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 greates 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 asks why a book that is so loved by readers continues to attract such criticism. In a spirited defence of Tolkien's mythological creation, this new study holds that far from being reactionary and 'escapist', The Lord of the Rings addresses the most important conflict of our time - the struggle of community, nature and spirit against the modern union of state-power, capital and technology.
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 everywhere hope for the future of the real world.