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26th October 2014: Table of contents of Deep Roots in a Time of Frost

Deep Roots in a Time of Frost Patrick Curry's collection of essays is making good progress and is due to be published in mid November under the title Deep Roots in a Time of Frost. These essays have all been previously published (several by us) but some are little know and they have never before been made available in a single volume.

In this collection of his published essays, Patrick Curry explores two themes in Tolkien's great work: enchantment, the Elves and Faërie, and the natural world of Middle-earth. He considers their different effects on both readers and literary critics, and brings to light the deep connections between these two subjects, as well as between them and Tolkien's ultimate concern, 'Death and the desire for deathlessness.' Also illuminated, in contrast, is magic, as epitomised by the One Ring. Finally, he argues that the hobbits are exemplars of how to live in relation to enchantment: neither pursuing, nor avoiding, but honouring it.

Table of contents of Deep Roots in a Time of Frost


Part I: Nature

"Less Noise and More Green": Tolkien's Ideology for England
Modernity in Middle-earth
Review of Ents, Elves, and Eriador

Part II: Enchantment

Magic vs. Enchantment
Enchantment in Tolkien and Middle-earth
Iron Crown, Iron Cage: Tolkien and Weber on Modernity and Enchantment
The Third Road: Faërie in Hypermodernity

Part III: Criticism

Tolkien and his Critics: a Critique
On Reading Tolkien
The Critical Response to Tolkien's Fiction
Review of Reading 'The Lord of the Rings'

Part IV: Varia

Approaches to Myth in Middle-earth
On Hobbits & Elves: or, Took and Baggins Again



If Tolkien were alive today, he would, I believe, endorse Patrick Curry above all others as the critic closest to the secret of enchantment: the primal desire of imagined wonder, that trace-element missing (as Curry shows repeatedly) in the assumptions and ideology of Tolkien's modernist critics, the heart of his own universal appeal. Tom Shippey

This collection of Patrick Curry's essays and reviews on Tolkien spans some three decades plus (1992 to 2014), and focuses chiefly on Curry's defense of Tolkienian enchantment against its modernist and post-modernist critics. It belongs on the shelf with those scholarly works on Tolkien that seek to situate his work within a larger context of contemporary and current critical attitudes. Verlyn Flieger

Patrick Curry's work has been central in establishing eco-critical readings of Tolkien, but this useful volume is not limited to this approach. The reader will find a collection of essays exploring various aspects of Tolkien's invented world. Curry's breadth of scholarship is impressive. Dimitra Fimi

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