Utopian and Dystopian Themes in Tolkien’s Legendarium: Mark Doyle

— review by Alastair Whyte

15 October 2021 | Journal of Inklings Studies, Volume 11, № 2, 244

It is encouraging to witness the increasing volume of scholarship examining the relationship of J.R.R. Tolkien’s fiction with utopian and dystopian modes of literature. It was of course Tom Shippey who, in The Road to Middle-earth, prominently placed Tolkien among dystopian authors such as Orwell, Golding, and Vonnegut as fantasists […] confronting the fearful and horrible issues of political life’.1 Chester Scoville similarly observed that William Morris’s significant and often surprisingly overlooked2 influence on Tolkien establishes a clear connection between Tolkien’s fantasy’ and the canon of utopian literature, however much Morris’s and Tolkien’s representations differ. As such, Mark Doyle’s Utopian and Dystopian Themes in Tolkien’s Legendarium is a welcome addition to this growing field of scholarship.…

permalink 🔗︁
date recorded 📅2022-01-27
scribe 🖋worblehat