For those within easy travelling distance of Bradford in the UK, this weekend is going to be a good one! Bradford Literature Festival is happening; and there are several talks related to JRR Tolkien.
Tolkien taught at Leeds University from 1920 to 1925, before his teaching career at Oxford began. It was during his years at Leeds that he wrote A Middle English Vocabulary and his definitive edition of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (with E. V. Gordon). Like many other areas of England’s ‘green and pleasant land’, there are stunning landscapes across West Yorkshire which lay claim to be (at least partly) inspiration for the Shire.
Saturday 25 and Sunday 26 June, Tolkien Archivist Catherine McIlwaine, author and scholar John Garth, and others will participate in various presentations, exploring Tolkien’s work:
What was Tolkien’s intended ending for The Lord of the Rings? What was the audience’s response to the first ever adaptation of The Lord of the Rings – a radio dramatisation that has now been deleted forever from the BBC’s archives? The University of Oxford’s Grace Khuri will be joined by Tolkien Archivist Catherine McIlwaine and biographer John Garth to explore J.R.R. Tolkien’s mammoth legacy and his son’s tireless work in sharing it with the world.
Catherine McIlwaine, John Garth, Grace Khuri: Tolkien: The Great Tales Never End (Saturday 25th June at 10.30am). More information and tickets available here
From Norse mythology and Christian faith to his fellow fantasy writers and the very real battlegrounds of World War I, join us as we explore the varied and unlikely inspirations that shaped J.R.R. Tolkien’s much-loved fantasy worlds – including Catherine J. Blatt, John Garth, and Alaric Hall.
Catherine Batt, Alaric Hall and John Garth: Where Did Tolkien Find His Inspiration? (Saturday 25th June at 11.45am). More information and tickets available here
Author of The Worlds of J.R.R. Tolkien, John Garth will take audience on a journey through the places that inspired the Shire, Rivendell, Helms Deep and Mordor and will discuss how the West Midlands and Oxford, alongside Yorkshire, played their part in the creations.
John Garth on The Worlds of JRR Tolkien: The Places that Inspired Middle-Earth (Sunday 26th June at 11.45am). More information and tickets available here
Tolkien has inspired many writers across all genres to follow in his footsteps. Samantha Shannon, Courttia Newland and David Barnett will discuss Tolkien’s vast impact within literature, and how his writing has influenced them personally as writers.
Samantha Shannon, Courttia Newland and David Barnett: Inspired By Tolkien (Sunday 26th June at 4pm). More information and tickets available here
Let us know if you’re fortunate enough to attend!