Tales Before Tolkien by Douglas A. Anderson
The Roots of Modern Fantasy

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Synopsis

Terry Brooks. David Eddings. George R. R. Martin. Robin Hobb. The top names in modern fantasy all acknowledge J. R. R. Tolkien as their role model, the author whose work inspired them to create their own epics. But what writers influenced Tolkien himself? Here, internationally recognized Tolkien expert Douglas A. Anderson has gathered the fiction of authors who sparked Tolkien’s imagination in a collection destined to become a classic in its own right.

Andrew Lang’s romantic swashbuckler, “The Story of Sigurd,” features magic rings, an enchanted sword, and a brave hero loved by two beautiful women— and cursed by a ferocious dragon. Tolkien read E. A. Wyke-Smith’s “The Marvelous Land of Snergs” to his children, delighting in these charming tales of a pixieish people “only slightly taller than the average table.” Also appearing in this collection is a never-before-published gem by David Lindsay, author of Voyage to Arcturus, a novel which Tolkien praised highly both as a thriller and as a work of philosophy, religion, and morals.

In stories packed with magical journeys, conflicted heroes, and terrible beasts, this extraordinary volume is one that no fan of fantasy or Tolkien should be without. These tales just might inspire a new generation of creative writers.

 

About Douglas A. Anderson

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Douglas A. Anderson, a leading American Tolkien scholar and editor of The Annotated Hobbit, is acknowledged as the worldwide expert on the textual history of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. A bookseller in Ithaca, New York, and northwest Indiana, he now lives in southwestern Michigan.
 
Published August 26, 2003 by Del Rey. 528 pages
Genres: Science Fiction & Fantasy, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Tales Before Tolkien

Publishers Weekly

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Tolkien's sources comes Tales Before Tolkien: The Roots of Modern Fantasy, edited by Douglas A.

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Publishers Weekly

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Tolkien's sources comes Tales Before Tolkien: The Roots of Modern Fantasy, edited by Douglas A.

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SF Site

Lewis, provides a sufficiently wide array of stories, that while not everyone will thrill to every story (however seminal some might be in their genre), certainly everyone should find something to their taste.

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Project MUSE

Reading this book was for this reviewer and long-time Tolkien-fan the first time he has actually read MacDonald's "The Golden Key" or Knatchbull-Hugessen's "Puss-cat Mew"—although I should have liked to see, perhaps, the Brothers Grimm's tale "The Juniper Tree" in place of, say, Austin Tappan Wri...

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Locus Mag

Amazon has reviews from PW and Booklist, while contributor Steve Nagy (whose "The Hanged Man of Oz" opens the book) has posted this page with review excerpts and a complete table of contents.

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