Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Was Tolkien Only Influenced by the Middle Ages? Holly Ordway Says No.

Holly Ordway takes issue with some of the received wisdom about J.R.R. Tolkien. Specifically, she rejects the notion that Tolkien saw nothing of merit of anything written after the Middle Ages, that his Middle-earth saga was influenced only by literature and history prior to Chaucer. In Tolkien’s Modern Reading: Middle-Earth Beyond the Middle Ages, Ordway respectfully disagrees, and makes her case. And a compelling case it is.  

The Cardinal Francis George Fellow of Faith and Culture for the Word on Fire Institute and a visiting professor of apologetics at Houston Baptist University, Ordway received a Ph.D. in English from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and is a subject editor for the Journal of Inklings Studies. She’s published two previous books, Apologetics and the Christian Imagination: An Integrated Approach to Defending the Faith (2017) and Not God’s Type: An Atheist Academic Lays Down Her Arms (2014). She’s written numerous articles and chapters of anthologies on Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, literature, philosophy, the Inklings, and related subjects. 


In studying Tolkien and his writings, Ordway discovered that the author of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings read deeply and widely, and not only about the Middle Ages.


To continue reading, please see my post today at Tweetspeak Poetry.

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