By Stephen Goodson. According to a survey by the Folio Society in 1997, as well as a poll by Waterstone’s, the booksellers, in January of that year The Lord of the Rings was voted readers’ “favorite book of all time.” J.R.R. Tolkien, a strong advocate of the Anglo-Saxon peoples, is described by many as the greatest writer of the 20th century.
The filming of the book popularized it once more and stimulated speculation as to what fueled this extraordinary work. While many aficionados are content to treat The Lord of the Rings as merely an epic fantasy, some critics have detected deeper meanings, such as an underlying repugnance for the industrialization of the countryside and the carnage of war.
In June 1997 Ross Shimmon, chief executive of the Library Association of Great Britain, commented: “It is astonishing that The Lord of the Rings has this impact. The idea of a parallel world… I wonder whether it’s something to do with trying to make sense of the world around us.” [Read the entire article as PDF…]