SPRING, 2004


10:50-12:05 TTH  Dr. Jane Chance

J.R.R. Tolkien is now recognized as one of the greatest writers of the twentieth century for his masterpiece, The Lord of the Rings (written during a period from the end of the thirties to the early fifties). As an Oxford Professor and eminent medievalist, he wrote out of what he knew about Old English, Old Norse, and Middle English literature. As a contemporary of T.S. Eliot, George Orwell, Graham Greene, Evelyn Waugh, and other modernists, he wrote out of what he had lived through. The course will trace the tension between the exile--the wraecca--and the community, otherness and heroism, identity and marginalization, revenge and forgiveness.


To locate The Lord of the Rings within a broader historical and literary context, we will trace the development of Tolkien's art, beginning with The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings as a mythology for England and following up with The Silmarillion. Along the way we will investigate his works on fantasy and mythmaking, such as ¡§Mythopoiea,¡¨ ¡§Leaf by Niggle,¡¨ and ¡§On Fairy-Stories.¡¨ Clearly evident will be his interest in medievalness¡Xespecially the Old English Beowulf. Cassettes and films of and about Tolkien and his writings will supplement readings and discussions.

Requirements: Class attendance is expected; your grade will be based on class participation/quizzes; 2 papers (5-7 pages each); a midterm and a final examination.

Texts (in order of reading):

Readings (both required and recommended texts) will also be placed on reserve (see below). Prices are those at amazon.com. Please note that ISBN numbers are important in order to have a text with page numbers cited in class.

J. R. R. Tolkien, Letters, ed. Humphrey Carpenter (Houghton Mifflin, 2000), pb  ISBN 0618056998 $12.00

___, Tolkien Reader, 2nd ed. (Ballantine, 1989), pb PR 6039.032T6  1966 ISBN 0345345061 $6.99

____, ¡§The Cottage of Lost Play¡¨ (1917), in The Book of Lost Tales, Part One, edited Christopher Tolkien (Del Rey, 1992), pp. 13-32. PR6039.O32 1984 v. 2 ISBN 0395409276 $7.50

____, ¡§Aelfwine of England¡¨ (1920), in The Book of Lost Tales, Part Two, edited Christopher Tolkien (Del Rey, 1992), pp. 312-334. PR6039.O32 B6 1983 ISBN 034537522x $6.99

____, The Silmarillion (Manner Books, 2001), 2nd ed., pb. PR 6039 .O32 S5   1977 6-93078 $11.20

Beowulf: A New Verse Translation (Norton Critical Edition, 2002), trans. Seamus Heaney, ed. Denis Donoghue, pb.  0393975800 $10.65

J. R. R. Tolkien, The Hobbit, rev. ed. (Houghton Mifflin, 1937; rpt. 1999), Pb 0-618-00221-9 $9.60

____, The Lord of the Rings. London: HarperCollins; Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1994; rpt. 2003. Note: Get the one vol. edition with 1137 pp. PR6039.O32 L6 2001 ISBN 0618346244 $24.50 pn.

___ , Unfinished Tales (Ballantine, 1988), pb ISBN 0-345-35711-6


Chance, Jane, The Lord of the Rings: The Mythology of Power, rev. ed  (UPK, 2001) pb 0-8131-9017-7 $13.65

____, Tolkien¡¦s Art: A Mythology for England, rev. ed. (UPK, 2001), pb 0-8131-9020-7 $13.65

Foster, Richard, The Complete Guide to Middle-earth: From the Hobbit to the Silmarillion (Ballantine), pb. PR6039.O32 Z49 1993 0-345-32436-6

Hammond, Wayne G., and Christina Scull, ed. J. R. R. Tolkien: Artist and Illustrator (Houghton Mifflin, 1997, rpt. 2000), pb. NG797.T64 H36 1995 0618083618 $17.50

Shippey, T. A., The Road to Middle-earth. London: HarperCollins; Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1992.

