© 2005

The Keys of Middle-earth

Discovering Medieval Literature Through the Fiction of J.R.R. Tolkien

  • Authors

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xii
  2. Stuart D. Lee, Elizabeth Solopova
    Pages 1-1
  3. Stuart D. Lee, Elizabeth Solopova
    Pages 2-53
  4. Stuart D. Lee, Elizabeth Solopova
    Pages 54-56
  5. Stuart D. Lee, Elizabeth Solopova
    Pages 57-265
  6. Back Matter
    Pages 266-284

About this book


The Keys of Middle-Earth uniquely introduces the reader to the world of Medieval Literature through the fiction of J.R.R. Tolkien. Using key episodes in The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, readers are taken back to the works of Old, Middle English and Old Norse literature that so influenced Tolkien. The original texts are presented with helpful new translations to help the reader approach the medieval poems and tales, and introductory essays draw on recent scholarship and Tolkien's own unpublished notes. Presenting a new era of Tolkien studies, this book will be of use to students (and teachers) of Medieval/Old English literature and general readers interested in the origins of Tolkien's most widely-known works.


English literature fiction medieval literature Middle Ages poem

About the authors

STUART LEE teaches Old English at the University of Oxford, UK, and has also taught Old English at London University, and for Oxford and Cambridge's continuing Education department. He publishes in Old English Literature, but also on World War I Poetry, and e-learning.

ELIZABETH SOLOPOVA works in the Department of Special Collections and Western Manuscripts at the Bodleian Library, and teaches Medieval English Literature and the History of English Language at the Departments of Continuing Education in Oxford and Cambridge. She publishes on Old and Middle English literature, medieval manuscripts and historical linguistics.

Bibliographic information


'[The Keys of Middle Earth] provides a wide range of texts with insightful introductions and commentary on each of the texts that have been chosen for elucidation.' - Professor Shaun F.D. Hughes, Director of Graduate Studies, Department of English, Purdue University, USA

'The Keys of Middle-earth is ...a much-needed book...The texts, in Old English, Old Norse, and Middle Englsih, are faithfully presented...textual notes are remarkably thorough.' - John R. Holmes, Notes and Queries