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Though there has been some contention over the title, J.R.R. Tolkien is regarded by many as the father of modern fantasy fiction. His works, including the beloved Hobbit and epic Lord of the Rings, have found a vast and varied audience since they were first published in the middle of the 20th century. Why have these stories come to define our conceptions of fantasy storytelling? What is it about Tolkien’s meticulously constructed world of Middle-earth that continues to enthrall readers across the generations?

As you will see, age-old traditions, contemporary history and culture, and “big” human questions are key ingredients of Tolkien’s success. In The World of J.R.R. Tolkien, you will join Dr. Dimitra Fimi to delve into Tolkien’s complex and multilayered mythology, examining all these ingredients and more. In these 10 lectures, you will explore and appreciate Middle-earth as medieval, mythological, and modern, a literary creation that was shaped by forces old and new. And you may be surprised to discover just how much of Tolkien’s legendarium was constructed posthumously, with his son Christopher compiling and publishing many of Tolkien’s later works after his death.

Throughout these lectures, you will learn about Tolkien’s life as a devoted scholar of languages and literature and the immense body of legends he built, while also tracing his outsized influence on the fantasy genre and the writers and other artists that would follow. From the most disparate materials, from his academic interests to his war experiences to the stories he told his children, this gifted creator fashioned a new mythology that would carry its relevance from the 20th century into our own.

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More info on Dr. Dimitra Fimi's website -