. This is such a widespread and long-lived phenomenon, it begs for mention in any treatment of readers' desire to enter Middle-earth. In the end, listeners would have been better served if the final lecture had been dedicated to expanding Drout's earlier textual analyses. I got a great deal out of these lectures, as I knew I would, but I don't recommend this as a starting place for exploring Drout's impressive scholarship and insights.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Jack Hansen

    This Audiobook is a pleasure because of its subject and enthusiasm of the author in his presentation. Drout's understanding of Tolkien from his personal perspective captivates an audience in this scholastic effort to explain the genius behind Western literature's most widely read author. This student's appreciation of the Hobbit, Lord of the Rings, and the Silmarillion is greater and fresher in my mind now that I finish this class by a real Tolkien fan, Michael D.C. Drout. This Audiobook is a pleasure because of its subject and enthusiasm of the author in his presentation. Drout's understanding of Tolkien from his personal perspective captivates an audience in this scholastic effort to explain the genius behind Western literature's most widely read author. This student's appreciation of the Hobbit, Lord of the Rings, and the Silmarillion is greater and fresher in my mind now that I finish this class by a real Tolkien fan, Michael D.C. Drout.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Tyler Stout

    Whether you cared about LOTR before, or never could understand why anyone would want to read them, this book will prove the value and achievement of Tolkien's work. It will make you want to read them (again). I know I am going to. Whether you cared about LOTR before, or never could understand why anyone would want to read them, this book will prove the value and achievement of Tolkien's work. It will make you want to read them (again). I know I am going to.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Keith Davis

    Drout has clearly spent a lot of time defending his scholarly interest in the works of Tolkien. As Drout discusses Tolkien a portrait of Drout begins to emerge as well. Drout was deeply affected by reading Tolkien at a young age, but unlike many Tolkien devotees who went onto to become Fantasy writers themselves, Drout followed Tolkien's scholarly path and became a professor of Anglo-Saxon and Old English literature. Drout's knowledge of the old languages of northern Europe gives him a unique ins Drout has clearly spent a lot of time defending his scholarly interest in the works of Tolkien. As Drout discusses Tolkien a portrait of Drout begins to emerge as well. Drout was deeply affected by reading Tolkien at a young age, but unlike many Tolkien devotees who went onto to become Fantasy writers themselves, Drout followed Tolkien's scholarly path and became a professor of Anglo-Saxon and Old English literature. Drout's knowledge of the old languages of northern Europe gives him a unique insight into Tolkien's material. He points out Anglo-Saxon words and terms that Tolkien worked into names in his Middle Earth stories; references that would be lost on all but a handful of specialist scholars. This is one of the grounds that Drout uses to justify serious study of Tolkien. Most literary critics dismiss Tolkien's novels as popular escapist fiction, or else openly denigrate his style and subject matter. Drout argues that Tolkien is giving readers a glimpse of a literary tradition that might have been if English writers had persisted in the tradition of Beowulf and Siegfried rather than adopting the styles and subject matter of southern Europe during the Renaissance. It is an interesting argument. Personally I do not believe any justification is required to study a work of fiction that has has such an impact as Tolkien's, in spite of the biases of the critics.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Nathan

    J.R.R. Tolkien is one of the most popular authors the world has ever known. And as Wheaton College Professor Michael Drout explains in this series of lectures, Tolkien's popular fiction was thoroughly infused with the scholarship of Tolkien the philologist. Drout is a philologist himself, as well as a professor of English and (like me) a fan of Tolkien since he was a boy. Drout thus approaches Tolkien's texts as both an academic and an apologist and the combination leads to many interesting insig J.R.R. Tolkien is one of the most popular authors the world has ever known. And as Wheaton College Professor Michael Drout explains in this series of lectures, Tolkien's popular fiction was thoroughly infused with the scholarship of Tolkien the philologist. Drout is a philologist himself, as well as a professor of English and (like me) a fan of Tolkien since he was a boy. Drout thus approaches Tolkien's texts as both an academic and an apologist and the combination leads to many interesting insights. Many modern critics were harsh in their appraisal of Tolkien's fiction, but Drout explains that this says more about them than it does about Tolkien. Modern critics don't like the moral certainty of Tolkien's world and don't give him enough credit for the complexity of his characters who, although they frequently knew the right course of action, were often unable to pursue it. According to Drout, these aspects of Tolkien's work, which ran counter to almost everything else in the 20th century, are worthy of praise precisely because they defy modern conventions. With only eight lectures on four discs, listeners can get through this quickly. But, especially if they are fans of Tolkien, they will be rewarded by coming away with a richer understanding of this celebrated author.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Shiloah

