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New Tolkien Society publication: Death and Immortality in Middle-earth

The Tolkien Society and Luna Press Publishing are pleased to announce the publication of Death and Immortality in Middle-earth: Proceedings of The Tolkien Society Seminar 2016, the seventeenth book in the Peter Roe series.

Edited by Daniel Helen, and published under the auspices of the Peter Roe Memorial Fund, Death and Immortality in Middle-earth is a collection of twelve papers presented at The Tolkien Society Seminar held at the Hilton Leeds City on Sunday 1 July 2016.


The book will be published on Friday 1 December 2017 and is available now to pre-order for £10.*

UK customers can place their order via  The Tolkien Society website.

International customers should place their order with Luna Press Publishing directly.

An e-book version is also available on all major platforms for just £6.99. Search for “Death and Immortality in Middle-earth” or the ISBN-13: 978-1-911143-34-5.


J.R.R. Tolkien deplored allegory and rejected any suggestion that The Lord of the Rings has an inner meaning or message. In reading back the tale, however, he became aware of a dominant motif:

The real theme for me is […] Death and Immortality: the mystery of the love of the world in the hearts of a race ‘doomed’ to leave and seemingly lose it; the anguish in the hearts of a race ‘doomed’ not to leave it, until its whole evil-aroused story is complete’ (Letters, p. 246)

Despite the lucidity of this statement, the theme of death and immortality has been left relatively unexplored in Tolkien studies. In recognition of this, and to commemorate the centenary of the Battle of the Somme, The Tolkien Society called for presentations on this important topic for its seminar in Leeds on 3 July 2016. Published under the auspices of the Society’s Peter Roe Memorial Fund, this book features a collection of twelve papers delivered on the day by aspiring and established Tolkien scholars alike.


Daniel Helen

Tolkien and the Somme
Matthew B. Rose

Tolkien and T.S. Eliot: the waste land and a fallen king
Tânia Azevedo

Tolkien and disability: the narrative function of disabled characters in Middle-earth
Irina Metzler

Facing death: how characters in The Lord of the Rings meet the prospect of their own demise and the loss of others
Giovanni Carmine Costabile

The elven perspective of life, death and immortality, and its influence on humanity
Aslı Bülbül Candaş

Mortal immortals: the fallibility of elven immortality in Tolkien’s writing
Anna Milon

‘Gifts in harmony?’: a philological exploration of Tolkien’s invented words for ‘life’ and ‘death’
Andrew Higgins

Music of life: the creation of Middle-earth
Sarah Rose

Transmission: an escape from death in Tolkien’s work?
Gaëlle Abaléa

Recurrent pattern of the Fall in Tolkien’s legendarium
Massimiliano Izzo

Frodo and Saruman: euformation, dysformation, and immortality in The Lord of the Rings
Adam B. Shaeffer

‘Tears are the very wine of blessedness’: joyful sorrow in J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings
Dimitra Fimi

About the Peter Roe Memorial Fund

The Tolkien Society’s seminar proceedings – and other booklets such as the Sindarin Lexicon – are published under the auspices of the Peter Roe Memorial Fund. The Fund commemorates Peter Roe who died in 1979 aged 16 after being hit by a speeding lorry outside his home. He was on his way to buy envelopes to enclose his enthusiastic letter to the Society. Peter was clearly an incredibly talented young man, producing stories, artwork and maps. Peter’s Dwarfish Fragments were published in Mallorn 15 in September 1980. Proceeds from the sale of Peter Roe books go back into the Fund to ensure that it is self-perpetuating. The Society will continue to produce book in the “Peter Roe Series” to honour his memory.


* Reduced from the RRP of £12.50 for a limited time only. This price does not include postage and packaging (£4 for UK customers).

About the Author: Daniel Helen
Daniel is an Officer without Portfolio and Trustee of The Tolkien Society. Elected in 2014, he is mainly responsible for the Society's digital operations, including this website.