Biographies?

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tommie
Posts: 1382

Biographies?

Post#1 » Sat Mar 13, 2004 5:17 am

Can anyone give me a list of the best Tolkien biographies available? I want to buy one, but I don't know which one is the best buy. Thanks already! :chickensmiley:

loni
Posts: 1519

Biographies?

Post#2 » Sat Mar 13, 2004 7:15 pm

Tolkien: Man and Myth by Joseph Pearce

DON'T GET ANYTHING BY HUMPHREY CARPENTER!!!!!

Believe me, Joseph Pearce rox as a biographical author. I did my Wide REading REsponse for 3 credits on his book.

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rednell
Posts: 1798

Biographies?

Post#3 » Sun Mar 14, 2004 4:43 am

Is there any particular reason why you dislike Carpenter's books, Loni?
Humphrey Carpenter has written the only "authorized" biography and since he was one of the few people to be granted an interview with Tolkien, I feel he gives us a better insight into the professor's life without a lot of speculation. The Letters of JRR Tolkien are my favorite Tolkien resource.
Another book by I like is The Inklings by Carpenter. This book tells about the relationship between Tolkien and his friends C S Lewis and Charles Williams.
A more recent book which is fabulous is JRR Tolkien: Artist and Illustrator by Wayne Hammond and Christina Scull. It is full of Tolkien's artwork, albeit, more of a critique than a biography.
I also read and enjoyed Tom Shippey's book JRR Tolkien: Author of the Century.
I have not read Pearce's book but I just ordered it, as well as, Tolkien : a celebration : collected writings on a literary legacy (edited by Pearce) from the university library and look forward to reading them. I will let you know what I think.

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tommie
Posts: 1382

Biographies?

Post#4 » Sat Mar 20, 2004 6:55 am

Fantastic! Thanks a lot already, both of you! I will put all your suggestions on a list, and next time I get to a bookstore, I'll see what I can find and make a nice selection. :D

loni
Posts: 1519

Biographies?

Post#5 » Sat May 08, 2004 11:45 pm

Is there any particular reason why you dislike Carpenter's books, Loni?


Of course. You think there woudln't be?

Because Humphrey Carpenter said that he found it highly suspicious when Tolkien won Writer of the Century in a nationwide poll and also Book of the Century and also Best Fantasy Book. He said it was highly suspicious. He said that he bet Tolkien fans were pressuring people to vote for Tolkien. SO THERE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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grondmaster
Posts: 25451

Biographies?

Post#6 » Sun May 09, 2004 2:50 pm

Loni, please be less confrontational. Your writing makes it appear you have a chip on your shoulder and are daring someone to knock it off, to take you down a peg or two. I, not believing this to be the case, would rather spare you the embarasement.
'Share and enjoy'

loni
Posts: 1519

Biographies?

Post#7 » Sun May 09, 2004 7:31 pm

If that's how it look slike, I didn't mean it to be that way, and I don't see it like that after eading my post again myself.

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grondmaster
Posts: 25451

Biographies?

Post#8 » Mon May 10, 2004 4:23 pm

If that's how it looks like, I didn't mean it to be that way, and I don't see it like that after reading my post again myself.
Using all capital letters and many exclamation points on bulletin boards is synonymous to shouting. Please speak softer and more kindly. Thanks. :happyelf:
'Share and enjoy'

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rednell
Posts: 1798

Biographies?

Post#9 » Sat May 22, 2004 12:39 pm

I just finished reading Tolkien: Man and Myth by Joseph Pearce and while interesting, it is not a biography. The book is really a commentary /interpretation of Tolkien's works based on Tolkien's spiritual beliefs. Pearce also includes a great deal of "criticizing the critics" due to the controversial results of the Waterstone Poll. I agree with much of what he has to say about those who criticized Tolkien's works. I did find, however, that he took Carpenter's comments out of context, rarely quoting more than a part of a statement.
What biographical information is included in the book is taken from Humphrey Carpenter's books, which he acknowledges.
I do have a couple of more Tolkien biographies on order so I will let you know what I find out. In the meantime, I still believe that Carpenter's book is a very good biography about Tolkien, his family, friends and the events in his life.

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Bain_Diamondhands
Posts: 17

Biographies?

Post#10 » Mon Jun 07, 2004 9:31 am

I am currently reading Tolkien and the Great War by John Garth. It is a fantastic look at Tolkien's life leading up to and including his service in France durring WWI. It provide in-depth looks at his relationships with his three best friends (member of the TCBS). I am up to the part where John Ronald and Edith have just married and he is about to depart for the front lines.

I will provide a much more in-depth review when I finish it (hopefully this week sometime).

I, too, have read Carpenter's and Pierce's books and agree with Rednell. Just because Carpenter has "suspicions" that is no reason to discredit his biography. that book was written in the early 70s and was the first real biography or the Professor. It is only in the last 5 years that there has been a renewed interest in Prof. Tolkien and his work, and the increasing number of books. And Pierce's really is not a bio. It is more of a critique of Tolkien's work, but thoroughly enjoyable, just the same.

I have not read either of Shippey's books yet, but do intend to in the near future. I would like to try out UT soon also (since I have never read it).

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