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Tolkien's Legendarium: Essays on The History…

Tolkien's Legendarium: Essays on The History of Middle-earth… (2000)

by Verlyn Flieger

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"Paradoxically, it was Tolkien's very failure to bring his mythos/lengendarium to any kind of ordered completion that resulted in a body of work which, in textual terms, approaches a real mythology: a tangled body of related writings, highly variable in quality and style, sometimes banal, often enchanting, frequently inconsistent or opaque. It is a measure of his work's depth and richness (and a tribute to Christopher Tolkien's editorship) that a volume of essays such as this can not only be produced, but achieve a real sense of critical endeavour beyond mere fandom. The detailed textual history can be hard going, but that will hardly deter anyone who has tackled 'The History of Middle Earth' itself. Only rarely did I find myself wondering whether any of it mattered: most of the time I was simply fascinated." amazon.co.uk - MB 16-iii-07 ( )
1 vote MyopicBookworm | Mar 16, 2007 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0313305307, Hardcover)

As a scholar of medieval languages and literature, J.R.R. Tolkien brought to his fiction an intense interest in myth and legend. When he died in 1973, he left behind a vast body of unpublished material related to his fictive mythology. Now edited and published as The History of Middle-earth by his son and literary executor, Christopher Tolkien, these 12 volumes provide a record of the growth of J.R.R. Tolkien's mythology from its beginnings in 1917 to the time of his death more than 50 years later. The material in these volumes offers an unparalleled insight into Tolkien's process of myth-making and is a guide to the world of his literary works. This book is the first comprehensive critical examination of Christopher Tolkien's compilation of his father's Middle-earth legends.

An opening essay by Rayner Unwin, Tolkien's publisher for many years, surveys the publication history of the collection. The essays that follow, each written by an expert contributor, explore a wide range of topics related to The History of Middle-earth. Included are discussions of Tolkien's languages, the evolution of his vision over time, the shifting importance of central characters, and the effect of his mythology on The Lord of the Rings. By exploring this mythological compendium, the volume sheds further light on the entire body of J.R.R. Tolkien's works and is a valuable resource for all readers interested in his writings.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:13:03 -0400)

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