John Garth, who is also writing a book about Tolkien and the First World War, reviewed Tom Shippey’s JRR Tolkien: Author of the Century for This is London. Here is an excerpt:
Tom Shippey’s title, Author Of The Century, is a provocative one, and I think that is its purpose. Nevertheless, he argues persuasively that Tolkien is a major author of the 20th century – not only because of his impact or demonstrable abilities, but because of his pre-eminence as a fantasy author. As Shippey points out, not only Tolkien but also Orwell, Vonnegut and Golding wrote fantasy – in the sense of metaphoric fictions about people and places we know do not exist – to deal with the overriding concerns of their times.
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