Works by J.R.R. Tolkien
The following is list of the most significant publications
for the study of The Lord of the Rings. Some works appear
in multiple anthologies and reprints, making it hard to cite which
edition or year of publication you will find. However, the publication
dates given here give some sense of the order and period in which
Tolkien produced his works. Many of Tolkien's essays and minor
works can be found in The Monsters and the Critics and Other
Essays (Acacia Press, 1997) and A Tolkien Reader, 2nd
edn. (Ballantine, 1989).
- The Hobbit, first edition London 1937, fourth edition
London: George Allen & Unwin, 1978; Boston: Houghton Mifflin,
- 'Leaf by Niggle', first published in The Dublin Review,
January 1945, 46-61; also published in Tree and Leaf, Smith
of Wootton Major, The Homecoming of Beorhtnoth Beorhthelm's
Son, London: Unwin Paperbacks, 1975.
- Farmer Giles of Ham, first edition London: George
Allen & Unwin, 1949; Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1950; also
published in Farmer Giles of Ham, The Adventures of Tom
Bombadil, London: Unwin Paperbacks, 1975.
- 'The Homecoming of Beorhtnoth Beorthelm's Son', first published
in Essays and Studies 6 (1953), 1-18; also published in Tree
and Leaf, Smith of Wootton Major, The Homecoming of Beorhtnoth
Beorhthelm's Son, London: Unwin Paperbacks, 1975.
- The Lord of the Rings, in three volumes:
I. The Fellowship of the Ring, first edition
London: George Allen & Unwin 1954, second edition 1966;
Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1954, second edition, 1967.
II. The Two Towers, first edition London:
George Allen & Unwin 1954, second edition 1966; Boston:
Houghton Mifflin, 1955, second edition, 1967.
III. The Return of the King, first edition
London: George Allen & Unwin 1955, second edition 1966;
Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1956, second edition, 1967.
A considerable amount of Tolkien's work was published
after his death by his son Christopher and others. The most important
of these is The Silmarillion (London: George Allen &
Unwin, 1977; Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1977), which Tolkien was
working on at the time of his death, and Humphrey Carpenter's
edition of Tolkien's Letters (Houghton Mifflin, 1981).
In addition, Christopher Tolkien has been steadily publishing
his father's working drafts of all his texts along with considerable
- Unfinished Tales of Númenor and Middle-earth,
ed. Christopher Tolkien (London: George Allen & Unwin,
1980; Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1980).
The History of Middle Earth, ed. Christopher
Tolkien (London: George Allen & Unwin, 1983-; Boston: Houghton
Mifflin, 1984-) in twelve volumes. The early drafts of The
Lord of the Rings are published as The Return of the Shadow
(1988), The Treason of Isengard (1989), The War of the
Ring (1990), and Sauron Defeated: The End of the Third
Age, the Notion Club Papers and the Drowning of Anadune (1992).
Also relevant are two of Tolkien's editions on Old
English poems, edited for publication after his death, the introductions
of which give insight into his literary ideas:
- The Old English Exodus, ed. Joan Turville-Petre,
Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1981.
- Finn and Hengest: the Fragment and the Episode, ed.
Alan Bliss, London: George Allen & Unwin, 1982; Boston:
Houghton Mifflin, 1983.
For resources on the internet, go to the links
Humphrey Carpenter, J.R.R. Tolkien: A Biography,
London: George Allen & Unwin, 1977; Boston: Houghton Mifflin,
Wayne Hammond and Douglas A. Anderson, J.R.R. Tolkien:
A Descriptive Bibliography, Winchester: St Paul's Bibliographies;
New Castle, Del.: Oak Knoll Books, 1993.
Judith A. Johnson, ed. J.R.R. Tolkien: Six Decades
of Criticism (Bibliographies and Indexes in World Literature
6), Westport, Conn., and London: Green, 1986
The Oxford English Dictionary, second edition
prepared by J.A. Simpson and E.S.C Weiner, 20 vols., Oxford and
New York: Oxford University Press, 1989. You can access the dictionary
online at CSUN or at
the LA Public Library if you have a library card.
David Day, The Tolkien Companion.
David Day, Tolkien: The Illustrated Encyclopedia
(Simon and Schuster, 1992).
Colin Duriez, The J.R.R. Tolkien Handbook: A
Comprehensive Guide to his Life, Writings, and the World of Middle
Karen Wynn Fonstad, The Atlas of Middle-Earth
John and Priscilla Tolkien, The Tolkien Family
Richard West, Tolkien Criticism: An Annotated
Checklist, 2nd edn. (Kent State, 1981).
Reviews dealing with
the reception of The
Lord of the Rings can be
found at the reviews
The mos trecent scholarship
on Tolkien's work is to be found
in the brand new journal Tolkien
Studies, which is in the Oviatt
Library (PR6039.O32 Z488 or online).
A new volume of essays,
The Lord of the Rings,
which contains a chapter by myself,
will be available from February
important works, some of which
you can find in your local bookstore,
are listed below:
T.A. Shippey, The Road to Middle Earth (Allen
& Unwin, 1982; second edition, Grafton, 1992).
T.A. Shippey, J.R.R. Tolkien: Author of the Century
(Boston & New York: Houghton Mifflin, 2001).
Glen Goodknight, ed., Proceedings of the J.R.R.
Tolkien Centenary Conference, 1992.
Randel Helm, Tolkien's World.
Neil Issacs and Rose Zimbardo, ed., Tolkien:
New Critical Perspectives (University of Kentucky Press, 1981).
Rayner Unwin, The Making of the Lord of the
Jane Chance, The Lord of the Rings: The Mythology
of Power, rev. ed. (UPK, 2001).
Jane Chance, Tolkien's Art: A Mythology for
England, rev. edn. (UPK, 2001)
Wayne G. Hammond and Christina Scull, ed, J.R.R.
Tolkien: Artist and Illustrator (Houghton Mifflin, 1997, rpt.
This is not an exhaustive list of literary influences
on Tolkien but a few of the most influential texts along with
other useful reading on early English literature. For a more complete
list of Tolkien's sources, see Appendix A of T.A. Shippey's The
Road to Middle-Earth.
Anglo-Saxon Poetry, ed. S.J. Bradley (London:
J.M. Dent, 1982; Rutland, Vermont: Charles E. Tuttle, 1982, reprinted
Beowulf. The text is available in multiple
translations. Tolkien wrote a preface for the translation by J.
R. Clark Hall and C.L. Wrenn. I would recommend avoiding Seamus
Heaney's 'translation', which makes the poem sound Irish.
The Cambridge Companion to Old English Literature,
ed. Malcolm Godden and Michael Lapidge (Cambridge: Cambridge University
Kalevala, translated by Keith Bosley (Oxford
and New York: Oxford University Press, 1989).
Norse Poems, ed. Paul B. Taylor and W.H.
Auden (London: Athlone Press, 1981).
Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Pearl, Sir Orfeo,
translated by J.R.R. Tolkien, edited by Christopher Tolkien (London:
George Allen & Unwin, 1975; Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1975).
The translation by Marie Boroff available in most anthologies
of British literature is also excellent.
Snorri Sturluson, Edda, translated by Anthony
Faulkes (London: Dent, 1987).