It looks great, overall. The dust-jacket seems just a little overexposed and blurry. Jonathan Himes’s beautiful photo of Oxford wasn’t quite done the justice it deserved, and the ink on the spine and back seems a bit heavy, bleeding into the blue. But I have been known to be extremely picky about such things, so please don’t judge the book too harshly by its cover. The boards and spine (stamped in gold) are lovely. For a short book like this, it’s no surprise to see glued binding rather than sewn signatures. Nice paper and ink internally. Very nice layout, very comfortable in the hand and easy on the eyes. Overall, an excellent quality book. This is the first title from Cambridge Scholars that I’ve actually seen.
The back of the dust-jacket contains a couple of blurbs, and I hope CSP won’t mind my quoting one of them, from Diana Pavlac Glyer, author of The Company They Keep. Praise from the praiseworthy is the icing on the Great Cake of publishing. She writes:
These ten essays constitute a lively conversation at the intersection of faith, myth, and truth. Each voice is distinct, each topic particular, each approach thought-provoking on its own terms. But the cumulative effect is to remind us just how much mythopoeic writers like J. R. R. Tolkien, H. Rider Haggard, G. K. Chesterton, C. S. Lewis, George MacDonald, and Charles Williams continue to say about things that concern us all.The jacket also contains an endorsement by David Lyle Jeffrey, whose Dictionary of Biblical Tradition in English Literature (and not his work on Tolkien), I cited in my essay. Mere coincidence, that; the specific entry I used was written by Dennis Danielson, not Jeffrey. The website has a further blurb by Charles Huttar (link above); however, this one isn’t on the dust-jacket.
As to the content, I’ve so far only read my own chapter — can you blame me? Hahae, but actually, I did so in quest of overlooked errata. Verdict? None that I saw! Huzzah! ;)
However, to the rest of the book, I actually heard six out of the ten (plus my own, so, seven) of these essays first-hand! I can, therefore, recommend them with no ulterior motives whatsoever. More than half were keynotes at their respective meetings of the C.S. Lewis and Inklings Society. It was also fun to see that I’m the sole contributor without a Ph.D. and unaffiliated with a school (or seminary). That either suggests my contribution might be the weakest of the collection (perish the thought!) — or else that I’ve risen to distinguish myself among many whom I admire. Let’s hope it’s the latter! Readers, you tell me! Wait, wait — let me don my armor. There, fire away!
I will also say this, just in fun. Seeing my name by itself on the first page of Chapter Six — no school, no seminary — made me feel like the academic equivalent of one of those one-name musicians — like Cher, Madonna, or Prince. Dare I say I’m the ‘Prince’ of Tolkien studies, partying like it’s 999?! Hahae, no, I dare not ... One more thing: other than myself, only Salwa Khoddam included an epigraph at the beginning of her essay (two, actually). I love epigraphs and will hardly ever write a paper without one! In my case, it was a dozen-odd lines of Milton. In Salwa’s, Dante and Solomon’s Song of Songs.
My original offer of a 30% discount off the list price still stands — just drop me a comment or an email. Amazon offers free shipping but no discount, and they’re currently out of stock in any event. Amazon.co.uk was offering a sweet discount, but no longer. It’s back up to full price, seemingly. Let me know. And anyone who reads the book, I’d love to hear from you!