Tolkien the Medievalist (Routledge Research in Medieval by Jane Chance

By Jane Chance

Interdisciplinary in technique, Tolkien the Medievalist offers a clean viewpoint on J. R. R. Tolkien's Medievalism. In fifteen essays, eminent students and new voices discover how Professor Tolkien answered to a contemporary age of problem - historic, educational and private - by way of adapting his scholarship on medieval literature to his personal own voice. The 4 sections display the writer encouraged by means of his career, non secular religion and demanding problems with the time; via his relationships with different medievalists; by way of the medieval resources that he learn and taught, and through his personal medieval mythologizing.

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R. R. Tolkien. In 1919–20, C. S. Lewis was also at University College, and Gordon and Lewis certainly knew each other at the time. Through Tolkien, in the late 1920s and early 1930s, they came to know each other well. , which he left uncompleted when he accepted the position at Leeds. Two Oxford figures were important to both Gordon and Tolkien: C. T. Onions, the great lexicographer of the Oxford English Dictionary, and Kenneth Sisam, the scholar and publisher. ” Tolkien was then working on the Oxford English Dictionary, and probably he found that he didn’t have the time for such a project.

The proper Victorians were properly horrified at such goings on, and then the search began for anything that could explain or justify the apparent barbarities (such as child murder, anthropophagy, and bestiality) and logical inconsistencies (such as just how a union between a girl and a frog could be consummated). In Britain the battle lines were drawn between the mythologists and the anthropologists, more specifically between Max Müller and Andrew Lang. Müller used comparative philology, relying heavily on Greek and Vedic sources, and found the origins he sought in evidence from Sanskrit, Homeric Greek, and the comparison of Indo-European (or as he termed them “IndoAryan”) languages.

V. Gordon was hired as a lecturer at the English department of Leeds University. J. R. R. Tolkien had been at Leeds since the autumn of 1920 as Reader in English Language (from July 1924, as Professor of English Language), and not long after Gordon’s arrival, Tolkien recorded in his diary that “Eric Valentine Gordon has come and got firmly established and is my devoted friend and pal” (Biography, 104). They soon began to work together on what would be their only collaboration to reach print, a major edition of the Middle English poem Sir Gawain and the Green Knight.

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