top of page
JRRTolkien_front cover - final.jpg
Get Permission


By Louis Markos
Illustrations By Jeff Fallow

Classic Writers

ISBN-13: 978-1-939994-82-0
Price: US $15.95
6x9, 224 pp
eBook ISBN: 978-1-939994-83-7
eBook Price: US $15.95
November 15, 2022

B/W Illustrations

Sample Chapter

"Louis Markos has much in common with Tolkien's great friend, C. S. Lewis. They are both able to put the most difficult questions into the proverbial nutshell with brilliance, succinctness and precision. Dr. Markos is, therefore, the perfect guide to the world of Middle-earth. Every self-respecting admirer of Tolkien will want this book in their library. "


-Joseph Pearce - Author, Tolkien: Man and Myth

J.R.R. Tolkien sweeps us away to a distant time and place that is at the same time, our own time and place. He takes us to a world where difficult choices must be made and are made, where character is defined by those choices, and where redemption is possible though not always embraced.

The Lord of the Rings taps a deep root in the human psyche. There is much death and destruction and defeat in Tolkien’s world, but there is even more friendship and courage and hope. What one remembers when one finishes reading The Lord of the Rings is not the vice of the villains, as strong and as well drawn as it is, but the virtue that empowers the heroes to resist it, even at the cost of their own lives.

It will be the goal of Tolkien For Beginners to introduce the reader to the multilayered depth and breadth of Tolkien’s tales of Middle-earth, what critics, following Tolkien’s lead, refer to collectively as his legendarium. To do justice to the full dimensions of that legendarium, author Louis Markos will speak in two voices: that of the storyteller who loves the stories he tells and that of the critic who seeks to identify and explicate key themes from those stories. In his telling and analysis, he will treat the legendarium both as a collection of secondary-world myths with their own integrity and as a reflection of Tolkien’s Catholic worldview.


Author of  C.S. Lewis For Beginners, Louis Markos holds a BA in English and History from Colgate University and an MA and PhD in English from the University of Michigan. He is a Professor of English and Scholar in Residence at Houston Baptist University, where he holds the Robert H. Ray Chair in Humanities. He teaches courses on British Romantic and Victorian Poetry and Prose, the Classics, C. S. Lewis and J. R. R. Tolkien, and Film.

He is committed to the concept of the Professor as Public Educator and believes that knowledge must not be walled up in the Academy but must be disseminated to all who have ears to hear.


Jeff Fallow has been illustrating For Beginners books since 1999. Previous books include Stanislavski For Beginners by David Allen, and First Amendment For Beginners. Jeff has worked as illustrator for Glasgow Museums and graphic designer for the National Health Service. He is Scottish and lives in the Kingdom of Fife.

bottom of page