Janet Brennan Croft, Rutgers–New Brunswick faculty member and co-editor of Perilous and Fair: Women in the Works and Life of J.R.R. Tolkien (Mythopoeic Press, 2015) will present about the book from 4 to 5:30 p.m. on July 27, 2016 at Alexander Library, 169 College Avenue, New Brunswick, NJ. Following the presentation, Croft will take questions and sign copies of the book. Rutgers’ Office of Summer & Winter Sessions will sponsor a drawing for 10 free copies and additional books will be available for purchase, courtesy of the Rutgers Barnes & Noble.

Nearly 80 years after the initial publication of The Hobbit and on the eve of the 15th anniversary of the first film in Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings trilogy, the fantasy world of J.R.R. Tolkien remains immensely popular. Fans and scholars alike continue to consume, debate, and celebrate all aspects of the masterfully crafted universe—and its influence on our cultural imagination is indelible, with popular franchises like Game of Thrones owing huge debts to Tolkien. And yet despite the decades of enthusiasm and conversation, most academics accept the customary view that women in Tolkien’s works are simply idealized or marginal characters, acting only as support for the cast of more fully realized male heroes.

Perilous and Fair aims to correct this narrative. In this volume, co-editors Croft and Leslie A. Donovan bring together seven classic articles and seven new studies from leading scholars in the field to show that women are essential in both the works and life of Tolkien. These essays utilize such diverse approaches as literary source study, historical context, feminist theory, biographical investigation, close-reading textual analysis, Jungian archetypes, and fanfiction reader-response.

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Croft is head of access and delivery services and associate professor at Rutgers University Libraries. She is the author of War in the Works of J.R.R. Tolkien (Praeger, 2004; winner of the Mythopoeic Society Award for Inklings Studies) and several book chapters on the Peter Jackson films; has published articles on Tolkien, J.K. Rowling, Terry Pratchett, Joss Whedon, and other authors and topics in Mythlore, Mallorn, Tolkien Studies, Slayage, and Seven; and is editor or co-editor of seven collections of essays on Tolkien, Lois McMaster Bujold, T.A. Shippey, C.S. Lewis, and others. She edits the refereed scholarly journal Mythlore, for which she compiled a book-length annotated index, and serves on the board of the Mythopoeic Press, for which she has indexed and annotated several titles.

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