Tales Before Tolkien: The Roots of Modern Fantasy

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Terry Brooks. David Eddings. George R. R. Martin. Robin Hobb. The top names in modern fantasy all acknowledge J. R. R. Tolkien as their role model, the author whose work inspired them to create their own epics. But what writers influenced Tolkien himself? Here, internationally recognized Tolkien expert Douglas A. Anderson has gathered the fiction of authors who sparked Tolkien’s imagination in a collection destined to become a classic in its own right.

Andrew Lang’s romantic swashbuckler, “The Story of Sigurd,” features magic rings, an enchanted sword, and a brave hero loved by two beautiful women— and cursed by a ferocious dragon. Tolkien read E. A. Wyke-Smith’s “The Marvelous Land of Snergs” to his children, delighting in these charming tales of a pixieish people “only slightly taller than the average table.” Also appearing in this collection is a never-before-published gem by David Lindsay, author of Voyage to Arcturus, a novel which Tolkien praised highly both as a thriller and as a work of philosophy, religion, and morals.

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.

Tales Before Tolkien: 22 Magical Stories

“The Elves” by Ludwig Tieck
“The Golden Key” by George Macdonald
“Puss-Cat Mew” by E. H. Knatchbull-Hugessen
“The Griffin and the Minor Canon” by Frank R. Stockton
“The Demon Pope” by Richard Garnett
“The Story of Sigurd” by Andrew Lang
“The Folk of the Mountain Door” by William Morris
“Black Heart and White Heart” by H. Rider Haggard
“The Dragon Tamers” by E. Nesbit
“The Far Islands” by John Buchan
“The Drawn Arrow” by Clemence Housman
“The Enchanted Buffalo” by L. Frank Baum
“Chu-bu and Sheemish” by Lord Dunsany
“The Baumhoff Explosive” by William Hope Hodgson
“The Regent of the North” by Kenneth Morris
“The Coming of the Terror” by Arthur Machen
“The Elf Trap” by Francis Stevens
“The Thin Queen of Elfhame” by James Branch Cabell
“The Woman of the Wood” by A. Merritt
“Golithos the Ogre” by E. A. Wyke-Smith
“The Story of Alwina” by Austin Tappan Wright
“A Christmas Play” by David Lindsay
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About the author

Douglas A. Anderson, a leading American Tolkien scholar, is acknowledged as the worldwide expert on the textual history of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, and has contributed the textual notes for all Houghton Mifflin editions of these titles for more than a decade. He has been a bookseller, in Ithaca, New York and northwest Indiana. He now lives in southwestern Michigan. He is the editor of The Annotated Hobbit.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Del Rey
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Published on
Aug 26, 2003
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Pages
432
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ISBN
9780345469816
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Language
English
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Genres
Fiction / Anthologies (multiple authors)
Fiction / Fantasy / Collections & Anthologies
Fiction / Literary
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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In his acclaimed collection Tales Before Tolkien, Douglas A. Anderson illuminated the sources, inspirations, and influences that fired J.R.R. Tolkien’s genius. Now Anderson turns his attention to Tolkien’s colleague and friend C. S. Lewis, whose influence on modern fantasy, through his beloved Narnia books, is second only to Tolkien’s own.

In many ways, Lewis’s influence has been even wider than Tolkien’s. For in addition to the Narnia series, Lewis wrote groundbreaking works of science fiction, urban fantasy, and religious allegory, and he came to be regarded as among the most important Christian writers of the twentieth century. It will come as no surprise, then, that such a wide-ranging talent drew inspiration from a variety of sources. Here are twenty of the tributaries that fed Lewis’s unique talent, among them:

“The Wood That Time Forgot: The Enchanted Wood,” taken from a never-before-published fantasy by Lewis’s biographer and friend, Roger Lancelyn Green, that directly inspired The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe; E. Nesbit’s charming “The Aunt and Amabel,” in which a young girl enters another world by means of a wardrobe; “The Snow Queen,” by Hans Christian Andersen, featuring the abduction of a young boy by a woman as cruel as she is beautiful; and many more, including works by Charles Dickens, Kenneth Grahame, G. K. Chesterton, and George MacDonald, of whom Lewis would write, “I have never concealed the fact that I regarded him as my master.”

Full of fascinating insights into Lewis’s life and fiction, Tales Before Narnia is the kind of book that will be treasured by children and adults alike and passed down lovingly from generation to generation.

INCLUDING SEVENTEEN MORE WORKS BY THE PROGENITORS OF MODERN FANTASY AND SCIENCE FICTION:
“Tegnér’s Drapa” by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
“The Magic Mirror” by George MacDonald
“Undine” by Friedrich de la Motte Fouqué
“Letters from Hell: Letter III” by Valdemar Thisted
“Fastosus and Avaro” by John Macgowan
“The Tapestried Chamber; or, The Lady in the Sacque” by Sir Walter Scott
“The Story of the Goblins Who Stole a Sexton” by Charles Dickens
“The Child and the Giant” by Owen Barfield
“A King’s Lesson” by William Morris
“The Waif Woman: A Cue—From a Saga” by Robert Louis Stevenson
“First Whisper of The Wind in the Willows” by Kenneth Grahame
“The Wish House” by Rudyard Kipling
“Et in Sempiternum Pereant” by Charles Williams
“The Dragon’s Visit” by J.R.R. Tolkien
“The Coloured Lands” by G. K. Chesterton
“The Man Who Lived Backwards” by Charles F. Hall
“The Dream Dust Factory” by William Lindsay Gresham
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