Some of the earliest books ever written, includingThe Epic of Gilgameshand theOdyssey, deal with monsters, marvels, extraordinary voyages, and magic and this genre, known as fantasy, remained an essential part of European literature through the rise of the modern realist novel. Tracing the history of fantasy from the earliest years through to the origins of modern fantasy in the 20th century, this account discusses contributions decade by decade—from Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings trilogy and Lewis’s Narnia books in the 1950s to J.
K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series. As it discusses and explains fantasy’s continuing and growing popularity, this comprehensive guide will be of interest to a wide audience.
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FARAH MENDLESOHN teaches at Middlesex University, London. She was editor of Foundation: The International Review of Science Fiction for six years, and is the author of Diana Wynne Jones and the Children's Fantastical Tradition (2005) and co-editor of The Cambridge Companion to Science Fiction (2006), winner of a Hugo Award. She is the program director for the World Science Fiction Convention in Montreal in 2009.