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Volume 34

Number 2

Article 12

4-15-2016

Reviews

Reviews

Rebekah Choat

Independent Scholar

Joe R. Christopher

(emeritus) Tarleton State University, Stephenville, TX

Cait Coker

Independent Scholar

Janet Brennan Croft

Rutgers University, NJ

Mike Foster

(retired) Illinois Central College in East Peoria, IL

See next page for additional authors

Follow this and additional works at:

https://dc.swosu.edu/mythlore

Part of the

Children's and Young Adult Literature Commons

Recommended Citation

Recommended Citation

Choat, Rebekah; Christopher, Joe R.; Coker, Cait, et al. (2016) "Reviews," Mythlore: A Journal of J.R.R.

Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, Charles Williams, and Mythopoeic Literature: Vol. 34 : No. 2 , Article 12. Available at:

http://dc.swosu.edu/mythlore/vol34/iss2/12

This Book Reviews is brought to you for free and open access by the Mythopoeic Society at SWOSU Digital Commons. It has been accepted for inclusion in Mythlore: A Journal of J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, Charles Williams, and Mythopoeic Literature by an authorized editor of SWOSU Digital Commons. An ADA compliant document is available upon request. For more information, please contact phillip.fitzsimmons@swosu.edu.

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Mythcon 51: The Mythic, the Fantastic, and the Alien

Albuquerque, New Mexico • Postponed to: July 30 – August 2, 2021

Abstract

Abstract

Charles Williams: The Third Inkling. Grevel Lindop. Reviewed by Scott McLaren.

The Chapel of the Thorn: A Dramatic Poem. Charles Williams. Edited and Introduced by Sørina Higgins.

Reviewed by Scott McLaren.

Women and C.S. Lewis: What His Life and Literature Reveal For Today’s Culture. Carolyn Curtis and Mary

Pomroy Key, eds. Reviewed by Rebekah Choat.

Tolkien Among the Moderns. Edited by Ralph C. Wood. Reviewed by Andrew C. Stout.

Tolkien. Raymond Edwards. Reviewed by Cait Coker.

Children into Swans: Fairy Tales and the Pagan Imagination. Jan Beveridge. Reviewed by Brian Roberts.

Trilby/The Crumb Fairy. Charles Nodier. Translated and adapted by Ruth Berman. Reviewed by Kelly Orazi.

The Prince of the Aquamarines. Louise Cavalier Levesque. Trans. and with an afterword by Ruth Berman.

Reviewed by Kelly Orazi.

The Lessons of Nature in Mythology. Rachel S. McCoppin. Reviewed by Kristine Larsen.

Hither Shore: Jahrbuch der Deutschen Tolkien Gesellschaft. Special issue: Nature and Landscape in

Tolkien. Ed. Thomas Fornet-Ponse et al. Reviewed by Janet Brennan Croft.

Seven: An Anglo-American Literary Review. Ed. Marjorie Lamp Mead. Reviewed by Janet Brennan Croft.

Tolkien Studies: An Annual Scholarly Review. Ed. Michael D.C. Drout, Verlyn Flieger, and David Bratman.

Reviewed by Janet Brennan Croft.

The Skill of a Seeker: Rowling, Religion and Gen 9/11. Marilyn R. Pukkila. Reviewed by Emily Moniz

Mirova.

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Light: C.S. Lewis's First and Final Short Story. Charlie W. Starr. Reviewed by Melody Green.

The Story of Kullervo. J.R.R. Tolkien. Edited and introduced by Verlyn Flieger. Reviewed by Mike Foster.

The Victorian Approach to Modernism in the Fiction of Dorothy L. Sayers. Aoife Leahy. Reviewed by Joe R.

Christopher.

Reading Joss Whedon. Rhonda V. Wilcox, Tanya R. Cochran, Cynthea Masson, and David Lavery, eds.

Reviewed by by Janet Brennan Croft.

Authors

Authors

Rebekah Choat, Joe R. Christopher, Cait Coker, Janet Brennan Croft, Mike Foster, Melody Green, Kristine

Larsen, Scott McLaren, Emily Moniz Mirova, Kelly Orazi, Brian Roberts, and Andrew C. Stout

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Reviews

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G re v e l L in d o p . O x fo rd : O x fo rd U P , 2015. 493 p . ISBN 978-0-19-928415-3. $34.95.

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C h a rle s W illiam s. E d ite d a n d I n tr o d u c e d b y Sø r in a H ig g in s . B erkeley: A p o c ry p h ile P re ss, 2014. 147 p. ISBN 978-1940671536. $16.95

C h a r l e s W i l l i a m s h a s t h i s m u c h i n c o m m o n w ith th e p o s ts tr u c tu ra lis ts w h o s e th e o rie s cam e to d o m in a te lite r a ry c ritic ism in th e la te m id d le d e c a d e s o f th e tw e n tie th c e n tu ry : h e d id n o t b e lie v e th a t th e b io g ra p h ic a l d e ta ils o f a p o e t's life c o u ld e lu c id a te th e p o e tr y sh e o r h e w ro te . C ritic ism m u s t, h e a rg u e d , " e x p la in p o e tr y b y p o e tr y [...] b e c a u s e p o e tr y is a th in g su i

generis" (L in d o p 193). W h a te v e r h e ig h ts of b rillia n c e W illia m s a c h ie v e d in h is

o w n lite r a ry criticism , in th is a t le a s t h e w a s a lm o s t c e rta in ly w ro n g . T h is o u ts ta n d in g a n d m e tic u lo u s ly re s e a rc h e d b io g r a p h y b y G re v e l L in d o p s h e d s n o t o n ly n e w b u t a s to n is h in g lig h t o n C h a rle s W illia m s as p o et, n o v elist, a n d lite r a ry critic; as o c c u ltist a n d C h ris tia n ; a n d as e d ito r a n d p u b lis h e r. M o s t e x tr a o rd in a ry , h o w e v e r, are th e re v e la tio n s b r o u g h t to l i g h t—a n d th e s e fo r th e first tim e sin ce W illia m s 's u n tim e ly d e a th in th e s p r in g o f 1 9 4 5 —a b o u t h is life as a h u s b a n d , a fa th e r, a n d e sp e c ia lly a lover.

U n d e r L in d o p 's sk illfu l p e n , W illia m s 's d e v e lo p m e n t as a lite ra ry fig u re se e m s to flo w n a tu r a lly a n d e n g a g in g ly fro m th e d e ta ils o f h is e v e ry d a y life. O n th e v e ry first p a g e , fo r e x a m p le , L in d o p d ra w s a lin e b e tw e e n W illia m s 's p o o r e y e s ig h t in e a rly c h ild h o o d a n d h is la te r b o o k is h n e ss. B ecause W illia m s c o u ld n e v e r see as w e ll as m o s t, h e t u r n e d n a tu r a lly to th e k in d s of te x ts a n d a b s tra c tio n s th a t h e c o u ld d r a w n e a r e r to h im se lf. C o n se q u e n tly , L in d o p w rite s, "T h e p h y s ic a l w o r ld w o u ld a lw a y s be, fo r h im , a little u n re a l" (5). F o r th e re a d e r , h o w e v e r, W illia m s 's c h ild h o o d co m es in to s h a r p focus. St. A lb a n s, w h e re W illia m s g re w u p , co m es as m u c h to life o n th e p a g e s o f th is b io g r a p h y as it d o e s in W illia m s 's o w n n o v els. L in d o p also u n d e rs c o re s th e im p o rta n c e o f W illia m s 's a d o le s c e n t fr ie n d s h ip s as h e u n fo ld s th e w a y s in w h ic h a s h a r e d e x p o s u r e to C o v e n try P a tm o r e 's " lite r a r y b r e w o f re lig io n ,

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poetry, and sex" (31) came to exert a lifelong influence on his prolific

imagination. Indeed, one might even say that the entire narrative arc of

Lindop's book points persuasively to the fact that Williams spent the whole of

his life working out in one context or another the mysterious connection

between sexual love, theology, and literature. These ideas, at the very core of

Williams's identity as a writer and as a man, were present from the beginning.

Unlike virtually every other scholar before him, Lindop does not shy

away from describing in great detail Williams's formative involvement in A.E.

