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? What was the significance of the extraordinary array of doorways which confronted the hobbits as they journeyed through Middle-earth?

During this panel discussion, the University of Oxford’s Grace Khuri will be joined by Tolkein 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.

About The Speakers

Author Catherine McIlwaine stood at the front of a lecture theatre holding some papers

Catherine McIlwaine

Catherine McIlwaine is the Tolkien Archivist at the Bodleian Library, University of Oxford, and co-editor of the forthcoming collection of essays in memory of Christopher Tolkien, The Great Tales Never End. In 2018, Catherine curated the biggest-ever exhibition of Tolkien materials and edited the award-winning accompanying catalogue, Tolkien: Maker of Middle-Earth. She is also the author of Tolkien Treasures, a lavishly illustrated book showcasing the highlights of the Tolkien archives held at the Bodleian Library.

John Garth by Erin Beck 2015 smile crop

John Garth

Tolkien expert John Garth is an author, freelance writer and editor. Known worldwide for his award-winning work on Tolkien, he talks and teaches internationally. His latest book, The Worlds of J.R.R. Tolkien: The Places that Inspired Middle-earth, was published in the UK and the USA, with translations into several languages.

Tolkien and the Great War is his acclaimed and award-winning book about the origins of Middle-earth against the backdrop of the First World War, and about Tolkien’s all-important friendships with his friends in the T.C.B.S. His booklet Tolkien at Exeter College is a vital and richly illustrated book on the key undergraduate years when Middle-earth was conceived. John is also a contributor to the forthcoming collection of essays in memory of Christopher Tolkien, The Great Tales Never End.

About The Chair

Grace Khuri Headshot

Grace Khuri

Grace Khuri is a doctoral researcher at the University of Oxford writing the first D.Phil dissertation on J.R.R. Tolkien at that institution. Her thesis considers the intersecting influences of Old Norse myth and The First World War on Tolkien’s ‘Silmarillion’ corpus. Her general research covers J.R.R. Tolkien, First World War history and culture, Old Norse myth and sagas, medieval literature, and Victorian and Edwardian medievalism. She earned her B.A. in English Language and Literature (Course II, Medieval strand) and M.Phil (Medieval English 550-1550) from Merton College, Oxford. She has done a podcast on the Silmarillion for the Fantasy strand of Oxford University’s Great Writers Inspire series – ‘What is the Silmarillion?’.