Wayne and Christina

Addenda and Corrigenda to
The J.R.R. Tolkien Companion and Guide
Revised and Enlarged Edition (2017)
Vol. 1: Chronology · Arranged by Date

by Christina Scull and Wayne G. Hammond

This list accounts for entries posted beginning 2 April 2018, and refers only to the revised edition, published in 2017. See elsewhere on this site for the list of addenda and corrigenda to the Chronology in page order. Line numbers are counted from the start of the entry on the page cited, or if the entry breaks between pages, from the top or (when stated) bottom of the page cited. Significant revisions of addenda or corrigenda (as opposed to revisions of the Chronology proper), but not merely additions, are marked thus: [REVISED]. Hyperlinks are included selectively, to lead to further (especially pictorial) material; for additional links, see the supplemental bibliography of sources.

20 December 2020

p. 14, entry for Spring and summer terms 1906: Tolkien is also in Section II for English.

p. 15, entry for Autumn term 1907: Will Sherwood, quoting from reports of Board of Education inspectors, speculates that Tolkien in 1907 followed the lead of boys in the First Class at King Edward’s School in 1905 and 1906, who wrote essays on Patriotism and ‘took a rather provincial patriotic tone about England, as if there were no other countries in the scale of civilisation’ (‘Tolkien and the Age of Forgery: Improving Antiquarian Practices in Arda’, Journal of Tolkien Research, vol. 11, issue 1, article 4, p. 5).

p. 53, entry for Michaelmas Term 1913, ll. 1–2: In ‘Tolkien and the Age of Forgery: Improving Antiquarian Practices in Arda’, Journal of Tolkien Research, vol. 11, issue 1, article 4, pp. 7–8, Will Sherwood includes details from notes Tolkien took in Nichol Smith’s lectures. (Sherwood’s emphasis is on mentions of James MacPherson, author of Ossian, and Thomas Chatterton.)

p. 85, entry for 3 February 1916, ll. 9–10: Although much of this quotation is in Biography, p. 86, we quoted directly from the Tolkien Papers, Bodleian Library, Oxford, and our citation should have been to that source. It will be seen that Carpenter edited Smith’s letter, omitting without ellipses the sentence ‘Death is so close to us . . .’ and Smith’s advice that Tolkien publish his poems (‘Make haste . . .’).

p. 86, entry for 31 March 1916, l. 1: For ‘rejects’ read ‘reject’ (treating Sidgwick & Jackson as a corporate plural entity).

p. 114, entry for 19 November 1918, l. 1: For ‘St John’s’ read ‘St John’.

p. 114, add entry:

7 December 1918  Tolkien visits, by appointment, the office of the Oxford careers service in Broad Street. He completes copious forms in an effort to secure employment. His interviewer will find him ‘tall slim fair with good manners’ as well as ‘capable & energetic’ (quoted in Catherine McIlwaine, ‘Tolkien at the Crossroads’, Literary Review, February 2020, p. 64). Tolkien is willing to take any job at home or abroad, with the exception of India. His preference is for an Oxford lectureship, but would consider teaching at a public school or government or civil service work.

p. 156, add entry (text moved from entry for 1929):

5 July 1928  Hilary Tolkien marries Magdalen Matthews in Evesham. After the wedding, the bride and groom travel to Oxford to spend the rest of the day with Ronald and Edith.

p. 158, entry for 1929, ll. 2–4: Delete ‘Hilary Tolkien . . . Ronald and Edith’ (moved to new entry for 5 July 1928).

p. 305, entry for 13 February 1945, l. 5: For ‘impossible from him’ read ‘impossible for him’.

p. 311, entry for 2 June 1945: Tolkien’s correspondent was Brian Gilmore Maegraith (1907–1989), a native of Australia who went to Magdalen College, Oxford on a Rhodes Scholarship in 1931. He became a medical fellow and tutor in physiology at Exeter College, Oxford, a lecturer in pathology, and dean of the Oxford faculty of medicine. In 1944 he was appointed chair of tropical medicine at the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine. Maegraith is said to have distributed among his friends a collection of his poems and short stories, which he wrote as ‘Patrick Gilmore’.

p. 360, l. 14 from bottom: For ‘Homeward Bound’’ read ‘‘Homeward Bound’’ (i.e. add an initial quotation mark).

p. 381, l. 16: For ‘was been sent’ read ‘has been sent’.

p. 406, entry for 27 May 1952, l. 3: For ‘Paradiso, Cantos 27, 30, 100, and 114’ read ‘Paradiso Canto XXVII, lines 30, 100, and 114’. Chapter 4 of the second treatise of the Convivio and the twenty-seventh canto of the Paradiso are concerned with the heavens and their order (within the Aristotelian or Ptolemaic model, with a central Earth).

p. 426, entry for 5 August 1953, l. 2: For ‘calligraphic’ read ‘typescript’

p. 499, entry for 14 August 1955, l. 13: For ‘finds’ read ‘find’.

p. 523, entry for 19 September 1956, l. 2: For ‘The Two Towers’ read ‘The Two Towers’.

p. 537, add entry:

19 July 1957  Tolkien writes to Max Schuchart, in reply to a letter, in regard to Schuchart’s translation of The Return of the King. Tolkien does not object to the omission of Appendix E. Since Appendices B and F would need to be rewritten for a Dutch audience, Tolkien feels that it would be better to omit them entirely. He comments on some complexities of Appendices E and F, and suggests that he would omit Appendix F, Part II (‘On Translation’) in any future English-language edition. He also addresses nomenclature issues with Appendix D (‘The Calendars’): it was included in The Lord of the Rings to provide ‘historicity’, but also for his amusement. The names of the months in the Shire are substantially Anglo-Saxon names put into forms into which they might have evolved if they had survived past the twelfth century; but this fantasy has been destroyed by translation into Dutch. He wonders if Schuchart could give the month-names in the forms they might have had in Dutch, and makes numerous suggestions to that end. He apologizes for typing the letter, noting that he has pain in his writing hand.

p. 540, entry for 26 September 1957, l. 4: For ‘preferable’ read ‘preferably’.

p. 542, entry for 17 November 1957, l. 1: For ‘Professor’ read ‘Przemysław’. Łukasz Neubauer points out in ‘The “Polish Inkling”: Przemysław Mroczkowski as Tolkien’s Friend and Scholar’, Mythlore 39, no. 1, whole no. 137 (Fall/Winter 2020), p. 155, n. 27, that Mroczkowski was not made a full professor (at Jagiellonian University) until 1967.

p. 546, entry for 19 December 1957: Add at end: ‘– Tolkien writes to Patricia Kirke. He has been ‘harassed’ (busy) all year, and cannot cope with the correspondence he receives.’

p. 548, entry for 20 February 1958, l. 2: For ‘of German Hobbit’ read ‘of the German Hobbit’.

p. 570, entry for 6 April 1959, l. 9: For ‘a error’ read ‘an error’.

p. 583, entry for 21 January 1960, l. 2: For ‘Rings’ read ‘Ring’.

p. 595, l. 1: For ‘Professor’ read ‘Przemysław’.

p. 606, entry for 16 May 1961, l. 2: Delete ‘asked’.

p. 610, entry for ?Early October 1961, l. 7: For ‘proportion’ read ‘proportion)’.

p. 617, final line: For ‘Oxford’ read ‘Oxford]’.

p. 698, entry for 10 May 1966, l. 2: For ‘look at’ read ‘look at it’.

p. 799, entry for ?Mid-March 1972, l. 10: For ‘1 Merton’ read ‘21 Merton’.

p. 810, entry for ?Late April 1973, l. 7: For ‘send’ read ‘sends’.

p. 844, entry for 16 January 1936: This entry is in the wrong location; it should precede that for 8 December 1936.

