John M. Bowers is an internationally known scholar of medieval English literature with books on Chaucer, Langland, and the Gawain Poet. Educated at Duke, Virginia, and Oxford where he was a Rhodes Scholar, he taught at Caltech and Princeton before settling at the University of Nevada Las Vegas. His work has been supported by fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation, and the Great Courses released his lecture series The Western Literary Canon in Context.
Bowers' book is full of such insights for the Tolkien aficionado. And if you're a Chaucer fan or scholar, youll also find much to admire in Tolkien's detailed and sometimes illuminating work on the great poet. * Oliver Tearle, Interesting Literature * For anyone seriously interested in either Tolkien or Chaucer, Bowers' book will be indispensable. For others, it is a meticulous, elegant, and at times moving look into how one great author read another ... Bowers' book is insightful and enjoyable: a fitting testament to the two writers with whom it is concerned. * Daniel Sutton, The Oxonian Review * The surviving material of the 'lost Chaucer' is fairly slight and in places very technical, but Bowers demonstrates neatly that even the most arcane philological detail could act as creative inspiration for Tolkien. It is refreshing that he discusses how this aborted edition displays Tolkien's weaknesses as a scholar ... as well as his superb literary skill ... The book also offers a fascinating, at times startling, insight into medieval studies in thefirst half of the 20th century ... The appetite for Tolkien's works, however fragmentary, seems to continue unabated. This book is a very welcome addition to the ever-growing library of his unfinished tales. * History Today * ... Bowers recounts the history of the Clarendon Chaucer, beginning with the circumstances under which it was commissioned and running up to the moment of its rediscovery. This is a surprisingly gripping story - Bowers does an impressive job of immersing us in the ups and downs, starts and stops that attended this ill-fated project. * The Times Literary Supplement *