On the 1st January 1938, J.R.R. Tolkien gave his thoughts on dragonlore and dinosaurs in an illustrated lecture at the Museum not discussed anywhere else in his works.

Join our expert panel for this once-in-a-lifetime re-run of Tolkein's(sic) lecture featuring his original slides, supporting specimens, and documents. The talk will be followed by a panel discussion featuring experts on the social impact of dinosaurs; the ecology and evolution of extinct animals; monstrosity and animal studies; and the relationship between scientific ideas and cultural forms.

Entry to this event is free, but please book tickets in advance.

About the panellists:
Dr Megan Cavell is an Associate Professor and Medievalist whose research interests include monstrosity and animal studies.

Dr Elsa Panciroli is an author and palaeontologist who researches the anatomy and evolution of extinct animals.

Dr Will Tattersdill is a Senior Lecturer in Popular Literature, Liberal Arts, and Natural Sciences who studies the impact of dinosaurs on the nineteenth-century.

Prof John Homes is a professor of Victorian Literature and Culture whose research focuses on the relationship between scientific ideas and cultural forms in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.


1 January 1938 Tolkien gives an illustrated lecture on dragons at 2.30 p.m. at the University Museum, Oxford. This is one of a series of six Christmas lectures for children, 30 December 1937–10 January 1938, sponsored by the Ashmolean Natural History Society of Oxfordshire, but the only one given by Tolkien. (The others are on ‘Birds of Oxford’, ‘Whales and Whaling’, ‘Pack Horses, Coaches, and Highwaymen’, ‘Coral Reefs’, and ‘Electric Sparks’.) He shows slides of dinosaurs and of his own drawings of dragons.

Hammond, Wayne G.; Scull, Christina; Tolkien, J. R. R.. The J. R. R. Tolkien Companion and Guide: Volume 1: Chronology. HarperCollins Publishers. Kindle Edition.

The text of the lecture is included in the booklet that forms part of the Deluxe Facsimile Hobbit.