Tom Shippey Bibliography

Tom Shippey

Shippey in 2015.

BornThomas Alan Shippey
(1943-09-09) 9 September 1943 (age 74)
Calcutta, British India
NationalityBritish
OccupationAcademic, writer
Known forTolkien scholarship

Thomas Alan Shippey (born 9 September 1943)[1] is a British scholar and retired professor of Middle and Old English literature, as well as medievalism and modern fantasy and science fiction. In particular he is widely considered one of the world's leading academic scholars on the works of J. R. R. Tolkien about whom he has written several books and many scholarly papers.

Life[edit]

Youth[edit]

Shippey was born in 1943 in Calcutta, British India, where he also spent the first years of his life.[1][2] He was sent to a boarding school in England, and studied at King Edward's School in Birmingham from 1954 to 1960.[3]

When he was 14 years old, he was lent The Hobbit.[4] Like Tolkien, Shippey became fond of Old English, Old Norse, German and Latin, and of playing rugby.[2]

Academic career[edit]

After Shippey's graduation in the early 1960s he did not immediately start an academic career since the British economy of the time did not offer many jobs in academia. Only in the mid-1960s did he enrol at the University of Cambridge from where he graduated with an M.A. in 1968.[4][5] He was awarded a PhD from Cambridge University in 1990.[5]

Shippey became a junior lecturer at the University of Birmingham, and then a Fellow of St John's College, Oxford, where he taught Old and Middle English.[3] In 1979, he was elected to the Chair of English Language and Medieval English Literature at the University of Leeds.

In 1996, after 14 years at Leeds, Shippey was appointed to the Walter J. Ong Chair of Humanities at Saint Louis University's College of Arts and Sciences, where he did teaching, research and publishing. He retired from there in 2008, and now lives in Dorset.[5]

From 2003 to 2007, he served as the editor of the journal Studies in Medievalism and from 2003 to 2009, he was the President of the International Society for the Study of Medievalism.

Fiction[edit]

Under the pseudonym of "Tom Allen" he has written two stories that were published in anthologies edited by Peter Weston. The first published was the fantasy story "King, Dragon" in Andromeda 2 in 1977; the second was the science fiction novelette "Not Absolute" in Andromeda 3 in 1978.[6]

Under the pseudonym of John Holm, he is also the co-author, with Harry Harrison, of The Hammer and the Cross trilogy of alternate history novels.[1] Shippey had earlier assisted Harrison in devising fictional languages for the author's Eden trilogy.

In addition to writing books of his own, he has edited both The Oxford Book of Science Fiction Stories, and The Oxford Book of Fantasy Stories and reviews science fiction for the Wall Street Journal.[7] In 2009, he wrote a scholarly 21-page introduction to Flights of Eagles, a collection of James Blish works.[8]

Tolkien scholarship[edit]

In late 1969 or early 1970, Shippey wrote his first academic work on Tolkien. He then delivered a speech at a Tolkien day organised by a student association. This lecture, "Tolkien as philologist" became also influential for Shippey's view of Tolkien. Joy Hill, Tolkien's private secretary, was in the audience and afterwards she asked him for the script, for Tolkien to read. On 13 April 1970, Shippey received a seemingly formal letter from Tolkien.[3]

The two, Shippey and Tolkien, first met in 1972. Shippey was invited for dinner by Norman Davis who had succeeded Tolkien at the Merton Chair of English Language. When he became a Fellow of St. John's College, Shippey taught Old and Middle English using Tolkien's syllabus.[3]

Shippey's first printed essay, "Creation from Philology in The Lord of the Rings", expanded on his 1970 lecture. In 1979, he was elected into a former position of Tolkien's, the Chair of English Language and Medieval English Literature at Leeds University. His first book, The Road to Middle-earth, was published in 1982. At this time, Shippey shifted from regarding Tolkien as a philologist to a "traumatised author" as he called it. This would include writers affected by war like Vonnegut and Golding.[3]

Shippey appeared in several documentaries about Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings film trilogy. The dialect coaches were assisted by him[4] and Shippey received a personal mention in the closing credits.[9] He summarized his experiences with the film project as follows:

"The funny thing about interviews is you never know which bits they're going to pick. It always feels as if they sit you down, shine bright lights in your eyes, and ask you questions until you say something really silly, and that's the bit they choose. At least they didn't waterboard me. But it was good fun, and I'd cheerfully do it again."[10]

As an acknowledged expert on Tolkien, Shippey serves on the editorial board of Tolkien Studies: An Annual Scholarly Review.[7]

Shippey's education and academic career have crossed paths in many ways with those of Tolkien: like Tolkien, he attended King Edward's School in Birmingham and both taught Old English at Oxford University. Shippey also occupied Tolkien's former position at the University of Leeds and was responsible for changing the curriculum that Tolkien himself had instituted.[11]

Bibliography[edit]

Books[edit]

