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Davis has held visiting positions at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, Mount Holyoke College, twice at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque and three times at Hamburg University in Germany.

But Tolkien taught that the monsters were integral to Beowulf; indeed, he argued, if you discard them and read the poem as a historical epic or tragedy, the remainder appears cheap and disorganized.

Drout suggests that the rock garden, read as stories of the monster in Beowulf, may represent vestiges of folk-tale commonplaces . Moving to the tower, he views the stones as building blocks composed of ancient and inherited materials used by Tolkien as sub-creator; the tower became the mythology of Middle-earth and, as Drout rightly observes earlier, the single best way to understand and appreciate Tolkiens fiction is to become literate in medieval literature.

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They criticized the muddle of stones, and even his descendents considered the man odd to have build a nonsensical tower rather than restoring the old house.

The function of allegory, of course, is to point elsewhere, and Drout cites Tom Shippeys interpretation that begins with the man as the Beowulf-poet, the friends as Beowulf scholars, and the tower as Beowulf, and ends with Tolkien being the only one who understood the poem because of his English descent, native to that tongue and land (9).

He studied Welsh in Aberystwyth and Icelandic in Reykjavík before completing his doctorate in English at the University of Virginia.

In 1996, Davis published : The Northern Ethnography of the Nowell Codex,” a miscellany of five texts on the most distant peoples in space and time known to the Anglo-Saxons.

In 1996, Drout discovered a manuscript containing two drafts of the lectures lurking in a box at the Bodleian Library at Oxford.

The essay was a redaction of lectures that Tolkien wrote between 19, Beowulf and the Critics.

The manuscript is not written on acid-free paper and has already deteriorated significantly.

It consists of 198 folios written in Tolkien's hand in pen and pencil. Folios 72-91 contain "assorted notes and jottings," not all decipherable but most incorporated into the text in some form. The text is mainly written on one side of the page, except for brief notes that served Tolkien as reminders of ideas that he would work into the text.

Drout fully describes Tolkien's manuscripts for the benefit of scholars who will not have direct access to the originals.

In "Description of the Manuscript," he tells how the manuscript came to the Bodleian Library and describes its present condition, organization, dating, and numbering.

The texts are accompanied by Drouts extensive explanatory notes that present the background, source material and general thrust of Tolkiens arguments, textual notes that reproduce Tolkiens emendations and modifications which Drout clarifies with editorial commentary where needed, and an appendix that presents Tolkiens notes and jottings where legible.

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