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Tolkien: A Celebration [Paperback]

Joseph Pearce

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7 Jun 1999

Collected essays in celebration of J.R.R. Tolkien’s great literary legacy, and the spiritual values and faith which undergirded his imaginary Middle-earth.

Includes personal recollections from George Sayer and Walter Hooper, C. S. Lewis’s biographer, and thirteen other essays, including:

J.R.R. Tolkien: Master of Middle-earth by Stephen Lawhead, himself a best-selling fantasy author with HarperCollins

Tolkien and the Art of Parable by Robert Murray SJ, a friend of Tolkien

The Sense of Time in J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings by Kevin Aldrich

The Passion According to Tolkien by Sean McGrath

Tolkien and his critics by Patrick Curry

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Praise for Joseph Pearce’s
‘Tolkien: Man and Myth’
‘This fine apologia will certainly shift to some degree our polarised view of Ronald Tolkien. Pearce writes beautifully and with great depth. Even Germaine Greer, the great Tolkien-basher, might have second thoughts after reading him.’
Ronald Blythe

From the Back Cover

This highly readable collection of writings celebrates J R R Tolkien’s great literary legacy and the spiritual values that undergirded his imaginary Middle-earth.

'Tolkien: A Celebration' includes personal recollections by George Sayer and Walter Hooper, and many fascinating pieces, by authors such as Stephen Lawhead, exploring the threads of inspiration and purpose in his major works. These dip into subjects such as The Sense of Time in 'The Lord of the Rings, Tolkien: Master of Middle-earth', and 'Tolkien, Lewis and Christian Myth'.

Most of the writings are previously unpublished and provide an invaluable insight into the creative mystery of this man. They will be much treasured by those who regard him as a literary hero.

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Customer Reviews

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Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars  5 reviews
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Collection of brilliant essays 12 Jan 2014
By music man - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Most essays on writing are SO dull and uninspired, or they are overly intellectual. This collection expounds on the Catholicism so obvious in Tolkien's masterpiece.
9 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars And the white tree flowered in the garden of Gondor. . .This 17 May 2000
By Regan Mc Mullan - Published on Amazon.com
This book presents an excellent interpretation of the works of J.R.R. Tolkein. It adds an interesting prespective on his stories, as well as his life. This is a must have for any true Tolien fan! Peace.
6 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Some good essays 18 Jan 2003
By J. Kingan - Published on Amazon.com
Some of these esays are really interesting, infact most of them are good. There are some really boring as well. This is light reading about Tolkein from a mostly Catholic perspective. If you want heavy duty scholarship, this isn't the book, but if you want something to read with the morning coffee I really recommend it.
23 of 43 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Nothing new to say.... 3 Sep 2001
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Tolkien scholarship, on the whole, tends to be quite weak. There's a lot of reasons for that, but this isn't really the place to go into them. However, I will say that this collection of essays is no exception to the rule. "Tolkien: A Celebration" consists of 15 essays by different authors, edited by Joseph Pearce (author of another mediocre book on Tolkien). For the most part, the essays are non-scholarly-- they are more like short, off-the-cuff, reflections than serious scholarly analysis.
Most of the essays deal in some way with the "religious" aspects of Tolkien's fiction-- and most of those approach it from a specifically Roman Catholic persepctive. This is a legitimate subject to write about, of course, but it's been done to death before (and better!) by Carpenter, by Kocher, by Kilby, by Flieger, and by a host of other critics. These essays really don't add anything new to the body of Tolkien scholarship-- no new ideas, no new interpretations, no new evidence.
The same is true for most of the non-religious-themed essays as well. Patrick Curry's "Modernity in Middle-Earth", for example, is basically a six-page summary of his own book on the subject, while Elwin Fairburn's "A Mythology for England" is essentially a recap of points that have been made again and again and again by previous scholars (especially Carpenter, and even more Jane Chance who wrote a whole book called "Tolkien's Art: A Mythology for England").
In truth, the only two items of genuine interest here are the "personal reminscences" by George Sayer and Walter Hooper, who talk abou their experiences meeting Tolkien, working with him, etc., They're not rigorous scholarship,
nor do they present a radically different picture of the man than Grotta-Kurska's and Carpenter's biographies draw, but they do offer up a few worthy anecdotes. Still, they're hardly essential reading for either the Tolkien scholar or fan.
This isn't, by far, the wost book on Tolkien ever published, but it's not one of the better ones-- and it really doesn't have anything new to add to the critical legacy of Tolkien scholarship.
8 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderfully Insightful 4 Jan 2001
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
A wonderfully insightful look at the themes, values and processes behind Tolkien's created world.
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