Tolkien and the Great War - a book by John Garth

Discussion in 'J.R.R. Tolkien : The Creator of Middle-earth' started by Eledhwen, Apr 21, 2014.

  1. Eledhwen

    Eledhwen Cumbrian

    May 11, 2002
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    Royal Wootton Bassett, Wiltshire, England, UK
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    John Garth is an accomplished historian and Tolkien fan. Professional reviewers agree that this is an excellent read for anyone, not just Tolkien fans, and a valuable resource that adds to the pool of knowledge about WW1 and The Somme.

    This painstakingly researched book has uncovered information about J.R.R. Tolkien that had not previously been published. It focuses on the part Tolkien played in World War 1, which was around the time that he began writing the Legendarium that became known to everyone as Middle-earth, Arda and Valinor; and so was a time deeply influential to how that world evolved. John Garth's book was sanctioned by Christopher Tolkien and the Tolkien Estate, who also advised on the cover illustrations (look on the reverse of the dust jacket if you're lucky enough to find a hardback 1st Edn!). It goes into detail about the formation of Tolkien's first group of like-minded thinkers: the Tea Club Barrovian Society (students who met in the Barrow Tea Rooms) then on to the war and the sadness of where and how Tolkien learned of the deaths of his friends from that group. Much of this had me in tears, not just because John Garth tells the story so well, but also because my own grandfather was also a Lancashire Fusilier (though a foot soldier) who also fought in The Somme; but who would never speak of it in his lifetime. I felt like I was catching a glimpse of my own family history. John Garth contacted friends and relations of Tolkien's wartime comrades, piecing together military records and other clues to bring a much fuller picture of this stage of Tolkien's life than any previously available, and in an easily accessible writing style that you don't need to be a graduate historian to enjoy! You can read more reviews on John Garth's website on the following link. The book is now available in paperback and audio; Amazon links are provided for each, if you're not lucky enough to have a local bookshop.
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2015
  2. Rilien

    Rilien Registered User

    May 20, 2006
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    Tol Eressea
    I've just purchased this book, and have started to read it (I'm about 20% in...). So far it's wonderful.
    Eledhwen likes this.

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