A Summary and Analysis of J. R. R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit

By Dr Oliver Tearle (Loughborough University)

The Hobbit is one of the biggest-selling books of all time. An estimated 100 million people have read Tolkien’s classic children’s novel since it was first published in 1937. The story of its origins, and Tolkien’s supposed invention of the word ‘hobbit’ (of which more below), are well-known. But how should we ‘read’ The Hobbit? What does the story mean?

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Five Fascinating Facts about Christopher Lee

Interesting facts about Sir Christopher Lee and his fascinating connections to famous writers

Last week we lost one of Britain’s most talented actors, Sir Christopher Lee (1922-2015). Lee was a fascinating man and a gifted actor who, it has frequently been said, had the rare ability to give a good performance even in an otherwise bad film. But there are many surprising literary facts about Christopher Lee, so this is what we, by way of tribute to him, would like to focus on in this post. So without more ado, here are our five great literature-related facts about Christopher Lee.

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The Advent Calendar of Literature: Day 6

Yesterday’s advent calendar nugget, or interesting literature fact pertaining to Christmas, looked at what connects The Hobbit with Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (and pondered that age-old philosophical question of whether Santa Claus is a jerk). Today’s interesting Christmas-themed literature-related fact continues this hobbity theme, but also continues the Santa theme. Did you know that J. R. … Read more

The Advent Calendar of Literature: Day 5

Yesterday, we looked at Jean-Paul Sartre’s first play, and what was unexpected and Christmassy about it. That yielded us a surprising Christmas-themed literature fact concerning Sartre. Sartre is famous for, among other things, being awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1964 but refusing it. (Sartre said that ‘a writer should not allow himself to … Read more

Five Fascinating Facts about J. R. R. Tolkien

Tolkien was born on this day in 1892. In honour of the anniversary of his birth, we’re launching a new series, ‘Five Fascinating Facts’, which will be a regular feature on this blog over the coming months. Fans of our blog may have followed our recent series, ‘Five Reasons’, featuring articles on lesser-known writers such as George Meredith, Sir Edward Bulwer-Lytton, Ernest Dowson, and George du Maurier.

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