Modern Fantasy

Five Studies

By Colin N. Manlove

Modern Fantasy

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  • ISBN: 9781532691829
  • Pages: 318
  • Publication Date: 4/16/2020
  • Retail Price: $35.00
Web Price: $28.00
BUY FROM AMAZON.COM
Web Price: $28.00

Modern Fantasy

Five Studies

By Colin N. Manlove

paperback-logo

PAPERBACK

  • ISBN: 9781532691829
  • Pages: 318
  • Publication Date: 4/16/2020
  • Retail Price: $35.00
Web Price: $28.00
BUY FROM AMAZON.COM

About-

After a decade from 1965 which had seen the growth in Britain and America of an enormous interest in fantasy literature, and a rise in its academic repute from cold to lukewarm, a serious study of the subject seemed long overdue. In this first critical book in its time on modern English fantasy, Colin Manlove surveys a representative group of modern fantasies—in the Victorian period in the children's scientific and Christian fantasy The Water-Babies by Charles Kingsley and the mystical fantasy of the Scottish writer George MacDonald; and from the twentieth century the interplanetary romances of C. S. Lewis, the post-war fantasy of rebellious youth in Mervyn Peake's Gormenghast books, and the quest to avert apocalypse in J. R. R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings. The aim with all these works is to show the peculiar literary experiences they offer and to assess their strengths and limitations in relation to wider English literature.

In the introduction to his book, Manlove gives a definition of fantasy, marking off the genre from its near neighbors science fiction and “Gothic” or horror story, and distinguishing between fantasies that are serious works of imagination and those that are fanciful or escapist. Each chapter that follows is primarily a literary analysis set in a context of the writer's life, thought, and other works.

As the book proceeds, there begins to emerge a picture of the originality and merit of the writers, but at the same time the sense of a division in the purpose of each writer, whereby their works fail to abide by their own laws. In the conclusion to this book Manlove draws the different types of division found into one and argues that the problem is one that is endemic to the writing of modern fantasy.

Endorsements & Reviews-

“This book is an important step in the study of English fantasy. Mr. Manlove's enquiry into the writers' intellectual concerns is one of the most interesting approaches to such fantasies that I have read, and all of his analyses contribute to our enjoyment of the stories themselves.”

—Kathryn Hume, Modern Language Review



“Mr. Manlove's book is the first serious study to tackle this field. . . . The book is most helpful and stimulating as a general introduction to a difficult subject.”

—Kate Durie, Scottish Literary Journal



“An excellent study by an acute critic of a group of writers and genre of writing that has not so far had the benefit of a real critical intelligence. It deserves to be read by every fantasy buff in the land.”

—Larry McMurty, Washington Post

Contributors-

Colin N. Manlove

Bio(s)-

Colin N. Manlove was Reader in English Literature at the University of Edinburgh when he retired in 1993; he was awarded a DLitt in 1989. He has written numbers of books on fantasy literature, including Christian Fantasy (1992), Scottish Fantasy Literature (1994), and The Fantasy Literature of England (1999). He has also authored books on English Literature from 1600–1800, Shakespeare, C. S. Lewis, science fiction, English children's literature, the Harry Potter series and, most recently, two books on George MacDonald. He now thinks he has finished with writing and can devote himself to his collection of minerals. He is long widowed, has two sons in their forties, and four grandchildren; and he still lives in the family house in Edinburgh.

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