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Lord of the Elves and Eldils: Fantasy and Philosophy in C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien [Paperback]

By Richard L. Purtill (Author)
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Item description for Lord of the Elves and Eldils: Fantasy and Philosophy in C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien by Richard L. Purtill...

Lord of the Elves and Eldils is a fascinating look at the fantasy and philosophy of C.S. Lewis and J.R.R Tolkien. The two men were friends and fellow professors at Oxford, renowned Christian thinkers who both "found it necessary to create for the purposes of their fiction other worlds-not utopias or dystopias, but different worlds."

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Ignatius Press
Pages   273
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8" Width: 5.3" Height: 0.8"
Weight:   0.7 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Nov 1, 2006
Publisher   Ignatius Press
ISBN  1586170848  
ISBN13  9781586170844  

Availability  0 units.

More About Richard L. Purtill

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Purtill is emeritus professor of Philosophy at Western Washington University in Bellingham.

Richard L. Purtill currently resides in Bellingham, in the state of Washington. Richard L. Purtill was born in 1931.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Philosophy > General
2Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Philosophy > Religious
3Books > Subjects > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Science Fiction > History & Criticism

Christian Product Categories
Books > Church & Ministry > Church Life > Roman Catholic

Reviews - What do customers think about Lord of Elves And Eldils: Fantasy And Philosophy in C.s. Lewis And J.r.r. Tolkien?

Further Up and Further In  Nov 10, 2006
When first published as a Zondervan pocket paperback in 1974, this book received rave reviews. You can find it quoted all over the Internet, although it has long been out of print. At the time Dr. Purtill was teaching an SRO class called Philosophy and Fantasy at Western Washington University in Bellingham WA, and a lot of that class went into this book. Thus it was one of the first scholarly examinations of the fantasy of Lewis and Tolkien. Dr. Purtill went on to pen two more related books: J.R.R. Tolkien: Myth, Morality and Religion; and C.S. Lewis' Case for the Christian Faith, both examining these authors from the standpoint of a philosopher. Ignatius Press has now reprinted the entire Philosophy and Fantasy trilogy in trade paperback editions.

The second edition of this book is revised and expanded from the first Zondervan edition. The most important inclusion is of Dr. Purtill's two most requested essays (based on a search of the Internet), "That Hideous Strength: A Double Story"; and "Did C.S. Lewis Lose His Faith?" as appendices. The first essay considers the third book of Lewis' science fiction trilogy on its own merits, and jumps off from a very brief discussion of it in Lord of the Elves and Eldils. The second essay answers, from a philosopher's perspective, implications in the play and film Shadowlands, that Lewis abandoned his faith following his wife's death. Purtill resoundingly shows that this was not the case, that if anything, this tragedy strengthened Lewis' belief that these are the shadowlands and his wife Joy had journeyed to the "true country".

This is not another of those "Tolkien said this, I think this about that" books that proliferate around these authors. One extremely interesting aspect of the book is where Purtill answers critics of Lewis and Tolkien whom are now forgotten and the reader is not likely to encounter, while Tolkien has been proclaimed "Author of the Century" and Lewis' books are selling far better than they ever did in his own day.

Purtill is also uniquely posed to consider these authors because, like them, he is also both a professor and a writer of fantasy, his latest novel being The Eleusinian Gate. Although Purtill speaks little of his own use of ancient Greek mythic materials in his own novels, he does consider Tolkien's use of Norse myths and his background in Beowulf and the Arthurian tales. Ignatius has done us a great service in reprinting these works by Dr. Purtill (and they plan to reprint more of them), and this site's great price makes this the gift book of the season.

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