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Tolkien and the Great War tells for the first time the full story of how he embarked on the creation of Middle-earth in his youth as the world around him was plunged into catastrophe. This biography reveals the horror and heroism that he experienced as a signals officer in the Battle of the Somme and introduces the circle of friends who spurred his mythology to life.

Tolkien and the Great War : The Threshold of Middle-Earth

It shows how, after two of these brilliant young men were killed, Tolkien pursued the dream they had all shared by launching his epic of good and evil. Tolkien used his mythic imagination not to escape from reality but to reflect and transform the cataclysm of his generatuion. While his contemporaries surrendered to disillusionment, he kept enchantment alive, reshaping an entire literary tradition into a form that resonates to this day.

This is the first substantially new biography of Tolkien since , meticulously researched and distilled from his personal wartime papers and a multitude of other sources.

Tolkien and the Great War: the threshold of Middle-earth - John Garth - Google книги

Tolkien stands against disenchantment in both its literal and metaphorical senses; indeed, they cannot be strictly separated in his work. The disenchanted view, metaphorically speaking, is that failure renders effort meaningless. By implication, worth cannot be measured by results alone, but is intrinsic.

His stories depict the struggle to uphold inherited, instinctive, or inspirational values—matters of intrinsic or immeasurable worth—against the forces of chaos and destruction. Fate may laugh at his efforts, but he refuses to be humbled. Tolkien recognized that ironic circumstance exists and must be portrayed, but it is clear that he did not account irony a virtue.


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That downturn, however, is not the pivotal moment that matters most in Middle-earth. For a while in the spring of , Tolkien was put in charge of an outpost of the Humber Garrison near Thirtle Bridge at Roos in a house next to the post office, according to local tradition and Edith was able to live with him. When duty permitted, they would stroll in a nearby wood, which Roos tradition identifies as Dents Garth, at the south end of the village, near the parish church of All Saints.

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Here, at the feet of ash, oak, sycamore, and beech trees, tall flowers with white umbels burst into bloom from mid-April until the end of May. It could have come from a fairy-tale, a vision of sylvan loveliness glimpsed by a wanderer returned from war.

When he next had leisure to compose at length, Tolkien put the scene at the heart of just such a tale. JavaScript is required to view this site.

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