Waite's Fellowship of the Rosy Cross or his decidedly unusual relationships

with women. By the time Williams met his future wife Florence Conway, he

was already intellectually committed to the idea that a mysterious spiritual

relationship existed between sexual and creative energy. Indeed, Lindop

provides ample evidence that Williams experimented and came to rely on his

frustrated sexual desire for Florence—what Williams termed "renunciation" —

in order to write his first substantial poetic work: The Silver Stair. After

Williams married Florence, however, it soon became obvious that she could no

longer serve in the role of unattainable muse. "Why the devil," Williams wrote

in a letter in 1925, "does anyone ever get married? What does marriage, and its

consequences do for any human but cause disappointment, misery, disillusion,

unhappiness, strife, tumult, weariness, boredom, sickness, malevolence,

hatred, cruelty, stubbornness, anger, torment?" (87). Without a muse, Williams

was miserable. What Florence was for him during their courtship, she could

never be in their marriage. The fact that he had a young son and needed

money to pay the bills only made things worse. Williams needed a new muse.

Lindop's descriptive analysis of Williams's confusing, intense, chaste,

and remarkably protracted relationship with Phyllis Jones, the librarian at

Oxford University Press where Williams worked as an editor, is a major

highlight of the book. When Phyllis met Williams she was, in Lindop's words,

"blonde, pretty, lively and twenty-two years old" (123). Williams, on the other

hand, was greying and almost forty. To escape the cacophony of his home, he

spent countless hours at work and became steadily more involved in Waite's

Fellowship of the Rosy Cross. Waite's order, meanwhile, fed Williams's

imagination and sharpened his ideas about the relationship between religion,

sex, and poetry. Around this time he also finished a draft of a book on what he

called romantic theology. Phyllis—or Celia as she became known in the

elaborate mythology Williams constructed around her—became the

centerpiece of his creative universe, appeared in his novels, informed his

poetry, and eventually broke his heart when she slept with one of his

colleagues at the Press. Williams was shattered. But he insisted on believing

that what he had seen in her before, what was now ruined, somehow remained

utterly inviolable. It was she, and it was not she: a paradox that came to inhabit

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R eview s

th e v e ry core o f W illia m s 's th e o lo g y . A n d yet, h o w e v e r sp e c ia l P h y llis m a y h a v e b e e n , h e n e v e rth e le s s w e n t o n to d e v e lo p sim ila r re la tio n s h ip s w ith o th e r y o u n g w o m e n as w ell.

R e a d e rs o f th is re v ie w m ig h t w o n d e r w h y th e re h a s b e e n n o m e n tio n o f C.S. L e w is a n d J.R.R. T o lk ien . A lth o u g h L in d o p b e g in s th e b o o k w ith a d ra m a tic re te llin g o f W illia m s 's fa m o u s 1940 le c tu re o n M ilto n 's C o m u s a t O x fo rd U n iv e rs ity in th e c o m p a n y o f L e w is a n d T o lk ien , th e s e m e n in fact p la y e d n o re a l p a r t in W illia m s 's life u n til h is id e a s w e re all b u t set. A n d th o u g h L in d o p is a b le to s h o w in s e v e ra l p la c e s h o w W illia m s in flu e n c e d th e m , th e in flu e n c e L e w is a n d T o lk ie n e x e rte d o n h im w a s fa r less c o n se q u e n tia l. A fte r all, W illia m s k n e w n o th in g o f L e w is u n til 1936 w h e n h e r e a d a m a n u s c r ip t d ra f t o f T h e A l l e g o r y o f L o v e (a title W illia m s cam e u p w ith in p la c e o f L e w is 's m o r e a w k w a r d a n d o b sc u re T h e H o u s e o f B u s i r a n e). L e w is a n d

W illia m s lik e d a n d a d m ir e d e a c h o th e r. T o lk ien , b y c o n tra st, h a d re s e rv a tio n s a b o u t W illia m s —n o t le a s t b e c a u s e h e re s e n te d L e w is 's affectio n fo r h im . H e re , th e n , is th e o n e p ro b le m w ith th is o th e r w is e o u ts ta n d in g b o o k : ju s t as W illia m s r e title d L e w is 's m a n u s c r ip t a n d th e r e b y h e lp e d e n s u r e its c o m m e rc ia l success, it is n o t d iffic u lt to im a g in e O x fo rd re titlin g L in d o p 's b o o k in th e h o p e of b r o a d e n in g its a p p e a l. B u t C h a rle s W illia m s w a s so v e ry m u c h m o r e th a n th e " th ir d " In k lin g . A n y o n e w h o p ic k s u p th is b o o k e x p e c tin g o n ly th a t w ill be e ith e r d is a p p o in te d , or, o n e ca n o n ly h o p e , p le a s a n tly s u r p r is e d w h e n th is b io g r a p h y d o e s w h a t all g o o d b io g r a p h ie s o f lite r a ry fig u re s m u s t do: p la n t in th e re a d e r a d e s ire to tu r n to th e lite r a ry w o rk s th e m se lv e s.

Sø r in a Hig g in'sed itio no f Willia m s's "Dr a m a tic Po e m" o r p la y T h e C h a p e l o f t h e T h o r n m ig h t b e ju s t th e p la c e to b e g in . In th is b e a u tifu lly p ro d u c e d q u a rto -s ty le v o lu m e , th e re a d e r w ill fin d th e p la y itself, a le n g th y a n d in fo rm a tiv e in tro d u c tio n b y H ig g in s , as w e ll as a p re fa c e b y L in d o p a n d a n e s s a y b y D a v id L le w e lly y n D o d d s . O n e o f W illia m s 's e a rlie s t w o rk s , T h e C h a p e l o f t h e T h o r n w a s c o m p le te d a r o u n d th e tim e h e p u b lis h e d T h e S i l v e r S t a i r in 1912. Set in th e M id d le A g es, th e p la y a n tic ip a te s in so m e re m a rk a b le w a y s W illia m s 's n o v e ls W a r i n H e a v e n, M a n y D i m e n s i o n s, a n d T h e G r e a t e r T r u m p s . L ik e th e s e la te r w o rk s, th e p o e m is c o n s tru c te d a r o u n d a s tru g g le fo r a sa c re d relic im b u e d w ith m y s te rio u s a n d sa c ra m e n ta l p o w e r. G u a r d e d b y a m y s tic a l p r ie s t a n d h is aco ly te in a h u m b le c h a p e l, th e relic is also c la im e d o n b e h a lf of th e in s titu tio n a l C h u rc h b y a local a b b o t w h o w is h e s to u s e it to d r a w p ilg rim s to h is ab b ey . In th e s h a d o w o f so p o w e rfu l a n a n ta g o n is t, th e p r ie s t m a n a g e s to e n lis t th e h e lp o f th e local v illa g e rs w h o p ro m is e to h in d e r th e a b b o t—n o t b e c a u s e th e y re v e re th e relic as a s a c re d o b ject in its o w n rig h t, b u t b e c a u s e th e c h a p e l itself is c o n s tru c te d o v e r th e to m b o f a p a g a n h ero . T h e p la y is m o s tly m a d e u p o f a series o f d e b a te s t h a t ta k e p la c e b e tw e e n th o s e w h o r e p r e s e n t

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v a rio u s ly th e m y stic a l, ecclesiastical, a n d p a g a n p e rs p e c tiv e s. In th e e n d , W illia m s re fu s e s to re s o lv e th e s e d iffe re n c e s fo r th e r e a d e r p e r h a p s b e c a u se , as L in d o p a rg u e s in h is b io g r a p h y , W illia m s fo u n d w a y s to s y m p a th iz e w ith all th re e . A n y o n e fa m ilia r w ith W illia m s 's n o v e ls w ill d o u b tle s s fin d g re a t p le a s u re in p o r in g o v e r th is p la y a n d se e in g h o w th e m a jo r th e m e s th a t d o m in a te th o s e n a rr a tiv e s a re a lr e a d y activ e in th is fa s c in a tin g w o rk .

A lth o u g h it h a s b e c o m e c o m m o n p la c e fo r re v ie w e r s ro u tin e ly to d e c la re th a t th e b o o k o r b o o k s th e y a re r e v ie w in g are in d is p e n s a b le , in th is case it is re a lly tru e . N o o n e w o rk in g o n W illia m s in a n y s e rio u s w a y w ill b e ab le to m a k e m u c h p r o g r e s s w ith o u t r e a d in g L in d o p 's b io g r a p h y . S im ilarly,

The Chapel o f the Thorn d e m o n s tra te s ju s t h o w im p o r ta n t a p o e t's e a rly w o rk s

ca n b e to o u r o v e ra ll u n d e r s ta n d in g o f h e r o r h is d e v e lo p m e n t. S ch o lars a n d e n th u s ia s tic re a d e r s o f W illia m s s h o u ld b e g ra te fu l to b o th L in d o p a n d H ig g in s fo r th e s e o u ts ta n d in g p u b lic a tio n s.

