TORn Library contributor Dr Timothy Furnish has just published the first of a two-volume analysis of JRR Tolkien’s Middle-earth: High Towers and Strong Places: a Political History of Middle-earth.
Furnish applies primary world analysis — political, cultural, social, and economic — to Middle-earth’s 7,000 years of recorded history.
Steering clear of literary criticism, this book instead uses Tolkien’s writings to examine each of the major races of Middle-earth in some detail. It then delves into how each people’s anthropological traits influenced their political systems.
In doing so, he compares and contrasts Middle-earth’s many states, from Beleriand and Barad-dûr to Utumno and Umbar, with primary world examples such as Rome and Byzantium, the Carolingian Empire, and the Islamic caliphates.
“Everyone know that there is a deep background to Tolkien’s Middle-earth, which is one of the main reasons for its uniqueness. Timothy Furnish’s work brings the politics of Middle-earth out of the background and into sharp focus, demonstrating once again the richness and consistency of Tolkien’s world.” Dr Thomas Shippey.
“Timothy Furnish’s book is well written, easy to read, and yet also very thought-provoking. He takes an approach which has become unfashionable, and shows triumphantly how much we are mussing through taking too academic a line in our Tolkien scholarship.” Ruth Lewis.
The book, which is available in e-book and softcover, features two cover illustrations and more than 20 interior Tolkien inspired watercolours drawn by Anke Eissmann, as well as maps by Aaren Siddall.
You can pick up your copy over on Amazon now.