England's deep magic

England is an ancient land, burdened and liberated by tradition, and pervaded with a sense of stewardship.

Do you recall the majestic scene in The Lord of the Rings in which the beacons are lit? Large piles of wood and hay are stacked atop the tallest mountains. When Gondor needs military assistance, it lights its beacon, and miles away another beacon is lit in response, and then another, and then another. For hundreds of miles the beacons are lit, spreading news of Gondor's need across Middle Earth.

When I encountered this, I was again struck by Tolkien's genius. How could one man's imagination create such an elaborate and detailed world? But standing atop the Ditchling Beacon in the south of England last month, I was confronted with the fact that Tolkien didn't create the beacons. They existed in England, like so much other magic, for centuries before Tolkien's pen ever touched paper.

Read the full article at The American.

Michael R. Strain is a research fellow at the American Enterprise Institute.

 

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