—S co tt M c L a re n

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C a ro ly n C u rtis a n d M a r y P o m r o y K ey, e d s. L io n H u d s o n , 2015. 287 p . ISBN 978-0-7459-5694-7. $17.95.

M o r e t h a n f i f t y y e a r s a f t e r h i s d e a t h , t h e w r i t i n g s o f C.S. L e w is c o n tin u e to in s tru c t a n d in s p ire re a d e r s r a n g in g fr o m c h ild re n to a c c o m p lis h e d sc h o la rs. T h e a c c u sa tio n th a t L e w is w a s sexist, o r ev e n m iso g y n istic , also re m a in s in c irc u la tio n a fte r all th is tim e. T h e is s u e h a s b e e n a d d r e s s e d b efo re, b u t p r im a r ily

by

a c a d e m ic s in b o o k s

for

a c a d em ics.

E d ito rs C a ro ly n C u rtis a n d M a r y P o m ro y K e y seek to p r e s e n t a m o re accessib le e v a lu a tio n o f L e w is 's a ttitu d e to w a r d w o m e n in b o th h is p e rs o n a l life a n d h is lite r a ry w o rk s, a n d to e x a m in e h is c o n tin u in g re le v a n c e in lig h t of c u rr e n t " w o m e n 's is su e s." To th a t e n d , th e y h a v e co llected e ss a y s fro m e d u c a to rs , p o e ts , a u th o r s o f fiction, p o p u la r sp e a k e rs, a jo u rn a lis t, a n d a c h ild h o o d c o rr e s p o n d e n t o f C.S. L ew is, as w e ll as so m e o f th e m o s t h ig h ly r e s p e c te d liv in g L e w is sch o lars.

T h e b o o k is d iv id e d in to five sectio n s, in w h ic h c o n trib u to rs o ffer in s ig h t in to th e w o m e n in L e w is 's life, th e p o rtra y a l o f g irls a n d w o m e n in h is no v els, th e tr e a tm e n t o f th e fe m in in e in h is p o e try , th e effect o f L e w is 's life a n d

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literature on twenty-first century understanding of women's roles and rights,

and the impact his views of women have had on current-generation thinkers.

"Section One: Lewis, the man—and the women in his life" is made up

of seven chapters. In the first of these, Crystal Hurd does an admirable job of

fleshing out Flora Lewis, previously known to many only as the mother Lewis

lost in childhood. This brief biographical sketch does much to inform the

reader of the foundation she laid for her sons' intellectual and spiritual

development. It is, in my opinion, the most informative essay in this opening

section. It is followed by Paul McCusker's exploration of the relationship

between Lewis and Mrs. Janie Moore. The chapter discloses no new

information to those familiar with Lewis's life story, but does tease out

connections between the young man's home life and his living arrangement

with the older woman, and highlights Lewis's strong sense of duty and

service, both in his relationship with Mrs. Moore and in his writings. In the

third chapter, Lyle W. Dorsett presents a concise, well-developed biography of

Joy Davidman, examining the impact of Lewis's published works and personal

letters on her conversion, and culminating in their friendship and eventual

marriage. Don W. King's essay presents a scant biographical sketch of Ruth

Pitter but adequately outlines her relationship with Lewis and then contrasts

her personality with Joy Davidman's. In Chapter Five, Crystal A. Downing

offers a well-written examination of Lewis's friendship with Dorothy L. Sayers

and their influence on each other's work. Disappointingly, Chapter Six, by

Alister McGrath, titled "On Tolkien, the Inklings—and Lewis' blindness to

gender," focuses primarily on the Inklings, mentioning the writer's female

friends and his gender-blindness in only one short paragraph near the end of

the piece. Section One closes with the preposterously titled "C.S. Lewis and the

friends who apparently couldn't really have been his friends, but actually

were," an index-like listing compiled by Colin Duriez of nine women—four of

whom were dealt with individually in previous chapters—with whom Lewis

had some connection.

"Section Two: Lewis, the fiction author—how girls and women are

portrayed in his novels" is, I believe, the meatiest part of the book. In the first

chapter, Devin Brown neatly defends The Chronicles of Narnia against popular

accusations of sexism. Next, Steven Elmore provides us with a close look at the

characterization of females in The Space Trilogy, noting the strength and

intelligence of Perelandra's queen, Tinidril, and Jane Studdock's inclusion and

growth in the Fellowship of St. Anne's in That Hideous Strength. Joy Jordan

Lake's chapter contrasts the self-absorption of the female "ghosts" who visit

heaven in The Great Divorce with the magnificent humility and selflessness of

Sarah Smith, who is identified as "one of the great ones" (125). In Chapter

Four, David C. Downing explores the positive influence of Lewis's mother,

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F lo ra, o n h is p o rtra y a l o f M o th e r K irk a n d R e a so n in The P ilgrim 's Regress. T h e se c tio n e n d s o n a h ig h n o te w ith A n d r e w L a z o 's in s ig h tfu l c h a p te r d e ta ilin g w a y s in w h ic h L e w is g u id e s u s a n d e x a m in in g Jo y D a v id m a n 's im p a c t o n Till

We Have Faces a n d The Four Loves.

"S ectio n T h ree: L ew is, th e p o e t - s u r p r i s e s fro m h is p o e tr y " o p e n s w ith B rad D a v is 's v ie w o f L e w is 's e a rly a m b itio n to b e a g r e a t p o e t a n d th e e v o lu tio n o f h is v ie w s o f w o m e n as e x p re s s e d in h is v erse. In th e se c o n d c h a p te r, K elly B elm o n te o ffe rs a w o rk in g p o e t's in s ig h ts in to th e h ig h e x p e c ta tio n s s h o w n in L e w is 's p o e tr y fo r w o m e n n o less th a n m e n to ach ie v e " g r e a t a n d g lo rio u s a n d te rrib le th in g s " (156). She also d ra w s a tte n tio n to L e w is 's d e c la ra tio n in "A s th e R u in F alls" th a t it w a s a w o m a n w h o ta u g h t h im w h a t h e la c k e d a n d h e lp e d h im " g e t b a c k / F ro m exile, a n d g ro w m a n " (156). C h a p te r T h re e is M a lc o lm G u ite 's m a s te rf u l e s s a y d e a lin g w ith L e w is 's " a w a re n e s s o f th e fe m in in e p o w e rs w ith in th e m a s c u lin e " (162) as s h o w n in h is p o e m " R e a so n ," in w h ic h A th e n e a n d D e m e te r h e lp th e s p e a k e r to re a c h a " c o n c o rd o f th e d e p th a n d h e ig h t" a n d fin a lly " w h o lly s a y th a t I BELIEVE" (164).

"S ectio n F o u r: L ew is, th e i n f l u e n c e r - h o w h is life a n d lite r a tu re im p a c t th e tw e n ty - fir s t c e n tu r y d is c u s s io n a b o u t w o m e n " b e g in s w ith M o n ik a H ild e r 's in te rv ie w - s tr u c tu re d p ie c e d e ftly a n s w e rin g q u e s tio n s fu r th e r in v e s tig a tin g th e c h a rg e o f se x ism c o m m o n ly b r o u g h t a g a in s t L ew is. In th e se c o n d c h a p te r, B rett M c C ra c k e n d is c u s s e s th e h u n g e r o f h is g e n e ra tio n (tw e n ty -s o m e th in g s ) fo r p u b lic in te lle c tu a l C h ris tia n ity as m o d e le d b y L ew is, b u t fails to a d d r e s s h o w th is is c o n n e c te d to w o m e n 's issu e s. In C h a p te r T h ree, M a r y P o p lin s h a r e s th e s to ry o f h e r jo u r n e y " f ro m fe m in is t to m e r e C h ris tia n " (191), n o tin g h e r c o m m o n e x p e rie n c e w ith L e w is a n d D a v id m a n as a n a d u lt c o n v e rt a n d th e im p a c t o f L e w is 's w ritin g s o n h e r u n d e r s ta n d in g o f g e n d e r ro les. J e a n n e tte S ears lo o k s a t "L e w is as te a c h e r a n d se rv a n t" a n d d e lv e s in to h is p o s itio n a g a in s t th e o rd in a tio n o f w o m e n as p rie s ts in C h a p te r F o u r. C h a p te r F iv e is u n iq u e in th a t K a th y K eller is th e o n ly c o n trib u to r to h a v e h a d d ir e c t c o n ta c t w ith L e w is (as a c o rr e s p o n d e n t d u r in g h e r c h ild h o o d ). She sh a re s h o w h is le tte rs a n d o th e r w ritin g s im p a c te d h e r v ie w s o n th e ro les of w o m e n in th e c h u rc h . W h ile H o lly O r d w a y a n d M ic h a e l W a rd p r e s e n t so lid a rg u m e n ts fo r c h a stity a n d th e u n d e r s ta n d in g o f m a tr im o n y as " m o th e r ­ m a k in g " in C h a p te rs Six a n d Seven, I w a s a b it b e m u s e d a t th e choice o f tw o c o n se rv a tiv e C a th o lic sin g le s to a d d r e s s lo v e a n d sex a n d c o n tra c e p tio n . T h e se c tio n closes w ith K a se y M a c s e n ti's e n g a g in g d is c u s s io n o f th e c a m a ra d e rie b e tw e e n Jack L e w is a n d D o ro th y L. Sayers, th e ir c o m m o n g o a l o f m a k in g " C h ris tia n ity accessib le a n d re le v a n t" (235), a n d th e ir u n ite d d e fe n s e n o t a g a in s t scien ce as su ch , b u t a g a in s t its deificatio n .

