You are here

Tolkien's turning point: Tolkien and the history of tongues

Please help us improve with this one minute survey (opens in a new tab)
Media Files:

Tom Shippey's lecture will move from the detail to the (eventual) design of Tolkien's languages, and even the philosophical issues embedded in Tolkien's fiction.
Professionally speaking, Tolkien was a philologist, interested above all in the history and relationships of languages. Personally speaking, he was a self-declared 'niggler', who took immense pains over details. It was a vital moment when he solved a problem, which would have bothered few authors of fantasy, to do with the history and relationship of the languages of Middle-earth. It was this which opened up The Lord of the Rings to its full scale and sweep.

Part of the BODcasts series. The Bodleian Libraries at the University of Oxford is the largest university library system in the United Kingdom. It includes the principal University library - the Bodleian Library - which has been a legal deposit library for 400 years; as well as 28 other libraries across Oxford including major research libraries and faculty, department and institute libraries. Together, the Libraries hold more than 12 million printed items, over 80,000 e-journals and outstanding special collections including rare books and manuscripts, classical papyri, maps, music, art and printed ephemera. Members of the public can explore the collections via the Bodleian’s online image portal at digital.bodleian.ox.ac.uk or by visiting the exhibition galleries in the Bodleian's Weston Library. For more information, visit www.bodleian.ox.ac.uk.

Date Published: 09 Jul 2021
Contributors: