Master of Middle-Earth: The Fiction of J.R.R. Tolkien

Master of Middle-Earth: The Fiction of J.R.R. Tolkien

As is the case with all great works of art, J. R. R. Tolkien's masterpieces generously repay close attention and study. In this thoroughly entertaining and perceptive volume, winner of the prestigious Mythopoeic Society Scholarship Award, Professor Kocher examines the sources that Tolkien drew upon in fashioning Middle-earth and its inhabitants—and provides valuable insights into the author's aims and methods. Ranging from The Hobbit to The Lord of the Rings to The Silmarillion and beyond, Master of Middle-earth opens the door to a deeper and richer appreciation of Tolkien's magnificent achievement. Inside you will discover

• Why Aragorn is the most misunderstood character in The Lord of the Rings . . . and its true hero.
• The origin of Sauron—and the nature of evil in Tolkien's universe.
• The opposing forces of destiny and free will in Frodo's quest.
• The Cosmology of Middle-earth—is it our world at an earlier time, or does it exist in a fantastic Elsewhere?
• How Tolkien's ideas of morality, religion, and social order underlie every aspect of his life's work.


Plus a fascinating look at such lesser-known works of Tolkien's as "Leaf by Niggle," "Smith of Wootton Major," and many others!

Title:Master of Middle-Earth: The Fiction of J.R.R. Tolkien
Edition Language:English
ISBN:9780395140970
Format Type:

    Master of Middle-Earth: The Fiction of J.R.R. Tolkien Reviews

  • Nikki

    According to my bookmark, I was a chapter from finishing this when I finished my essay and never looked at it again. Oops. And, for some reason, I don't recall referencing this book at all, even thoug...

  • Ron

    “Tolkien was an ecologist, hater of ‘progress,’ lover of handicrafts, detester of war long before such attitudes became fashionable.”Extraordinary literary criticism. I wish I read this book f...

  • Jon

    4.5 stars https://blog.hennethannun.net/2019/11......

  • Mary

    Wow! I wouldn't have thought there was more to say about Tolkien and the Lord of the Rings after Shippey's structural analysis and Stratford Caldecott's brilliant essay, "Over the Chasm of Fire". But ...

  • Regitze

    Some of the conclusions in this book are so weird and evidently wrong, perhaps due to the early date of the book. Still, some of the author's thoughts and perspectives were quite interesting and I'll ...

  • Joshua

    This is the second book Of Tolkien commentary that I’ve read in the last year, or at least the second book which digs into the Lord of the Rings in order to understand the epic critically. Unlike To...

  • Matthijs Krul

    Although published before The Silmarillion and the materials collected in Unfinished Tales and the History of Middle Earth became available, it is a testament to his excellent critical analysis of maj...

  • Miriam

    Kocher is clearly a big Tolkien fan. Quite adorable how much he gushes over every story the fantasy author has ever written. This book provides a good general analysis of Tolkien's oeuvre, in order to...

  • Andrea Hickman Walker

    This was published before the Silmarillion, which made for interesting reading, as I've read the Silmarillion a few times and know a fair bit about Middle-Earth. There were some suppositions and guess...

  • Elizabeth

    Although first published several years before The Silmarillion, in that vasty deep time when so many of our questions remained unanswered, Master of Middle-earth remains one of my favorite critical st...