The book considers Tolkien’s creative writing as an ever-developing ‘legendarium’: an interconnected web of stories, poems and essays, from his early poems in the 1910s to his latest writings in the early 1970s. Uniquely, it discusses tolkien's early poems linking them with the literary/cultural history of the Edwardian period. It discusses tolkien's most popular works ("The Hobbit" and "The Lord of the Rings") within a wider context of the writer's creativity and personal mythology, and also examines often-neglected works such as the twelve volume "History of Middle-earth" series, which has received little attention from critics.
This title includes 15 illustrations, including tolkien's own drawings and sketches, and offers original research based on tolkien's unpublished manuscripts.
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.
Fimi explores the evolution of tolkien's mythology throughout his lifetime by examining how it changed as a result of his life story and contemporary cultural and intellectual history. This new approach and scope brings to light neglected aspects of Tolkien’s imaginative vision and addresses 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.
This book is a fantastic and original work on tolkien and I highly recommend it to all serious Tolkien fans and lovers.
List of Figures
Conventions and Abbreviations
PART I: HOW IT ALL BEGAN
In the Beginning were the Fairies...
'Fluttering Sprites with Antennae': Victorian and Edwardian Fancies
The Fairies, Faith and Folklore
PART II: IDEAL BEINGS, IDEAL LANGUAGES
The Cat and the Whiskers: tolkien's Linguistic Creation
'Linguistic Aesthetic': Sounds, Meaning and the Pursuit of Beauty
Ideal Languages and Phonetic Spelling
PART III: FROM MYTH TO HISTORY
The Claim to History
A Hierarchical World
Visualising Middle-earth: Real and Imagined Material Cultures
Epilogue: From Fairies to Hobbits
Appendix: 'And Wither Then?': Stepping into the Road
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