Fantasies of Time and Death: Dunsany, Eddison, Tolkien

Research output: Book/ReportBook

Abstract / Description of output

This book reveals the unique contribution made by the three founding fathers of British fantasy—Lord Dunsany, E. R. Eddison and J. R. R. Tolkien—to our culture’s perennial reassessment of the meanings of time, death and eternity. It traces the poetic, philosophical and theological roots of the striking preoccupation with mortality and temporality that defines the imagined worlds of early fantasy fiction, and gives both the form of such fiction and its ideas the attention they deserve. Dunsany, Eddison and Tolkien raise some of the oldest questions in existence: about the limits of nature, human and divine; cosmic creation and destruction; the immortality conferred by art and memory; and the paradoxes and uncertainties generated by the universal experience of transience, the fear of annihilation and the desire for transcendence. But they respond to those questions by means of thought experiments that have no precedent in modern literary history.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Number of pages262
ISBN (Electronic)9781137518385
ISBN (Print)9781137518378
Publication statusPublished - 28 Jan 2020

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • Lord Dunsany
  • E.R. Eddison
  • J.R.R. Tolkien
  • time and death in writing
  • fantasy writing


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