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Tolkien and the Age of Forgery: Improving antiquarian practices in Arda

— Will Sherwood

5 December 2020 | Journal of Tolkien Research, Volume 11, № 1, 4

This article situates J.R.R. Tolkien’s legendarium as a literary descendent of the antiquarian projects from the Age of Forgery’ in the 1760s. It argues that Tolkien’s motivation to create a national mythology echoed those of James Macpherson and Thomas Chatterton. Drawing on previously unpublished folios from Tolkien’s undergraduate notebooks, it showcases his familiarity with the two forgers, their feigned literary heritages, and British antiquarian practices in the eighteenth century. It further argues that Tolkien improved on Macpherson’s and Chatterton’s antiquarian methodologies by marrying the oral tradition with the written word in The Book of Lost Tales, The Hobbit, and The Lord of the Rings.

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source URL 🌐https://scholar.valpo.edu/journaloftolkienresearch/vol11/iss1/4/
date recorded 📅2021-08-08
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