J.R.R. Tolkien: Author of the Century is the second major work of Tolkien scholarship by Tom Shippey, published in 2000 by Houghton Mifflin. It is a study of facets of The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, The Silmarillion in contexts of the era J.R.R. Tolkien conceived them in. Shippey makes argumentation for Tolkien and his works' distinguished places above their contemporaries. The book earned Shippey the Mythopoeic Society's Scholarship Award for Inkling Studies.

Author of the Century is technically a "synchronic"[1] follow-up to Shippey's earlier book The Road to Middle-earth, which is a philological analysis of mostly the same content.

A paperback edition was released in 2002.

Table of Contents

  • Foreword: Author of the Century
  • I: The Hobbit: Re-Inventing Middle-earth
  • II: The Lord of the Rings (1): Mapping Out a Plot
  • III: The Lord of the Rings (2): Concepts of Evil
  • IV: The Lord of the Rings (3): The Mythic Dimension
  • V: The Silmarillion: The Work of His Heart
  • VI: Shorter Works: Doubts, Fears, Autobiographies
  • Afterword: The Followers and the Critics
  • List of References & Index


  1. Foreword, xxvii

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