Category Archives: Tolkien Lecture

J.R.R. Tolkien’s ‘A Secret Vice’: 85 Years On

In 1931, on a cold dark evening in Oxford, J.R.R. Tolkien gave a lecture on the art of language invention and the relation between myth and language to the Samuel Johnson Society at Pembroke College.

In 2016 Tolkien scholars Dimitra Fimi and Andrew Higgins came to Pembroke to give a talk on Tolkien’s essay, 85 years later, on the exact same location and date.

Earlier this year Dimitra and Andrew published the first ever critical study of the essay, reproducing it alongside a new essay and drafts from Tolkien’s manuscripts, accompanied by detailed editorial notes and introductory material.

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Photographs, podcast, and video for the Fourth Tolkien Lecture

Our thanks once again to Terri Windling for her fascinating and inspiring talk, ‘Tolkien’s Long Shadow: Reflections on Fantasy Literature in the Post-Tolkien Era’.

If you missed it, or simply want to listen again, you can listen to the audio of the talk, or watch the video:

Reviews and reflections: SF critic and publisher Cheryl Morgan; Fantasy author Juliet E. McKenna.

Terri Windling to deliver the 2016 Tolkien Lecture at Pembroke


We are delighted to announce that Terri Windling will be delivering the fourth-annual Tolkien Lecture at Pembroke College, Oxford.

The lecture will take place at 6.30pm on Thursday, 26th  May, at the Pichette Auditorium, Pembroke College. Admission is free. Please register for a ticket here.

Terri Windling is a writer, editor, and artist specialising in fantasy literature and mythic arts. She has published over forty books, winning nine World Fantasy Awards, the Mythopoeic Award, the Bram Stoker Award, and placing on the short lists for the Tiptree and Shirley Jackson Awards. She received the S.F.W.A. Solstice Award in 2010 for ‘outstanding contributions to the speculative fiction field as a writer, editor, artist, educator, and mentor’. Her work has been translated into French, German, Spanish, Italian, Czech, Russian, Turkish, Korean, and Japanese. She has served on the boards of the Interstitial Arts Foundation and the Mythic Imagination Institute (U.S.), and is currently a member of the advisory board for the Sussex Centre for Folklore, Fairy Tales, and Fantasy at the University of Chichester.

Find out more about our speaker on her website.

If you have any questions about the upcoming lecture, please contact us here.

Lev Grossman to speak at the 2015 Pembroke Tolkien Lecture

df4eb0ff5c8df129ce0ec8e0dd41f489We are delighted to announce that Lev Grossman will be delivering the third annual Tolkien Lecture at Pembroke College Oxford.

The lecture will take place at 6.30pm on Wednesday, 13th  May, at the Pichette Auditorium, Pembroke College. Admission is free, but please sign up here if you wish to attend.

Lev Grossman is a novelist and journalist. As a novelist, he is best known for writing the critically acclaimed Magicians Trilogy, comprising The Magicians (2009), The Magician King (2011), and The Magician’s Land (2014). The series has topped New York Times best-selling lists and there are plans to make it into a television series. As a journalist, Lev has written for The New York Times, Entertainment Weekly, The Wall Street Journal, and many others. He has been the Book Critic for Time since 2002.

Find out more about our speaker on his website.

If you have any questions about the upcoming lecture, please contact us here.

Adam Roberts Lecture Podcast Now Available

Thanks to everyone who came to another exciting Tolkien lecture at Pembroke!

For those who weren’t able to make it, or for those who just want to listen to Adam’s witty and stimulating lecture again, there is now a podcast available, which also includes the questions at the end:

Adam Roberts, ‘Tolkien and Women’, 2nd May 2014 (1 hour and 2 minutes; questions start 51 minutes in)

Podcast Cover