Tales Before Tolkien: The Roots of Modern Fantasy

Front Cover
Douglas A. Anderson
Random House Publishing Group, 2005 - Fiction - 517 pages
“A superb collection, a splendid and much-needed book. Anderson has cleared away the dross and shown us the golden roots of fantasy before it became a genre.”
–Michael Moorcock, author of The Eternal Champion

Many of today’s top names in fantasy acknowledge J.R.R. Tolkien as the author whose work inspired them to create their own epics. But which writers influenced Tolkien himself? In a collection destined to become a classic in its own right, internationally recognized Tolkien expert Douglas A. Anderson, editor of The Annotated Hobbit, has gathered the fiction of the many gifted authors who sparked Tolkien’s imagination. Included are Andrew Lang’s romantic swashbuckler “The Story of Sigurd,” which features magic rings and a ferocious dragon; an excerpt from E. A. Wyke-Smith’s The Marvelous Land of Snergs, about creatures who were precursors to Tolkien’s hobbits; and a never-before-published gem by David Lindsay, author of A Voyage to Arcturus, a novel that Tolkien praised highly both as a thriller and as a work of philosophy, religion, and morality.

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.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - JonathanGorman - LibraryThing

Some gems in here, but also felt like the collection was a little over-zealous with the inclusion of stories and a desire for completeness that doesn't necessarily mesh with the stated goal of getting the general world of fantasy fans to enjoy pre-Tolkien works. Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - t1bnotown - LibraryThing

I thought the stories in this volume were okay, but not particularly exciting. What is most interesting about this collection is that it shows fantasy as a continuum- something that came out of old ... Read full review

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About the author (2005)

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.

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