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As the 80th birthday of JRR Tolkien’s The Hobbit is celebrated, people are being invited to University Centre Shrewsbury (UCS) to explore why the idea of home was so important to the much-loved author.

The Hobbit, first published on September 21, 1937, is subtitled There and Back Again. Among other things, it prompts the reader to think about the nature of home and the homely, a theme which Tolkien elaborates in its sequel, The Lord of the Rings (1954-55).

Professor Chris Walsh will present a free lecture on the idea of home in Tolkien’s Middle-earth writings, on Wednesday September 20, 2017, at Rowley’s House in Shrewsbury town centre. The talk at the Barker Street building will run from 1pm to 2pm.

Prof Walsh was Head of English and Dean of Humanities at the University of Chester. He has published widely on Victorian and modern fiction and poetry. Among his publications are The Practice of Reading: Interpreting the Novel (with Derek Alsop) and ‘From Mind to Mind’: Robert Browning and JRR Tolkien.

Booking for the ‘JRR Tolkien and the Idea of Home’ lecture is essential. To book places, email or call 01743 297185.

Alternatively, people can visit the reception at Guildhall in Frankwell Quay (SY3 8HQ) which is open from 9am to 5pm Monday to Thursday and from 9am to 4pm on Fridays.

The talk is part of a series of events at UCS covering a range of subjects. Many of the events are free, and they are open to everyone. For further details on UCS events go to


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