When Tolkien reinvented Atlantis and Lewis went to Mars

john garth great warReaders will know of John Garth’s important work on establishing a greater context for understanding J.R.R. Tolkien’s story, particularly at critical points in his life, like WWI. In this piece, Garth looks at an important point in 1936 and 1937, where Tolkien and C.S. Lewis created a SciFi wager, challenging each other to write the stories that simply were not being published. This wager is known to spur on C.S. Lewis to writing his first SF book, Out of the Silent Planet. It was also a prophetic moment, for within a couple of decades both authors would be best-in-show Fantasy authors, and SciFi will have exploded in popularity. What Garth does here and in the article he links is focus the lens on some overlooked facts that fill in our understanding of Tolkien, Lewis, and their creative process. I hope you enjoy, and take the time to test his work.

John Garth

Discovering the dates of The Fall of Númenor and Out of the Silent Planet

A few months ago I revealed what I think is an exciting new find about the origins of J R R Tolkien’s Atlantis story, The Fall of Númenor, the ultimate predecessor of the accounts of Númenor given in The Lord of the Rings and The Silmarillion. I announced my discovery in an article for the Sunday Telegraph which also touched on the role played by Tolkien’s friend C S Lewis. The article can be read at the Telegraph website (sign-up is free for one ‘premium’ article per week), and I won’t now repeat everything it says. But I will recap here the main points I made there about when exactly the Númenor idea struck Tolkien. And I can add some refinements.

That’s because I have now made a further advance, which I hope will prove especially valuable to Lewis…

View original post 1,677 more words

About Brenton Dickieson

“A Pilgrim in Narnia” is a blog project in reading and talking about the work of C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, and the worlds they touched. As a "Faith, Fantasy, and Fiction" blog, we cover topics like children’s literature, apologetics and philosophy, myths and mythology, fantasy, theology, cultural critique, art and writing. This blog includes my thoughts as I read through Lewis and Tolkien and reflect on my own life and culture. In this sense, I am a Pilgrim in Narnia--or Middle Earth, or Fairyland. I am often peeking inside of wardrobes, looking for magic bricks in urban alleys, or rooting through yard sale boxes for old rings. If something here captures your imagination, leave a comment, “like” a post, share with your friends, or sign up to receive Narnian Pilgrim posts in your email box. Brenton Dickieson is a father, husband, friend, university lecturer, and freelance writer from Prince Edward Island, Canada. You can follow him on Twitter, @BrentonDana.
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17 Responses to When Tolkien reinvented Atlantis and Lewis went to Mars

  1. David Llewellyn Dodds says:

    Thanks! I’m always meaning to check and see if John Garth has something new, and too often failing to do so: this is very interesting!


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