Here is one of the essays from my book Reluctant Allies: Essays on Eliot and the Inklings.

J.R.R.Tolkien was famously antipathetic towards Shakespeare, and there is no suggestion that the beastly Caliban inspired Middle Earth’s little monster, nevertheless, Caliban and Gollum are interesting parallel studies in evil.

The figure of the beastly human reverberates through literature, from villains who transform into vampires and wolves, to those shape shifters who sin and so slip into the scaly skins of dragons, serpents, lizards and leviathans. The Gothic creations of Dr Frankenstein and Dr Jekyll also tread the terrifying borderland between humanity and the sub-human.

Praise the Lord

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