Tolkien and Wales: Language, Literature and Identity was published by the University of Wales Press in 2011. In August 2012 the book won the Mythopoeic Society's Scholarship Award for Inklings Studies (see http://www.mythsoc.org/news/award-winners-2012/ ).
This is the first book-length study of Tolkien's debts to Welsh language and literature. It traces those influences in Tolkien's scholarly and creative work, paying particular attention to some relatively neglected texts. The book draws on unpublished manuscripts and on Tolkien's own collection of Welsh books in order to evaluate the influence of Wales and Welsh on Tolkien's writings and on his sense of national identity.
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Extracts from reviews:
‘Carl Phelpstead has produced a cogent and intelligent exploration of Tolkien’s links with Wales’ (p. 49); ‘He devotes a wonderful chapter to the gnarled and mazy forest of Arthurian literature. […] His conclusion is persuasive’ (p. 50).
Catherine Fisher, The Other Wales’ [review article], New Welsh Review 99 (Spring 2013), 47-51
‘Phelpstead arranges and sets this body of statements and facts, against previous scholarship, extends that scholarship considerably through his own investigations, and in doing so points the way for further studies’ (p. 118).Carl Hostetter, Seven: An Anglo-American Literary Review 29 (2012), 118–20
‘an important book for scholars as well as for serious followers of Tolkien’ (p. 75); ‘new or familiar, Phelpstead says it well’ (p. 76); ‘a well-written, helpful book’ (p. 78).Marjorie Burns, Tolkien Studies 9 (2012), 75–78.
‘both interesting and accessible, deserving of a place on the bookshelf of anyone who is interested in learning more about [Tolkien]’ (p. 182).
Brown, Mythlore vol. 30, no. 3/4
(2012), 173–182 and at http://www.mythsoc.org/reviews/tolkien-wales/
‘required reading for anyone who has a serious interest in Tolkien’s work’.
David Doughan, Amon Hen 234 (March 2012), p. 21.
‘a very readable, informative [. . .] volume (306); ‘Tolkien and Wales is a good read’ (307); ‘I can therefore recommend Phelpstead’s volume without reservation to all and sundry’ (307).
Thomas Honegger, Hither Shore: Interdisciplinary Journal on Modern Fantasy Literature 8 (2011), 306–07.
‘With this work, Carl Phelpstead corrects a flagrant injustice’; ‘In the end, this book will surely interest Tolkien’s fans who would like to learn more about his Welsh sources of inspiration. The mutual influence of literature and linguistics in Tolkien’s works is particularly well described, and this confirms the usefulness of such an approach. The study of Tolkien’s academic works is interesting, and their impact on his literary inventions well documented.’
Damien Bador, Mythprint 48:7 (#348) (July 2011) and at http://www.mythsoc.org/reviews/tolkien-and%C2%A0wales/
‘an excellent book that I recommend warmly’ (13).
Troels Forchhammer, Mallorn: The Journal of the Tolkien Society 52 (2011), 13–14.