15 July 2020

p. 3, entry for 1895: Arthur Tolkien was not sure if it was the heat or the altitude of Bloemfontein which disagreed with Ronald. Arthur and Mabel planned that Arthur would join his wife and sons in Birmingham in time for Christmas, then all would return to Bloemfontein the next year.

pp. 3–4, entry for Beginning of April 1895: For ‘Beginning of April 1895’ read ’29 March–20 April 1895’. According to John Garth, The Worlds of J.R.R. Tolkien (2020), the Guelph left port in the evening of 29 March, sailed for two weeks along the west coast of Africa, then made three stops in three days, at Tenerife, Madeira, and Lisbon, before arriving at Southampton at 7.00 p.m. on 20 April.

p. 11, entry for 27 April 1904: Edwin Neave lived at 20 St Catherine’s Terrace, Hove.

p. 17, entry for Summer term 1909, l. 1: For ‘Officers’ read ‘Officers’’ (with an apostrophe; the latter form is used in the King Edward’s School Chronicle, and presumably therefore authoritative; see l. 6 of this entry).

p. 18, entry for 7 July 1909, l. 4: For ‘Officers’ read ‘Officers’’.

p. 18, entry for 27 July–4 August 1909, l. 2: For ‘Officers’ read ‘Officers’’.

p. 22, entry for 18 February 1909: For ‘1909’ read ‘1910’.

p. 24, entry for 28 July–6 August 1910, l. 2: For ‘Officers’ read ‘Officers’’.

p. 24, entry for Autumn term 1910, l. 3: For ‘Officers’ read ‘Officers’’.

p. 29, entry for 15 March 1911, l. 1: For ‘Officers’ read ‘Officers’’.

p. 30, entry for Summer term 1911, l. 2 from bottom: For ‘Officers’ read ‘Officers’’.

p. 30, entry for 15 June 1911, l. 1: For ‘Officers’ read ‘Officers’’.

p. 31, entry for 21 June 1911, l. 2: For ‘Officers’ read ‘Officers’’.

p. 31, entry for 2 July 1911, l. 2: For ‘Officers’ read ‘Officers’’.

pp. 33–4, entry for August–early September 1911: Replace the heading with ?Late July–early September 1911. See note, pp. 820–1.

p. 34, add entries:

5 August 1911  Tolkien’s name is written in the guest book of the Ober Steinberg Berg-Gasthaus in the Inner Lauterbrunnenthal, south of Interlaken.

25 August 1911  Tolkien signs the guest book at the Cabane de Bertol, above Arolla on the Col de Bertol (Bertol Pass). This is presumably the day trip to a high-altitude hut recalled by both Tolkien and Colin Brookes-Smith.

p. 34, entry for End of the second week in October 1911, ll. 7–8: Family history to the contrary, Tolkien’s rooms were not in the ‘Swiss Cottage’. John Garth has examined the records and can find no mention of Tolkien in that building, but he is duly recorded in the ledgers for staircase no. 8 for 1911–12 and no. 7 for 1912–13 (see p. 41).

p. 34, add entry:

20 October 1911  Tolkien and fellow Exeter College student Colin Cullis, among others, pay their dues to join the Oxford Union debating society (see note for Michaelmas Term 1911 on p. 821).

p. 35, add entry:

15 November 1911  Dr Schiller (presumably F.C.S. Schiller of Corpus Christi College, Oxford) presents a paper, ‘A Philosophy of Fictions’, on truth vs. error, to a meeting of the Exeter College Dialectical Society, held in the Old Bursary. (Note: There is no evidence that Tolkien attended this or any other meeting of the Dialectical Society, though as a member he surely would have attended some. We have entered in Chronology those meetings with papers John Garth has suggested would have sparked Tolkien’s interest; see Reader’s Guide, p. 1229.)

p. 36, entry for 28 November 1911, l. 2: For ‘Officers’ read ‘Officers’’.

p. 36, add entry:

29 November 1911  W.H. Moberly of Lincoln College, Oxford presents a paper on immortality to a meeting of the Exeter College Dialectical Society, held in the Old Bursary.

p. 39, add entry:

18 May 1912  Tolkien is fined £1 7s. and 6d. by the Oxford Union Library.

p. 41, entry for Michaelmas Term 1912, l. 1: Delete ‘within “Swiss Cottage”’.

p. 43, add entries:

15 January 1913  Tolkien writes to Edith. He will calculate a number of kisses to be paid him by Edith in return for the amount of work he does each week. This is related to the accounts mentioned in our general entry for January 1913.

17 January 1913  Tolkien writes to Edith. Now that they are reunited, he is determined to apply himself better to his studies.

24 January 1913  Tolkien writes to Edith, confessing that he is tempted to sloth. (Catherine McIlwaine comments that Tolkien ‘was never slothful, but his conscience was so well-developed that he was inclined to chastise himself for any hours not spent on his studies, or for any small lapse in religious observance . . .’; see Maker of Middle-earth, p. 150.)

26 January 1913  Tolkien writes to Edith, describing her as a figure for which he is waiting, and which he will recognize even in twilight.

28 January 1913  A.J. Toynbee of Balliol College, Oxford presents a paper, ‘The Philosophy of History’, to a meeting of the Exeter College Dialectical Society, held in the Old Bursary.

p. 49, add entry:

7 May 1913  B.K. Mallik of Exeter College, Oxford presents a paper, ‘The Problem of Evil’, to a meeting of the Exeter College Dialectical Society.

p. 53, entry for 3 November 1913: Add at end: ‘ – Tolkien writes to Edith about his experience taking the oath to become a reader in the Bodleian Library, Oxford. (For the previous two years, he had used the library at Exeter College or his personal collection.) He was received better than he expected, without the rudeness he says other applicants have been given. The Radcliffe Camera, then the location of the Bodleian Public Reading Room, is “an awesome and splendid place’ with ‘wonderful manuscripts and books” (quoted in Maker of Middle-earth, p. 152).’

p. 56, add entry:

14 January 1914  Tolkien writes to Edith, remarking that the life they have ahead of them would bring them joy and love made more precious because they had found each other as orphans.

p. 57, add entries:

29 January–18 February 1914  Tolkien borrows from the Exeter College library volume 2 of the journal Grundriss der germanischen Philologie (1893).

28 February 1914  Tolkien writes to Edith, bemoaning what he sees as hazy prospects for his employment and talents he considers small.

p. 59, add entries:

1–17 June 1914  Tolkien borrows again from the Exeter College library volume 2 of Grundriss der germanischen Philologie (1893), as well as one or more volumes of Bibliothek der angelsächsischen Poesie, edited by Christian W.M. Grein and Richard Paul Wülcker (1883–98).