    Excellent! I caught wind of him thanks to Cynthia Egbert. I hung on every word. I never found it boring or uninteresting and I learned incredible amounts of knowledge. I will be running to Beowolf, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight and everything Tolkien has written now. (Not that I wasn't, but I'm inspired to make it NOW.) Excellent! I caught wind of him thanks to Cynthia Egbert. I hung on every word. I never found it boring or uninteresting and I learned incredible amounts of knowledge. I will be running to Beowolf, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight and everything Tolkien has written now. (Not that I wasn't, but I'm inspired to make it NOW.)

  7. 5 out of 5

    Steven Shinder

    I listened to these lectures while working on some stuff, and I found that I was still able to focus on the arguments that Drout was trying to convey. He talks about The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, the Silmarillion, and even Unfinished Tales. He makes it no secret how geeky he is on the subject of Tolkien, and it’s clear that he’s sometimes been defensive against certain criticisms. I’m sure that can be off-putting to some, but not to me. I admire his enthusiasm, and he presents some points th I listened to these lectures while working on some stuff, and I found that I was still able to focus on the arguments that Drout was trying to convey. He talks about The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, the Silmarillion, and even Unfinished Tales. He makes it no secret how geeky he is on the subject of Tolkien, and it’s clear that he’s sometimes been defensive against certain criticisms. I’m sure that can be off-putting to some, but not to me. I admire his enthusiasm, and he presents some points that change how I look at TLOTR and make me appreciate certain aspects even more. For example, he talks about how Pippin is more impulsive and Merry is more orderly, and they are paired with cultures that are their opposites (Gondor and Rohan respectively). And he also points out that Eowyn is the only hero who slays a “boss” directly, and she does it in a defensive manner. He is also good at conveying how sad Tolkien felt when he wrote the scene of Gollum almost renting until Sam wakes up and labels him the villain. Despite his love of the literature, Drout is still able to point out what he likes about the TLOTR animated and live-action films. (Though he does not seem to like the 1977 animated The Hobbit film, which surprises me a bit.) overall, Drout provides a fresh view of Tolkien’s Legendarium for those looking to dive deeper and dissect certain aspects of the stories.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Katy

    This is a really nice examination of the literary basis and importance of Tolkien's works. I certainly would not recommend it for light listening, but for those truly interested in the scholarship of his works and how they relate to Old English literature this is an invaluable collection. Dr. Drout's enthusiasm is very enjoyable as well. This is a really nice examination of the literary basis and importance of Tolkien's works. I certainly would not recommend it for light listening, but for those truly interested in the scholarship of his works and how they relate to Old English literature this is an invaluable collection. Dr. Drout's enthusiasm is very enjoyable as well.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Simon

    Some interesting perspectives, but the author is a little too positive about Tolkien. He was a great writer, but the constant claim that anyone who argues otherwise is a fool just undermines his entire argument. They're not fools, their perspectives are perhaps not entirely accurate, but they all have a point Some interesting perspectives, but the author is a little too positive about Tolkien. He was a great writer, but the constant claim that anyone who argues otherwise is a fool just undermines his entire argument. They're not fools, their perspectives are perhaps not entirely accurate, but they all have a point

  10. 4 out of 5

    Tara

    A gem for any Tolkien nerd like me!