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R a n d y A lc o rn le a d s off "S ectio n Five: L ew is, th e m e n t o r —h o w h is v ie w s o n w o m e n im p a c t m in e " w ith a n a c c o u n t o f h o w L e w is 's re s p e c t a n d te n d e r n e s s to w a r d g irls a n d w o m e n , b o th in h is w r itin g a n d in h is p e rs o n a l d e a lin g s, h a s in s p ire d A lc o rn h im s e lf to s p e a k o u t fo r w o m e n . C h a p te r Tw o, " O n b e in g th e fa th e r o f im m o rta ls: le s so n s fro m 'T h e W e ig h t o f G lo ry ,'" b y J o h n S to n e s tre e t, is a fa irly g o o d s t u d y o f th is s e rm o n , b u t is tie d to w o m e n 's c o n c e rn s o n ly b y v ir tu e o f h is id e n tific a tio n as th e fa th e r o f d a u g h te r s . In th e fin a l c h a p te r, C h ris tin D itc h fie ld d ra w s o n th e sto rie s o f th e g irls o f N a r n ia to re in fo rc e L e w is 's h ig h v ie w o f w o m e n b y n o tin g th e s tre n g th s (w h ile n o t ig n o r in g th e flaw s) th e y d e m o n s tra te .

O n th e w h o le , W om en and C.S. Lewis o ffers s o m e th in g o f v a lu e in each o f th e s e a re a s o f in te re st. In so m e p a rtic u la rs , h o w e v e r, I b e lie v e th a t th e b o o k c o u ld h a v e b e e n a g o o d d e a l b e tte r. T h e se c tio n in tr o d u c tio n s d o n o t tr u ly a d d v a lu e , a n d th e r e is so m e d is p a r ity in th e q u a lity o f th e e ss a y s a n d e s p e c ia lly in th e ir re le v a n c e to th e to p ic a t h a n d . W h ile all th e p iece s a re s o m e w h a t in fo rm a tiv e a n d re a s o n a b ly w e ll-w ritte n , so m e d e c is iv e ly o u ts h in e o th e rs. A fe w a re tr u ly e n g a g in g a n d w in s o m e ly p e rs u a s iv e ; a n o th e r fe w feel ra th e r d e ta c h e d ; m o s t fall c o m fo rta b ly in th e m id d le o f th e sp e c tru m . M o st p ro b le m a tic in m y o p in io n a re tw o artic le s w h ic h , w h ile n o t b a d essa y s, h a v e o n ly th e m o s t te n u o u s c o n n e c tio n to women a n d L ew is.

A ll in all, h o w e v e r, I b e lie v e th a t C u rtis a n d K e y h a v e m e t th e ir o b jectiv e in W om en and C.S. Lewis, b r in g in g to g e th e r th e p e rc e p tio n s o f a w id e ra n g e o f c o n trib u to rs in a v o lu m e p ro fita b le to b o th th e c a su a l r e a d e r a n d th e s e rio u s d e v o te e . T h e s tre n g th s o f th e b o o k o u tw e ig h its w e a k n e s s e s su ffic ie n tly fo r m e to re c o m m e n d it as a w o rth w h ile a d d itio n to a w e ll- ro u n d e d C.S. L e w is collection.

—R e b e k a h C h o a t

T

o l k i e n

A

m o n g t h e

M

o d e r n s. E d ite d b y R a lp h C. W o o d . N o tre D am e: U n iv e rs ity o f N o tre D a m e P re ss, 2015. 312 p . ISBN 9780268019730. $32.00.

T h e c h a p t e r s i n t h i s v o l u m e , e d i t e d b y R a l p h C . W o o d o f B aylor U n iv e rs ity , w e re o rig in a lly p r e s e n te d as p a r t o f a c o n feren ce h e ld a t B ay lo r e n title d " R e a d in g T o lk ie n a n d L iv in g th e V irtu e s." In b o o k fo rm , th e e m p h a s is h a s s h ifte d fro m th e p ra g m a tic fo c u s o f th e c o n fe re n c e to th e m o r e th e o re tic a l q u e s tio n o f T o lk ie n 's p la c e in m o d e r n lite ra tu re . A c c o rd in g ly , th e

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b o o k c o m p a re s T o lk ie n 's w o rk s w ith th o s e o f m o d e r n is t w r ite r s M ig u e l d e C e rv a n te s, Ja m e s Joyce, a n d Iris M u rd o c h . T h e im p lic it p h ilo s o p h ic a l a n d th e o lo g ic a l p e rs p e c tiv e s o f T o lk ie n 's sto rie s a re h e ld u p a g a in s t th o s e of m o d e r n th in k e rs lik e N ie tz s c h e a n d E m m a n u e l L ev in as. W o o d a n d th e o th e r a u th o r s a tte m p t to s h o w th a t The Lord o f the R in g s is n e ith e r e s c a p is t n o r re a c tio n a rily p re m o d e rn . R a th e r, th e y " p la c e m o d e r n w rite rs a n d m o d e r n q u a n d a r ie s in liv e ly e n g a g e m e n t w ith th e te x tu a l p a rtic u la ritie s o f T o lk ie n 's m a s te rp ie c e , in th e c o n v ic tio n th a t [they] can th u s illu m in e Lord o f the R ings in p ro v o c a tiv e a n d c o n stru c tiv e w a y s " (2).

T h e re is a c h ro n o lo g ic a l p ro g r e s s io n w ith in th e b o o k . I t s ta rts w ith c o n s id e ra tio n s o f T o lk ie n 's c o n trib u tio n to a n c ie n t d e b a te s o n th e n a tu r e of p o e tr y a n d p ro v id e n c e , m o v e s to a c o m p a ris o n o f T o lk ie n 's fictio n w ith th e e a rly m o d e r n is m o f C e rv a n te s, a n d th e n c o m p a re s a n d c o n tra s ts T o lk ie n w ith m o r e q u in te s s e n tia lly m o d e r n w rite rs a n d th in k e rs . In th e fin a l c h a p te r, W o o d n e a tly d r a w s to g e th e r m a n y o f th e th e m e s o f th e p re v io u s c h a p te rs to d e m o n s tra te h o w T o lk ie n 's c ritiq u e s o f m o d e r n is m c o in c id e w ith th o s e of p o s tm o d e rn is m . I s u p p o s e it is d e b a ta b le w h e th e r th e first tw o c h a p te rs b y G e rm a in e P a u lo W alsh a n d H e le n L a sse te r F r e e h —w h ic h d e a l re s p e c tiv e ly w ith P la to 's v ie w s o n p o e tr y a n d th e c o n tr a s t o f p a g a n a n d C h ris tia n v ie w s of p r o v id e n c e in th e Silmarillion — d istra c t fro m th e m a in is su e o f T o lk ie n 's re la tio n s h ip to m o d e r n it y o r p ro v id e h e lp f u l co n tex t. T h o u g h b o th c h a p te rs a re v e ry h e lp f u l o n th e ir o w n te rm s, th e y d o n o t fit n a tu r a lly w ith in th e a rtic u la te d sco p e o f th e b o o k .