19 June–14 October 1914  Tolkien borrows for the summer, from the Exeter College library, The Deeds of Beowulf: An English Epic of the Eighth Century Done into Modern Prose, with an introduction and notes by John Earle (1892); An Old English Miscellany, edited by the Rev. Richard Morris (1872); and Bibliothek der angelsächsischen Poesie, edited by Christian W.M. Grein and Richard Paul Wülcker (1883–98). The latter, in three volumes, contains the Crist, which will inspire Tolkien’s poem about Éarendel composed in September 1914.

p. 60, entry for August 1914: According to John Garth, Tolkien and Father Vincent Reade stayed at a guest house named Bermejo in Lizard Town. Father Vincent ‘was going to serve mass at a priestless chapel there with the extraordinary name of Our Lady of the Lizard’. He ‘knew the area well from before his conversion to Catholicism, when he had been curate at Porthleven’ (The Worlds of J.R.R. Tolkien (2020), pp. 62–3).

p. 61, add entry:

11 August 1914  Tolkien writes to Edith, commenting wishfully (and as others at the time supposed) that the war might end soon.

p. 61, entry for 11 October 1914: Tolkien writes to Edith about conditions in Oxford. He joined the Officer Training Corps one day after he returned to the university, where (as Catherine McIlwaine has written, Maker of Middle-earth, p. 139) his college was empty, the Examinations Schools had been converted into a military hospital, and wounded soldiers filled the streets. He was issued a uniform, and would then spend part of his time drilling, going on field days, and attending lectures.

pp. 61–2, entry for Michaelmas Term 1914: According to a manuscript different from the one mentioned here, in addition to his coursework Tolkien is scheduled for drill with the Officer Training Corps Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 9.00 to 10.00 a.m. and Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday from 2.00 to 4.30 p.m. Tolkien entered into this timetable the lectures on the Volsunga Saga in ink as from 5.00 to 6.00 p.m. on Thursday, but in pencil as from 2.00 to 4.00. There is no mention in this other manuscript of lectures on Welsh by Rhys.

p. 62, add entry:

13 October 1914  Tolkien writes to Edith of Oxford as a place of gloom, the war having destroyed so much that has been established or planned.

p. 62, entry for Mid-October 1914–June 1915, ll. 4–5: For ‘Officers’ read ‘Officer’. In the Companion and Guide we were not consistent in writing the name of the Corps (or that of the Officers’ Training Corps, thus, of King Edward’s School, Birmingham). The current name of the Corps has the apostrophe, and Oxford University's own website uses the apostrophe when referring to the Corps in the First World War. The apostrophe is also present with the name in various print and online references. Corps records for 1914–15 in the Bodleian Library use ‘Officers Training Corps’, plural and without an apostrophe, on printed orders, but elsewhere ‘Officer Training Corps’ (singular) or ‘Officers’ Training Corps’. Then there are other references, including John Garth in Tolkien and the Great War, Malcolm Graham in Oxford in the Great War (2014), and Catherine McIlwaine in Tolkien: Maker of Middle-earth (2018), which prefer ‘Officer Training Corps’. We have had to make a choice, and decided to follow the latter form (singular, no apostrophe).

p. 62, entry for c. 23 October 1914: For ‘c. 23’ read ‘22’.

p. 65, entry for December 1914, l. 9: For ‘Officers’ read ‘Officer’.

p. 66, entry for 25 January 1915, l. 8: For ‘Officers’ read ‘Officer’.

p. 66, add entry:

28 January–10 March 1915  Tolkien borrows from the Exeter College library one or more volumes of the journal Grundriss der germanischen Philologie.

p. 71, entry for 3 May 1915: William Hunt’s service was also known as the Oxford Copying Office. (This appears not to be the same as the Academic Copying Service cited later in the Chronology, which was located at 21, The Turl in Oxford.)

p. 72, add entry:

1 June 1915  Tolkien writes to Edith. He tells her that W.E. Hall has been killed, the first of his personal friends to die in the war, and that he knows the list of such deaths will soon become long.

p. 76, entry for 28 June 1915, l. 3: For ‘Officers’ read ‘Officer’.

p. 76, entry for 30 June 1915, l. 1: For ‘Officers’ read ‘Officer’.

p. 77, entry for 9 July 1915, l. 7 from bottom: For ‘de Parys’ read ‘De Parys’.

p. 80, entry for 14 September 1915: Add at end: ‘ – Edith writes to Tolkien, declaring A Song of Aryador her favourite and wondering how Tolkien can compose poetry in camp.’

p. 85, add entry:

12 February 1916  Tolkien writes to Edith, commenting that he wishes to return England to Roman Catholicism.

p. 111, add entry:

23 November 1917 (postmark)  Mary Incledon writes to Tolkien, in reply to a letter to, or conversation with, Marjorie Incledon in which Tolkien remarked on the art critic John Ruskin in connection with his ‘Ishness’ pictures. (Catherine McIlwaine comments that ‘Ruskin espoused radical ideas . . . relating to imaginative art, and considered the imagination the highest faculty of an artist or poet’; see Maker of Middle-earth, p. 164.)

p. 120, entry for June 1920, ll. 3–6: Tolkien’s application to Leeds must predate Henry Bradley’s letter of recommendation for his candidacy, written on 7 June.

p. 120, entry for June 1920: Add at end: ‘ – Tolkien receives two guineas for writing a report on a book on Chaucer’s predecessors, which has been submitted to Oxford University Press. This was probably Medieval Skepticism and Chaucer: An Evaluation of the Skepticism of the 13th and 14th Centuries of Geoffrey Chaucer and His Immediate Predecessors by Mary Edith Thomas, not published until 1950, and not by Oxford University Press.’

p. 125, add entry:

November 1921  Tolkien purchases a copy of Fridtjof Nansen’s In Northern Mists.

p. 137, add entry:

?1925  Tolkien translates the poem Gawain’s Leave-Taking from the Vernon Manuscript in the Bodleian Library, Oxford.

p. 141, entries from 30 or 31 August 1925 through Mid-September 1925: Properly, we should have included an endnote for these, which describe the Tolkien family’s holiday in Filey, to repeat the argument for dating we made in our introduction to Roverandom. Tolkien had written in his diary, months after the fact, that the visit to Filey occurred from 6 to 27 September. The first date is recorded as a Saturday, but in fact was a Sunday. Since John Tolkien recalled seeing the full moon shining upon the sea, we noted that event on 2 September as the date of the nearest full moon; and if that was correct, Tolkien’s belated diary entry was not. We felt on firmer ground recording the severe storm that struck Filey on 5 September, which was reported in newspapers, and that too was earlier than 6 September. We fitted in other events around these in our Chronology. In The Worlds of J.R.R. Tolkien (2020) John Garth, attempting to fit the events of the holiday within the dates Tolkien recorded, suggests that the great storm ‘seems to be [on the date] 19 September, when “wind rose to gale force on exposed parts of the southern and eastern coasts”’ and heavy rain fell on Filey, and that the moon on 6 September was ‘still near enough full’ (p. 192, n. 45). But the storm of 5 September notably caused destruction of a sort recalled by John Tolkien (speaking to us over dinner), reported in newspapers, and described in Roverandom, while John’s vivid memory of the moon seemed to us to require it to be more than ‘near enough full’.

p. 160, add entries:

July 1929  Tolkien records a short segment, ‘At the Tobacconist’s’, for a Linguaphone English course. See also entry and note for April 1930.

