Listen to this 1964 interview with J.R.R. Tolkien

Originally published at:


Here’s a good essay on the Oxford fantasy authors, with information on Tokien’s retrograde ideas.

Tolkien articulated his anxieties about the cultural changes sweeping across Britain in terms of ‘American sanitation, morale-pep, feminism, and mass-production’, calling ‘this Americo-cosmopolitanism very terrifying’ and suggesting in a 1943 letter to his son Christopher that, if this was to be the outcome of an Allied Second World War win, he wasn’t sure that victory would be better for the ‘mind and spirit’ – and for England – than a loss to Nazi forces.


so interesting. even in 1964 the interviewer was pressing him about the lack of women in LOTR, but he demurred, saying “this was a war, and an expedition to the North Pole!” implying that it was not a place for women, and by extension gratuitous sex. i understand his old-world thinking, and also his avoidance of sex for its own sake, but i do appreciate his inclusion of the powerful women he did include. Eowyn is even better in the book than she is in the movie, and that’s saying a lot, and Galadriel is one of the principal movers of events as well, just behind the scenes.

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