O n e o f th e s tro n g e s t fe a tu re s o f th e v o lu m e is th e c o m b in e d e ffo rt of P e te r M . C a n d le r Jr. a n d P h illip J. D o n n e lly to re v e a l th e c o n flic tin g o n to lo g ic a l v is io n s o f T o lk ie n a n d tw o o f m o d e r n it y 's m o s t im p o r ta n t fig u re s. In C h a p te r 4, "T o lk ie n o r N ie tz s c h e ; P h ilo lo g y a n d N ih ilis m ," C a n d le r a p p ro a c h e s T o lk ie n fr o m a th e o lo g ic a l p e rs p e c tiv e . H e a rg u e s th a t, fo r T o lk ien , " p h ilo lo g y ( u n d e r s to o d b r o a d ly as 'th e lo v e o f w o rd s ') r e tu r n s o n e to th e in e s c a p a b ly lin g u is tic c h a ra c te r o f all re v e la tio n a n d tr u th , p o in tin g to a c e rta in c o n c e p tio n o f th e h u m a n b e in g as f u n d a m e n ta lly sa c ra m e n ta l in its c re a te d p a rtic ip a tio n in th e life o f th e T rin ity " (97). T h is s a c ra m e n ta l o r p a rtic ip a to ry o n to lo g y sees h u m a n b e in g s, in c lu d in g h u m a n la n g u a g e a n d sto ries, as a n a lo g ic a lly a n d f u n d a m e n ta lly d e fin e d b y th e h a r m o n y o f tr in ita ria n re la tio n s h ip . T o lk ie n 's o n to lo g y o f p e a c e is c o n tr a s te d w ith N ie tz s c h e 's v ie w th a t " a ll p h ilo lo g ic a l re c o n s tru c tio n s a re e x p re s s io n s o f w ill to p o w e r," a n d th e re fo re e x p re s s io n s of a ch ao tic o r v io le n t o n to lo g ic a l p e rs p e c tiv e (109). T h e se c o m p e tin g a p p ro a c h e s to p h ilo lo g y re v e a l th e b r o a d e r a n ta g o n is m b e tw e e n T o lk ie n 's E n g lish m y th , w h ic h e m b o d ie s s tre n g th th r o u g h h u m ility , a n d N ie tz s c h e 's G e rm a n m y t h of Z a ra th u s tr a , w h ic h e m b o d ie s th e " w ill to p o w e r."

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Reviews

and James Joyce in Chapter 5, "A Portrait of the Poet as an Old Hobbit." While

initially noting some concerns shared by Tolkien's and Joyce's fiction,

Donnelly goes on to show how "Tolkien's writing suggests that the root

problem of both cultural modernity and aesthetic modernism is the 'view of

reality' that they share: the belief that reality consists of strife between violent

chaos and coerced order" (132). He goes on to examine the specific literary

technique of inset verse narratives used in The Lord of the Rings to show how

Tolkien's understanding of the artist's role responds to the challenges of

modernity. Joyce's protagonist in Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man sees the

artist as standing in radical opposition to his community to find unfettered

freedom of expression. Tolkien, on the other hand, sees the work of the artist

as a matter of long apprenticeship to a particular tradition in a particular time

and place. Connelly's careful reading of the development of Bilbo's inset

narratives is an excellent demonstration of the unity of literary form and

perspective.

These two chapters, though they deal carefully with Tolkien's literary

techniques and forms, are fundamentally theological critiques of modernity.

As such, both rely on the work of the theologian John Milbank, citing him at

important parts of each chapter's respective argument. Milbank argues that

secular modernity is a heretical offshoot of Christianity in Theology and Social

Theory (Wiley-Blackwell, 2006) and extends the argument in his recent Beyond

Secular Order (Wiley-Blackwell, 2013). In this respect, the violence or conflict

that so much modern thought sees as inherent in the world is, on Milbank's

view, simply a partial recognition of the truth. Yes, in a fallen world there is

much conflict and chaos. However, the foundational, primary reality of the

created order is the peace and reciprocity of the trinitarian Creator. This is the

theological infrastructure that underlies Tolkien's fiction.

When it comes to the issue of Tolkien and modernity, we cannot

escape this question of competing visions of the world and its deepest origins.

Tolkien's differences with modern writers are not simply matters of style or

sources. As the authors of this volume understand, the question of real interest

regarding Tolkien's place within modern literature has to do with conflicting

assumptions about the nature of the world; is it a good, created order, or is our

existence ultimately directionless and chaotic? Even in Scott H. Moore's

Chapter 7, "The Consolations of Fantasy: J.R.R. Tolkien and Iris Murdoch," the

surprising parallels that Moore finds between Tolkien's eucatastrophe and

Murdoch's modern concept of austere consolation are based mainly on

Murdoch's nostalgia for the coherence of the premodern and Christian world

that has been lost to modernity.

This volume effectively examines the conflicting aesthetic and ethical

assumptions that are revealed when Tolkien's work is held up against modern

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literature. It succeeds in this respect-illuminating and enriching the reader's

engagement with The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, and The Simarillion through

contrast with modern writers. However, readers should not approach the book

with an expectation that Tolkien will be presented in any significant way as a

modern writer. Tolkien was surely shaped by the modern world in which he

lived, and some of the authors point out common issues and concerns

addressed by both Tolkien and modernist writers. That being said, Tolkien

cannot be called a modernist in the literary sense, and the book does not make

that argument. In this respect, the book's perspective is similar to Theresa Fred

Nicolay's recent Tolkien and the Modernists: Literary Responses to the Dark New

Days of the 20th Century (McFarland, 2014).

Tolkien Among the Moderns functions primarily as a series of

comparison and contrasts. The contributions are well executed, and they are

certainly helpful in enhancing appreciation for Tolkien's work. They are

especially helpful in drawing out Tolkien's implicit theological perspective.

They do not, however, constitute a particularly innovative or constructive

contribution to scholarship on modern literature. By setting him alongside

modernist contemporaries, Tolkien is vindicated from charges of simple

escapism or nostalgia for a pagan or Christian past—but his perspective

remains resolutely and relevantly premodern.

—Andrew C. Stout

TOLKIEN. Raymond Edwards. London, Great Britain: Robert Hale Limited,

2014. 336 p. 9780719809866. £25.

The

practice of literary biography, in

which

the

study

of the subject's

life is intertwined with the study of their work, is notoriously difficult:

Documented fact must be balanced with the urge to gossip, the impulse to

create a neat and tidy narrative quelled. A literary, academic biography goes a

step further yet, balancing the contemporary appraisal of one's scholarship

with one's life and other work, and it is a study such as this that Raymond

Edwards has provided with Tolkien. Edwards, a scholar and philologist in his

own right who has worked on the Oxford English Dictionary, contextualizes

Tolkien's life and scholarship as well as his creative writings, and rewards the

reader by giving equal consideration to Tolkien's academic writing as well as

his legendarium. This is an important choice given that popular surveys of

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Reviews

Tolkien often overlook his scholarship, and the scholarly works often focus on

close readings of his novels and their various adaptations.

While at times the prose can turn rather dry, the pacing of the book

proceeds quickly: Tolkien is sent to school, to war, to work, and to fame in

short order. The book is divided into five main parts, titled "The Making of a

Philologist," "Philology in Practice," "Achievement," "Last Years," and

"Niggle's Parish," plus an epilogue and an appendix on Tolkien's Catholicism.

These headings indicate the main thrust of the work; the emphasis is always

on Tolkien's studies and how they framed his work, rather than reading

backwards from his fiction. In many ways this is a secular counterpoint to the

Zaleskis' The Fellowship, which read Tolkien and the Inklings' writings through

the lens of their various religious faiths, though it should be noted that the

Edwards book appeared in print first. His book also keeps a tight focus on

Tolkien, though of course Lewis and the other Inklings make brief appearances

here and there. Serious readers who want still more close analysis of Tolkien's

academic work may want to peruse several of the essays in Stuart D. Lee's

edited collection A Companion to J.R.R. Tolkien; these are more densely

academic pieces, but do provide very useful overviews in comparative

miniature. Sixteen color plates inserted in the middle of the book illustrate

various locations such as schools and churches that Tolkien attended; the lack

of photos of Tolkien and his intimates is notable, and indeed, the only images

of people are a portrait of Jacob Grimm and the bust of Tolkien in the Exeter

College chapel. This is likely because of the expense of photo permissions, but

it is an unfortunate omission.