Tolkien, J.R.R., The Monsters and the Critics and Other Essays, Acacia Press, 1997, pb. 0-261-10263-X $22.95


Introduction: Tolkien¡¦s Life and Times

Week 1

Jan. 13 Tues.

Read Letters #43, 163, 199, 213

      1892-1911 The early years: South Africa, Mabel Tolkien, King Edward¡¦s School,              Father Francis  Morgan, Edith Bratt

      1911-1920  Oxford University, Edith Bratt, WWI, the germ of ¡§The Silmarillion¡¨

1920-25 Leeds University

1925-1959 Oxford University: C.S. Lewis, the Inklings, and the Tolkien Family

1917ff The ¡§Lost Tales¡¨

1929-37 The Hobbit

1937-1954 The Lord of the Rings

1959-73 Retirement and the `Silmarillion¡¦

Jan. 15 Thurs.  Tolkien on Tolkien

Read Tolkien, ¡§Leaf by Niggle¡¨ (1949?) (in the Reader)

                                     I. A Mythology for England: The Silmarillion

Week 2

Jan. 20 Tues. Tolkien and Faërie: The Quest for Other Worlds

Read Tolkien, ¡§On Fairy-Stories¡¨ (1939?) (in the Reader), including ¡§Mythopoeia¡¨ (Hand-out)

Jan. 22 Thurs. The Story of Early England and Aelfwine/Eriol the Mariner: ¡§The Cottage of Lost Play¡¨ (1917) and ¡§Aelfwine of England¡¨(1920) (Hand-out)

Week 3

Jan. 27  Tues. The Myth of Creation and the Fall of Valar, Maiar, and Noldor

            Read Silmarillion, ¡§Ainulindale¡¨; ¡§Quenta Silmarillion, The History of the Silmarils,¡¨ pp. 1-112

Read Tolkien, Letters #131, 165, 186, 297

Jan. 29  Thurs. The Tale of Beren and Luthien;  The Voyage of Earendel

Read Silmarillion, ¡§Quenta Silmarillion, The History of the Silmarils,¡¨ pp. 113-316

Read Tolkien, Letters #178, 180, 181, 211

Week 4

Feb. 3 Tues. The Tale of Turin Turambar and the Finnish Tale of Kullervo

Read Kalevala: Tale of Kullervo                                                          Paper #1 Due

II. Tolkien as Exile: ¡§I Am in Fact a Hobbit¡¨

Feb. 5 Thurs.  Read Beowulf: The Hero Beowulf as Tolkien

Week 5

Feb. 10 Tues. The Anglo-Saxon Origin of the Name ¡§Hobbit¡¨ and the Structure of the Children¡¦s Story

Read Tolkien, Letter #257

Tolkien, The Hobbit, Chapters 1-7

Feb. 12 Thurs. The Heroism of Bilbo Baggins

Tolkien, The Hobbit, Chapters 8-14

Week 6

Feb. 17 Tues. ¡§There and Back Again¡¨ Read Tolkien, The Hobbit, Chapters 15-19

Feb. 19 Thurs.  Tolkien¡¦s Recording of the Drama ¡§Homecoming of Beorthnoth Beorthelm¡¦s Son¡¨

Read The Battle of Maldon (Hand-out)

Week 7

Feb. 24 Tues.  Exile and Heroism    

Read Tolkien, ¡§Homecoming of Beorthnoth Beorthelm¡¦s Son¡¨ (in the Tolkien Reader, pp. 3-27)

Feb. 26  Thurs Film: Tolkien Remembered

Midterm Examination (Take Home Closed Book/Notes: Due by 9 AM Fri.)

