Monday, 26 January 2004
- Tolkien and the Great War: The Threshold of Middle Earth, by John
Garth; Houghton Miffllin, 2003. This meticulous new biography of J.R.R.
Tolkien during the years of World War I lays the groundwork for
Garth’s eloquent argument that Tolkien’s fiction, rather than being an
escape from reality, is Tolkien’s reflection on and reaction to his
experiences as a combatant in World War II. Despite its very
specialized nature it’s quite interesting, and Garth argues
convincingly. It its own specialized way, it is quite as good as Tom
Shippey’s The Road to Middle Earth and J.R.R. Tolkien: Author of the
although I think that Shippey’s books have wider appeal.