“A fascinating ecocritical evaluation” of The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, The Silmarillion and other works of the master fantasist (Northeastern Naturalist).
The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, and The Silmarillion are rarely considered to be works of environmental literature or mentioned together with such authors as John Muir, Rachel Carson, or Aldo Leopold. Nonetheless, Tolkien’s vision of nature is as passionate and has had as profound an influence on his readers as that of many contemporary environmental writers. The burgeoning field of agrarianism provides new insights into Tolkien’s view of the natural world and environmental responsibility. In Ents, Elves, and Eriador, Matthew Dickerson and Jonathan Evans show how Tolkien anticipated some of the tenets of modern environmentalism in the imagined world of Middle-earth and the races with which it is peopled.
Dickerson and Evans examine Tolkien’s major works as well as his lesser-known stories and essays, comparing his writing to that of the most important naturalists of the past century. A vital contribution to environmental literature and an essential addition to Tolkien scholarship, Ents, Elves, and Eriador offers both Tolkien fans and environmentalists an understanding of Middle-earth that has profound implications for environmental stewardship in the present and the future of our own world.
“This book is for everyone who loves the work of J. R. R. Tolkien, and who loves the world around them.” —Armchair Interviews
“Anyone who ever thrilled to Tolkien’s fighting trees, or to the earthy Tom Bombadil, or to the novel charm of the Shire will want to read this important and lovely book.” —Bill McKibben, Scholar in Residence in Environmental Studies, Middlebury College