Monday, 13 August 2012

Tolkien - the influences that could have shaped Middle Earth

I was rabbit holing through the web today, as I am often won't to do on a light and/or moody day. I first stumbled onto to this infographic (I was searching for a Lord of the Rings book cover for a little home project and google images threw up this result):

After promptly pinning it to my bookworm pin board, I happened to browse through the blog on which this infographic was posted.

I was pretty surprised to find J.R.R Tolkien (and C.S Lewis) being described as Christian authors on the blog. Now I'll admit I don't research authors much but Tolkien is one of my absolute favourites and I've read most of what he's written on Middle Earth. And it never struck me as particularly Christian. However, now that I think about it, there are similarities - the creation story, that of the elves being exiled from the home of the Valar in the western lands (the fall from the Garden of Eden), the battle between good and evil. I wonder though if Tolkien meant it to be Christian so to speak.

From what I've read Tolkien's intention was to create a British mythology but I'd definitely be interested to find out if there was a strong (and intended) Christian influence in Tolkien's writing. As a first step I plan to pick up this compilation of letters that Tolkien himself wrote once the Kindle version is out in November this year. If anyone out there has any other suggestions, do drop in a note.

I'd definitely love to delve deeper into the influences that shaped Tolkien's expansive and wonderfully imagined fictional world. I think it's one of the most completely imagined alternate universes ever written about!

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