Category Archives: Uncategorized

Fandom and the idea of transformation

Once we start to be honest about the things that we are fans of, it appears that most of us participate (to a greater or lesser extent) in a fandom of sorts. Fan behaviour can range from the simplest form … Continue reading

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Smoke and Mirrors

In his Guest of Honour speech at Mythcon 35 (2004), Neil Gaiman revealed his childhood response to Lord of the Rings like this: “I came to the conclusion that Lord of the Rings was, most probably, the best book that … Continue reading

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Exhibition on romance

As if specifically catering to your needs, the Bodleian Library in Oxford currently has an exhibition on called ‘The Romance of the Middle Ages’ which will run until 13th May. The exhibition has both manuscripts and other objects from the … Continue reading

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On Fairy Stories

Some people have asked me if they can read Tolkien’s essay online, and I promised to post a link. So here it is: On Fairy Stories. This is a .pdf file so it’s easy enough to work with. It is … Continue reading

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George MacDonald

Born in 1824, George MacDonald was tremendously influential in relation to the development of fantasy writing. He wrote a wide range of fairy tales and work primarily aimed at children, but also produced novels for adults – most importantly Phantastes … Continue reading

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Group work

Several years ago, while I was teaching in Dublin, I got the opportunity to join a varied group of colleagues – historians, classicists, modern language specialists – in an Old Norse reading group. Once a week we gathered in a … Continue reading

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Middle Earth is all around you

We’ve already mentioned Burne-Jones’s connections with Birmingham, and that Tolkien grew up here. In fact, it appears that Birmingham and its surroundings contributed enormously to the landscapes of Middle Earth. For a summary of the key areas, go here. For … Continue reading

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