  11. 4 out of 5

    Alatea

    Amazing lectures! M. Drout takes a new scholarly perspective on Tolkien's works and I loved it. Amazing lectures! M. Drout takes a new scholarly perspective on Tolkien's works and I loved it.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Zoe

    I really enjoyed this series despite never reading any of the books or enjoying the movies 🤣

  13. 4 out of 5

    Mike Day

    5 stars - I absolutely loved it. Michael Drout knows his stuff and explains Tolkien in a wonderful way. Makes me want to read Tolkien all over again. Thank you Michael Drout!

  14. 4 out of 5

    Alethea Hammer

    This made me want to re read LOTR again and binge watch the movies. He has so much feeling for Tolkien.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Willian Molinari

    I'm migrating all my reviews to my blog. I'm keeping the old version here (because it makes sense to do it) but you can read the latest one on my blog: https://pothix.com/tolkienwest/ A great book if you are a fan of J.R.R. Tolkien (like me). I read 10+ J.R.R. Tolkien books already. I really like the descriptive way of writing and the whole fantasy world he created. I also read some other book that are not related to middle earth. With that said, it was amazing to me to find so much that was not ex I'm migrating all my reviews to my blog. I'm keeping the old version here (because it makes sense to do it) but you can read the latest one on my blog: https://pothix.com/tolkienwest/ A great book if you are a fan of J.R.R. Tolkien (like me). I read 10+ J.R.R. Tolkien books already. I really like the descriptive way of writing and the whole fantasy world he created. I also read some other book that are not related to middle earth. With that said, it was amazing to me to find so much that was not explicit in the story. I know Tolkien was also a professor at Oxford and many of his studies influenced (or were influenced by) his fiction, but this book brought much more context to it. I was also aware about part of Tolkien's context but I could not relate the background of some characters to some of the real world "problems" we have/had. I cannot confirm all references for this book but I have to say that everything makes sense for me. I have to admit that I did not have big expectations for this book and it surprised me in a good way. If you like Tolkien's work, I would definitely recommend it. Here are my notes for this book: * The west for Tolkien was more related to happiness. Considering his geography, it's more related to wales than Germany (consider world war II) * When Thorin dies, he says that he will leave a ton of gold and silver behind but wants to part in friendship with Bilbo, which he calls "children of the west" at that moment. * Bilbo is a "children of the west" because of Western culture of valuing more food and drink than hoarding gold. It's not that he doesn't value gold, but he prefers to spend it to be happy instead of just sit and look at it * Thorin was part of the "heroic" world while Bilbo was part of the western world. Tolkien tries to show that some acts of the west side can change the heroic side. The violence to conquer everything. * Tolkien did not criticize the nationalism but tried to show something through his stories * Smaug is the biggest example of a creature who just sits (literally) on top of its fortune and don't produce or spend wealth on anything * Merry, the thoughtful and educated guy ended up with Rohan, the non-hierarchical and non-structured people. While Pippin, the impulsive guy ended up with Gondor, the high hierarchical and structured people * The way Théoden dies is a reference to the northern courage. It's the way barbarians fight, even if there's no possible way of winning. * Denethor decides to choose his own death time and method, giving up just like Romans. In essence, the Romans gave up when facing the barbarians because, in their perspective, there's no way to win. * Frodo knows that Gollum understands him (because he carried the ring before) while Sam cannot do that * There was one chance that Gollum will reconsider his plans at Shelob's lair but Sam ruins it by accusing Gollum at the wrong moment. Tolkien said it was one of the saddest moments of the LotR * Denethor's death was part of Tolkien critics to the aristocracy. Denethor only cares about himself. He likes the city because he rules it. When the city was being taken, there's nothing to do. It's concerning when someone can do something bad just because he/she has enough power for it. It's even worse now with nuclear bombs. * The fall of Numenor shows Tolkien's thoughts that eternal life should not be pursued in the phisical plan but through relition. Try to attack Valinor was a terrible mistake made by the man of Numenor. * Most of what Tolkien wrote was related to his scholar work and his studies on old English and Anglo Saxon. His stories helped to study topics from a different perspective because anything can be created on fantasy.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Joe Bustillos

