Monday, February 9, 2015

PERILOUS & FAIR (New Arrival/New Publication)

So, Friday brought to the doorstep my author's copy of PERILOUS & FAIR: WOMEN IN THE WORKS AND LIFE OF J. R. R. TOLKIEN (ed. Janet Brennan Croft & Leslie A. Donovan, Mythopoeic Press, 2015). Looks like a v. solid contribution to Tolkien studies, and I'm glad to be a part of it.

For those interested in the topic and wanting more detail, here's the Table of Contents. Those identified as new essays in the Introduction I've marked with an asterisk (*) and given the date for pieces reprinted for this themed collection.

*Perilous and Fair, Ancient and Modern, Luminous and Powerful by Croft & Donovan.

[Part One: ] Historical Perspectives
*The History of Scholarship of Female Characters in J. R. R. Tolkien's Legendarium: A Feminist Bibliographic Essay
by Robin Anne Reid

*The Missing Women: J. R. R. Tolkien's Lifelong Support for Women's Higher Education
by John D. Rateliff

*She-who-must-not-be-ignored: Gender and Genre in The Lord of the Rings and the Victorian Boys' Book
by Sharin Schroeder

[Part Two:] Power of Gender
The Feminine Principle in Tolkien  [1984]
by Melanie A. Rawls

Tolkien's Females and the Defining of Power  [2007]
by Nancy Enright

Power in Arda: Sources, Uses and Misuses  [1996]
by Edith L. Crowe

[Part Three:] Specific Characters
The Fall and Repentance of Galadriel  [2007]
by Romuald I. Lakowski

*Luthien Tinuviel and Bodily Desire in the Lay of Leithian
by Cami D. Agan

*The Power of Pity and Tears: The Evolution of Nienna in the Legendarium
by Kristine Larsen

*At Home and Abroad: Eowyn's Two-fold figuring as War Bride in The Lord of the Rings
by Melissa A. Smith

[Part Four:] Earlier Literary Contexts
The Valkyrie Redux in J. R. R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings: Galadriel, Shelob, Eowyn, and Arwen  [2003]
by Leslie A. Donovan

*Speech and Silence in The Lord of the Rings: Medieval Romance and the Transitions of Eowyn
by Phoebe C. Linton

Hidden in Plain View: Strategizing Unconventionality in Shakespeare's and Tolkien's Portraits of Women   [2006]
by Maureen Thum

[Part Five:] Women Readers
Finding Ourselves in the (Un)Mapped Lands: Women's Reparative Readings of The Lord of the Rings
by Una McCormack

Thus the new articles are the Introduction plus the ones by Reid, Rateliff, Schroeder, Agan, Larsen, Linton, and (presumably) McCormack; the reprints are the ones by Rawls, Enright, Crowe, Lakowski, Smith,  Donovan, and Thum. So I'm in good company.

I shd mention that the front cover art is quite eye-catching: a striking piece of Yavanna Kementari by Ulla Thynell, an artist I don't know whose work I'll need to learn more about. 

Here's hoping this collection sparks some interesting discussion.

--John R.

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