Front cover

pdf iconDownload PDF
 

Copyright

pdf iconDownload PDF

p. iv

Contents

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. vii-viii

read more

Foreword by John Elder

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. ix-xii

Over the past several decades, a form of literary scholarship has evolved that is now commonly referred to as ecocriticism. This approach to the dialogue between literature and the natural world seems, in retrospect, to have tracked fairly closely with certain phases in the environmental movement. It grew originally out of the study of “nature writing”— Thoreauvian nonfiction in which solitude amid wild landscapes was one central theme. ...

read more

Acknowledgments

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. xiii-xiv

This book is the product of a friendship that began long ago with the discovery of a mutual interest in and enthusiasm for the works of J. R. R. Tolkien. The writing process, which unfolded over more than two years, was genuinely collaborative. Matthew Dickerson, who originally proposed the project, wrote the first draft of the introduction and chapters 1, 2, 7, 8, 9, and 10; ...

read more

Introduction

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. xv-xxiii

The modern environmental movement, like any significant large-scale social development, does not represent a single monolithic agenda or set of procedures; it is, rather, a varied collection of diverse subgroups. These subgroups often differ significantly not only in their means but also in the ends or goals toward which they are working. As such, they are often at odds; where there ought to be harmony and collaboration, we sometimes find disagreement and division. ...

Conventions and Abbreviations

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. xxv-xxvi

read more

1. Varda, Yavanna, and the Value of Creation

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 3-36

In setting out to explore the legendarium of J. R. R. Tolkien’s Middle-earth and to comprehend his imaginative vision, environmental or otherwise, the first thing one must realize is that Tolkien communicates through myth and story, not primarily through a set of abstract propositions. His ideas are expressed mythically, mythologically, and mythopoeically. ...

read more

2. Gandalf, Stewardship, and Tomorrow's Weather

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 37-67

In The Lord of the Rings, when Gandalf first appears in Rohan at Meduseld, the golden hall of King Théoden, the notorious Gríma (son of Gálmód) gives him an icy reception. Gríma first calls Gandalf “Master Stormcrow”—repeating Théoden’s earlier use of the pejorative nickname—and then adds the title “Láthspell,” which means “ill news.”1 Gandalf responds by calling Gríma by his better-known nickname, “Wormtongue,” a title that is equally pejorative and far more accurate.2 ...

read more

3. Hobbits and the Agrarian Society of the Shire

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 71-93

One of J. R. R. Tolkien’s closest friends for many years was fellow writer C. S. Lewis. Lewis is the one other author whose influence on the modern genre of fantasy comes close to that of Tolkien; the two names are often mentioned together. Lewis’s Chronicles of Narnia introduces readers to the fantasy world of Narnia, and as the landscape and history of this world unfold over seven books, we see a growing portrait of what appears to be a preindustrial agrarian society. ...

read more

4. Horticulture and the Aesthetic of the Elves

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 95-117

Tolkien’s imaginative creation and portrayal of a culture devoted to the cultivation and conservation of the soil—that of the Hobbits—is one important facet of a comprehensive environmental ethic. To illustrate a contrasting dimension of Tolkien’s environmentalism, we now turn to another race of people in Middle-earth: the Elves. ...

read more

5. Woods, Wildness, and the Feraculture of the Ents

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 119-144

...In this chapter, we focus primarily on Fangorn Forest and on Treebeard, exploring the ecology of wilderness made evident through them. However, the Ents (also called the Onodrim) and their realm in Fangorn represent only one part of Tolkien’s expansive vision of wilderness preservation, even as feraculture is only one part of the complex picture of his complete ecology. ...

read more

6. The Necessity of Margins in Middle-earth's Mingled Ecologies

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 145-162

The moral, ethical, philosophical, and theological issues contained in J. R. R. Tolkien’s writings justify our claim that although his work is not generally acknowledged in contemporary “ecocriticism,” his treatments of ecological responsibility and environmental stewardship are not merely gratuitous additions but reflections of the author’s deeply held convictions. ...

read more

7. The Ecology of Ham, Niggle's Parish, and Wootton Major

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 163-182

So far, we have focused on the mythology, characters, settings, and imagery related to the environment of Middle-earth as illustrated in Tolkien’s legendarium. We now turn briefly to his best-known shorter works of fiction: “Farmer Giles of Ham,” “Leaf by Niggle,” and “Smith of Wootton Major,” about which less has been written. As with the major texts, it would be inaccurate to describe any of these stories as works of environmental literature or as nature writing. ...

read more

8. Three Faces of Mordor

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 185-213

Just as Tolkien’s environmental vision in his Middle-earth mythology is complex and comprehensive, including models of agriculture, horticulture, and feraculture and the principles of both conservation and preservation, so too the threats to that vision in The Lord of the Rings are distinguished by their breadth and complexity. The evils of Sauron and the dangers he poses to the ecology of Middle-earth are threefold...

read more

9. Rousing the Shire

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 215-233

The three-part picture of environmental woes painted in the previous chapter is bleak but far from hopeless. “The Scouring of the Shire” is only the penultimate chapter of The Lord of the Rings. In the final chapter, “The Grey Havens,” Tolkien leaves his readers with an inspiring picture of hope for the restoration of the Shire—one that represents the culmination of his environmental vision in a kind of qualified optimism. ...

read more

10. Environmentalism, Transcendence, and Action

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 235-258

In the previous chapter we examined how and why the various good stewards in Middle-earth are motivated to restore the regions of the environment for which they are responsible. We found that the formidable problems confronting them require a significant individual commitment to overcome complacency, take responsibility, embrace hope, and rouse others to meet the challenges they face. ...

read more

Conclusion: Some Practical Matters

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 259-267

In the introduction to this book, we stated that in the strictest sense of the word, J. R. R. Tolkien was not an environmentalist. But after more than two years spent researching and writing, we are not nearly so sure of the unassailability of this position. As our project unfolded and we examined Tolkien’s works in the light of books and articles by recent and contemporary environmental writers, our initial intuitions about Tolkien’s environmental views were confirmed: concepts compatible...

read more

Afterword

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 269-271

It has been rightly said that the true hero of The Lord of the Rings is not Aragorn or Sam Gamgee or even Frodo but Middle-earth itself: Middle-earth, with its astonishing range of habitats, from the tilth of the Shire to the Riders’ prairie, from the managed woodlands of Lórien to the deep dales of Fangorn, where the Huorns lurk in the hundreds. ...

Appendix: Further Reading

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 273-276

Notes

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 277-298

Index

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 299-316