"The Making of a Philologist" encompasses Tolkien's early years, his

time in World War I, his marriage to Edith, and concludes with his move to

and the start of his tenure at Oxford. When possible Edwards references works

Tolkien is known to have read, and otherwise situates relevant books

published or commonly read in the period to indicate his intellectual

antecedents. "Philology in Practice" discusses his teaching and academic

projects as well as the start of the composition of The Hobbit, while

"Achievement" follows the writing and publication of his other works, up

through the passing of his good friend Lewis. "Last Years" describes Tolkien's

retirement and then the deaths of both himself and Edith, while "Niggle's

Parish" provides an overview of some of his posthumous publications and

critical appraisal, including Edwards' own response to the Peter Jackson films

(he did not care for The Lord of the Rings, but did enjoy the first two

installments of The Hobbit). The appendix "Tolkien the Catholic" rather briefly

considers his place as a specifically Catholic writer given his own dislike of

reading allegorically. Given the breadth of this topic, I wish that Edwards

could have given more time and space over to it throughout the book rather

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R eview s

th a n p r e s e n tin g it as s o m e th in g o f a n a fte rth o u g h t, e sp e c ia lly c o n s id e rin g h o w clo sely w e r e a d C.S. L e w is in te r m s o f h is P r o te s ta n t e v a n g e lism .

U ltim a te ly , Tolkien is a b it o f a n o d d b o o k , th o u g h th is is n o t th e fa u lt o f th e a u th o r. G iv e n th e T o lk ie n E s ta te 's fra c tio u s p ro te c tio n is m o f T o lk ie n 's w o rk , access to a n d re p r o d u c tio n o f h is p e rs o n a l w ritin g s is d iffic u lt if n o t im p o ssib le . E d w a r d s n o te s in th e e n d th a t o n ly a fra c tio n o f T o lk ie n 's le tte rs h a v e e v e r b e e n p u b lis h e d , a n d th o s e h e a v ily a b rid g e d , a n d a g r e a t d e a l of o th e r m a te ria l is y e t in th e fa m ily 's p o ss e ssio n , u n a v a ila b le fo r access a n d w ith n o p la n s to p u b lis h , a t le a s t fo r n o w . A s su ch , d e s p ite th e b e s t a tte m p ts of E d w a r d s a n d o th e rs, a re a l "life" o f T o lk ie n can b a re ly sc ra tc h th e su rface. G iv e n th e fo c u s o n T o lk ie n 's a c a d e m ic effo rts, I w o u ld re c o m m e n d Tolkien fo r sc h o la rs a n d s e rio u s re a d e rs ; th e a v e ra g e u n d e r g r a d u a te o r c a su a l fa n w o u ld lik e ly fin d th e m a te ria l s a d ly u n in te re s tin g . F o r a c a d e m ic lib ra rie s it is, h o w e v e r, a n ecessity .

—C a it C o k e r

S o u r c e s C i t e d

Lee, S tuart D., Ed. A Companion to J.R.R. Tolkien. M alaysia: W iley Blackwell, 2014. Zaleski, Philip a n d C arol Zaleski. The Fellowship: The Literary Lives of the Inklings:

J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, Owen Barfield, Charles Williams. N e w York: Farrar,

Straus, an d G iroux, 2015.

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M A G IN A T IO N . J a n B ev erid g e . M c G ill-Q u e e n 's U n iv e rs ity P re ss. 2014. 300 p. ISBN: 9780773543942. $29.95.

F a i r y t a l e s a r e f u l l o f c o m m o n e l e m e n t s a n d t h e m e s fa irie s a n d elves, d w a rfs a n d g ia n ts, p e o p le tu r n in g in to a n im a ls, m a g ic o f v a rio u s k in d s , jo u r n e y s to se c re t w o r ld s h id d e n ju s t o u t o f v ie w . B u t w h e re d id th e s e id e a s co m e fro m ? A n d h o w fa r b a c k can th e y b e tra c e d ? T h a t's th e q u e s tio n Ja n B e v e rid g e se e k s to a n s w e r in h e r b o o k Children into Swans: Fairy Tales and the

Pagan Imagination. T h e m a in th e s is o f th e w o rk is th a t th e s e th e m e s " re fle c t a n

a n c ie n t im a g in a tio n " (3). T h e lin g e rin g in flu e n c e o f th e p a g a n im a g in a tio n , its fe a rs a n d h o p e s a n d ritu a ls , is fo u n d e v e ry w h e re in th e fa iry ta le tra d itio n .

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T h e b o o k is d iv id e d in to fo u r sections: H is to ry , C h a ra c te rs, S tories fr o m th e P a g a n Y ear, S to ry te lle rs ' T h e m e s. In th e first section, B e v e rid g e tra c e s th e h is to ry o f fa iry tales, s ta rtin g w ith th e e a rly C eltic a n d N o rs e s to ry te llin g tr a d itio n s . T h e se a n c ie n t sto ries, sa y s B ev erid g e , " in tr o d u c e u s to o n e p r e d o m in a n t id e a , a fa iry ta le id e a , th a t w a s c e n tra l to C eltic a n d N o rs e p r e ­ C h ris tia n tr a d it io n —th e r e is a n u n s e e n o th e r w o r ld e x is tin g a lo n g s id e th e v isib le re a lm w e k n o w " (12). O f p a rtic u la r in te re s t in th is sectio n is a c h a p te r o n th e o ld e s t fa iry t a l e —th a t is, th e o ld e s t sto ry th a t fe a tu re s a fairy: "E ctra C o n d la ." In th is sto ry , a b e a u tifu l a n d m y s te r io u s w o m a n a p p e a r s to a p rin ce, a n d trie s to en tic e h im to fo llo w h e r b a c k to h e r w o rld , b a c k to th e P la in of P le a s u re , ca lle d M o y M ell. T h e p rin c e re s ists fo r a tim e b u t is so se iz e d b y lo n g in g fo r th e fa iry m a id e n th a t h e e v e n tu a lly re le n ts a n d le a v e s w ith h e r o n a silv e r canoe. T h is s to ry is p re s e rv e d in th e Book o f the D u n Cow, a m a n u s c r ip t w ritte n a r o u n d 1100 A D . T h e p re c a r io u s life of th is m a n u s c r ip t is g iv e n a n e n tire c h a p te r o f its o w n —a n in te re s tin g (if p e r h a p s u n n e e d e d ) d ig re s s io n b y B ev erid g e . T h e h is to ric a l se c tio n c o n c lu d e s w ith a b rie f o v e rv ie w o f th e m o d e r n d e v e lo p m e n t o f fa iry tales. T h e rise o f R o m a n tic is m in th e late e ig h te e n th c e n tu ry , w ith its a p p re c ia tio n fo r r u r a l life a n d la n g u a g e , le d to th e rise o f fo lk lo re s c h o la rsh ip , a n d th is, in tu r n , to a re s u rg e n c e o f in te re s t in fa iry tales. U n fo rtu n a te ly , th is la te r h is to r y o f fa iry ta le s is n 't e x a m in e d in a n y d e p th b y B ev erid g e , a n d is o n ly g iv e n a few p a g e s.

In th e se c o n d p a r t o f th e b o o k , B e v e rid g e e x a m in e s th e o rig in s o f th e m o s t fa m ilia r ty p e s o f c h a ra c te rs f o u n d in fa iry tales, d e v o tin g a c h a p te r to each: fairies, elv es, d w a rfs, h o u s e h o ld sp irits, w a te r d w e lle rs, g ia n ts, s o u ls a n d sp irits. A r e a d e r s h o u l d n 't co m e to th e s e c h a p te rs e x p e c tin g lite r a ry a n aly sis. W h a t B e v e rid g e g iv e s h e r e is a h is to ric a l su rv e y , a n d th e c h a p te rs c o n sist a lm o s t e n tire ly o f s u m m a rie s o f th e d iffe re n t w a y s in w h ic h th e s e c h a ra c te rs h a v e a p p e a r e d th r o u g h o u t th e h is to ry o f fa iry tales. E x p ect to fin d m a n y p a r a g r a p h s s ta rtin g a lo n g th e lin e s of, " M o s t sto rie s d e p ic t th e c h a ra c te rs in th is w a y . . . O th e r sto rie s d e p ic t th e c h a ra c te rs lik e th is . . . A few sto ries, h o w e v e r, s h o w th e s e c h a ra c te rs d o in g th is." S o m e r e a d e r s m ig h t c o n s id e r th is a p p ro a c h to b e h e lp f u lly objective, w h e re a s o th e r s m ig h t fin d it te d io u s a n d a c h o re to slo g th r o u g h . E ith e r w a y , th e c h a p te rs can se rv e as a g o o d re fe re n c e fo r sc h o la rs o f fa iry tales, a n d it is h a r d to th in k o f a b e tte r re s o u rc e to c o n su lt if o n e w a n te d a b rie f h is to r y o n th e o rig in s o f fa iry ta le s a b o u t, fo r in sta n c e , b ro w n ie s o r m e r m a id s .

