Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Verlyn Flieger’s forthcoming collection

On the heels of other recent announcements I have made here, there is more welcome news in Tolkien publishing. A new collection of Verlyn Flieger’s essays will be published by the Kent State University Press this summer under the title, Green Suns and Faërie: Essays on J.R.R. Tolkien (ISBN 978-1-60635-094-2; list price $24.95). I’m told the cover features Ted Nasmith’s painting, The Glittering Caves of Aglarond. It looks like a wonderful collection, bringing together most of Verlyn’s uncollected essays on Tolkien — along with several new ones — in a single convenient volume.

Courtesy of Verlyn herself, and with the permission of the Kent State University Press, I am pleased to share the full table of contents below. Since most of the essays have appeared in print before, I have briefly annotated previous publication in square brackets where appropriate. Those without annotation are new essays. (These annotations are mine, not Verlyn’s; consequently, any errors are likewise mine. Please let me know if you spot a problem.)


Part One: Tolkien Sub-creator
  • Fantasy and Reality: J.R.R. Tolkien’s World and the Fairy-story Essay [Mythlore 22 (1999)]
  • The Music and the Task: Fate and Free Will in Middle-earth [Tolkien Studies 6 (2009)]
  • Tolkien and the Idea of the Book [The Lord of the Rings 1954–2004, ed. Hammond and Scull]
  • Tolkien on Tolkien: “On Fairy-stories”, The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings
  • When is a Fairy story a Faërie Story? Smith of Wootton Major [Myth and Magic: Art according to the Inklings, ed. Segura and Honegger]
  • The Footsteps of Ælfwine [Tolkien’s ‘Legendarium’, ed. Flieger and Hostetter]
  • The Curious Incident of the Dream at the Barrow [Tolkien Studies 4 (2007)]
  • Whose Myth Is It?
Part Two: Tolkien in Tradition
  • Tolkien’s Wild Men From Medieval to Modern [Tolkien the Medievalist, ed. Chance]
  • Tolkien and the Matter of Britain [Mythlore 87 (Summer/Fall 2000)]
  • Frodo and Aragorn: The Concept of the Hero [Tolkien: New Critical Perspectives, ed. Isaacs and Zimbardo]
  • Bilbo’s Neck Riddle
  • Allegory Versus Bounce: Tolkien’s Smith of Wootton Major [Journal of the Fantastic in the Arts 12/2 (2001)]
  • A Mythology for Finland: Tolkien and Lönnrot as Mythmakers [Tolkien and the Invention of Myth: A Reader, ed. Chance]
  • Tolkien, Kalevala, and “The Story of Kullervo” [A new essay, or perhaps some of the editorial apparatus published in Tolkien Studies 7 (2010)]
  • Brittany and Wales in Middle-earth
  • The Green Knight, the Green Man, and Treebeard: Scholarship and Invention in Tolkien’s Fiction [Scholarship and Fantasy, ed. Battarbee]
  • Missing Person [Mythlore 46 (Summer 1986)]
Part Three: Tolkien and His Century
  • A Cautionary Tale: Tolkien’s Mythology for England [Probably the same essay published in The Chesterton Review 28.1/2 (February/May 2002); reprinted in A Hidden Presence: The Catholic Imagination of J.R.R. Tolkien, ed. Boyd and Caldecott]
  • The Mind, the Tongue, and the Tale
  • A Postmodern Medievalist [Tolkien’s Modern Middle Ages, ed. Chance and Siewers]
  • Taking the Part of Trees: Eco-conflict in Middle-earth [J.R.R. Tolkien and His Literary Resonances, ed. Clark and Timmons]
  • Gilson, Smith, and Baggins [Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings: Sources of Inspiration, ed. Caldecott and Honegger]
  • The Body in Question: The Unhealed Wounds of Frodo Baggins
  • A Distant Mirror: Tolkien and Jackson in the Looking-glass [Studies in Medievalism: Postmodern Medievalisms, Volume XIII (2003; published 2005)]


  1. Wonderful news! Can't wait to dive in! She is one of my favorite Tolkien scholars and Ted Nasmith is my favorite artist. It's great to have these papers in one place. I'm especially intrigued with the essay on Frodo's wounds. Thanks for letting us know about this gem of a book! :)

    Namarie, God bless, Anne Marie :)

  2. J. Excellent news I am in awe of her and remember sitting at the B&B in
    Wales at Festival in the Shire talking with her talking about evidence of early Qenya in Tolkien's Kullervo work over a big English breakfast!! THat beat meeting Placido Domingo!!! At the end of the conference she said "you shoukd give a paper next year!". i bowed humbly. Her talk on The Corrigan in Breton legend and Tolkien's Lay of Atrou was excellent and I see she has written a new chapter in this area. If Tom Shippey is Gandalf then Verilyn must be Galadriel!! Look forward to this one!!!! Thanks A

  3. I agree: really splendid news! "Taking the Part of Trees" has long been one of my favourite pieces of Tolkien scholarship, and I look forward to reading some of the other pieces that I was previously unfamiliar with. (In particular "Tolkien on Tolkien", as I have worked so much with "On Fairy-stories".) Thanks for letting us know, Jason!

  4. Excellent! I have read a good deal of Flieger's work and still think _Splintered Light_ is her best work.

    Jason, I think "A Cautionary Tale: Tolkien’s Mythology for England" was first published in _The Catholic Imagination of J.R.R. Tolkien" as "A Cautionary Tale." The only reason I know is because I just picked up a copy of the book.

    Of course, it could have also appeared elsewhere before this.

  5. Thanks, Josh. I suspect you are right. If it’s the same essay, it appeared in The Chesterton Review the year before it was reprinted in A Hidden Presence. I’ve updated the table of contents above. Thanks for the addition! :)

  6. Ooh is "Tolkien on Tolkien: “On Fairy-stories”, The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings" Verlyn's paper from Tolkien 2005?