20 November 1929  A meeting of the Kolbítar is held in C.S. Lewis’s rooms at Magdalen College. Under discussion is Helgakviþa Hundingsbana I (‘The First Lay of Helgi Hundingsbane’, or ‘Volsungakvida’), an Old Norse poem from the Elder Edda.

p. 163, entry for April 1930: The British Library now indicates the recording date of ‘At the Tobacconist’s’ to be July 1929.

p. 179, add entry:

25 February 1933  Tolkien is a guest at the annual dinner of the Mermaid Club in Oxford. The menu includes Filets de Soles ‘Bonnes Femmes’, Escalopes de Veau Milanaise, and Poulet de Surrey Rôti au Lard.

p. 197, entry for 13 May 1936: Correct date to 18 May 1936 and relocate entry following that for 17 May 1936.

p. 228, entry for 5 March 1938: Add: ‘ – Tolkien writes to Ferris Greenslet at the Houghton Mifflin Company. He is sorry that the publisher did not select Bilbo Comes to the Huts of the Raft-elves for the American edition of The Hobbit, the artist having caught the scene closely. (In fact, Bilbo is shown arriving in sunlight, but in the story he arrives at night. Tolkien evidently means that he caught the spirit of the event.) – Tolkien attends the annual dinner of the Mermaid Club in Oxford. The menu includes Saumon Côlettes Meunière and Faisan Rôti.’

p. 235, entry for 31 August 1938, l. 13: This appears to be the earliest public reference to the title of the Hobbit sequel. In the Marquette University Tolkien papers there is a manuscript leaf with the title The Magic Ring, but this is struck through and replaced with ‘? The Lord of the Rings’. On the same sheet is a manuscript note by Tolkien, ‘Prisca [Priscilla] & Chris [Christopher] say The Lord of the Rings’. See Catherine McIlwaine, Maker of Middle-earth (2018), pp. 330–1.

p. 240, entry for 2 February 1939: By now, following on his reference to ‘The Lord of the Ring’ (sic) on 31 August 1938, in writing about his sequel to The Hobbit Tolkien uses The Lord of the Rings.

p. 254, entry for April 1940: Probably during this visit to Somerset, Tolkien stops at Wells, where he sees the astronomical clock in the cathedral and the swans trained to ring a bell for food. This will inform his 1963 poem Rosalind Ramage.

p. 268, add entries:

15 January 1942  According to Tolkien’s pocket diary, he attends a pantomime (presumably a family outing) at 2.15 p.m. and a talk by the chief air raid warden at 8.00 p.m.

16 January 1942  According to Tolkien’s pocket diary, he has tea with ‘Stella’ (his student, Stella Mills) this day, and possibly attends a meeting of the Inklings.

p. 295, add entry:

14 September 1944  Tolkien writes to Christopher.

p. 316, entry for 20 January 1946: J.M. Ryan (‘J.R.R. Tolkien’s Formal Lecturing and Teaching at the University of Oxford, 1929–1959’, p. 57) notes that Tolkien ‘encouraged’ the thesis of K.M. Briggs of Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford, Folk Lore in Jacobean Literature, begun in Hilary Term 1946 but supervised by Mary Ethel Seaton, Fellow and Tutor at Lady Margaret Hall.

p. 372, entry for 22 June–5 July 1949: One of the papers Tolkien set with Professor Diarmuid Murphy is concerned with Shakespeare: how he creates atmosphere in his plays, particularly King Lear; the character of Ophelia in Hamlet; and the creation of Historical Drama within the Elizabethan tradition. Another paper asks questions about John Milton (and the theme and scope of Paradise Regained versus Paradise Lost), Gorboduc as a stage play, and the Jacobean dramatist John Webster.

p. 376, entry for 31 December 1949, final two lines: Delete ‘(but did not)’, and see further, addendum for pp. 379–80.

p. 377, entry for Early January 1950: For ‘Early January 1950’ read ‘4 January 1950’.

pp. 379–80, entry for 24 February 1950: Possibly from a desire to conserve space, we omitted from this letter – but they are published in Letters, pp. 135–6 – Tolkien’s comments on the letter from G.E. Selby received by Stanley Unwin and mentioned in his letter of 31 December 1949 (Chronology, p. 376): ‘I cannot imagine and have not discovered what Mr Selby was referring to. I have, of course, not written an “Authentic history of Faery” (and should not in any case have chosen such a title); nor have I caused any prophecy or rumour of any such work to be circulated. . . . It seems hardly likely that he can have come across some literary chat . . . in which somebody has referred to my Silmarillion (long ago rejected, and shelved).’ But Timothy Fisher has reminded us that Tolkien referred in his letter to Selby of 14–15 December 1937 (Chronology, pp. 221–2) to ‘a complete & heroic history of the Elves’ he had written and offered to Allen & Unwin, i.e. ‘The Silmarillion’. This is undoubtedly what Selby was referring to in his letter of 31 December, and Tolkien also undoubtedly (and not surprisingly) forgot after twelve years that he had written to Selby about a ‘history’. It was of course Selby who made it ‘authentic’ and ‘of Faery’. Our comment for 31 December 1949 (p. 376, now emended) that Tolkien ‘did not’ write such a history was based on his own comment to Unwin on 24 February.

p. 394, add entry:

30 March 1951  Tolkien writes to Florence Tolkien, who had sent him a letter upon finding The Hobbit in a library. Florence was married to Charles Embury Tolkien, who was born in Canada but whose family was English. Tolkien, noting that he was probably a third cousin, set down much about his family history, or at least family tradition (see further, addenda for the Reader’s Guide, under ‘Tolkien family’).

p. 456, entry for 1 June 1964: For ‘1964’ read ‘1954’.

p. 468, add entry:

20 November 1954  Tolkien writes to Nevill Coghill, expressing his pleasure at W.H. Auden’s review of The Fellowship of the Ring for The New York Times Book Review, published 31 October 1954.

p. 481, add entry:

2 June 1955  Tolkien posts a letter to Mrs Rosemary Summers, in belated reply to hers written in April. She seems to have been a teacher, whose young students have read, or heard, part of The Lord of the Rings. Tolkien recalls that some critics had charged that The Hobbit was too frightening for children, and supposes that the conceit that the events of The Lord of the Rings happened ‘long ago’ prevents it from being the stuff of nightmares (though he admits that some grown-ups have been upset by Shelob). He says that the students will learn much more in the third volume of The Lord of the Rings when it is published, and explains that goblin in The Hobbit is a ‘translation’ of orc.

p. 487, entry for 28 July 1955: Add at end: ‘ – W.H. Auden writes to Tolkien, commenting that it was an unforgettable experience for him, as an undergraduate, to hear Tolkien recite Beowulf. “The voice was the voice of Gandalf”’ (quoted in Maker of Middle-earth, p. 92).’

p. 507, entry for 8 December 1955, l. 8: Add after ‘p. 229).’: ‘He hopes that To the Chapel Perilous is selling well, and makes a comparison with Mark Twain’s A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court. Both books, he points out, contain anachronisms, which he does not like, preferring that satire arise from material rather than being inserted; but then there are umbrellas in the Shire. Whereas Mark Twain was vulgarly romantic, Mitchison, Tolkien feels, undermines or transforms her Arthurian subject (she tells the main events of the Grail story by means of reporters working for the Camelot Chronicle and the Northern Pict).’

