There and Back Again: In the Footsteps of JRR Tolkien
‘In a hugely compelling and original book, Mathew Lyons draws on his own fascination for the novels of JRR Tolkien, by following in his footsteps through the English landscapes and countryside that inspired one of England's greatest writers - from charming Staffordshire villages to breath-taking Somerset caves. Tolkien may have given little away directly, but Lyons argues that clues exist throughout his work, in his letters and in interviews, to the places whose beauties Tolkien celebrated in The Lord of the Rings.
‘ No ordinary travelogue, There And Back Again examines the rich variety of England as Tolkien most likely saw it, peeling back the layers of history to the Victorian world of Tolkien's childhood; to the Anglo-Saxon world of heroes and myth; and further back still to a world beyond history's reach.’
Praise for There and Back Again
‘I read it with great interest, and think it is an excellent guide not only to Tolkien’s actual real-life physical environment, but also to his deepest feelings about England, about landscape, about history and prehistory. Any reader of Tolkien would also profit greatly from reading Lyons.’
‘A thoughtful journey into the heart of Tolkien country… Tolkien fans will surely appreciate Lyons’ insight and prickly intelligence.’
‘This wry, thoughtful work is no conventional guidebook… What emerges most clearly is [Lyons’] own bittersweet relationship with a writer who was driven to convey “the sense of a fallen world, of greatness and beauty fading, of both death and immortality as kinds of curses”… Lyons is droll enough to avoid those besetting sins of Tolkien enthusiasts, humourlessness and pomposity… [he] gets