Literature

Kipling, Waugh, Tolkien and the Island of Civilisation

It would at first glance be difficult to find three modern English writers more unlike in their interests, preoccupations, circles of friends and lives than Rudyard Kipling, Evelyn Waugh and J.R.R. Tolkien. There is no evidence that they particularly admired each other’s work, indeed Waugh was disparaging of Tolkien’s The Hobbit. Tolkien mentioned in the foreword to later editions of The Lord of the Rings that as far as those who found the work “boring, condemnable or absurd” were concerned, he had no cause to complain because he held similar opinions of their own works, or at any rate the…

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