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J.R.R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings trilogy have become among of the most popular books of the twentieth century while the recent film adaptations have made box office records. This book provides a comprehensive, informed, critical and theoretical analysis of both the book and film trilogies. The book is organised in four thematic sections. Beginning with an analysis of the critical history of Tolkien, the first section, 'Context and Criticism', examines and contrasts the historical and intellectual context of the books, films and their criticism. The second, 'Space, Place and Communities', turns to the philosophical and post-colonial concerns which structure contemporary understandings of the book and film. The third section, 'Gender, Sexuality and Class', shows how these issues are depicted in the novels and films. The final section, 'Tolkien's Futures', looks at the continuing influence of his work in both more traditional literary forms and in contemporary game and electronic narratives.
Robert Eaglestone is Professor of Contemporary Literature and Thought at Royal Holloway, University of London, UK.