Voice From the Grave

Tolkien In His Own Words

Justin Taylor has kindly put together a collection of interviews and interactions with J R R Tolkien–all open source.

The collection entails:

First broadcast on BBC 2 on March 30, 1968: “John Izzard meets with JRR Tolkien at his home, walking with him through the Oxford locations that he loves while hearing the author’s own views about his wildly successful high-fantasy novels. Tolkien shares his love of nature and beer and his admiration for ‘trenchermen’ in this genial and affectionate programme. The brief interviews with Oxford students that are dotted throughout reveal the full range of opinions elicited by ‘The Lord of the Rings’, from wild enthusiasm to mild contempt”:

The protestations and pseudo-critiques from self-styled Marxist students are hilariously hide-bound.  Tolkien’s quotation of Simone de Beauvoir on death at the end is strikingly memorable. 

Then follows:

  • A nearly 10-minute audio interview, broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in January 1971
  • Tolkien reading from chapter 5 of The Hobbit:
  • Tolkien reciting the Ring Verse from “The Shadow of the Past” (LOTR)
  • Tolkien reading from chapter 4 of The Two Towers 
  • Tolkien singing “Troll Sat Alone On His Seat Of Stone,” the poem recited by Sam Gamgee in “Flight to the Ford” (LOTR)
  • Tolkien reciting an Entish Chant (LOTR)
  • Tolkien in 1952 reciting the Quenya poem “Namárië,” sung by Galadriel in the chapter “Farewell to Lórien” (LOTR)


All can be accessed from Justin Taylor’s website, here.
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