Tolkien's Modern Middle Ages


Tolkien's Modern Middle Ages



J.R.R. Tolkien delved into the Middle Ages to create a critique of the modern world in his fantasy, yet did so in a form of modernist literature with postmodern implications and huge commercial success. These essays examine that paradox and its significance in understanding the intersection between traditionalist and counter-culture criticisms of the modern. The approach helps to explain the popularity of his works, the way in which they continue to be brought into dialogue with twenty-first century issues, and their contested literary significance in the academy.



Publication Date



Palgrave Macmillan


New York


J.R.R. Tolkien, Fantasy, Literary Theory, Postmodern, Ecocriticism, Gender


Literature in English, British Isles | Medieval Studies


"The reconsideration and further development of commentary on the disparate sources of, influences on, and analogues to LotR that I have summarized here make Tolkien’s Modern Middle Ages a worthy addition to the canon of Tolkien scholarship."--W.A. Senior, Journal of the Fantastic in the Arts "The outward appearance of this nicely designed volume spells 'quality' - and indeed, fair is not foul (though, as we all know, not all that is gold glitters ...). The overall quality of the essays assembled in this collection is quite high and the two editors did a good job in dividing the fourteen papers into four parts - the medieval in postmodern Middle-earth, Middle-earth and Victorian medievalism, modern ideologies in Middle-earth, and visualizing medievalism in Middle-earth...To sum up: the collection is an interesting example of what happens when medievalists (most of them anyway) read modern theories and apply them to Tolkien's work."--Hither Shore