If you’d like to pursue some of the themes and ideas that Joseph Pearce explored in his excellent lecture on “Freedom and Slavery in The Lord of the Rings, or you just can’t get enough of Tolkien, here are the books Joseph was kind enough to suggest (his comments on some of the books follow the entries).
Supplement these books with Phil Rolnick’s recommended books on C.S. Lewis. As always, the links take you to Amazon Smile, where, if you’ve selected “MacLaurin Institute” as your charity of choice, we’ll get 0.5% of your purchase!
- J. R. R. Tolkien, Tree and Leaf
This book contains his seminal essay “On Fairy Stories,” his allegorical short story, “Leaf by Niggle,” and his superb poem “Mythopoeia.” Each of these examines Tolkien’s philosophy of myth, which is awash with his understanding of the sacramentality of beauty.
- J. R. R. Tolkien, Letters
An invaluable resource.
- J. R. R. Tolkien, The Silmarillion
Everyone should read The Silmarillion.
- Joseph Pearce, Tolkien: Man & Myth
- Joseph Pearce, Bilbo’s Journey
- Joseph Pearce, Catholic Literary Giants
- Joseph Pearce, Beauteous Truth: Faith, Reason, Literature and Culture
- Various authors, Tolkien: A Celebration
- Ralph Wood, The Gospel According to Tolkien
- Richard Purtill, Lord of Elves and Eldils: Fantasy and Philosophy in C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien
- Richard Purtill, J.R.R. Tolkien: Myth, Morality, & Religion
- Bradley J. Birzer, J.R.R. Tolkien’s Sanctifying Myth: Understanding Middle-Earth
- Peter Kreeft, The Philosophy of Tolkien: The Worldview Behind The Lord of the Rings
- G. K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy
As regards Chesterton’s priceless influence on Tolkien, the chapter on “The Ethics of Elfland” in Orthodoxy is indispensable.