J.R.R. Tolkien, Robert E. Howard and the Birth of Modern Fantasy


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About the Book

The birth of modern fantasy in 1930s Britain and America saw the development of new literary and film genres. J.R.R. Tolkien created modern fantasy with The Lord of the Rings, set in a fictional world based upon his life in the early 20th century British Empire, and his love of language and medieval literature. In small-town Texas, Robert E. Howard pounded out his own fantasy realm in his Conan stories, published serially in the ephemeral pulp magazines he loved. Jerry Siegel created Superman with Joe Shuster, and laid the foundation for perhaps the most far-reaching fantasy worlds: the universe of DC and Marvel comics. The work of extraordinary people who lived in an extraordinary decade, this modern fantasy canon still provides source material for the most successful literary and film franchises of the 21st century. Modern fantasy speaks to the human experience and still shows its origins from the lives and times of its creators.

About the Author(s)

Deke Parsons has a Ph.D. in English, with specializations in 20th century British literature and film, from Claremont Graduate University.

Bibliographic Details

Deke Parsons

Series Editors Donald E. Palumbo and C.W. Sullivan III

Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 200
Bibliographic Info: notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2015
pISBN: 978-0-7864-9537-5
eISBN: 978-1-4766-1749-7
Imprint: McFarland
Series: Critical Explorations in Science Fiction and Fantasy

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments viii
Introduction 1
I. J.R.R. Tolkien (1892–1973) 3
II. The Lord of the Rings 35
III. Robert E. Howard (1906–1936) 58
IV. Conan 97
V. Superman 132
VI. The Inheritors 162
Conclusion 169
Chapter Notes 171
Works Cited 175
Index 185

Book Reviews & Awards

  • “Elegant and thought provoking…recommended for readers interested in the fantasy genre, as well as those who wish to learn more about literary criticism and pop culture”—Library Journal
  • “A very enjoyable read…recommend”—SFRevu
  • “Fascinating”—Beyond Bree