    The Modern Scholar: Tolkien and the West by Professor Michael Drout As a wanna-be-writer, graduate with a degree in ancient texts (Biblical Studies) and a lover of the world of Tolkien I found Professor Drout’s 5-hour lecture on Professor Tolkien, his world and his works to be a wonderful mix of academic discourse presented in almost conversational tone, both comfort and approachable. There’s a lot here for the fan of the books, the movies and even the computer-games. Tolkien’s brilliant scholars The Modern Scholar: Tolkien and the West by Professor Michael Drout As a wanna-be-writer, graduate with a degree in ancient texts (Biblical Studies) and a lover of the world of Tolkien I found Professor Drout’s 5-hour lecture on Professor Tolkien, his world and his works to be a wonderful mix of academic discourse presented in almost conversational tone, both comfort and approachable. There’s a lot here for the fan of the books, the movies and even the computer-games. Tolkien’s brilliant scholarship, imagination, passion for tales that reach back to the beginning of time is captured, not so much explained but, one is given a walk-through of Tolkien’s works. Professor Drout uses his own background as a philologist and scholar to connect both Tolkien’s Middle Earth with European Mythologies and his work of revealing ancient worlds through the study of languages. The lecture series isn’t a criticism, but a short course on Tolkien’s process of creating or rather revealing the world of Middle Earth, Before and Beyond. Available on Audible.com: The Modern Scholar: Tolkien and the West by Professor Michael Drout

  17. 5 out of 5

    Thomas

    This is going to be brief (as with most of my reviews, unfortunately), but I'll summarize by mentioning how happy I am that Drout put together these new lectures on Tolkien. It's very clear listening to him that he not only understands and loves Tolkien, but that he has carefully chosen a path of study (he is a professor of English and a philologist, like Tolkien, who specializes in Anglo-Saxon) that takes him down roads directly inspired by his early love for Tolkien. If you're a Tolkien fan, y This is going to be brief (as with most of my reviews, unfortunately), but I'll summarize by mentioning how happy I am that Drout put together these new lectures on Tolkien. It's very clear listening to him that he not only understands and loves Tolkien, but that he has carefully chosen a path of study (he is a professor of English and a philologist, like Tolkien, who specializes in Anglo-Saxon) that takes him down roads directly inspired by his early love for Tolkien. If you're a Tolkien fan, you should listen to these, if you enjoy audiobooks -- they are likely available from your local library.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Alex

    This lecture series is quite constrained. Each lecture could have been expanded into hours on its own. However, it's a great overview for people who aren't interested in consuming much more than five hours of Tolkien analysis. The most fascinating revelation I got from this: Middle Earth is Tolkien's scholarship. He explores the possibilities of what literature would look like if the Anglo-Saxon / Germanic traditions were extrapolated (as opposed to the Latin/Greek which we've experienced) by mak This lecture series is quite constrained. Each lecture could have been expanded into hours on its own. However, it's a great overview for people who aren't interested in consuming much more than five hours of Tolkien analysis. The most fascinating revelation I got from this: Middle Earth is Tolkien's scholarship. He explores the possibilities of what literature would look like if the Anglo-Saxon / Germanic traditions were extrapolated (as opposed to the Latin/Greek which we've experienced) by making literature rather than dry scholarship. I have more appreciation for Tolkien after this than going in. I'm one step closer to actually trying to finish the Silmarillion.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Rachel

    I spent all day savoring this lecture series and I come away teary eyed with an ever greater love and devotion for Tolkien as well as an increasing admiration and respect for Michael Drout. His ability to gist down several streams of information - historical, cultural, linguistic, and mythological - into a cohesive analysis of Tolkien's multi-layered significance continues to be both obsession-fueling and deeply satisfying. He just gets it. He puts into simple terms not only the intellectual bee I spent all day savoring this lecture series and I come away teary eyed with an ever greater love and devotion for Tolkien as well as an increasing admiration and respect for Michael Drout. His ability to gist down several streams of information - historical, cultural, linguistic, and mythological - into a cohesive analysis of Tolkien's multi-layered significance continues to be both obsession-fueling and deeply satisfying. He just gets it. He puts into simple terms not only the intellectual beef Tolkien was serving, but the emotional sauce that permeates it all. He gives voice the things we feel but don't have the vocabulary to name.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Zivan

