Call for Papers: The Romantic Spirit in the Works of J.R.R. Tolkien

By Matthew Sangster

Call for Papers

The Romantic Spirit in the Works of J.R.R. Tolkien

A volume in the Cormarë Series, edited by Julian Eilmann & Will Sherwood

If we examine Tolkien research since the 1960s, we may conclude that the notion of Tolkien as a Romanticist is not a popular approach of interpretation: “When referring to Tolkien’s works, Romanticism is hardly the first genre that comes to mind” (Birks 28). His work has instead been largely interpreted within the context of his professional background as philologist and expert of medieval literature. The connection between Tolkien and the Middle Ages has thus become a commonplace of Tolkien scholarship: “Tolkien and the Middle Ages: a connection that seems self-evident and has frequently been dealt with by Tolkien scholars over the last years” (Brückner et al. 6). But as important as these studies grounded in history and philology may be, their dominance makes it difficult for other aspects of Tolkien’s complete works to become visible.

While Tolkien research has started to widen its scope with the aim of enlightening readers of Tolkien’s wider literary interests, the Romantic tradition has remained predominantly overshadowed. Scholars have repeatedly identified that the ‘Romantic Gothic opened imaginative spaces for fantasy in the broader sense’ …read more