Abstract for An Unexpected Study

This essay review interrogates the polemical style of rhetoric in Holly Ordway’s Tolkien’s Modern Reading. It critiques her use of a fictional narrative to represent an adolescent Tolkien, her intertextual criteria, and her dating of Victorian fantasists and their historical moment. It questions her claims about entrenched notions concerning Tolkien, her use of evidence, and her assumptions about her audience. It concludes that Ordway is less interested in Tolkien’s contemporary reading and more interested in creating a new narrative about Tolkien the author.



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