My research focuses on early twentieth century British fantasy writers, such as J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis. I am researching how the socio-political landscape of Edwardian Britain and World War I influenced their writings of The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, and The Chronicles of Narnia, respectively. Although a great deal of work has been done studying non-fiction books and memoirs of twentieth-century British soldiers, as well as many literary analyses of these fantasy works, bridging the two is a relatively unexplored field, which I believe will provide a greater understanding of this time period. The fantasy genre is specifically an important genre to analyze wartime experiences, as authors deeply weave their own ideals and beliefs into the world-building of fantasy writing. To research and understand this topic, I will draw upon Paul Fussell’s historical frameworks that he developed to understand war through a soldier’s perspective and apply this analysis to fantasy novels from the same era. In addition, I have also studied primary sources such as letters, poetry, and sermons which are housed in the Bodleian Libraries to understand the wartime experiences of these authors, as well as how they translated these experiences into their own novels.


Shaya, Gregory




European History


myth, World War I, fantasy literature, world-building, pastoral, industrial, death, Christianity, memory, translation

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis



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