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An essential resource,
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This review is from: Tolkien On Fairy-Stories (Hardcover)
'Tolkien on Fairy-stories' is an annotated edition of the famous essay, and a great deal more. The history is traced from the beginnings in a 1939 lecture, through the first print appearance in 1947, to the 1964 'Tree and Leaf' version and beyond. Copious manuscript drafts are linked by a highly informative connecting narrative. Some surprising sources are identified, among them an inspiration for "sub-creation" in the writings of Miss Maisie Ward.
Even more interesting, and surely new to many, is the way the development of 'On Fairy-Stories' interleaves with that of 'The Lord of the Rings' itself. Two key ideas prove to have been added during a mid-War hiatus in the composition of the latter: the definitive concept of Fantasy with its all-important "inner consistency", and the "Elvish craft" of Enchantment. This aspect, above all, makes 'Tolkien on Fairy-stories' an essential resource in studying the ideas so magnificently embodied. The editors deserve our thanks for the very thorough and competent job they have done in making these materials available.