When my father met Gandalf: Tolkien’s time as an external examiner at UCG

Posted in Research on June 11th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“So there I was, staring at my computer screen having just typed the words Chapter Six, when it occurred to me that the sensible thing to do was to log on to Twitter. I believe it’s called displacement activity. It appears to happen when I’m working on a novel …” (more)

[Felicity Hayes McCoy, Irish Times, 11 June]

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Muddled Earth

Posted in Life on May 11th, 2013 by steve

“It’s hard to decide whether JRR Tolkien would be pleased that the Burren is holding a festival in his honour (Irishman’s Diary, May 10th), or if – on the contrary – the news would have him spinning in his grave …” (more)

[Frank McNally, Irish Times, 11 May]


Gollum’s Mother: On Marie Corelli by Lili Loofbourow

Posted in Research on February 14th, 2013 by steve

“It’s difficult, even a century after her literary career began its decline, to talk about Marie Corelli without succumbing to a battery of adjectives. Often condemned as a hack and praised as a saint, Corelli was something altogether more interesting …” (more)

[Los Angeles Review of Books, 13 February]

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Testing times unearthed for ‘Hobbit’ author Tolkien

Posted in Life on December 19th, 2012 by steve

“Pre-exam nerves are bad enough, but if your examiner is JRR Tolkien, then you’d really have your work cut out. Well that was the case for students at NUI Galway more than 60 years ago when The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings author worked as an English literature examiner …” (more)

[Caroline Crawford, Independent, 19 December]

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Imagine if JRR Tolkien was marking your exam papers?

Posted in Life on December 17th, 2012 by steve

“Exams are daunting enough at the best of times, so imagine if on top of having to do all that studying, you then had to face JRR Tolkien as your English examiner …” (more)

[TheJournal.ie, 17 December]

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The Hobbit in Irish To Be Launched at An Siopa Leabhar website unveiling

Posted in Life on April 23rd, 2012 by steve

“… Alan Titley and Nicholas Williams were responsible for translating Tolkien’s epic saga into Irish and they will be signing copies of An Hobad on the night, while An Siopa Leabhar will also launch its new website at www.cnag.ie/siopa at the event. Irish-language products from An Siopa Leabhar are now available to order online including a wide range of books, board games, jigsaws, CDs, toys, BábógBaby bears, DVDs, and lots more to satisfy Irish speakers of all ages and abilities …” (more)

[Irish Press Releases, 23 April]

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Middle-earth according to Mordor

Posted in Life on February 20th, 2011 by steve

“A newly translated Russian novel retells Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings from the perspective of the bad guys …” (more)

[Laura Miller, Salon, 15 February]