Have an Inkling: The Fellowship of J.R.R. Tolkien

This is a 9-week seminar.

Moderator:                 Pam Daniels
Day and Time:          TBA (group meetings to be arranged by moderator)
Location:                    Devonshire Place, Holyoke


To consider the life and works of J.R.R. Tolkien, an Oxford University Professor of Linguistics who met weekly at Oxford University with his colleagues as the “Inklings,” where they read one another’s works-in-progress. We shall include consideration of his focus on the realm of fantasy in light of the political, socioeconomic and academic influences of the time.

The Inklings, an informal discussion group associated with Oxford between the early 1930s and late 1949, were literary enthusiasts who focused on and encouraged the writing of fantasy. Readings and discussions of the members’ finished works were the principal purposes of meetings (i.e., presenting just the inkling as a harbinger of masterworks to come). Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings was among the novels first read to and commented upon by fellow Inklings.

Role of participants:
Each participant will select one book, a specific topic or theme to present and discuss in light of the political, socioeconomic and academic influences of the time. A list of topics and themes will be provided to participants.

It is essential to read Tolkien’s Ring Trilogy and perhaps The Hobbit as an introduction to Middle Earth; even though the latter was created as a children’s book, it holds a key to subsequent events and ongoing themes. The Silmarillion also may be a choice for discussion since it is the overarching presentation of Tolkien’s total mythology for England.

About the Moderators:
Pam Daniels,, M.L.S., M.P.A., is an unabashed reader of fantasy as a gateway to the realm of possibilities in real life.
She has moderated one other seminar.

Maximum number of participants: 14

Emeritus/a accepted: yes, up to 2. Auditors will read the recommended source book and participate fully in discussions.