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Tolkien Centenary Lecture 2011

2011 marks 100 years since J. R. R. Tolkien left King Edward's.  To celebrate the occasion the school hosted a lecture in July by Old Edwardian Tom Shippey (1961), world renowned Tolkien expert.

You can see photos of the evening here


Over 150 Old Edwardians, parents and guests visited the school on Tuesday 5th July to see Tom Shippey deliver an illustrated lecture on Tolkien entitled "Tolkien: The Books, the Films, the Phenomenon."   

After the lecture everyone gathered in the Dining Hall to enjoy wine and canapes before taking a wander down to the chapel to visit a small exhibition about Tolkien's time at the school and the old New Street building, in which he studied.

You can listen to an audio of the lecture here

You can download the text of the lecture at the bottom of the page.

J. R. R. Tolkien (1911)

John Ronald Reuel Tolkien, CBE was an English writer, poet, philologist, and university professor, best known as the author of the classic high fantasy works The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, and The Silmarillion. Tolkien attended King Edward's and later St. Philip's Grammar School, before winning a Foundation Scholarship and returning to King Edward's.

Tom Shippey  (1961)

Tom Shippey has published countless scholarly (and more popular articles) on Tolkien and lectured on him all over the world. His two best-selling critical books, The Road to Middle-Earth and J.R.R. Tolkien: Author of the Century are widely considered perhaps the best books yet written about Tolkien.

Tom is an expert in the same fields of medieval language and literature in which Tolkien worked. He went to the same school as Tolkien in Birmingham, taught the same syllabus at Oxford and succeeded to Tolkien's old chair of English Language at Leeds University.  In 1993 he moved to a professorship at St Louis in the United States, from where he continued avidly to fight Tolkien's cause and to publish on him. Recently he retired back to England.