The Spanish Civil War had a profound effect on the literature of the 1930s and 40s; however, it has been almost neglected in Tolkien studies. This article examines both Tolkien's potential views of the Civil War and their effect on his writings of the late 1930s such as the emerging story of Numenor. The dearth of primary sources can be rectified by studying the position on the War taken by other British Catholic intellectuals. Very likely Tolkien viewed the Civil War primarily as a religious conflict and was shaken by the highly publicized cases of anti-clerical violence. The combination of religious and civil strife becomes a persistent motive in his tales of Numenor. Other potential echoes of the Spanish Civil War in the legendarium are the depictions of psychological effects of torture and the deepening pessimism of his work.



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