Escaping Into Books About the Middle Ages is My Self-Therapy | Literary Hub

In the New York Review of Books, Clair Willis writes, “There is a small but highly respectable tradition of…novelists turning to medieval and quasi-medieval worlds in times of crisis. Tolkien’s story of Middle-earth, like the Arthurian romance in T.H. White’s The Once and Future King (based on Malory’s Le Morte d’Arthur), was largely written during World War II. Sylvia Townsend Warner’s novel set in a 14th-century nunnery in the Fens, The Corner That Held Them, … was written between 1941 and 1947, in rural Dorset. Arguably in all three cases the Middle Ages offered respite from the contemporary ‘pressure of reality’ (as Wallace Stevens put it in 1942) while at the same time holding a mirror up to the warring world.”
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