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Medieval Germanic Sources of Tolkien's Mythology

Gandalf in the Library of Minas Tirith – image used with kind permission of the artist, Patrick H.Wynne
Gandalf in the Library of Minas Tirith – image used with kind permission of the artist, Patrick H.Wynne

with Dr Elizabeth Solopova

at the Old Court, Sutton Hoo (map)
on Saturday, 15th June, 2013.

This study-day will introduce a range of languages and texts which influenced Tolkien's fiction. Students will learn about ancient Germanic culture and mythology and will gain insights into Tolkien's linguistic and literary scholarship. In bringing these strands together, the course will demonstrate how creative Tolkien's approach, as a writer, was to the earlier literature which he admired.

Provisional Programme
(There may be variations to the programme on the day)
  10.00 Coffee on arrival  
  10.15 Old English: monsters and heroes  
  11.15 Coffee  
  11.45 Old Norse: wizards and craftsmen  
  12.45 Lunch break  
  14:00 Middle English: elves and woodmen  
  15:00 Tea break  
  15:15 Gothic: kings and warriors  
  16:20 Close  

About Dr Elizabeth Solopova

Elizabeth Solopova has a D. Phil in Medieval English from Oxford University. She is the editor of General Prologue to the Canterbury Tales on CD-ROM (Cambridge 2000) and contributor to British Library’s Electronic Beowulf. Her research interests include historical linguistics, textual criticism, palaeography, metrics and historical poetics. She is currently employed at the Department of Special Collections and Western Manuscripts at the Bodleian Library, Oxford University, as a manager of the Electronic Catalogue of Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts. She also teaches courses in medieval studies at the Departments for Continuing Education at Oxford and Cambridge Universities. Her latest book, The Keys of Middle-Earth, co-written with Dr Stuart Lee, was published in 2005.

Some suggestions for further reading
(useful but not essential)

Alexander, M., The First Poems in English (Penguin Classics 2008)
Carpenter, H., J. R. R. Tolkien: A Biography (Allen & Unwin, 1977)
Faulkes, A. (tr.), Snorri Sturluson: Edda (Dent Everyman 1987).
Fulk, R. (ed.), Interpretations of Beowulf: A Critical Anthology (Indiana University 1991)
Garmonsway, G., & J.Simpson, Beowulf and Its Analogues (Dent Everyman 1968, 1980)
Gordon, E.V., An Introduction to Old Norse, rev.A.R.Taylor (Oxford 1957, 1981)
Heaney, S, (tr.) Beowulf: An Illustrated Edition, ed. J.Niles (Norton 2007)
Lee, S.D., & E.Solopova, The Keys of Middle-earth: Discovering Medieval Literature through the Fiction of J. R. R. Tolkien (Palgrave Macmillan, 2005)
Pálsson, Hermann, & P.Edwards (tr.), Egil's Saga (Penguin Classics 1976)
Shippey, T.A., J. R. R. Tolkien: Author of the Century (Harper Collins, 2000)
Shippey, T.A., The Road to Middle-earth (Allen & Unwin, 1982; rev. edition Harper Collins, 2003)
Shippey, T.A. (ed.), The Shadow-walkers: Jacob Grimm’s Mythology of the Monstrous, Medieval & Renaissance Texts & Studies, Series V, 291)
Tolkien, C. (ed. & tr.), The Saga of King Heidrek the Wise (Nelson, London 1960)
Tolkien, J.R.R., The Lord of the Rings (Harper Collins, 1995, or another edition)
Tolkien, J.R.R., The Hobbit (Harper Collins, 1999, or another edition)
Tolkien, J.R.R. (tr. ), Sir Gawain and the Green Knight and Sir Orfeo, ed. C.Tolkien (Allen & Unwin 1975)
Tolkien. J.R.R., Finn and Hengest: The Fragment and the Episode, ed. Alan Bliss (Allen & Unwin, 1982)
Wright, J., Grammar of the Gothic Language (Oxford 1910, or another edition)


Please phone or email to check the availability of places. Study Days are 38 per person, which includes a full day of lectures, access to the NT site, parking, coffee and tea throughout the day, and access to the NT exhibition. Once you have reserved your place please send payment to confirm the booking. For your first booking please complete the application form to ensure that we have recorded your contact details correctly.

Wuffing Education,
4 Hilly Fields,
Woodbridge, Suffolk IP12 4DX
tel : 01394 386498

Email cliff AT wuffingeducation.co.uk
(replace 'AT' by '@' in order to send email - we used 'AT' to avoid spam robots automatically sending us emails)
Website www.wuffingeducation.co.uk

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