News Book Event News | Written by Ed Fortune 16/06/2022

Tolkien Takes Over Bradford Literary Festival

The spirit of J.R.R. Tolkien comes to the Bradford Literature Festival this month, with a series of events exploring his connections to Yorkshire, a chapter of the good professor's live that many of us know nothing about.

J.R.R. Tolkien taught at the University of Leeds for five years (1920-25) before he moved to Oxford. During that time, he wrote A Middle English Vocabulary and, with another scholar E. V. Gordon, a definitive edition of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. It is also believed by many that the beautiful landscapes across West Yorkshire were partly the inspiration for the Shire.

The Bradford Literature Festival has been running since 2014 and it's quietly become one of the UK's cult bookish events. This year, (just ahed of the release of The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power on PrimeTV) they've gone hobbit crazy, with a list of Tolkien events sure to delight the fans.

The events feature top names in fantasy scholarship including John Garth and Catherine McIlwaine, as well as world-class fantasy writers such as Samantha Shannon and David Barnett.

Bradford Literature Festival 2022: Tolkien events

What was Tolkien's intended ending for The Lord of the Rings? What was the audience's response to the first ever adaptation of The Lord of the Rings – a radio dramatisation that has now been deleted forever from the BBC's archives? The University of Oxford's Grace Khuri will be joined by Tolkien Archivist Catherine McIlwaine and biographer John Garth to explore J.R.R. Tolkien's mammoth legacy and his son's tireless work in sharing it with the world.

Catherine McIlwaine, John Garth, Grace Khuri: Tolkien: The Great Tales Never End (Saturday 25th June at 10.30am). More information and tickets available here

From Norse mythology and Christian faith to his fellow fantasy writers and the very real battlegrounds of World War I, join us as we explore the varied and unlikely inspirations that shaped J.R.R. Tolkien's much-loved fantasy worlds – including Catherine J. Blatt, John Garth, and Alaric Hall.

Catherine Batt, Alaric Hall and John Garth: Where Did Tolkien Find His Inspiration? (Saturday 25th June at 11.45am). More information and tickets available here

Author of The Worlds of J.R.R. Tolkien, John Garth will take audience on a journey through the places that inspired the Shire, Rivendell, Helms Deep and Mordor and will discuss how the West Midlands and Oxford, alongside Yorkshire, played their part in the creations.

John Garth on The Worlds of JRR Tolkien: The Places that Inspired Middle-Earth (Sunday 26th June at 11.45am). More information and tickets available here

Tolkien has inspired many writers across all genres to follow in his footsteps. Samantha Shannon, Courttia Newland and David Barnett will discuss Tolkien's vast impact within literature, and how his writing has influenced them personally as writers.

Samantha Shannon, Courttia Newland and David Barnett: Inspired By Tolkien (Sunday 26th June at 4pm). More information and tickets available here