R itu a l d a y s w e re a n im p o r ta n t p a r t o f th e p a g a n w o rld , a n d th e tr a d itio n s c e n te re d a r o u n d th e s e d a y s c o n tin u e d in to C h ris tia n tim es. H o w th e s e d a y s in f lu e n c e d fa iry ta le s is ta k e n u p in " S to rie s fr o m th e P a g a n Y ear," th e th i r d se c tio n o f th e b o o k . " In th e a n c ie n t le g e n d s a n d sto rie s th a t are c o n n e c te d w ith th e s e d a y s," sa y s B ev erid g e , " th e re is a m y th ic a n d fo lk lo ric

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strain, and in fairy tales centered on these days we find a distinctly otherworld

magic. There seemed to be a small crack in the world as we know it—and

anything could happen!" (117). Among the days examined are May Day,

Halloween, Midwinter and Midsummer. Beveridge stresses the lasting

influence of these days on fairy tales, and, consequently, the lasting influence

of the pagan imagination which was so closely tied to their celebration.

The fourth section of the book contains a survey of various ancient

themes found in fairy tales. Some of these themes are hardly surprising—

omens or spells, for example—but other chapters take up themes one might

not initially have expected, as in "The Triple Form." This chapter examines the

prevalence of threes or triplets throughout the history of fairy tales. There are

often three riddles to answer, three giants to slay, three suitors competing for a

maiden, three tasks to perform. "We come upon 'threes' so often in stories,"

says Beveridge, "that the number three may be the most frequently occurring

and fundamental element in fairy tales and in all of European folk literature"

(158). The representative fairy tale in this chapter involves a young maiden

who encounters three heads floating in a well. They entreat her to pick them

up, one by one, comb their hair and wash them. She obliges them this request

and is rewarded for her kindness. These chapters, like all the rest in the book,

are survey in nature, and most of the fairy tales included are given very little

commentary or analysis. Again, these chapters would be an invaluable

reference for someone wishing to explore the origins of various themes found

in fairy tales—themes as disparate as shape-shifting, trees, and dreams coming

true.

Ultimately, Children into Swans is a finely researched work on the

history of fairy tales, and, in particular, on the lingering pagan imagination

that one finds within a dozen or so common fairy tale themes and elements.

One should come to the book, however, expecting to find an abundance of

summary and an ever-increasing accumulation of example upon example. As

such, Beveridge's work will be most useful as a reference book.

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q u a m a r i n e s. L o u ise C a v a lie r L e v e sq u e . T ran s. a n d w ith a n a fte rw o rd b y R u th B e rm a n . A q u e d u c t P re s s. 2015. 94 p p . 978­ 1619760790. $12.00.

T h i s n e w t r a n s l a t i o n o f e a r l y 1 9 t h c e n t u r y F r e n c h w r i t e r C h a rle s N o d ie r is a n e le g a n t a n d c o m p e llin g v o lu m e o f h is co llected fa iry tales. A s a sch o lar, lo v e r o f lite ra tu re , a n d a lo n g -tim e lib ra ria n , N o d ie r s p e n t h is life r e a d in g a m y r ia d o f w r ite r s a n d p h ilo s o p h e rs . B u t N o d ie r 's w o rk , w h ile p e r h a p s b o r r o w in g s e ttin g a n d to n e fro m h is fe llo w w rite rs, re m a in s re m a rk a b ly u n iq u e . H is ta le s a re n o t o n ly fu n a n d in te re s tin g , b u t th e y also s tu d y th e d e e p e r m e a n in g o f w r itin g a n d r e a d in g fa n ta sy . H is la rg e r e x a m in a tio n o f m a d n e s s a n d w is d o m , b e lie v a b ility a n d h a p p in e s s , tr u th a n d lies, m a k e th is v o lu m e e s p e c ia lly p o ig n a n t a n d fresh .

T h e fin e st ta le in th e co llectio n is e a sily The Crum b Fairy. H e re , an in s a n e a s y lu m in m a te n a m e d M ic h a e l tells th e sto ry o f h is life a n d lo v e w ith th e m a g ic a l C ru m b F airy . A s a y o u n g m a n , M ic h a e l b e fr ie n d e d th e a g in g h a g , w h o c la im e d to o n c e b e B elkiss, Q u e e n o f Saba. H e la te r a g re e d to m a r r y h e r a n d so o n liv e d w ith tw o v e rs io n s o f h is w ife: d u r in g th e d a y , h e w a s w ith th e sh o rt, d e c re p it, a n d fa n g e d C ru m b F a iry . B u t d u r in g th e n ig h t, th e b e a u tifu l B e lk iss—th e C ru m b F a iry in h e r all g lo rio u s y o u t h —lo v in g ly v is ite d h im in h is d re a m s . N o w , s e p a r a te d fro m b o th a n d tr a p p e d in th e a sy lu m , M ic h a e l se a rc h e s fo r th e m a g ic a l s ig n in g M a n d r a k e th a t w ill h e lp re u n ite th e m all. T h is tale, in a d d itio n to b e in g a n e n te r ta in in g re a d , is a fa s c in a tin g re fle c tio n o n m a d n e s s , re a s o n , a n d th e m a g ic o f fa iry tales. A s M ic h a e l n a r r a te s h is sto ry of love, o b sessio n , a n d h a p p in e s s , th e re a d e r w ill q u e s tio n th e ir o w n re la tio n s h ip to f a n ta s y a n d fa iry tales: m u s t w e b e ab le to ra tio n a lly e x p la in s o m e th in g in o r d e r to b e lie v e in i t —o r e v e n f in d h a p p in e s s in it? A t its h e a rt, The Crum b

Fairy is a n e x p lo ra tio n o f n o t o n ly w h a t w e k n o w a n d b eliev e, b u t w h a t w e a im

to u n d e r s ta n d th r o u g h sto ry te llin g .

T h e c o m p ila tio n as a w h o le is v e ry w o rth r e a d in g . W h ile so m e ta le s h a v e m o m e n ts th a t fall flat, o th e r s so ar. O f n o ta b le d is tin c tio n a re Trilby, The

M a n and the A n t, a n d Smarra. In th e titu la r Trilby, a b ro w n ie falls in lo v e w ith a

y o u n g a n d n e w ly m a r r ie d la d y w h o liv e s in th e h o u s e h e serv es. H e is s h o rtly b a n n e d fro m th e fa m ily 's h o m e b u t w h e n th e la d y Je a n n ie le a r n s th a t sh e lo v es h im too, sh e le a v e s e v e ry th in g in o r d e r to seek o u t h is p a rd o n . A lo n g th e w a y sh e b e c o m e s h a u n te d b y th e m e m o ry o f T rilb y a n d o b s e s s e d w ith f in d in g h im o n c e ag a in . T h e ta le 's e th e re a l, s u p e r n a tu r a l m o m e n ts a re u p h e ld b y B e rm a n 's

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e x c e lle n t tr a n s la tio n a n d its d a r k S co ttish s e ttin g a n d g o th ic e le m e n ts m a k e th is a v e ry in te re s tin g w o rk o f e a rly h o rro r.

R u n n in g th r o u g h o u t N o d ie r 's ta le s is a n e n g a g in g s tu d y of ju x ta p o sitio n : y o u n g a n d o ld , in n o c e n c e a n d g u ilt, p u r ity a n d d a rk n e s s, m a d n e s s a n d re a s o n . H is p ro c liv ity fo r w r itin g a b o u t tin y c re a tu re s, fro m te rm ite a n ts to h is o w n in v e n te d fa irie s (th e B ean T re a s u re a n d th e C ru m b F a iry a re so n a m e d fo r th e ir d im in u tiv e size), d e m o n s tra te s h o w sm a ll c re a tu re s can affect th e ir la r g e r w o rld . N o d ie r 's fairie s, little th o u g h th e y are, re m a in s h a r p in th e ir p h ilo s o p h ie s a n d w it a n d o fte n act as a g u id e fo r th e p r o ta g o n is t to a m o r e m o r a l a n d th o u g h tf u l life. S im ilarly , N o d ie r 's The M an

and the A n t is o n e o f th e s h o r te s t ta le s in th e v o lu m e , b u t p a c k s a p o w e rfu l

m e s s a g e fro m o n e o f th e sm a lle s t c re a tu re s o n e a rth .

