Tolkien, Race and Cultural History: From Fairies to Hobbits by Dimitra Fimi
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Dimitra Fimi's work here is excellent. What she has written reads much like a cultural history of the creation of Middle-earth. She not only explains Tolkien's fascination with mythology and language and how they came together in the (sub-)creation of his legendarium, but explores the ways in which, across his long life, the world Tolkien lived in affected the shaping of the world he wrote about. At no time is Fimi's work heavy-handed. Her touch is always as light as it is far-reaching. Her writing is clear, concise, and persuasive. Her handling of evidence is fair and honest. Her knowledge of Tolkien and of the scholarship on his inner and outer worlds is hard to match. The expert and the newcomer to the study of Tolkien will each find much to learn and much to reflect upon in this essential work.
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