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The Saga of Eric Brighteyes - Illustrated: Tolkien's Bookshelf #6 (Volume 6) Paperback – June 1, 2013
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About the Author
Sir Henry Rider Haggard, KBE (22 June 1856 - 14 May 1925) was an English author. He wrote adventure novels in exotic settings, chiefly colonial Africa, where he lived, worked and travelled for several years. His stories were the first in the 'Lost World' literary genre, which influenced popular American pulp writers such as Edgar Rice Burroughs, Robert E. Howard, Philip José Farmer, and Abraham Merritt. Tolkien greatly enjoyed Haggard's novels, in particular 'She' (1887)and 'Eric Brighteyes' (1891). It can be imagined that he would have been interested in the other three titles in the immensely popular 'She' series when they appeared - 'Ayesha: The Return of She' (1905),' She and Allan' (1921), and 'Wisdom's Daughter' (1923). Fantasy author H.P. Lovecraft, too, praised Haggard. To 21st century readers parts of Haggard's work may seem 'politically incorrect'. He was a man of his time, as we are men and women of ours. His books are not devoid of racism, sexism and ruthless exploitation of wild animals; it is best, however, to with-hold judgement and not allow it to spoil the pleasure of reading literary classics. Several of Haggard's books contain references to volcanoes. Reading them, one is reminded of Tolkien's descriptions of Mount Doom. In 'She', Haggard depicts marshlands reminiscent of the Dead Marshes in The Lord of the Rings. Haggard's protagonists, like Tolkien's, make long journeys, endure painful ordeals, travel underground and are often swept into wars. They encounter beings who are either impossibly long-lived or immortal. Landscape, rock formations and geography play a vital role in Haggard's adventures, as they do in Tolkien's work.
Lancelot Speed (1860-1931) was a famous Victorian illustrator of books, usually of a fantastical or romantic nature. He is probably most well known for his illustrations for Andrew Lang's fairy story books. Speed is credited as the designer on the 1916 silent movie version of the novel She by H. Rider Haggard, which he had illustrated. He was also the director of a number of early British silent films.
Cecilia Dart-Thornton is the author of numerous bestselling fantasy novels, notably the Bitterbynde Trilogy. The Washington Post reported that the first summer after Neilsen Booktrack launched in Australia, it showed Dart-Thornton's newly launched fantasy tome The Ill-Made Mute hitting the Herald's best-seller list, ranked next to mainstream authors and 'serious' fiction. Technology, in one swift blow, destroyed a decades-long publishers' bias against fantasy. It demonstrated that what people were really buying was simply not reflected in the old bestseller lists, based as they were on reports from a small panel of bookshops. The reality was, people were buying fantasy - in particular, they were buying The Ill-Made Mute. This debut novel and its two sequels in the 'Bitterbynde Trilogy' went on to win fans and accolades across the globe. Dart-Thornton's books have been listed on Amazon's Best, Locus Magazine's Best First Novels, the Sydney Morning Herald's Top Twenty and the Australian Publishers' Association 'Australia's Favourite Read'. They are published in five languages and distributed in more than fifty countries around the world.
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