Mar. 1-5  Midterm Break

Week 8

Mar. 9 Tues. Tolkien¡¦s Artwork (Slide Lecture)

Read Hammond and Scull, ed. Tolkien as Artist and Illustrator         

III. The Lord of the Rings

Mar. 11 Thurs. The Composition of LOTR and the Issue of Allegory

Read Tolkien¡¦s ¡§Foreword¡¨ and Fellowship, Chap. 1

Letters #142, 215, 328; 129, 181, 203

Week 9

Mar. 16 Tues. The Hobbit and the Fellowship

Read Tolkien, Fellowship of the Ring, Book 1

Mar. 18 Thurs. The Hobbit: The Development of Frodo as Hero

Read Tolkien, Fellowship of the Ring, Books 1-2

Read Tolkien, Letters #191, 192, 24

Week 10

Mar. 23 Tues. Religiosity and the Valar: The Elves, Galadriel

Elven Songs Sung by Tolkien (from The Road Goes  Ever On) (Hand-out)

Read Tolkien, Fellowship of the Ring, Book 2 (cont.)

            Read the Chapter on Galadriel in Unfinished Tales, pp. 239-80

Mar. 25 Thurs. Saruman and his Adversaries: The Ents, the Lost Entwives, and the Entmoot

Tolkien's Reading of the Coming of the Ents (cassette)

Read The Two Towers, Book Three

Week 11

Mar. 30 Tues. Saruman and Gandalf: Two Wizards           

            Read ¡§Palantír¡¨ and ¡§The Istari¡¨ in Unfinished Tales (On Reserve, PR 6039 O32U5 1980)

            Tolkien, Letter #246

April 1 Thurs. Gollum/Smeagol

            Read The Two Towers, Book Four

Week 12

April 6 Tues. Male Society and Women: Eowyn and Shelob

Read Return of the King, Book Five

April 8 Thurs. Aragorn: War and Pacifism

            Read Return of the King, Book Six

Sunday: The Fellowship of the Ring (Jackson, director)

Week 13

April 13 Tues. The Return, ¡§Home Again¡¨: Samwise Gamgee

IV. Tolkien and Adaptations of His Works

April 15 Thurs. Cinematic/Audio Adaptations:  How Well Do They Work (Selections)

            The Arthur Rankin, Jr. /Jules Bass Production of The Hobbit (1977) 76 mins. Voices by           Orson Bean, Richard Boone, Hans Conried, John Huston, Otto Preminger,   Theodore Bikel, Glenn Yarborough

The Arthur Rankin, Jr. /Jules Bass Production of The Return of the King (1979) 96 mins. (Voices by John Huston [Gandalf], Orson Bean [Frodo], Roddy McDowell Samwise], Theodore Bikel, William Conrad, Glenn Yarborough)

            Ralph Bakshi¡¦s Lord of the Rings (1978) 130 mins                             

                                                                                                                        Paper #2 Due

Sunday: The Two Towers (Jackson, dir.)

Week 14

April 20 Tues. Cinematic/Audio Adaptations:  How Well Do They Work (Selections) (cont.)

            The BBC Recordings on Audio-Tape

            Nicol Williamson, J. R. R. Tolkien, and Others 

          Johan de Meij, Symphony no. 1, ¡§The Lord of the Rings¡¨     

April 22 Thurs. Peter Jackson¡¦s Lord of the Rings

Friday or Sunday: Trip to see Return of the Kings

Final Examination

On Reserve (in addition to works listed above):

J.R.R. Tolkien,  Book of Lost Tales, Part One PR6039.O32B6 1984

____, Book of Lost Tales, Part Two . PR6039.O32 B6 1983

____, Lays of Beleriand PR6039.O32 L3 1985

____, The Old English Exodus PR1609.A3T6 1981

____, Father Christmas Letters PR6039.O32F38 1991

____, Lays of Beleriand  PR6039.O32 L3 1985

____, Lost Road and Other Writings PR6039.O32 L64 198

____, Morgoth¡¦s Ring: The Later Silmarillion, Part 1 PR6039.O32 M67 1933b

____, Peoples of Middle-earth PR6039.O32 P41996

____, Pictures  N6797.T64 A4 1992

____, Return of the Shadow PR6039.O32 L6374 1

____, Sauron Defeated: The End of the Third Age PR6039.)32 L63743 1992b

____, The Shaping of Middle-earth PR6039.O32    S461986b

____, Treason of Isengard PR6039.O32 L6375 1

____, Tree and Leaf PN3437 .T6 1965

____, War of the Ring  PR6039.O32L6377 1990b

Beard, Henry N., and Douglas C. Kenney, Bored of the Rings: A Parody of J. R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings (Harvard Lampoon/NAL) PS3552.E16 B 6

Carpenter, Humphrey, Tolkien: A Biography  PR6039.O32 Z621977

Chance, Jane, ed. Tolkien the Medievalist

Chance, Jane, ed. Tolkien and the Invention of Myth: A Reader , forthcoming, 2004.

