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On Specific Works

There are many trees in J.R.R Tolkien's forest of tales: some are huge and deep-rooted, like The Lord of the Rings, some are more delicate saplings such as Niggle, some rooted in Middle-earth, others in Nordic soils. We present here a few texts bearing their critical light and delving deeper into the caverns of some well-known and less well-known works by the author.

  • Leaf by Niggle: Hidden Nucleus

    This story allows diverse interpretations, political, religious, autobiographical. Vincent Ferré focuses here on the link between Niggle's tale and J.R.R. Tolkien's own "interior tree" and creation process ...

  • Leaf by Niggle: Peculiar Tale

    ...while Nadia Drici explains the power of this (modernized) fairy-tale, the dual nature of the hero, as well as the political and social conclusions that readers are invited to draw from this ‘allegorical’ tale.

  • The Lord of the Rings, How to Survive...

    This interpretation of The Lord of the Rings from the perspective of John Bowlby’s Attachment theory by Dr. Nicole Guedeney, a child psychiatrist, assumes a fair knowledge of J. R. R. Tolkien’s book but no specific notions in psychology. It can also be read as an ‘introduction to the Attachment theory from the perspective of The Lord of the Rings’.

  • Lord of the Rings, Book of the Century

    Tom Shippey, author of J.R.R. Tolkien, Author of the Century, interrogates the reasons for the appeal of The Lord of the Rings, one of the best-loved literary works of the last century. Is it due to the links between reality and History? to its creative qualities? or to a more intrinsic nature of this ‘labour of love’?

  • The Lord of the Rings, Adventure Story?

    Vincent Ferré, author of the first critical study in French focused on The Lord of the Rings, argues that the main elements of Tolkien’s long and slow-paced romance are not adventures, battles and fights, but landscapes, pauses and contemplative episodes, and even meditations on the beauty of the invented world.


  • Understanding Beowulf

    Leo Carruthers, Professor in English Medieval Studies at the Paris-Sorbonne University, is a specialist in Anglo-Saxon literature, especially Beowulf: his article presents the medieval poem, setting it in context and discussing its importance in Tolkien's work.

  • The Legend of Sigurd and Gudrún

    This summary account in prose of the ‘New Lay of the Völsungs’ and ‘The New Lay of Gudrún’ as composed by J.R.R.Tolkien (and published in 2009 in The Legend of Sigurd and Gudrún) was written by Christopher Tolkien exclusively for our website.

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