  • Old English Verse (London: Hutchinson's, 1972)
  • Poems of Wisdom and Learning in Old English (Cambridge: D.S. Brewer, Ltd., 1976; 2nd ed., 1977)
  • Beowulf. Arnold's Studies in English Literature series (London, 1978).
  • The Road to Middle-earth (London: Allen & Unwin, 1982; Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1983), 2nd ed. (London: Harper Collins, 1993), also Revised and Expanded edition (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2003)
  • Fictional Space: Essays on Contemporary Science Fiction, Editor (Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1991, ISBN 0-631-17129-0).
  • The Oxford Book of Science Fiction Stories, Editor (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1992, ISBN 0-19-214204-6).
  • The Oxford Book of Fantasy Stories, Editor (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1994 ISBN 0-19-214216-X).
  • Beowulf: The Critical Heritage, Editor, with Andreas Haarder (New York: Routledge, 1998)
  • Medievalism in the Modern World: Essays in Honour of Leslie Workman, Editor, with Richard Utz (Turnhout: Brepols, 1998)
  • J. R. R. Tolkien: Author of the Century (London: Harper Collins, 2000; Houghton Mifflin, Boston, 2001)
  • The Shadow-Walkers: Jacob Grimm's Mythology of the Monstrous, Editor (Turnhout: Brepols, 2005)
  • Roots and Branches: Selected Papers on Tolkien (Zurich and Berne: Walking Tree Publishers, Cormarë Series 11, 2007, ISBN 978-3-905703-05-4)
  • Literary Genius: 25 Classic Writers Who Define English & American Literature, Essayist (Philadelphia: Paul Dry Books, 2007) (Illustrated by Barry Moser)
  • Old English Philology: Studies in Honour of R.D. Fulk, Editor, with Leonard Neidorf and Rafael J. Pascual (Cambridge: D.S. Brewer, 2016)

Edited volumes[edit]

Documentaries[edit]

Awards[edit]

  • 1984 – Mythopoeic Award, Mythopoeic Scholarship Award for Inkling Studies, The Road to Middle-earth
  • 2001 – Mythopoeic Award, Mythopoeic Scholarship Award for Inkling Studies, J.R.R. Tolkien: Author of the Century
  • 2001 – World Fantasy Award, Special Award Professional, J.R.R. Tolkien: Author of the Century
  • 2004 – The One Ring Celebration Award, Best Tolkien based Lecture presented at an Academic Function, History in Words, Tolkien's Ruling Passion
  • 2006 – The One Ring Celebration Award, Best Lecture/Paper

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ abc"Shippey, Tom". SFE: The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction, 3rd ed. (online, 2011–present). Entry by John Clute, 12 August 2013. Retrieved 2013-10-22.
    Shippey co-wrote the entries on Magic and History in SF.
  2. ^ abHanley, Paul (8 February 2008). "Let us introduce you to ... Thomas Shippey, PhD". The University News. 
  3. ^ abcdeTom Shippey (2003). "Preface to the Third Edition". The Road to Middle-earth. Boston: Houghton Mifflin. 
  4. ^ abcWhite, Claire E. "Talking Tolkien With Thomas Shippey". 
  5. ^ abc"T.A. Shippey, PhD". SLU website. Saint Louis University College of Arts and Sciences. Retrieved 17 December 2013. 
  6. ^William G. Contento, Index to Science Fiction Anthologies and Collections
  7. ^ abShippey's WSJ reviews
  8. ^Blish, James (October 2009). Flights of Eagles (1st ed.). NESFA Press. ISBN 978-1-886778-86-3. 
  9. ^Tom Shippey on IMDb
  10. ^"Transcript of chat session with Pr. Tom Shippey during The Legend of Sigurd and Gudrun Online Release Party (09.05.09) – comments (1)". Tolkien Library. Pieter Collier. 
  11. ^Shippey, Tom (2000). J. R. R. Tolkien: Author of the Century. London: HarperCollins. ISBN 0 261 10401 2. 

External links[edit]