Day, David, The Tolkien Companion  PR6039.O32 Z49 1993b

Day, David , Tolkien: The Illustrated Encyclopedia (Simon and Schuster, 1992), pb.  PR6039.)32 Z634 1991

Donaldson, E.T., trans. Beowulf PR1583.D6

Duriez, Colin, The J.R.R.Tolkien Handbook: A Comprehensive Guide to his Life, Writings, and the World of Middle-earth  PR6039.032 Z639 1992

Flieger, Verlyn, Splintered Light PR6039.O32 S5325 1983

Fonstad, Karen Wynn, The Atlas of Middle-earth (Houghton Mifflin) G3122.M5 F6 1991

Garth, John. Tolkien and the Great War. Houghton Mifflin

Giddings, Robert, J. R. R. Tolkien PR6039.O32 L6337 1982

Goodknight, Glen, ed. Proceedings of the J. R. R. Tolkien Centenary Conference, 1992 PR6039.O32 Z6641995

Gordon, R., Anglo-Saxon Poetry  PR1508.G65

Green, William, The Hobbit: A Journey into Maturity  PR6039.032 Z646 1995

Helm, Randel, Tolkien¡¦s World PR6039.O32 Z66

Isaacs, Neil, and Rose Zimbardo, ed. Tolkien: New Critical Perspectives (Univ. Kentucky Press, 1981) PR6039.O32 Z85

W. Kilby, ed. Kalevala PH 324.E5 K5

Shippey, T.A., The Road to Middle-Earth PR6039.O32 Z8241983

Strachey, Barbara, Journeys of Frodo: An Atlas G3122.M5 S7 1992

Swann, Donald, The Road Goes Ever On M1621.4 .S93

Tolkien, John and Priscilla, The Tolkien Family Album   PR6039.O32 Z845 1992

Unwin, Rayner, The Making of the Lord of the Rings  PR6039.O32 Z6386 1992

Tolkien Remembered (videorecording) PR6039.032 Z855 1993

Tyler, J.E.A., The Tolkien Companion PR6039 .O32 Z49

West, Richard, Tolkien Criticism: An Annotated  Checklist, 2nd ed. (Kent State, 1981) Z8883 .4S.W45 1981

Paper Topics:

Paper #1: Select one of the volumes of The History of Middle-earth and explain the importance of one of the tales in relation to The Silmarillion, OR explain the relationship of some aspect of The Kalevala to the Silmarillion.

Paper #2: Explain how some early version of LOTR in one of the volumes of The History of Middle-earth illuminates its parallel in The Lord of the Rings. Or choose your own topic.

Conferences:  Office Hours   4-5 TTH and by appointment

     Office:  Second Floor Herring Hall

     Office Phone:   713-348-2625

     Department Phone (for messages): 713-348-4840

       Department Fax: 713-348-5991     E-mail: jchance@rice.edu

Disability Notice:

1.      Any student with a documented disability needing academic adjustments or accommodations is requested to speak with me during the first two weeks of class.  All discussions will remain confidential.  Students with disabilities will need to contact Disability Support Services in the Ley Student Center.

2.      Any student with a disability requiring accommodations in this course is encouraged to contact me after class or during office hours.  Additionally, students will need to contact Disability Support Services in the Ley Student Center.

3.  If you have a documented disability that will impact your work in this class, please contact me to discuss your needs.  Additionally, you will need to register with the Disability Support Services Office in the Ley Student Center.