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Tom Shippey: Wikis


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Thomas Alan Shippey (born 9 September 1943) is a scholar of medieval literature, including that of Anglo-Saxon England, and of modern fantasy and science fiction, in particular the works of J. R. R. Tolkien, about whom he has written several scholarly studies. He is widely considered one of the leading academic scholars on Tolkien. Shippey retired from the Walter J. Ong Chair of Humanities at Saint Louis University's College of Arts and Sciences in 2008. He will be the Guest of Honor at the German Tolkien society's Tolkien Thing, July 24-26 2009, Burg Rieneck, Germany. (

His work and life cross paths in many ways with that of Tolkien; like Tolkien, he attended King Edward's School, Birmingham in Birmingham and taught Old English at Oxford University. He occupied Tolkien's former chair at the University of Leeds.

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. As of 2003 he is the editor of the journal Studies in Medievalism. He serves on the editorial board of Tolkien Studies: An Annual Scholarly Review.

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/fantasy novels.

In 2009, he wrote a scholarly 21-page introduction to Flights of Eagles (NESFA Press. 1st ed. October 2009, ISBN-10 1-886778-86-8, ISBN-13 978-1-886778-86-3), a collection of James Blish works.

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.[1]


  • 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)
  • J. R. R. Tolkien: Author of the Century (London: Harper Collins, 2000; Houghton Mifflin, Boston, 2001)
  • Roots and Branches: Selected Papers on Tolkien (Zurich and Berne: Walking Tree Publishers, Cormarë Series 11, 2007, ISBN 978-3-905703-05-4)


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