On Fairy-Stories  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

"On Fairy-Stories" is an essay by J. R. R. Tolkien which discusses the fairy-story as a literary form. It was initially written for presentation by Tolkien as the Andrew Lang lecture at the University of St Andrews, Scotland, in 1939. It first appeared in print, with some enhancement, in 1947, in a festschrift volume, Essays Presented to Charles Williams, compiled by C. S. Lewis. Charles Williams, a friend of Lewis's, had been relocated with the Oxford University Press staff from London to Oxford during the London blitz in World War II. This allowed him to participate in gatherings of The Inklings with Lewis and Tolkien. The volume of essays was intended to be presented to Williams upon the return of the OUP staff to London with the ending of the war. However, Williams died suddenly on May 15 1945, and the book was published as a memorial volume.

On Fairy-Stories was subsequently published with Leaf by Niggle in Tree and Leaf, as well as in The Tolkien Reader, published in 1966. The length of the essay, as it appears in Tree and Leaf, is 60 pages, including about ten pages of notes.



Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "On Fairy-Stories" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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