A spirited defence of Tolkien’s mythological creation and its increasing relevance for the real world.
Acclaimed by the largest readers’ survey ever conducted as ‘the greatest book of the century’, J.R.R.Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings has cast the spell of its storytelling for over 40 years and continues to enthral new generations of readers. Yet it has also been widely labelled as reactionary and escapist by hostile critics.
Patrick Curry’s book shows just how mistaken they are. He reveals Tolkien’s profound and subtle advocacy of community, ecology and spiritual values against the destructive forces of runaway modernity. Tolkien’s remedy, and the project implicit in his literary mythology, is a re-enchantment of the world. In helping us to realize that living nature, including humanity, is sacred, his writings draw on ancient magical mythology, but at the same time resonate closely with the ideas of contemprary radical ecology.
Quoting extensively from Tolkien’s works, Patrick Curry argues that Tolkien addresses hard global realities and widely justified fears. In this way, his story has transcended its English roots to achieve universal relevance, and his imaginary world gives people everywhere hope for the future of the real world.