There and Back Again: In the Footsteps of J.R.R. Tolkien's England

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Overview

Like many adolescents, Mathew Lyons was obsessed by J.R.R. Tolkien's novels. But as an adult, he lost interest. Until, that is, he became a parent and began to explore Tolkien's world all over again. Only this time he discovered something different from the realm of fantasy and myth he remembered: he discovered Tolkien's England. Tolkien always said his original intention had been to create a work that would celebrate England. But which England was he celebrating? And where was it to be found? From a wartime ...
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Overview

Like many adolescents, Mathew Lyons was obsessed by J.R.R. Tolkien's novels. But as an adult, he lost interest. Until, that is, he became a parent and began to explore Tolkien's world all over again. Only this time he discovered something different from the realm of fantasy and myth he remembered: he discovered Tolkien's England. Tolkien always said his original intention had been to create a work that would celebrate England. But which England was he celebrating? And where was it to be found? From a wartime posting on the bleak Yorkshire coast to a youthful holiday on Cornwall's Lizard Peninsular, from a Roman temple on the Welsh borders to burial mounds on the Berkshire Downs, Mathew Lyons follows Tolkien's trail, seeking the English landscapes that inspired him and trying to understand the complex emotions that drove Tolkien to his creative achievement. There and Back Again explores Tolkien's idea of England and his unique perspective on English history. It is as much about England as the making of Middle Earth. And it is about Lyons's own journey as a reader, too, tracing his arc from enrapture through indifference to a deeper understanding of where Tolkien's power as a writer lies. Tolkien's England. His beloved country. The journey starts here.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781860111396
  • Publisher: Cadogan Guides
  • Publication date: 5/1/2004
  • Edition description: First
  • Pages: 210
  • Product dimensions: 5.10 (w) x 7.70 (h) x 0.48 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction 9
Chapter 1 A personal journey 21
Chapter 2 Beginnings and endings 35
Chapter 3 The temple of Nodens at Lydney Park, Gloucestershire 49
Chapter 4 The Lizard Peninsula, Cornwall 75
Chapter 5 Oxford, Sarehole, Moseley, Birmingham 95
Chapter 6 The Ribble Valley, Lancashire 117
Chapter 7 Cheddar Gorge, Somerset; Brill, Buckinghamshire 139
Chapter 8 The Berkshire Downs 153
Chapter 9 Rollright, Oxfordshire/Warwickshire 179
Chapter 10 Fonthill, Wiltshire 189
Acknowledgements 198
Chapter Notes 199
Bibliography 204
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 15, 2004

    Fascinating insight into creator of Lord of the Rings

    An excellent guide to Tolkien's life and to his profound feeling for English history and myth as revealed in the English landscape. As you read the book you get a strong sense of the different places in England that Tolkien knew and loved and also of how he drew on that love to inspire his work. Recommended for anyone interested in finding out more about Tolkien.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 12, 2004

    The Land That Inspired Middle Earth

    A must read for anyone who loves Lord of the Rings. Tony Lyons explores the places that Tolkien visited during his lifetime and their possible inspirational links to his writings. He makes frequent reference to his earlier unpublished works that I found fascinating. Although Tolkien opposed a direct translation of life's experiences and places into Middle Earth, we can see a love for his country was near the heart of his books. There have been many scholarly titles on Tolkien and Middle Earth. This should rank among the very best.

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