T h e sig n ifican ce o f d re a m s a n d n ig h tm a r e s is also p re v a le n t th r o u g h o u t N o d ie r 's w o rk . H is fa irie s a n d th e ir m a g ic h o v e r b e tw e e n th e w a k in g w o rld a n d th e la n d o f d re a m s. A n d h is tales, a lw a y s a c u te ly a w a re of th e m s e lv e s as a sto ry , d o th e s a m e as th e y e x p lo re th e w o r ld s o f th e m a r v e lo u s a n d th e m u n d a n e . T h e w a k in g w o r ld w ith in h is sto rie s o fte n act as m e ta p h o r fo r th e r e a d e r 's o w n re a lity , w ith th e d re a m in g , fa iry w o rld b e c o m in g h is o w n lite ra l fa iry sto ry . W h ic h w o r ld d o w e w a n t to liv e in? W h y d o e s it m a tte r ? U ltim a te ly , th is co llectio n n o t o n ly b rin g s y o u in to th e w o rld o f fa iry sto ry , b u t m a k e s y o u re -e x a m in e th e fa iry s to ry itself. A n d it is all th e g re a te r fo r it.

A q u e d u c t 's l a t e s t v o l u m e p r e s e n t s a n e w t r a n s l a t i o n o f tw o fa iry ta le s b y 18th c e n tu r y F re n c h w rite r L o u ise C a v e lie r L e v e sq u e . In The Prince

o f the A qu a m a rin es—a p p e a r in g in E n g lish fo r th e first tim e w ith B e rm a n 's

tr a n s la t io n —a y o u n g p rin c e is c u rs e d to b r in g in s ta n t d e a th o n a n y o n e w h o lo o k s u p o n h im . H e falls in lo v e w ith a p rin c e s s w h o is lik e w ise c o n d e m n e d to liv e in a to w e r o f p e r p e tu a l d a rk n e s s u n til fre e d b y a m o n s te r w h o s e sig h t b rin g s d e a th . T o g e th e r, th e y m u s t c o n q u e r g ia n ts, th ie v e s, a n d fa irie s in o rd e r to b e free o f th e ir cu rse. In L e v e s q u e 's se c o n d tale, The Invisible Prince, a p rin c e is g iv e n a m a g ic a l sto n e th a t tu r n s h im in v isib le a t th e cost o f b e in g u n a b le to sp e a k . W h e n P rin c e ss R o salie is c a p tu r e d , th e In v isib le P rin c e m u s t w in h e r h e a r t a n d re s c u e h e r w ith o u t b e in g h e a r d n o r seen . B oth ta le s a re d e lig h tfu l v e n tu r e s in to th e fa iry ta le g e n re a n d re a d e r s w ill rejoice a n d m o u r n fo r th e p a ir o f y o u n g lo v e rs w h o m u s t fin d a w a y to o v e rc o m e th e ir c irc u m sta n c e s w ith h e lp (a n d h in d r a n c e ) fro m m a g ic a l fairies.

T h o u g h slim , th is co llectio n p a c k s a m ig h ty p u n c h , p r o v id in g an e x c e lle n t tr a n s la tio n a n d s tu n n in g w o o d c u t illu s tra tio n s th r o u g h o u t. L e v e sq u e h e rs e lf h a s a s p e c ta c u la r im a g in a tio n to h e r w ritin g . T h o u g h certain ly , in flu e n c e s fro m h e r c o n te m p o ra r y fa iry ta le w rite rs a re clear: b o th th e In v isib le

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fa iry 's c u rs e o v e r th e ro y a l n e w b o r n in P e r r a u lt's S l e e p i n g B e a u t y. L ik ew ise, th e

sto ry lin e o f T h e P r i n c e o f t h e A q u a m a r i n e e ch o es m o r e tr a d itio n a l a n d p o p u la r sto rie s lik e C u p i d a n d P s y c h e a n d B e a u t y a n d t h e B e a s t. L e v e s q u e 's g e n ie s a re

also m o s t lik e ly b o rr o w e d fro m T h o u s a n d a n d O n e N i g h t s w h ic h w a s n e w ly tr a n s la te d in F re n c h d u r in g th e tim e sh e w a s w ritin g . B u t th e s e fa iry tale m o tifs fo u n d a re fa r fro m trite . In fact, th e y are w e lc o m e d all m o r e so in L e v e s q u e 's w o rk b e c a u se th e y n e v e r th r e a te n to d o m in a te th e ta le itself. L e v e s q u e 's sto rie s a re b r im m in g w ith h e r u n iq u e sty le a n d d a r k im a g in a tio n . H e re , L o v e a n d D e s p a ir a re la n d s s e p a r a te d o n ly b y a sin g le ste p , tre e s are p o rta ls to n e w w o rld s , a n d b e tr a y e d lo v e rs w a n d e r h o p e le s s ly in a L a b y rin th , d o o m e d to b e lo s t u n til th e d a y th e y d ie. T h e se a re e x c e e d in g ly e n jo y a b le ta le s th a t y o u 'll w a n t to r e a d m o r e th a n once. L e v e s q u e 's fa s c in a tin g a n d b e a u tifu l d e p ic tio n s o f lo v e a n d m e la n c h o ly , se t in a w o rld o f fairie s, d ra g o n s , a n d m a g ic w a n d s , m a k e th is co llectio n e s s e n tia l fa iry tale re a d in g .

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y t h o l o g y. R ach el S. M c C o p p in . Jefferso n , N C : M c F a rla n d , 2015. 224 p . 978-1476662008. $35.00.

A s s o m e o n e w h o h a s a l s o l o n g l o v e d a n d t a u g h t th e p o w e r o f m y th a n d its re le v a n c e to b o th m o d e r n m y t h —a.k.a. scien ce fic tio n a n d fa n ta s y m e d i a —a n d th e e v o lu tio n o f scien ce as a d iscip lin e), I cam e to m y r e a d in g of th is b o o k w ith g re a t in te re s t a n d e n th u s ia s m . W h ile th e la tte r slig h tly w a n e d (in d ire c t p ro p o r tio n to th e e m e rg e n c e o f a c e rta in lev el o f fru s tra tio n ) as th e p a g e s w e re tu r n e d , m y in te re s t in th e o v e ra ll c o n te n t o f th is w o rk d id n o t. M c C o p p in , P ro fe sso r o f L ite ra tu r e a n d H u m a n itie s in th e D e p a rtm e n t of L ib e ra l A rts a n d E d u c a tio n a t th e U n iv e rs ity o f M in n e s o ta C ro o k sto n , is th e re c ip ie n t o f s e v e ra l te a c h in g a w a rd s a t h e r h o m e in s titu tio n . S o m e o f h e r p re v io u s s c h o la rly w o rk s h a v e fo c u s e d o n m y th o lo g ic a l th r e a d s a n d m e ta p h o r s in s u c h d is p a r a te c o rn e rs o f p o p u la r c u ltu re as th e te le v is io n series S p a r t a c u s, T h e G r a p e s o f W r a t h, a n d th e w o rk s o f T im B u rto n . In th e

in tro d u c tio n to h e r b o o k sh e e x p la in s th a t sh e h a s b e e n a s tu d e n t o f m y th o lo g y fo r o v e r tw o d e c a d e s a n d a te a c h e r o f it fo r h a lf th a t tim e. H e r s e lf-a d m itte d m a n t r a —a n d th e d r iv in g a r g u m e n t b e h in d th e w o r k —a p p e a rs to b e th a t " n a tu r e w ill a lw a y s b e a t th e fo re fro n t o f e v e ry m y th " (2). T h e se facts s itu a te M c C o p p in as so m e o n e w h o is o b v io u s ly p a s s io n a te a b o u t s h a r in g th e b e a u ty , p o w e r, a n d re le v a n c e o f m y th w ith b o th sc h o la rly a n d p e d a g o g ic a l a u d ie n c e s.

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