Week 1: “The Smith of Wootton Major”


Read the story aloud.

What visual moments from the “The Smith of Wootton Major” stand out in your imagination as a reader (or hearer) of this story?

What questions does the story raise in your mind?

Literary Analysis: Setting? Characters? Point of view? Plot? Themes? Symbolism? Tone? Style?

To gain further understanding about the meaning of the story, read the entry on “Smith of Wootton Major” in the J.R.R. Tolkien Encyclopedia.





Dr. B


I am a writer, educator, and literary scholar as well as an Associate Researcher in the Department of English at UC Davis. My work on J.R.R. Tolkien has been published in This Rough Magic, The Journal of Tolkien Research, and The J.R.R. Tolkien Encyclopedia, and I am now writing a book about love and redemption in Tolkien’s mythology. In the field of medieval literary scholarship, I have written The Signifying Power of Pearl: Medieval Literary and Cultural Contexts for the Transformation of Genre (Routledge, forthcoming) and John Trevisa and the English Polychronicon (ACMRS, 2012), edited Illuminating Moses: A History of Reception from Exodus to the Renaissance (Brill, 2014), and co-edited Translating the Past: Essays on Medieval Literature in Honor of Marijane Osborn (ACMRS, 2012) and Approaches to Teaching the Middle English Pearl (MLA, forthcoming). I have served as a professor at Wheaton College and Colorado Christian University, teaching literature, creative writing, and rhetoric and composition, and as a midwife in the U.S., Uganda, and the Philippine Islands. I also write poetry, fiction, and creative non-fiction, and I enjoy making music and art. To learn more, please visit http://sanctuarypoet.net.

Welcome to class!