Tolkien and Wales: Language, Literature and Identity

Tolkien and Wales: Language, Literature and Identity

by Carl Phelpstead


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Tolkien once wrote: 'I love Wales - and especially the Welsh language'. This book explores how that love influenced Tolkien's ideas about language, many aspects of his creative writing, and his sense of an English identity. It describes more fully than before the extent and depth of Tolkien's debt to Welsh language and literature, and argues that Tolkien's love of Wales and Welsh is inseparable from his love of, and sense of belonging to, England. The book gives detailed attention to both Tolkien's fiction and his scholarly writings, including some relatively neglected texts. Wales and Welsh were seminal influences on the writings of the twentieth century's most popular writer and this book reveals the range and depth of these influences.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780708323724
Publisher: University of Wales Press
Publication date: 07/11/2011
Pages: 224
Product dimensions: 6.30(w) x 9.30(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Carl Phelpstead is a senior lecturer in English literature at Cardiff University.

Table of Contents

Definitions, conventions and abbreviations

Part I: Language
1. Encountering Welsh
2. Linguistic taste
3. Inventing language
Part II: Literature
4. Mythological sources
5. Arthurian literature
6. Breton connections
Part III: Identity
7. Insular identities

Appendix: Tolkien’s Welsh books

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