This paper considers the long list of strange creatures - including "hobbits" - found in "The Den... more This paper considers the long list of strange creatures - including "hobbits" - found in "The Denham Tracts" many years before Tolkien, and shows how it evokes a lost world of English folklore.
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This is primarily an intro to the 3 short novels and 4 other stories in the collection Flights of... more This is primarily an intro to the 3 short novels and 4 other stories in the collection Flights of Eagles, but also makes a claim for the autonomy of science fiction, and for its being (in carefully-defined and entirely positive ways) collective, conventional and assertive.
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This is the introduction to Magill's Survey of Science Fiction and Fantasy Literature (1996), for... more This is the introduction to Magill's Survey of Science Fiction and Fantasy Literature (1996), for which I acted as Consulting Editor. I regret that I was not able to vet all the entries, only advise on what should be included. A second edition is now in progress, although I do not know yet (May 2016) who will act as Editor. I thought this piece was too general to be included in my essay collection Hard Reading: learning from science fiction, published by Liverpool UP in 2016, at a very high price! But there is a paperback yet to come.
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The book reviewed here is of interest for its author's honest confession of what he did not learn... more The book reviewed here is of interest for its author's honest confession of what he did not learn while reading English at university.
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The book reviewed here offers an excellent account of the meaning and importance of philology, vi... more The book reviewed here offers an excellent account of the meaning and importance of philology, viewed widely both historically and in terms of academic disciplines.
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This online paper argued that Tolkien's 1936 view of Beowulf has eclipsed his later views, publis... more This online paper argued that Tolkien's 1936 view of Beowulf has eclipsed his later views, published in 1982. Was this the right decision? Since the paper was written Tolkien 2014 has called Tolkien 1936 further into question.
Readers Related Papers MentionsView Impact
This is the write-up of a 1991 MLA paper, in which I argued that the situation of Old English stu... more This is the write-up of a 1991 MLA paper, in which I argued that the situation of Old English studies might not be as propitious as was then claimed.
Readers Related Papers MentionsView Impact
The book reviewed here illustrates the state that thinking about language in English departments ... more The book reviewed here illustrates the state that thinking about language in English departments has reached: not a good state.
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This short piece looks at (some of) the ways in which Jacob Grimm gave a new turn and new vigour ... more This short piece looks at (some of) the ways in which Jacob Grimm gave a new turn and new vigour to most of the disciplines of the humanities: philology, mythology, anthropology, literary studies, history, and in the real world, politics. He was the Darwin of the humanities. His work is now, in English-speaking countries too often neglected (except for the fairy-tales), but his influence remains incalculable.
Readers Related Papers MentionsView Impact
This paper considers the long list of strange creatures - including "hobbits" - found in "The Den... more This paper considers the long list of strange creatures - including "hobbits" - found in "The Denham Tracts" many years before Tolkien, and shows how it evokes a lost world of English folklore.
Readers Related Papers MentionsView Impact
This is primarily an intro to the 3 short novels and 4 other stories in the collection Flights of... more This is primarily an intro to the 3 short novels and 4 other stories in the collection Flights of Eagles, but also makes a claim for the autonomy of science fiction, and for its being (in carefully-defined and entirely positive ways) collective, conventional and assertive.
Readers Related Papers MentionsView Impact
This is the introduction to Magill's Survey of Science Fiction and Fantasy Literature (1996), for... more This is the introduction to Magill's Survey of Science Fiction and Fantasy Literature (1996), for which I acted as Consulting Editor. I regret that I was not able to vet all the entries, only advise on what should be included. A second edition is now in progress, although I do not know yet (May 2016) who will act as Editor. I thought this piece was too general to be included in my essay collection Hard Reading: learning from science fiction, published by Liverpool UP in 2016, at a very high price! But there is a paperback yet to come.
Readers Related Papers MentionsView Impact
Hollywood in the Holy Land: essays on film …, 2009
... in the case of El Cid, the Poema, in the case of Arthur, Geoffrey of Mon-mouth's His... more ... in the case of El Cid, the Poema, in the case of Arthur, Geoffrey of Mon-mouth's Historia Regum Britanniae—is surrounded, preceded, or corroborated by a number of other medieval sources, the most important of which for El Cid is the Latin Historia Roderici (see Fletcher 1991 ...
Readers Related Papers MentionsView Impact
The book reviewed here is of interest for its author's honest confession of what he did not learn... more The book reviewed here is of interest for its author's honest confession of what he did not learn while reading English at university.
Readers Related Papers MentionsView Impact
The book reviewed here offers an excellent account of the meaning and importance of philology, vi... more The book reviewed here offers an excellent account of the meaning and importance of philology, viewed widely both historically and in terms of academic disciplines.
Readers Related Papers MentionsView Impact
This online paper argued that Tolkien's 1936 view of Beowulf has eclipsed his later views, publis... more This online paper argued that Tolkien's 1936 view of Beowulf has eclipsed his later views, published in 1982. Was this the right decision? Since the paper was written Tolkien 2014 has called Tolkien 1936 further into question.
Readers Related Papers MentionsView Impact
This is the write-up of a 1991 MLA paper, in which I argued that the situation of Old English stu... more This is the write-up of a 1991 MLA paper, in which I argued that the situation of Old English studies might not be as propitious as was then claimed.
Readers Related Papers MentionsView Impact
The book reviewed here illustrates the state that thinking about language in English departments ... more The book reviewed here illustrates the state that thinking about language in English departments has reached: not a good state.
Readers Related Papers MentionsView Impact
This short piece looks at (some of) the ways in which Jacob Grimm gave a new turn and new vigour ... more This short piece looks at (some of) the ways in which Jacob Grimm gave a new turn and new vigour to most of the disciplines of the humanities: philology, mythology, anthropology, literary studies, history, and in the real world, politics. He was the Darwin of the humanities. His work is now, in English-speaking countries too often neglected (except for the fairy-tales), but his influence remains incalculable.

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