Tolkien, Race and Cultural History: From Fairies to Hobbits

Overview

Tolkien, Race and Cultural History explores the evolution of Tolkien's mythology by examining how it changed as a result of Tolkien's life story and contemporary cultural and intellectual history. The book considers Tolkien's creative writing as an ever-developing 'legendarium': an inter-connected web of stories, poems and essays, from his early poems in the 1910s to his latest writings in the early 1970s. Consequently, the book is not restricted to a discussion of Tolkien's best-known works only (The Hobbit, The...
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Overview

Tolkien, Race and Cultural History explores the evolution of Tolkien's mythology by examining how it changed as a result of Tolkien's life story and contemporary cultural and intellectual history. The book considers Tolkien's creative writing as an ever-developing 'legendarium': an inter-connected web of stories, poems and essays, from his early poems in the 1910s to his latest writings in the early 1970s. Consequently, the book is not restricted to a discussion of Tolkien's best-known works only (The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings and The Silmarillion), but examines the whole corpus of his legendarium, including the 12-volume History of Middle-earth series, which has received little attention from critics. This new approach and scope bring to light neglected aspects of Tolkien's imaginative vision and address key features of Tolkien's creativity: the centrality of the Elves and the role of linguistic invention in his legendarium, as well as race and material culture in Middle-earth.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780230272842
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Publication date: 8/31/2010
  • Pages: 252
  • Sales rank: 662,300
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

DIMITRA FIMI is Associate Lecturer at Cardiff University, UK. Her research interests include the history of fantasy literature, folklore and popular culture, literary adaptations, and the interaction between literature and visual culture.

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Table of Contents

List of Figures

Conventions and Abbreviations

1 Introduction 1

Pt. I How It All Began ... 9

2 In the Beginning Were the Fairies ... 13

3 'Fluttering Sprites with Antennae': Victorian and Edwardian Fancies 28

4 The Fairies, Faith and Folklore 40

Pt. II Ideal Beings, Ideal Languages 63

5 The Cat and the Whiskers: Tolkien's Linguistic Creation 69

6 'Linguistic Aesthetic': Sounds, Meaning and the Pursuit of Beauty 76

7 Ideal Languages and Phonetic Spelling 93

Pt. III From Myth to History 117

8 The Claim to History 123

9 A Hierarchical World 131

10 Visualising Middle-Earth: Real and Imagined Material Cultures 160

11 Epilogue: From Fairies to Hobbits 189

App 'And Wither Then?': Stepping into the Road 200

Notes 204

Bibliography 217

Index 232

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