    Very accessible to listeners without academic background in literature. Really helped me get a better understanding of Tolkien's intentions and themes. This is one case where the following quote does not apply: "...Susan hated Literature. She'd much prefer to read a good book.” (Terry Pratchett, "Soul Music") Very accessible to listeners without academic background in literature. Really helped me get a better understanding of Tolkien's intentions and themes. This is one case where the following quote does not apply: "...Susan hated Literature. She'd much prefer to read a good book.” (Terry Pratchett, "Soul Music")

  21. 5 out of 5

    Donna

    Note: this isn't actually a book but a series of lectures. I don't normally read literary criticism for the same reason I don't watch behind-the-scenes shows about how movies are made--I just want to experience the magic. However, I did enjoy this series of eight 30-minute lectures. Not so long that it became too detailed and boring, and I did gain some insights into my favorite book. Professor Drout had an engaging lecture style and I loved his personal stories about geeking out on Tolkien. Note: this isn't actually a book but a series of lectures. I don't normally read literary criticism for the same reason I don't watch behind-the-scenes shows about how movies are made--I just want to experience the magic. However, I did enjoy this series of eight 30-minute lectures. Not so long that it became too detailed and boring, and I did gain some insights into my favorite book. Professor Drout had an engaging lecture style and I loved his personal stories about geeking out on Tolkien.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Tom

    This is not a happy story for the casual hobbit, but rather, a fine, scholarly examination for the student of Celts and Nordic eddas. Drout is a superb Academic whose analysis is truly insightful as he explains how Tolkien's middle earth is an analogy for England and its legends. A very thoughtful piece of work full of thought, charm and abundant learning for the patient student who is willing to really consider Tolkien's works as a linguist or Medievalist. This is not a happy story for the casual hobbit, but rather, a fine, scholarly examination for the student of Celts and Nordic eddas. Drout is a superb Academic whose analysis is truly insightful as he explains how Tolkien's middle earth is an analogy for England and its legends. A very thoughtful piece of work full of thought, charm and abundant learning for the patient student who is willing to really consider Tolkien's works as a linguist or Medievalist.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Daniel

    Great lecture on Tolkien and what he was attempting to accomplish through language and the Middle-Earth saga. Information was presented well. Drout seems to be a decent Tolkien scholar, however, there could have been less Dungeons and Dragons and online rpg talk in the last lecture.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Daftwullie

    I love this set of lectures. I've listened to them half a dozen times. I love the approach to Tolkien that is focused on the nostalgia theme but weaves in bits of relevant and interesting biography, scholarship, technique, etc. I love this set of lectures. I've listened to them half a dozen times. I love the approach to Tolkien that is focused on the nostalgia theme but weaves in bits of relevant and interesting biography, scholarship, technique, etc.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Chris Jamison

    I always like prof. Drout's lecture series. This one is no exception. He has great insights into Tolkien and T's connections back to the Anglo-Saxon literary tradition. And you can just tell that Drout really likes this stuff. His enthusiasm is infectious. I always like prof. Drout's lecture series. This one is no exception. He has great insights into Tolkien and T's connections back to the Anglo-Saxon literary tradition. And you can just tell that Drout really likes this stuff. His enthusiasm is infectious.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Maggie

    bits of information i would not have gather for myself that a tolkien scholar happily shares with us ... clear, organized lectures where solid and interesting facts are assembled for our listening pleasure

  27. 4 out of 5

    Alexis

    Exceptionally good, especially if you have recently read or watched Tolkien's work. I reread The Hobbit and I am now eager to read the appendices and notes in The LOTR and to read The Simirallion. Exceptionally good, especially if you have recently read or watched Tolkien's work. I reread The Hobbit and I am now eager to read the appendices and notes in The LOTR and to read The Simirallion.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Jenn S.

    What an interesting read. I have such respect for Tolkien after learning about the enormous amount of scholarship and detail that went into his work.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Justin Banger

    Short and sweet. This lecturer is tremendous.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Emmanuel Boston

    **Not a full review Excellent insight from the Hobbit to the Norse influences.

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