Hello Middle Earth fans! This is another Grand History Lesson! We are going to venture the life of Tolkien in this 5 part series! Jeremy and Jeff dive into these very tense years of Tolkien’s early life that helped shape the world he created. The Grand Historians interview Tolkien historian and author, John Garth!


The only substantially new biography of Tolkien since 1977, Tolkien and the Great War reveals how Middle-earth was created in the crucible of world conflict by a brilliant, passionate and wildly imaginative young man. Drawing on the unpublished letters of Tolkien and his closest friends, John Garth tells a deeply moving story. Middle-earth, he shows, is no escapist fantasy but an eloquent counterblow against the disenchantment that has haunted us since the First World War.

Available now in bookstores around the world from HarperCollins! You purchase the book online through the Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Audible to hear John Garth read his amazing book!

John Garth

John Garth

Photo Janet Miles

I am the British author of the acclaimed biographical Tolkien and the Great War, winner of the Mythopoeic Award for Scholarship 2004, and was Fellow in Humanistic Studies for 2015–16 at the Black Mountain Institute, University of Las Vegas, Nevad. Other writings include the definitive study of Tolkien’s undergraduate life, Tolkien at Exeter College, nominated for the same award in 2015.

I speak regularly on Tolkien and related topics, in person and on air; and I have taught full-length and short courses on Tolkien for Oxford University’s Department for Continuing Education, for UNLV, and online for the Mythgard Institute at Signum University. If you want to contact me, or explore what I’ve written, please see the links above. You can also follow my blog, and keep up to date with what I’m doing via Facebook and Twitter.

With more than 2½ decades in journalism, I’ve interviewed major figures including Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, Carnegie-winning author Alan Garner and Turner Prize artist Elizabeth Price. For The Times, I’ve previewed the Magical Books exhibition at the Bodleian Library, featuring the work of Garner as well as Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, Susan Cooper and Philip Pullman. For The Daily Beast, I’ve reviewed Tolkien’s long-awaitedThe Fall of Arthur, interviewed Susan Cooper, and, in a long-form essay, meditated on the coincidental deaths of President Kennedy, C.S. Lewis and Aldous Huxley. For The Guardian I’ve reviewed Prajwal Parajuly’s groundbreaking short story collection The Gurkha’s Daughter and previewed Tolkien’s translation of Beowulf.

Via his About Page

Check out more about John Garth and his amazing work on his website, Twitter, and Facebook!


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