p. 509, add entry:

12 January 1956  Tolkien writes to Peter Scott of the Newman Circle that he is too busy with work and correspondence to write a public lecture. Scott’s request for a lecture was inspired by the completed publication of The Lord of the Rings.

p. 510, entry for 14 January 1956: Add at end: ‘ – Tolkien replies to a fan letter from Godfrey Nicholson, Conservative Member of Parliament for Farnham, who has invited him to dine in the House of Commons. Praise, such as Nicholson has sent on completion of The Lord of the Rings, is ‘a comforting antidote to the pains of certain kinds of rather patronizing reviews or the sneers of those who dislike the “noble” (especially in women) . . .’ (quoted in Peter Harrington, London, Catalogue 147, November 2018, item 172). Tolkien suggests that they meet in London in the first week of February. (We have no evidence that they met or dined, in February or otherwise.)’

p. 520, add entry:

2 July 1956  Tolkien writes to Patricia Milne Henderson, in reply to an invitation to address the English Club in Cambridge. He regretfully declines, pleading that he is overwhelmed with correspondence and invitations, and without time to compose a paper or lecture. Now that The Lord of the Rings has been published, he will be seen to have ‘wasted’ time for years, and now has long overdue philological work to do.

p. 522, entry for 26 July 1956: Tolkien rewrote his letter to Miss Burn, at a much shorter length, before sending it on 22 September, having apparently misplaced it. In the final letter he comments that he would need an autobiography to explain how The Lord of the Rings grew, presumably meaning that it could not be done except at great length and probably with reference to the long history of ‘The Silmarillion’.

p. 525, entry for 8 December 1956: Add at end: ‘ – Tolkien writes to a Mr Roberts (possibly A.F. Roberts) in reply to a letter. He explains that he is busy with work (at Oxford) and does not see any hope of preparing the “Silmarillion” legends for publication before autumn 1957. He is doubtful of their reception since they have no hobbits and are not set in the “every-day”; the story of Aragorn and Arwen in the appendices to The Lord of the Rings gives some idea of the earlier stories.’

p. 540, entry for 16 October 1957: John M. Bowers recounts in Tolkien’s Lost Chaucer (2019) recollections of Tolkien by V.A. Kolve (Bowers’ American doctoral adviser). ‘He well remembers the ritual for relieving shyness on both sides when he arrived for these sessions [with his B.Litt. supervisor] at eleven o’clock and Tolkien would ask, “Do you think it’s too early for gin?” Two glasses, neither very clean but each with a splash of gin, relaxed them both and moved the conversation forward.’ Tolkien gave Kolve ‘rolls of handwritten notes’ he thought his student might find useful. ‘One-on-one, in the intimate setting of a supervision, he was generous and could be quite wonderful’ (pp. 10, 11).

p. 549, entry for 22 February 1958: Add at end: ‘ – Tolkien writes to Anthony D. Wood, who seems to have asked to meet Tolkien in the company of David A. Smith (later the author of British Bee Books, 1500–1976), presumably for tea. Tolkien would like to meet them, but will be visiting his wife in hospital  every day at tea-time for what he expects will be the immediate future.’

p. 558, entry for ?Late August–?early September 1958, l. 1: For ‘sends writes’ read ‘writes’.

p. 622, entry for 1 May 1962, l. 2: For ‘read though’ read ‘read through’.

p. 645, add entry:

7 December 1963  Tolkien writes to Rosalind Ramage, a seven-year-old fan of The Hobbit and the daughter of a former porter at Merton College, enclosing a poem entitled Rosalind Ramage.

p. 646, entry for 18 December 1963: Add at end: ‘ – Tolkien writes to Jonathan Hepworth, who has sent him a card with an illustration of the destruction of Mount Doom. Tolkien describes his unused dust-jacket designs for The Lord of the Rings, and replies to Jonathan’s message in runes with one of his own. Tolkien also writes a covering letter to Jonathan’s father.’

p. 661, entry for 5 or 6 January 1965: Iris Murdoch’s letter is dated 2 January; see Maker of Middle-earth, p. 98.

p. 684, l. 5 from bottom: For ‘1982’ read ‘1983’.

p. 693, add entry:

12 March 1966  Tolkien writes to John Bush of the publisher Victor Gollancz, thanking him for sending a copy of Frank Herbert’s Dune. Tolkien notes that he had received one already from Sterling Lanier. Bush having asked for his opinion of Dune, Tolkien replies that he dislikes it intensely, and that being so thinks that he had best not comment on it.

p. 741: The two entries for 28 August 1967 should be a single entry.

p. 741, add entry:

29 August 1967  Father Louis Bouyer visits Tolkien in Oxford. A Lutheran convert to Roman Catholicism and a priest in the French Oratory, Bouyer (1913–2004) had corresponded with Tolkien in 1966. Tolkien gives Bouyer a copy of Poems by C.S. Lewis which he inscribes to his guest.

p. 746, entry for 24 November 1967: Terry Pratchett’s letter to Tolkien is dated 22 November; see Maker of Middle-earth, p. 103.

p. 750, entry for 1968: Add at end: ‘ – Tolkien is photographed at the Hotel Miramar by John Loengard.’ In his book As I See It (2005), in which his portrait of Tolkien appears (p. 148), Loengard wrote that Tolkien was ‘stuffy’ about having his picture taken. After lunch they went to Tolkien’s ‘workroom’ on the top floor of the hotel under the eaves, which was so sparsely furnished that Loengard found it uninteresting, and could manage only ‘a basic headshot’. Loengard did not admit that he had tried to read The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings but did not like them.

p. 765, add entry:

2 August 1968  Lynda Johnson Robb, daughter of United States President Lyndon B. Johnson, writes a fan letter to Tolkien, asking him to autograph her copy of The Hobbit; see Maker of Middle-earth, p. 105.

p. 778, l. 13: For ‘Sotheby’s’ read ‘Christie’s’.

p. 778, entry for 10 April 1969: Extracts from what appears to be Tolkien’s reply to the Mroczkowska daughter (Maria Anuncjata Mroczkowska) were published in Tygodnik Powszechny in 1973 (‘Uczoność a wyobraźnia w Oxfordzie’), translated into Polish by Prof. Mroczkowski, and re-translated into English on the Tolkniety website in April 2020. Ms. Mroczkowska evidently asked Tolkien about writing The Lord of the Rings, and his reply was similar to others he had written. He did not intend the work consciously to be a summary or examination of English culture, and did not deliberately model the work on any literary genre, but calls it a heroic romance. He does not have an analytical or allegorical mind. He recalls that from the age of seven or eight he had two dominant interests, elves and orcs, in which was the embryo of The Lord of the Rings (this seems to be a correct re-translation from the Polish text, but we wonder if something was not lost in the original translation into Polish, as there is no suggestion of these interests, at least stated in this way, in any other statement by Tolkien or biographical source).

p. 784, entry for 25 November 1969: Add at end: ‘ – In the afternoon, Father Louis Bouyer visits Tolkien and Edith.’

