“Tolkien” the Film: Wormtongue’s Revenge?

By |2019-02-15T13:58:20-05:00February 15th, 2019|

A new film, simply titled Tolkien, purports to depict the author’s formative years as a child and young man, but will, I fear, show only a perverted and distorted version of the truth, weaving lies in a manner of which Wormtongue himself would be proud... I hate to say it, but I think that Wormtongue [...]

Imagination and Conservatism

By |2019-03-19T10:22:09-05:00August 26th, 2018|

Our world drowns in information, facts, bites, noise, opinions, and other particulars. Yet, even the best of our students have the most difficult time connecting one thing to another. It is myth that allows us to transcend the immediate and the ephemeral... About ten years ago, I proposed a course of study for first-year college [...]

Pride and the Fall in Tolkien’s Second Age

By |2019-04-16T16:26:36-05:00August 15th, 2018|

J.R.R. Tolkien's story of Númenor is the story of Athens, Rome, Great Britain, the United States, and every power that began with the best of intentions and saw itself decline because of envy and pride. It is the story of the Fall in Eden. It is grim, timeless, and true... Unquestionably, Tolkien's mythology was massive [...]

W.H. Auden’s Tolkien

By |2018-08-02T22:25:03-05:00August 2nd, 2018|

W.H. Auden realized that J.R.R. Tolkien’s greatness was not simply the result of a capacity for the fantastic, but rather that it relied just as much on his scholarly acumen as on his imagination… W.H. Auden was a great admirer of the fantasy writer J.R.R. Tolkien. Having heard Tolkien’s lectures while an undergraduate at [...]

Tolkien at Exeter College

By |2018-07-02T22:36:55-05:00July 2nd, 2018|

Though J.R.R. Tolkien arrived at Exeter College as a Classics (Great Books) scholar, he found his real passion resided in Germanic and Northern language and myth… Tolkien at Exeter College: How An Oxford Undergraduate Created Middle-earth by John Garth (66 pages, Exeter College, 2015) J.R.R. Tolkien Never judge a book by its size. [...]

Home Thoughts From Abroad

By |2018-06-29T19:47:43-05:00June 29th, 2018|

Joseph Pearce, a hobbit in exile, muses on the Shire. O to be in England Now that April’s there, And whoever wakes in England Sees, some morning, unaware, That the lowest boughs and the brushwood sheaf Round the elm-tree bole are in tiny leaf, While the chaffinch sings on the orchard bough In England—now! [...]

In Defense of Those Who Protect Us

By |2018-12-09T08:42:03-05:00May 27th, 2018|

Yes, we must hold our police and our military accountable, but we must also respect the difficulty and danger of their jobs and stop willfully blinding ourselves to the unpleasant realities around us… Today’s offering in our Timeless Essay series affords our readers the opportunity to join Louis Markos as he uses The Lord of [...]

Grace in the Unredeemed Land of Middle-Earth

By |2018-12-21T14:42:16-05:00May 17th, 2018|

In almost every way, J.R.R. Tolkien’s “The Passage of the Marshes” presents a deeply frightening and suffocating experience for the reader, as the two Hobbits and the decrepit Gollum move across a landscape that has become devoid of grace… While nearly every decent human being under the age of sixty-five loves and appreciates J.R.R. [...]

Why Wardrobes Are for Grown-Ups Too

By |2018-02-16T22:28:44-05:00February 16th, 2018|

The value of fairy stories lies in the fact that they serve as a lens by which the heavenly can be seen on the earth, a lens by which the deepest and most important realities are grasped. They allow us to judge evil from the perspective of the good, and the imperfect from the [...]

P.G. Wodehouse: Balm for the Modern Soul

By |2019-03-28T13:28:05-05:00February 6th, 2018|

The consoling power of P.G. Wodehouse’s work arises not so much from the humor as from the detail in which he renders his worlds. Had he merely been funny, the consolation, the reprieve from the troubles of mundane life, would have been lesser…. Comedy is a funny thing. It can ask us to look [...]

The Decline and Fall of “The Andy Griffith Show”

By |2018-01-05T22:59:16-05:00January 5th, 2018|

The Mayberry that we see in the first few seasons of The Andy Griffith Show is systematically undermined, desecrated, and destroyed by the iconoclasm of sixties’ ideological hedonism… Believe it or not, I had never heard of Andy Griffith until I was forty years old. For some reason, The Andy Griffith Show had never [...]

Tolkien, Lewis, and Weapons of Mass Destruction

By |2017-11-19T21:08:24-05:00November 19th, 2017|

C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien fought to defend Faith and Family from attacks upon them by modern-day dragons, but they would not wield the power of the Deplorable Word, nor the power of the Ring, to destroy their enemies, simultaneously destroying the lives of innocent victims in the process… In “Litany of the Lost,” [...]

“The Hobbit” at Eighty

By |2017-09-27T11:50:27-05:00September 27th, 2017|

The Hobbit shows us that we are those who look beyond ourselves to the goodness, truth, and beauty of objective reality; and we are those who see our lives as a journey, a quest, an adventure, the purpose of which is to get to the heaven-haven of the reward... “In a hole in the ground there lived [...]

The Return of Christian Humanism

By |2019-04-02T15:08:15-05:00August 3rd, 2017|Tags: , |

Even when addressing non-Christians, Christian humanism’s willing receptiveness of the supernatural opens itself to the truths of revelation and of the human religious experience, allowing it to speak intimately and truthfully to the whole person… The Return of Christian Humanism: Chesterton, Eliot, Tolkien, and the Romance of History by Lee Oser (University of Missouri [...]