The Ecological Augury in the Works of JRR Tolkien

Liam Campbell

Cormarë Series No. 21

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The Ecological Augury in the Works of JRR Tolkien

A new death for the old world, winds of industrial change that gust across green hills and dales, machines and callous hearts that dig deep into the ecosystems of Earth as trees crash upon the shrinking forest floors and ecological devastation is visited upon the land. This is the darkest hour of Middle-earth as presented in J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings – how curiously all of this resembles our reality, and the environmental crisis that threatens the modern world...

This new study, in a clear and engaging tone, explores and unfolds the environmental dimension of Tolkien's work and worldview, not only in terms of the themes observable in his masterwork The Lord of the Rings, but also across his wider fiction, essays and private papers.

With discerning recourse to the work of leading ecologists and ecothinkers, this book argues that Tolkien in his unfolding narratives of machine against nature, where regimes of power ruthlessly move against the land – holds up a mirror to the ecological crisis of the primary world and offers a vivid depiction of (and thus a warning against) where the reckless abandonment of concern for the green face of the planet may lead. Tolkien, Campbell argues, by virtue of his consistent adherence to such striking and compelling environmental themes, was a visionary defender of nature who, before the emergence of any organised Green Movement, may have anticipated the scale of the environmental emergency that was yet to dawn. In the exploration of Tolkien's green themes and the critical analysis of his tales of Middle-earth and wider fiction, Campbell re-evaluates Tolkien as a contemporary writer, and offers new insights into Tolkien's work and new perspectives on the literature of the fantastic.

 
About the author
Liam Campbell is an independent writer and scholar from Northern Ireland who holds a PhD in English literature. Liam has lectured in English literature for the University of Ulster, published previously on Tolkien and environmentalism, and given many talks across Europe and America on Tolkien, ecocriticism and contemporary literature.

Table of contents

Introduction
1

Chapter One
Rage against the Machine
27

Chapter Two
Contrasting Environmental Personas in The Lord of the Rings:
Tom Bombadil and Saruman
73

Chapter Three
Contrasting Environmental Personas in The Lord of the Rings:
Gandalf and Sauron
109

Chapter Four
Seeing the World through Elvish Eyes:
An Examination of the Human & Non-Human in Tolkien's Fiction
153

Chapter Five
Tales That Grew in the Telling
201

Conclusion
Mirrors of the Golden Wood
243

Afterword
Trouble with the Trees
255

Bibliography
273

Index
285

Announcements

James Nesbitt and Liam Campbell
Dwarvish actor meets Walking Tree author
(15th December 2012)
Book review in Beyond Bree (8th October 2012)
Book review in Zeitschrift für Fantastikforschung (6th June 2012)
Review of The Ecological Augury in the Works of JRR Tolkien (28th March 2012)
Derry Journal presents Liam Campbell's book (21st November)
The Ecological Augury in the Works of JRR Tolkien now available (3rd August 2011)
Upcoming publications (30th June 2011)

 
305 pages, Walking Tree Publishers 2011, Cormarë Series No. 21, ISBN: 978-3-905703-18-4.
 


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