p. 790, add entry:

January 1971  Tolkien drafts a reply to Princess Margrethe’s letter of 24 October 1970, commenting on her success in capturing a ‘contrast between glimpses of sinister darkness and homely simplicity’ in The Lord of the Rings (quoted in Maker of Middle-earth, p. 106). He and Margrethe will continue to correspond and exchange illustrations.

p. 795, add entry:

30 October 1971  Tolkien drafts a reply letter to Jean Morley, expressing regret that he had never visited Finland. The country fired his imagination through its language, which he has never mastered but which gave him aesthetic pleasure.

p. 795, entry for ?Early November 1971: For ‘?Early November 1971’ read ‘?Late October 1971’.

p. 800, entry for 27 April 1972: Add at end: ‘ – Tolkien writes to Lord Halsbury, describing his meeting with the Queen at Buckingham Palace during the award ceremony in March.’

p. 803, add entry:

15 June 1972  Tolkien writes to Alan Klass (father of Baillie Tolkien, Christopher’s wife). He is amused to have been awarded the CBE for ‘services to literature’ when he has long felt the hostility of academic teachers of English literature. He finds his honorary D.Litt. from Oxford of greater value, because it is rarely awarded to members of the University.

p. 810, add entry:

24 March 1973  Tolkien writes to Denis and Joyce Tolhurst. He has been away (probably to visit the Tolhursts in Poole) and has just returned home in gloomy weather, which he says supports his mood. He feels very lonely. His scout, Charlie Carr, has tended Edith’s grave. Tolkien will have Allen & Unwin send the Tolhursts a copy of the India paper Lord of the Rings [new?] which he will sign when he visits them next. He would also like to provide inscribed books to the Tolhurst children. He misses the Tolhursts’ beagle, Della.

pp. 820–1, note for August–early September 1911: Alex Lewis and Elizabeth Currie propose in their Tolkien’s Switzerland: A Biography of One Special Summer (2019) a detailed itinerary of Tolkien’s visit. They assume that he began to pack for the trip on 21 July, and left on his journey with fellow travellers from the Brookes-Smiths’ home at Hurst Green on 27 July, immediately after 26 July when he is known to have been in Birmingham. They conclude that it was ‘not possible’ for the party to travel to Innsbruck before reaching Switzerland, as Colin Brookes-Smith recalled, because, in the authors’ view, there would not have been enough time to do so. They suggest that Colin, twelve years old in 1911 and recalling the visit after a great distance of time, confused his family’s 1911 trip to Switzerland with earlier visits (he himself admitted that he was not certain on all points). In general, Lewis and Currie describe the party’s itinerary according to assumptions of travel time (and that Sunday was always a day of rest), the sights tourists typically saw in 1911, and many features the authors see reflected in Tolkien’s fiction. They have attempted to follow the Brookes-Smith party’s route in Switzerland themselves, or rather the route they conclude that the party most likely took. In their proposed timeline, the travellers returned to England on 12 September, with the following two days devoted to rest at Hurst Green. Much of the book is conjecture, with many suggestions as to what Tolkien and company ‘would have’ done, or ‘possibly’ or ‘probably’ did.

Lewis and Currie do, however, locate Tolkien precisely on two dates, for each of which his name appears in a guest book. That of the Ober Steinberg Berg-Gasthaus in the Inner Lauterbrunnenthal, south of Interlaken, dated 5 August 1911, records only the five Brookes-Smiths, Jane Neave, Dorothy Le Couteur, and the Tolkien brothers, as well as a family friend, C.G. Robson. (The names are written all in the same hand, probably that of James Brookes-Smith.) A guest book of the Cabane de Bertol, a high-altitude hut south of Arolla on the Col de Bertol (Bertol Pass), signed on 25 August, includes the same ten names (individually written), as well as those of Jane Neave’s friend H.A. (Helen) Preston; a friend of the Brookes-Smiths, Geraldine Roberts; and a local guide, J.G. Mahler. The Reverend and Mrs Hunt of Hurst Green, and young Tony Robson and his nurse Jeanne Swalen, known to have been with the party at other times, were not present at the hut; Lewis and Currie suggest that they remained in Arolla rather than undertake the ascent to the Col de Bertol (10,722 feet).

The dating of Tolkien’s visit to Switzerland remains uncertain, but Lewis and Currie are right to suggest that it could have begun in late July, and therefore this note should be headed ?Late July–early September 1911.

p. 824, note for 28 June–1 July 1913, l. 13: For ‘1912 or 1913 (taking into account Tolkien’s December birthday)’ read ‘1911 or 1912 (taking into account Tolkien’s January birthday)’. (How could we say that Tolkien was born in December?)

p. 827, note for 16 June 1915, l. 1: The note refers, of course, to dates in July and not June 1915. For the heading, ‘16 June 1915’, read ‘16 July 1915’, and the note should be relocated following that for 8–9 July 1915. Also, for ‘17 June’ read ‘17 July’.

p. 836, note for ?Early June 1917: In ‘Tolkien in East Yorkshire, 1917–18: A Hemlock Glade, Two Towers, the Houses of Healing and a Beacon’, in Janet Brennan Croft and Annika Röttinger, eds.,‘Something Has Gone Crack’: New Perspectives on J.R.R. Tolkien in the Great War (2019), Michael Flowers notes that John Garth and Dinah Hazell (the latter in Plants of Middle-earth: Botany and Sub-creation, 2016) concur that Tolkien’s ‘hemlocks’ are Queen Anne’s Lace or Cow Parsley, while Walter Judd and Graham Judd, Flora of Middle-earth: Plants of J.R.R. Tolkien’s Legendarium (2017), believe that Cow Parsley is the more likely of the two. Flowers attempts to estimate the date of Tolkien and Edith’s visit to the wood based on the flowering period of Cow Parsley at Dents Garth in spring 2004–2018, from which he extrapolates back to 1917, concluding that the event occurred in June 1917, most likely the first ten days of the month. Flowers also looks at elements within the ‘Tale of Tinúviel’ as possible clues to the real-world landscape that may have served as Tolkien’s inspiration. One hundred years, of course, can make a difference both to landscape and to climate.

p. 837, note for Mid-November 1917: Because the village of Kilnsea was considered vulnerable to attack by the Germans, a powerful battery was built there, as well as a star-shaped fort (Fort Godwin) with a well-equipped hospital. Tolkien received medical treatment in the latter.

p. 840, note for April 1930: Either we or the British Library have been confused at some point. The website currently (May 2020) indicates the recording date for ‘Wireless’ as April 1930, and that for ‘At the Tobacconist’s’ as July 1929. We have emended our Chronology entry for April 1930 and entered one for July 1929, to accord with the information as it now stands.

