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I love Professor Michael Drout, perhaps because there are a lot of things he loves, especially very old and very new literature. He certainly does love Tolkien's work, and for any devotee of The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings, these lectures are a cheerful delight.
J.R.R. Tolkien was a professor of medieval literature, and he brought very old forms into his own writing, which was much influenced by the evils he experienced in World Wars I and II. Like Shakespeare and Churchill, Tolkien wrote from the very bones of English itself, and his language calls powerfully to modern English-speakers who can feel what he is doing. Tolkien's work has strongly influenced 20th and 21st century writing, and major movie epics have been made of his books. He is important, and this course tells why and how.
You can't go wrong with Professor Drout. I've listened to a number of his courses, and he has charm and youthful enthusiasm. It's a winning combination.
13 of 13 people found this review helpful
Professor Drout already had an earlier lecture series ("Rings, Swords, and Monsters") that focused largely on Tolkien; do we really need another one? In my opinion, after listening to both of them, the answer is a definite yes. Drout has enough to say about Tolkien that he isn't just repeating himself here (plus, this newer series gives him a chance to comment on the Peter Jackson movies). And, as in all his lectures, Professor Drout is a joy to listen to, lecturing with plenty of enthusiasm, expertise, insight, and humor.
This "class" is a bit more advanced, so start with the earlier series if you haven't already listened to that one, especially if you're not a die-hard Tolkien enthusiast. But if you're the kind of person who can't get enough discussion of Tolkien, don't hesitate to get this lecture series.
8 of 8 people found this review helpful
Too self indulgent at times. Some details shared about the literary works that Tolkien built from (eg. Beowulf) was very interesting but there wasn't nearly as much of this as I expected. More of a fan-boy commentary on why Tolkien's works are great.