In the form of myth, elves,orcs, men and hobbits become real to every reader of J.R.R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings. Tolkien's pen gave shape to that which can be called evil and presented the mysterious nature of all that is sinister in life for every eye to see. More importantly, Tolkien has left his readers wondering how he was able to create on a truly cosmic scale.
Bilbo's Birthday and Frodo's Journey of Faith is a fascinating reading of Tolkien's famous trilogy. It extends our understanding of Tolkien the thinker and storyteller to include Tolkien the Christian believer for whom myth was more than poetic fancy- it was a symbol of his faith. The book sets out the conflict between Tolkien's understanding of the meaning and nature of myth and the theories of other scholars of his time. Then, it explains how Tolkien used the images associated with certain Greek words commonly used in the time of Augustus. The result is a refreshing and different approach that emphasizes Tolkien's personal beliefs while answering questions like:
Why does Tolkien put so much emphasis on Bilbo's Birthday Party?
Why does Tolkien stress the hobbitt interest in family lines?
Who is the model for Tom Bombadil?
Is Odin the only model Tolkien used for Gandalf?
Robert Morse has written numerous articles for trade and professional publications. He lives in Phoenix where he teaches literature and philosophy at Western International University. He speaks regularly about Tolkien's writing to groups of all ages, and has been an invited speaker at Tolkien conferences.