16 September 2018

p. 3, add entry:

4 March 1893  Mabel Tolkien writes to her mother- and father-in-law that baby Ronald does not go outside between 9.30 a.m. and 4.30 p.m., so as not to be affected by sun or heat.

p. 64, add entry:

29 November 1914  Tolkien writes to Edith, describing evening manoeuvres with the cadets. They fell in near the Bodleian Library outside Hertford College. It was a fresh night with a bright moon. The cadets marched through North Oxford to Wolvercote, from which they staged a mock attack on trenches in Port Meadow (on the east bank of the Thames).

p. 82, entry for November 1915, l. 2: G.B. Smith’s service record dates his entry into France as 21 November 1915.

p. 110, entry for Mid-November 1917: The second sentence should read: ‘Although he is billeted at or near Easington, his post is addressed via Kilnsea, two miles still further south, where he receives medical care.’

p. 162, add entry:

1 January 1930  John Tolkien records in his diary: ‘In the Afternoon we played in the Nursery. After tea Daddy read “The Hobbit”‘ (quoted in Catherine McIlwaine, Tolkien: Maker of Middle-earth (2018), p. 290).

p. 164, entry for Summer 1930: It is now known that Tolkien began to write The Hobbit by the end of 1929; see addendum for The Hobbit in the Reader’s Guide.

p. 166, entry for Christmas 1930, final sentence: Tolkien began The Hobbit no later than 1929; see Chronology addendum for Summer 1930, and Reader’s Guide addendum for The Hobbit.

p. 263, add entry:

16 March 1941  Betty Bond writes to Tolkien, telling him that some of the Home Students enjoyed his lectures on Beowulf this term.

p. 268, add entry:

15 January 1942  Tolkien records in his pocket diary that he is to see a pantomime at 2.15 today.

p. 278, add entry:

13 August 1943  Tolkien’s National Registry identification card, dated this day, describes him as 5 feet 10 inches tall, eyes and hair grey, with a cauliflower right ear. He is identified as a Senior Warden for Sector 63.

p. 512, entry for 8 March 1956: Galbraith had asked about the omission of the promised index from the first edition of The Return of the King, about Tolkien’s future works, parallels between The Lord of the Rings and the ‘Space Trilogy’ of C.S. Lewis, whether The Lord of the Rings was a response to the atomic bomb, and the relationship of locations in the work to actual places. Tolkien replied to each point. His work on the index delayed the publication of The Return of the King, and proved too long to include. His ‘mythical’ writings, i.e. ‘The Silmarillion’, seem less attractive to readers because it lacks ‘hobbitry’. Although he and Lewis undoubtedly influenced each other, at least superficially, they have different ideas. Tolkien’s original idea of relating fictional land masses to historical or prehistorical lands proved too difficult to sustain, but there is supposed to be a relation in a general way. (Parts of the letter were quoted or reproduced in the catalogues of two sales at Sotheby’s New York, 11 December 2017 and 18–28 June 2018.)

p. 516, entry for 12 April 1956, add at end: ‘– Tolkien writes a note to William Galbraith, apologizing for his delay in replying to Galbraith’s letter of 7 March. With this he will enclose the letter he wrote on 8 March.’

p. 524, entry for 5 November 1956: Michael Flowers informs us that Tolkien’s letter to Mr Britten was shown on the television programme Antiques Roadshow together with two other letters from Tolkien to Mr Britten, dated 11 November and 16 December 1956.

p. 572, entry for 19 May 1959: In his letter, Tolkien tells Zettersten that his edition of Ancrene Wisse is in press, but its publication date will depend upon how quickly he can pass proofs. After his illness earlier in the year he is behind with tasks, and now will be busy with examinations.

p. 664, add entry:

5 May 1965  Tolkien returns to Oxford in the evening.

p. 664, entry for 6 May 1965, add at beginning: ‘Tolkien writes to a Mr Brookes. He will be pleased to see him and to autograph books for him, perhaps around the end of May. Tolkien is very busy with urgent  and difficult matters, and will be going away again, but he hopes that this will not be until after 30 June. – ’

p. 902, col. 2, l. 19, index entry for Lord of the Rings, The: Add ‘235’ before ‘425’.

p. 920, col. 2, index entry for Scott, Walter: For ‘537’ read ‘536’.

2 April 2018

p. 148, add entry at beginning of section for 1927:

?Late 1920s or early 1930s  Tolkien writes three versions of the conjugation of the Qenya verb tul- (*‘Qenya Conjugations’) on examination paper from the University of Leeds, but groups them with declensions of various Qenya nouns written on Oxford examination paper.

p. 187, add entry:

16 September 1934  Tolkien writes to David Nichol Smith, sending a copy of Chaucer as a Philologist: The Reeve’s Tale. He hopes that he has made some interesting points, though the whole is laborious and clumsy, and that Nichol Smith will be available to meet before the start of term.

p. 197, entry for 13 May 1936: John R. Holmes has commented on Tolkien’s work on the ‘Our Father’, describing a study, or essay, which ‘in the Bodleian consists of a large volume of notes made in blue fountain pen in 1936, transferred to typescript sometime in the 1940s, and covered in red ballpoint emendations dating from 1966’ (‘Pope Francis, J.R.R. Tolkien and the Lord’s Prayer’, National Catholic Register online, 5 January 2018, www.ncregister.com/daily-news/pope-francis-j.r.r.-tolkien-and-the-lords-prayer). We have not ourselves seen all of this material, but have examined the preserved correspondence between Tolkien and Morey.

p. 202, add entry following that for Late 1930s:

c. 1937 or 1938  Tolkien writes five versions of a description (*On Ælfwine’s Spelling) of the orthographic practice of Ælfwine, who in ‘The Silmarillion’ translated Eldarin legends and chronicles into old English.

p. 242, add entry:

27 February 1939  Tolkien consults several books in the Bodleian Library, Oxford, evidently as research for his Andrew Lang lecture (On Fairy-Stories). At 10.30 a.m. he requests seven of Lang’s Fairy Books (Brown, Crimson, Green, Lilac, Olive, Violet, and Yellow, 1892–1910), as well as Lang’s Book of Dreams and Ghosts (1897) and Favourite Fairy Tales (1907). At 11.30 a.m. he requests English Fairy and Other Folk Tales, selected and edited by Edwin Sidney Hartland (1893), Essays in Little by Andrew Lang (1891), Fairy Gold: A Book of Old English Fairy Tales, chosen by Ernest Rhys (1907), The Magic Ring, and Other Stories from the Yellow and Crimson Fairy Books, edited by Andrew Lang (1906), Perrault’s Popular Tales, edited by Andrew Lang (1888), and The Secret Commonwealth of Elves, Fauns and Fairies by Robert Kirk (1893).

p. 242, entry for 6 May 1939, add at end: ‘– Tolkien writes to the poet and Oxford graduate Alan Rook, suggesting that a planned meeting (evidently for the following day) should be postponed. Edith is not well today, and the Tolkiens do not have the benefit of a servant.’

p. 243, add entry:

4 July 1939  Tolkien writes to a Miss Segar regarding hours for examinations she will oversee. He asks also for the address of a Miss Ridgeway, for the same purpose. He has engaged a Madame Pellé to read for examinations in French Story and Dictation.

p. 269, entry for 25 January 1942, l. 2: For ‘common room’ read ‘Common Room’.

p. 281, entry for 1944, add at end: In his book Public Opinion and the Last Peace, published this year, R.B. McCallum acknowledges Tolkien’s assistance in suggesting a connection between pacifist and passive-resistance.

p. 284, add entry following that for 30 March 1944:

?Spring 1944  Tolkien writes a brief summary of a revised conception of the declension of nouns in Common Quendian (*‘Common Quendian Declension’) on part of an unused University of Wales examination sheet.

