jennykeery's review

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challenging informative reflective slow-paced

4.0

ladyvictoriadiana's review against another edition

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challenging informative reflective medium-paced

5.0

didyousaybooks's review against another edition

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informative

3.5

_hex_libris's review against another edition

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medium-paced

3.0

bookalchemist's review

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5.0

This book had barely been published when I was working on an essay involving Galadriel and Ungoliant, and it turned out to be indispensable. It's actually pretty difficult to track down a lot of Tolkien scholarship that isn't written by Tom Shippey or focusing on his relationship with Christianity and CS Lewis, especially if said articles focus on less popular or more unusual topics. I was having very little luck even with interlibrary loans or finding further leads. Not only does this book re-print some really great, fundamental articles in the studies of women in Tolkien, but the beginning gives so many more suggestions of others with the bibliographic essay. And of course, some of the essays are showing their age, using dated feminist rhetoric or overly binary and biological based definitions of gender, among other things, but they are still useful as counterpoints or references to where the research has come from. I purchased a copy for myself and ordered one for the school library, because I can't be the only one dying for these kinds of resources.

nwhyte's review

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4.0

http://nwhyte.livejournal.com/2591385.html#cutid3

The relative invisibility of women in Tolkien's works is perhaps the most jarring aspect of them to a twenty-first century reader. As Una McCormack points out in the last of these essays, quoting an unnamed conference participant, there are more named horses than named women in The Lord of the Rings. These essays prove that you can write thought-provoking stuff about the flaws in the work you love. Though the case for Tolkien's defence can be made robustly, and John Rateliffe recounts his career of being considerably more active and enthusiastic about educating women (including Mary Renault) than was the norm for his day, C.S. Lewis being a sad counter example. There are a number of other very interesting essays, of which I particularly enjoyed Una McCormack's closing piece on fan fiction and Cami Agan's thoughts on Lúthien and bodily desire. I'm afraid there are a couple of silly pieces as well, one about Valkyries and the other about Éowyn, Twelfth Night and Carnival, but the majority of these are very interesting. (And the last footnote to Robin Reid's introductory bibliographic essay is heart-breaking.)

lisa_setepenre's review against another edition

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4.0

Perilous and Fair: Women in the Works and Life of J. R. R. Tolkien is a collection of essays, by mostly women scholars, examining various representations of women in Tolkien's writing on his created world, Middle-earth. Divided into five sections – historical perspectives, power of gender, specific characters, earlier literary contexts and women readers – the book works well as an introduction to the discussion of feminism and female characters in Tolkien's works.

As one expects with any collection of essays, there are some that are more interesting than others. The first essay, "The History of Scholarship on Female Characters in J. R. R. Tolkien's Legendarium: A Feminist Bibliographic Essay", was dull but necessary. The second essay, by the sole (?) male contributor, "The Missing Women: J. R. R. Tolkien's Lifelong Support for Women's Higher Education", seemed rough and its arguments ill-formed. The rest, however, were all interesting and shone new light on Tolkien himself and his representations of women and gender.
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