When J.R.R. Tolkien created the realms of Middle-earth in his enormously popular Lord of the Rings saga, he drew on inspirations ranging from the languages, poetry, and mythology of medieval Europe and ancient Greece to the halls of Oxford and the battlefields of World War I. History professor and television presenter Christopher Snyder gives us this beautifully illustrated narrative exploration of Tolkien's cultural sources and life experience, illuminating their connections in Tolkien's writing, and also discusses the pervasive influence of Tolkien's timeless fantasies on modern culture.
"This informational book deals with Tolkien's scholarly and writing life, the mythical and medieval influences on his works, and his legacy.... The book itself is a visual delight, from its medieval-door-photo endpapers to its textured sepia pages, several laced with lined designs on the wide margins."—Booklist