- Book Notes
Some recent reissues of older books, in revised forms or with new matter added, deserve brief notice and commentary.
Patrick Curry's 1997 Defending Middle-earth: Tolkien, Myth and Modernity, was reissued in the United States in 2004 by Houghton Mifflin in a trade paperback format (ISBN 061847885X). This edition includes a new nine page "Afterword" by the author.
Houghton Mifflin has also published in the U.S. a volume edited by Rose A. Zimbardo and Neil D. Isaacs titled Understanding The Lord of the Rings: The Best of Tolkien Criticism. This appeared in 2004 in hardcover (ISBN 061842251X), and in 2005 in trade paperback (ISBN 0618422536). A collection of fifteen essays, including one written in the form of an introduction by one of the editors (Isaacs), this is predominately a reprint collection, with seven essays coming from the same editors' 1968 reprint anthology Tolkien and the Critics, and five essays from [End Page 238] their similar 1981 collection, Tolkien: New Critical Perspectives, to which has been added a chapter from the 2001 revised edition of Jane Chance's Tolkien's Art (originally published in 1979), and the concluding essay, specially commissioned for this volume, "Another Road to Middle-earth: Jackson's Movie Trilogy" by Tom Shippey. Thus the only new material to be found in this book is Isaacs's introduction (which is in terms of content an extension to his two previous introductory essays of 1968 and 1981) and Shippey's essay on the movies. The bulk of this volume is composed of material dating originally from 1955 to 1981.
Tom Shippey's seminal Road to Middle-earth has now appeared in the United Kingdom in a yet another version, this one revised and expanded beyond the 2003 U.S. edition. Published in trade paperback by HarperCollins in 2005 (ISBN 0261102753), this new edition—labeled the Third Edition but technically the Fourth—adds an Appendix C "Peter Jackson's Film Versions" that is based on Shippey's essay "Another Road to Middle-earth" published in the volume edited by Zimbardo and Isaacs noted above.
Lobdell's short 1981 book of criticism, England and Always: Tolkien's World of the Rings, was revised and expanded in 2004 as The World of the Rings: Language, Religion, and Adventure in Tolkien. Published by Open Court, this appeared as a trade paperback (ISBN 0812695690).
A second edition of Root and Branch, edited by Thomas Honegger and originally published in 1999, appeared in trade paperback in 2005 from Walking Tree Publishers (ISBN 3905703017). One essay (by Andreas Bigger) from the original edition has been dropped, while two other essays, those by Honegger and Christina Ljungberg Stücklin, have been revised for this new edition.
The first issue of a new journal, Hither Shore: Interdisciplinary Journal on Modern Fantasy Literature, appeared in 2004, the yearbook of the German Tolkien society. This trade paperback (ISBN 3000157867) contains Tolkien criticism and book reviews. It is written predominately in German, but there are some items in English, and some editorial matter in both languages.
Finally, though it only occasionally discusses Tolkien directly, readers may find useful, as background study to Tolkien, Tom Shippey's new anthology The Shadow-Walkers: Jacob Grimm's Mythology of the Monstrous, a collection of eleven essays on mythological creatures including elves, dwarves, trolls, giants and dragons, as originally detailed in Jacob Grimm's compendious Deutsche Mythologie, best known in English in J. S. Stallybrass's four volume translation titled Teutonic Mythology (1882-1888). This anthology appeared in late 2005 in hardcover from the Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies (ISBN 0866983341).
Douglas A. Anderson is co-editor of Tolkien Studies.