Gwenyth Hood

Professor (Retired)

Educational Background
PhD Comparative Literature, University of Michigan Ann Arbor, 1984
AM Comparative Literature, University of Michigan Ann Arbor, 1978.
AB, Medieval and Renaissance Studies and Latin, Wellesley College
Languages: English (modern, Anglo-Saxon and Middle), Latin, French and Italian
Phi Beta Kappa

Interests and Specializations
Medieval and Renaissance Literature, including Shakespeare, Dante, and Chaucer; the Inklings, especially J. R. R. Tolkien and C. S. Lewis; Literature of Fantasy and Science Fiction; Literature and Medicine; Psychoanalytical Criticism.

Gwenyth Hood was born in White Plains, NY, but moved with her family to Brandon, Vermont at the age of seven. She developed a love of reading and writing at an early age, discovering some favorite authors—Rudyard Kipling, Shakespeare, and J. R. R. Tolkien—at roughly the same time, in early adolescence. Then came Dante. Dante drew her to learn Latin and Italian; she had already started on French due to family heritage and the availability of the language in High School. In 1979 she won a University of Michigan Major Hopwood Prize for a (still unpublished) historical novel, Fior del Verde, set in Medieval Italy. (The title comes from Canto 3 of Dante’s Purgatorio.) In 1982, her first novel, The Coming of the Demons, described by the publisher (William Morrow) as “Historical Science Fantasy” was published. She was a member of the governing board (or Council of Stewards) of the Mythopoeic Society from 1997- 2019, and edited their annual literary magazine, The Mythic Circle, during this time.

At Marshall University, where Gwenyth Hood has been since 1989 (after a previous one year position from 1985-86), she has taught English courses in Composition, Creative Writing, Fantasy, Science Fiction, and Medieval Literature, as well as interdisciplinary Honors courses in “Literature of Plagues and Epidemics” and “Doctors and Patients in Literature.” She regards scholarship and creative writing as different ways of exploring the complex reality we all face, and continues work on scholarly and creative projects which interact in surprising ways. Although retired, she will be glad to hear from students or others interested in these areas.


Selected Publications
The Coming of the Demons. New York: Morrow, 1982. (Historical Science Fantasy)


“The Lidless Eye and the Long Burden: the Struggle between Good and Evil in Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings.” Director: Margot Norris. University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, 1985.

Scholarly Book

Editor and translator (includes Latin text; introduction and commentary). Book in Honor of Augustus (Liber ad honorem Augusti) by Pietro da Eboli, Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies (ACMIRS), 2012.

Dante’s Dream: A Jungian Psychoanalytical Approach. De Gruyter and MIP (Medieval Institute Press), 2021.

Academic Articles
“Sauron as Gorgon and Basilisk.” Seven: An Anglo American Literary Review 8 (August 1987) pp. 59-71.

“Sauron and Dracula.” Mythlore 52 (Winter 1988) pp. 11-17. Rpt. in Dracula: The Vampire and the Critics. Ed. Margaret L. Carter, University of Michigan Press, 1988. pp. 215-230.

“Husbands and Gods as Shadowbrutes: Beauty and the Beast from Apuleius to C. S. Lewis.” Mythlore 56 (1988) pp. 33-60.

“Foreground and Background: Three Literary Treatments of the Bubonic Plague.” Bulletin of West Virginia Association of College English Teachers 12 (1990) pp. 45-52.

“Medieval Love-Madness and Divine Love,” Mythlore 61 (1990) pp. 20-28.

“And the Plague Rages On: Fear of the Plague Victim in Manzoni, Defoe and Shilts.” Journal of Social and Biological Structures. (Winter, 1991). pp. 473-486.

“Nature and Technology: Angelic and Sacrificial Strategies in Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings.” Mythlore 74 (1993). pp. 6-12.

“The Earthly Paradise in Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings.” Mythlore 80 (1995) pp. 139-150. Also published in Spanish translation, as “El paraiso terrenal en El Seor de los Anillos de Tolkien.” In Tolkien, o la fuerza del mito. Eds. Eduardo Segura and Guillermo Peris. Madrid: José San Germán, 2003.

“Falcandus and Fulcaudus, Epistola ad Petrum, Liber de Regno Sicilie: Literary Form and Author’s Identity.” Studi Medievali, June 1999 3rd Series, XL pp. 1-41.

“Heroic Orual and the Tasks of Psyche.” Mythlore 104/105, (Spring/Summer 2009). pp. 43-81.


Short Stories and Excerpts

“The Fountain and the Black Fish.” Mythic Circle 4 (Winter 1987) pp. 40-46.

“The Swan Chariot.” Mythic Circle 7 (Fall/Winter 1988) pp. 17-21.

“Sweet as Muscatel.” Mythic Circle 9 (January 1990) pp. 38-41.

“The Latest Model.” Mythic Circle 15 (Early Summer 1993) pp. 12-17.

Contact Us

Department of English
Marshall University
1 John Marshall Drive
Huntington WV 25755

Corbly Hall 346
8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Monday through Friday

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