The Pre-Tolkien Fantasy Challenge


We have the first answer to the challenge! We went all the way back to the 19th century to William Morris.

(Mine is a meager response, I readily admit.)

Alexandru Constantine has issued a challenge to readers. Namely:

  • Identify 3 Fantasy stories written before Lord of the Rings was published. 3 stories written before 1954.
  • Review all three on your blog, focusing on pre-Tolkien differences of similarities, and making sure you let us know where we can find them for ourselves.
  • Share the challenge.

That’s an interesting challenge for me since Tolkien’s The Hobbit was my personal Ground Zero for the fantasy side of reading addiction (hat tip to Rankin-Bass). I have not consumed a wide variety of pre-Tolkien fantasy. I’ve done the Norton Reader, of course, but I suspect Homer and the other classic authors don’t count, nor do the anonymous authors of Beowulf and other old- or mid- English works.

Limiting myself to years closer to the target date, all I’ve really read (that I remember) are stories by Robert E. Howard…

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