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Emma Watson: The Watsons Completed by Joan Aiken
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Barely adequate, 5 July 2003
Joan Aiken’s attempt to re-write Jane Austen’s unfinished early piece, “The Watsons”, is far inferior to her take on “Emma” from Jane Fairfax’s point of view (in a novel named after its heroine, “Jane Faifax”), and it does not have the saving grace of “Jane Fairfax” by a semi-entertaining story with fairly believable characters.
Emma Watson, aged 19, is returned to her impoverished family, of 3 sisters and 2 brothers. One brother, Robert, is rich and affluent, but disagreeable, and is married to an equally disagreeable woman. Another brother, Sam, is good-natured, and a budding surgeon. Elizabeth, the eldest sister, is… Read more
Tolkien and the Critics by N.D. Isaacs
Tolkien and the Critics by N.D. Isaacs
This collection must be the first serious effort to look at Lord of the Rings as "serious" literature, largely due to Tolkien's overwhelming popularity in the 1960s. Some of the essays are by such notorious writers such as C.S. Lewis and M.Z. Bradley. They look at Tolkien's world, races, characters, and the meaning of power in the trilogy, and the tones range from admiring to a little bit smug (surely, Lord of the Rings isn't "literarature" because... and then looking at a fixed idea, at the time, of what "literature" is.) The essay collection is, on the whole, interesting and insightful. Recommended, if you can find it (it's currently tough to find).
Myth, Magic and Meaning in Tolkien's World by Randel Helms
1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Randel Helms attempts in this book what must have been one of the first serious book of criticism on Tolkien's work. As such, it as very satisfying.
Helms begins by looking into Tolkien's 1930s lectures on old Anglo-Saxon poems such as Beowulf and relating them into his growing vision of "Lord of the Rings", particularly of his vision of what it means to be a hero. He proceeds by making a (largely mocking) psycho-analytic examination of "The Hobbit" as a tale of growing up for a child. But particularly, and more importantly, he looks at its structural parallels to "Lord of the Rings" and how it indicates Tolkien's growing awareness of the potential of Middle-Earth, as well as of… Read more