p. 304, add entry at beginning of section for 1945:

?Mid- to late 1940s  Tolkien writes a Quenya grammar (*‘Quenya Verb Structure’) on sheets of Oxford examination paper. One part is entitled Quendian and Common Eldarin  Verbal Structure, and a second Quenya Verbal System.

p. 377, entry for Early 1950s, add at end: ‘– Tolkien writes a sixth version of his description of the orthographic practice of Ælfwine (*On Ælfwine’s Spelling). – In this period he also writes the earlier of two versions of an account of changes of the Eldarin sounds that produced Quenya, entitled Quenya: Outline of Phonetic Development (*Quenya: Outline of Phonology).

p. 378, entry for 15 January 1950: A document for this (Hilary) term lists Tolkien as an ‘Extra Member’ of the Exeter College Senior Common Room. Full Members included Fellows of Exeter and Lecturers living in College; Extra Members included those with the Masters of Art degree from the College, and others as elected. ‘Old Members of the College who are members of other Common Rooms [such as Tolkien] may be elected as Extra Members without Entrance Fee’, normally 3 guineas. Hall Dinner was scheduled at 7.30 p.m., and ‘notice to dine on week-days may be given up to 1.15 p.m. on the same day’. The notice also gave times for the closing of lists for Sunday dinner and for lunch on weekdays and Sundays. ‘Evening dress with black tie is worn on Sundays during Term.’ Because seating at High Table was limited, ‘and many of the large number of Fellows now resident in College dine on Sunday nights’, Extra Members were asked to consult the President of the Common Room (the Sub-Rector) before bringing a guest to dine on Sundays.

p. 503, entry for 24 October 1955, l. 6: Tolkien’s letter to Joyce Biddell was in reply to one she sent to him.

p. 509, add entry at beginning of section for 1956:

Late 1950s  Tolkien prepares a commentary on words and phrases in Quenya, Sindarin, Dwarvish, the Black Speech, and the Rohirric languages which appear in The Lord of the Rings (*Words, Phrases and Passages in The Lord of the Rings).

p. 527, add entry at beginning of section for 1957:

Late 1950s  Tolkien writes various brief texts (*‘The “Túrin Wrapper”’) in late Noldorin or Beleriandic or early Sindarin related to the story of Túrin.

p. 589, entry for 21 June 1960: Add at end: ‘– He writes to the American writer, editor, and sculptor Sterling Lanier, commenting that he had not, wittingly or willingly, begun a “cult” based on his writing, and that the Appendices in The Lord of the Rings add background and “reality” to the tale. He shows interest in figurines based on The Lord of the Rings that Lanier has made, or will make (by 1965).’

p. 651, add entry following that for 31 May 1954:

June 1964–September 1969  Tolkien writes a series of brief linguistic texts (*‘Five Late Quenya Volitive Inscriptions’), inscriptions in Quenya, some of them in tengwar; these can be dated to June 1964, 1968, c. 1968 or 1969, August 1969, and September 1969. Pertinent to these are also two sets of notes dated June 1964 and c. 1968 on Quenya pronominal inflections and related forms.

p. 662, entry for 11 February 1965: Add at end: ‘Edith Tolkien writes to American writer and artist Sterling Lanier, confirming receipt of a letter and a package of figurines based on The Lord of the Rings. Tolkien will neglect to reply to Lanier’s letter until later this year.’

p. 672, entry for August 1965, add at end: ‘– Sterling Lanier, an editor for Chilton Books, sends Tolkien a copy of Dune by Frank Herbert (published 1 August, on Lanier’s recommendation). Tolkien will receive it just before his trip to Ireland around the start of September.

pp. 673–4, entry for 19 August 1965: The ‘second letter’ was from Sterling Lanier, received by 11 February.

p. 674, ll. 1–2: The figurines were indeed inspired by The Lord of the Rings. We saw a set of them in March 2018.

p. 677, entry for 29 September 1965, add at end: ‘– Tolkien writes to Sterling Lanier, thanking him for the copy of Dune. He has not yet read it, being occupied with the Ace Books affair.’

p. 684, entry for Mid-1960s, add at end: ‘– Tolkien adds documents dealing with Elvish etymologies to his (ultimately unfinished) commentary on words and phrases in his invented languages found in The Lord of the Rings (*Words, Phrases and Passages in The Lord of the Rings).

p. 685, entry for January 1966: A copy of the SFWA Bulletin will be sent to Tolkien by Sterling Lanier.

p. 685, add entry:

10 January 1966  Tolkien writes to Sterling Lanier, thanking him for a letter and a copy of the January SFWA Bulletin.

p. 689, entry for 14 February 1966, add at end: ‘– Tolkien writes to Sterling Lanier, noting that he has received reasonable terms from Ace Books.’

p. 755 , entry for 1 March 1968, add at end: ‘– Tolkien writes to Evelyn Byrne, in response to a request for information about books he read in his teenage years. He cannot name a book which influenced him deeply at that time, when for the most part he was not interested in ‘literature’, but was reading, in his early teens, mainly books dealing with science. (See entry for 25 December 1971.)’

p. 772, entry for 18 October 1968: The date of Mary Fairburn’s letter is given from the postmark, referred to by Tolkien in his letter to her of 4 November.

p. 772, entry for 4 November 1968: To give further details from an autograph dealer’s reproduction of the complete letter (seen September 2017), Tolkien has been occupied with slowly bringing order to his house while only very gradually improving in health. He has had to dispose of pictures for lack of wall space. He is grieving after the death of Stanley Unwin.

p. 775, add entry at beginning of section for 1969:

c. 1969  Tolkien revises the first part of his Quenya grammar (devised perhaps in the mid- to late 1940s), with late notes on Quenya verb structure (*‘Quenya Verb Structure’).

p. 785, add entry at beginning of section for 1970:

?Early 1970s  Tolkien writes the second of two versions of an account of Quenya phonology, *Quenya: Outline of Phonology. It is a revision of a text from perhaps in the early 1950s, and includes markings in coloured ballpoint pen or pencil.

p. 809, add entry:

24 January 1973  Tolkien writes to Sterling Lanier, thanking him for sending a copy of Lanier’s first book, The War for the Lot: A Tale of Fantasy and Terror (1969, about a young boy chosen to defend a tract of wilderness from city rats). Tolkien finds it frightening. He gives Lanier tentative approval for selling his figurines based on The Lord of the Rings, having found them in a different class than much of the Tolkien-related merchandise sold without his permission.

p. 813, add entry:

28 July 1973  Tolkien writes to Professor Campbell (presumably Archibald Hunter Campbell, 1902–1989, Regius Professor of Public Law at the University of Edinburgh from 1945 to 1972), thanking him for his part in the presentation of Tolkien’s honorary degree. Tolkien was pleased, indeed overwhelmed, by the occasion, comparing himself to Merry and Pippin in The Lord of the Rings: he was proud and delighted, while wondering if the honour was really deserved. Although, at eighty-one, he is now reluctant to travel far, he would not be reluctant to return to Edinburgh.

[ go to home page ]
[ go to addenda and corrigenda page ]

Copyright © 2018–2020 by Wayne G. Hammond & Christina Scull
This page was last updated on 20 December 2020
Design by NimbleFingers