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on 1 July 2009
The first one-third of this book gives the outlines of Tolkien's life story and has the courage to deal with the tensions in his (generally happy) marriage. It goes on to outline the themes of the Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings and the differences in the essential 'feel' of the two books. Cleverly-chosen quotations illustrate the connection between the style of the writing and the feelings of the people being described. Substantial Appendices give the main links between the Lord of the Rings, the Hobbit and the Silmarillion, and there is a comprehensive bibliography.

This is a short book of 176 pages with not all that many words per page (nice large type.) It is a work of literary criticism that will appeal to many Tolkien fans; and would be particularly suitable for a teenage book-lover who is wondering whether to choose English Literature as an 'A' level subject but is not currently experienced in 'writing about writing'. It's a fine example of the kind of stuff they would be expected to produce.
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