Quest for Middle Earth: Works of Tolkien

Beloved throughout the world as an unsurpassed triumph of the literary imagination, J.R.R. Tolkien's The Silmarillion, and its complementary trilogy, The Lord of the Rings, literally evoke an entire world of their own from the languages and lore found within a single author's mind. These foundational texts of the high fantasy genre constitute nothing less than a multi-volume cycle of some of the greatest tales ever told. Tolkien's oeuvre, of which The Silmarillion and The Lord of the Rings represent the apex of his imaginal art, unquestionably stands in a class by itself. And now we are offering high school students a class by itself dedicated to a close reading, and study - and sheer enjoyment - of the power, imagination, and wisdom of these classics.

 "The Quest for Middle Earth" is a year-long course, divided into two semesters, in which students will explore the literary, historical, mythological, poetic, and philosophical terrain, all of which was the creation of one amazing man: the writer, poet, philologist, and Oxford scholar, John Ronald Reuel Tolkien.

Throughout their year-long journey, students will explore various aspects of the stories, poems, symbolism and lore of The Silmarillion, which presents the reader with the basic mythological background for the fictional world of Middle Earth, as well as the three-volume epic, The Lord of The Rings, consisting of three distinct novels: The Fellowship of the RingThe Two Towers, and The Return of the King.

Registered students will be asked to write occasional reflections, essays, and even compose stories of their own, which engage the themes of Tolkien's masterpieces. The class will include lively discussions, trivia games based on Middle Earth facts and legends, and intriguing (sometimes humorous) quizzes on the readings. All together, it will be a thrilling quest to the heart of the meaning and magic of Tolkien's greatest creation!

Fall 2020 Registration for this Course Opens on February 27.


Prerequisites: Students must be reading at a level sufficient for independent reading and discussion of The Lord of the Rings and The Simarillion
Instructor: Seraphim Winslow, B.A.
Age Level: 12 years or older
Minimum Enrollment Required:
Maximum Class Size: 15
Tuition per Semester:  $300
Early Registration Discount (before June 1): 10% off!
Class Meets
: Fridays, 8:15 - 9:45 AM Pacific
Click Here to see the 2021-22 Class Schedule 

Fall '21 - Spring '22 Registration is Open!

(If you would like to enroll in this class but cannot attend at the posted time, please contact us.  We may be able to open an additional section.)

Problems Registering?    Click here    for help.  

Seraphim Winslow, B.A.

Seraphim Winslow was dean of students and principal of a classical K-12 academy in San Francisco for over a decade. In addition to homeschooling his son, he has been teaching English, the classical Trivium (Grammar, Logic and Composition), Modern Languages, the Humanities, and Western and World Civilizations and Cultures to students of all ages for more than 30 years. He particularly enjoys working with students in the 4th through 8th grades.

Seraphim graduated with a B.A. with highest honors from the University of California, Berkeley. He also holds Associate of Arts degrees in Philosophy, the Humanities, and General Studies. He is currently pursuing a Master of Arts Degree in Philosophy at San Francisco State University.

Seraphim enjoys the thrill of getting lost in cavernous university libraries and old European bookstores. He also enjoys riding his recumbent tricycle through the pine-laden Sierra foothills, where he lives with his iconographer wife, Lena; his 17-year-old son, Theodore; and their cat, Skipper.

Elena Winslow

Elena Winslow, Seraphim's wife, teaching assistant, curriculum developer, and educational content coordinator, studied in the Department of Fine Arts at the Novosibirsk Pedagogical Institute in Novosibirsk, Russia. She is a native Russian speaker and enjoys gardening, iconography, painting, music, traditional Slavic folkways, and reciting and learning poetry by heart.

Art should be truth; and truth, unadorned, unsentimentalized, is beauty.
— Elizabeth Borton de Treviño, I, Juan de Pareja


The teacher will be using a Folio Society edition of the texts. Students who prefer a more affordable variant may choose to use any edition they prefer, while the following are recommended:

Amazon links for textbooks and materials are provided for the convenience of our parents and students. 
The CLRC is an Amazon Associate.

The Lord of the Rings
(entire Trilogy in one volume)


The Silmarillion