Tolkien and the Great War

Tolkien and the Great War The Threshold of Middle-Earth

(Reissue)

Paperback (06 Jul 2004)

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Publisher's Synopsis

* TOLKIEN * Now a major motion picture

Acclaimed as 'the best book about Tolkien', this award-winning biography explores J.R.R. Tolkien's wartime experiences and their impact on his life and his writing of The Hobbit and The Lord of The Rings.

"To be caught in youth by 1914 was no less hideous an experience than in 1939 … by 1918 all but one of my close friends were dead."

So J.R.R. Tolkien responded to critics who saw The Lord of the Rings as a reaction to the Second World War. Tolkien and the Great War tells for the first time the full story of how he embarked on the creation of Middle-earth in his youth as the world around him was plunged into catastrophe. This biography reveals the horror and heroism that he experienced as a signals officer in the Battle of the Somme and introduces the circle of friends who spurred his mythology to life. It shows how, after two of these brilliant young men were killed, Tolkien pursued the dream they had all shared by launching his epic of good and evil.

John Garth argues that the foundation of tragic experience in the First World War is the key to Middle-earth's enduring power. Tolkien used his mythic imagination not to escape from reality but to reflect and transform the cataclysm of his generation. While his contemporaries surrendered to disillusionment, he kept enchantment alive, reshaping an entire literary tradition into a form that resonates to this day.

This is the first substantially new biography of Tolkien since 1977, meticulously researched and distilled from his personal wartime papers and a multitude of other sources.

About the Publisher

HarperCollinsPublishers

HarperCollinsPublishers

With a heritage stretching back nearly 200 years, HarperCollins is one of the world's foremost English-language publishers, offering the best quality content right across the spectrum, from cutting-edge contemporary fiction to digital hymnbooks and pretty much everything in between. In the UK, the Glasgow-based William Collins & Sons was founded in 1819 and published a range of bibles, atlases and dictionaries, later including classic authors HG Wells, Agatha Christie, JRR Tolkien and CS Lewis. The original Harper Brothers Company was established in New York City in 1817 and over the years published the works of Mark Twain, the Bronte Sisters, Thackeray, Dickens, John F Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr. In 1987, Harper & Row, as it had then become, was acquired by News Corporation. The worldwide group was formed following News Corp's 1990 acquisition of William Collins & Sons. Today we publish some of the world's foremost authors, from Nobel prize-winners to worldwide bestsellers recent successes including the Booker-winning Wolf Hall and Bring Up The Bodies by Hilary Mantel, and George RR Martin's blockbusting A Song of Ice and Fire series.

Book information

ISBN: 9780007119530
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Imprint: HarperCollinsPublishers
Pub date:
Edition: (Reissue)
DEWEY: 823.912
DEWEY edition: 22
Language: English
Number of pages: 398
Weight: 292g
Height: 197mm
Width: 129mm
Spine width: 28mm