You are reading issue two
Festival Journal - the Tolkien magazine
Goblin Feet”, a poem by J.R.R. Tolkien
Pieter Collier

J.R.R. Tolkien is best known for his Middle-earth related works, The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. In these books we discover orcs...


Middle-earth as Muse
Jef Murray

Questioning different artists on why they are inspired by the writings of J.R.R. Tolkien is...


Tolkien at work: A helping hand on The Silmarillion
Clyde S. Kilby

Clyde S. Kilby (1902–1986) was one of the earliest literary scholars teaching and writing on J. R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis.


How to read Tolkien
Corey Olsen

Tolkien’s works are unlike most modern fiction. His style, his vocabulary, and the largely pre-modern worldview...


“Here be dragons” interview with John Howe

John Howe is an outstanding and well-known Tolkien artist, who was born in 1957 in Vancouver...


“Discovering” rather than “inventing”: An interview with Ted Nasmith

“An author who so convincingly renders his invented world through faux histories...


The Shippey Interview
Corey Olsen

“Of course there has been a great deal of criticism of my claims for Tolkien, much of it very bitter...


The artist as storyteller: Interview with Rodney Matthews

“His powers of description are an illustrator’s dream, just leaving enough unsaid to turn things into a joint enterprise...


Casting Tolkien’s spell: The Journal interviews Tolkien artist Michael Hague

“Once I am in Tolkien’s world something magical happens. The everyday world melts away and anything becomes possible.”


E D I T O R I A L Issue two

From the Editor – Colin Duriez

Our second issue of the Journal already! Its contents once more reflect the sheer richness and diversity of reflection upon the works of J.R.R. Tolkien, as well as creativity inspired by it—again, from an international cast!

Interviews with front running Tolkien artists such as John Howe, Ted Nasmith, Michael Hague and Rodney Matthews open up riveting questions about visualizations by others of Tolkien’s word-painted story (although the storyteller himself was no mean illustrator of his own work). How close, for instance, are the imagined realms of Tolkien to real places in the “primary world”, as he called it—such as mid-Wales, the English Midlands of Tolkien’s childhood, or even the snowy mountains, forests and rivers of New Zealand? From their experience as accomplished artists and interpreters, John Howe and the others add a whole new dimension, I think, to reflection upon Tolkien’s work.

It is a great pleasure to welcome Corey Olsen as a regular contributor, in this case interviewing leading Tolkien scholar Tom Shippey, who is very much on form with penetrating analysis and pithy repartee. Professor Shippey like Tolkien taught Old English at Oxford and held Tolkien’s former Chair at Leeds. His books The Road to Middle-earth and J.R.R. Tolkien: Author of the Century have set the benchmark for Tolkien criticism. He speaks openly about the personal cost of treating Tolkien in the same scholarly breath as literature of the canon (as narrowly understood in the present literary academy). Professor Shippey’s arguments for taking Tolkien seriously in the academic world are to me totally convincing.

In this issue we inaugurate a new section for The Tolkien Professor (alias the very same Corey Olsen), as he begins a new series especially for the Journal, giving short introductions to various writings of Tolkien, both fiction and non-fiction. Appropriately his opening piece is about how to read Tolkien, revealing some important misconceptions that we are likely to accept without question.

This packed issue has also squeezed in feature articles by Jef Murray (who was interviewed last time), and by Pieter Collier and Ian Collier (who are unrelated, by the way). The first is on Tolkien’s dramatic and highly significant change of perception regarding elves, and the second is an anatomy of the flourishing Tolkien Society, which has had an enthusiastic following for many years.



Publisher: Mark Faith on behalf of Festival Art and Books

Editor: Colin Duriez

Design and Production: Paul Girling

Views and comments expressed by individuals in the magazine do not necessarily represent those of the publishers and no legal responsibility can be accepted for the results of the use of readers of information or advice of whatever kind given in this publication, either in editorial or advertisements.
No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form by any means without the prior permission of Festival in the Shire.

This publication is not affiliated with Tolkien Enterprises, New Line Cinema Corporation, the estate or heirs of J.R.R.Tolkien, Harper Collins Publishers Ltd., or any of their respective licensees.

Festival in the Shire Journal - the magazine discussing all things Tolkien. News, interviews, music and art relating to Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit and other J.R.R. Tolkien stories

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