Wayne and Christina

Addenda and Corrigenda to
The J.R.R. Tolkien Companion and Guide
Revised and Enlarged Edition (2017)
Vols. 2 & 3: Reader’s Guide

by Christina Scull and Wayne G. Hammond

Elsewhere on this site may be read addenda and corrigenda to vol. 1, the Chronology (2017 edition), addenda and corrigenda to shared elements of the Companion and Guide (i.e. to our preface and index, which are shared between the Chronology and Reader’s Guide, and acknowledgements beyond those in the published preface), and a list of topics in the Reader’s Guide (2017). References to lines or paragraphs are relative to the cited page, not to the named entry. Significant revisions of addenda or corrigenda (as opposed to revisions of the Reader’s Guide proper) are marked thus: [REVISED]. Hyperlinks are included selectively, to lead to further (especially pictorial) material; for additional links, see the supplemental bibliography of sources.

p. 6, entry for Ace Books Controversy: The Ace Books affair was also covered extensively in the fan journal Niekas. In no. 15 (12 March 1966) editor Ed Meskys quotes (p. 48) a letter by Donald A. Wollheim which had appeared in another fan publication, Yandro. In this Wollheim comments that both Tolkien and his publishers complained about the Ace Books edition on the basis of courtesy, that there had been no advance notice of the edition, rather than about the lack of payment to Tolkien or Allen & Unwin. This, Wollheim concludes, ‘is a British upper class gimmick’, and adds: ‘Of course, behind this scream of discourtesy lies the fact that had we told Tolkien in advance, they would have acted to rush out an edition of their own (presumably through Ballantine) a lot earlier and quite probably have beaten us to the draw with the second and third volumes (since we did not start production of these until a month after our first was on sale).’ Much ruder comments follow, including a statement of Wollheim’s mistaken belief that Tolkien had been forced to underwrite publication of The Lord of the Rings by Allen & Unwin with his own money, thus making the publisher into ‘the lowest type . . . a vanity house’. In fact, Tolkien had done nothing of the sort, but agreed with Allen & Unwin that he would not receive royalties until his book made back its costs, after which he would receive royalties at fifty per cent, in the event a very lucrative deal. Wollheim felt that Tolkien, whom he thought was out of touch in an academic ivory tower, would have done better if he had had ‘a tough American-type literary agent’.

Meskys also summarizes statements that Donald Wollheim made at a party in San Francisco in 1965. Wollheim had never read The Lord of the Rings, but only dipped into one volume which he did not find exciting. Ace Books did not expect to make money selling the book, but hoped to use it to sell their line in places such as college bookstores, where they had not been able to break in. (At that time in the United States, paperback genre fiction, such as science fiction, often with ‘lurid’ covers, was considered by some to be ‘inappropriate’ literature, and if not outright banned, at least disapproved.) Distribution of The Lord of the Rings was in fact limited, concentrated on university towns. Meskys recounted some of these points earlier, in Niekas 12 (15 June 1965), p. 77, where it is said that Ace Books expected to keep The Lord of the Rings in print indefinitely, as a ‘prestige’ title, supported by sales of their other publications; but there Wollheim is reported to have said that the edition would eventually, after many years, turn a profit by itself.

Ed Meskys’ comments in Niekas 12 and Niekas 15 reflect the confusion and mixed emotions Lord of the Rings enthusiasts must have felt in 1965–6 during the Ace Books affair. Donald Wollheim’s argument, that The Lord of the Rings had fallen into the public domain in the United States due to oversights by Tolkien’s publisher, was more or less accepted as fact, but Ace Books, Allen & Unwin, and Houghton Mifflin were criticized for ‘posturing’ in their public statements. It was a pity, Meskys thought in Niekas 12, that Tolkien was receiving no payment for the Ace Books edition, but he seems to have accepted Wollheim’s argument that Ace had no obligation to pay, and praised them for publishing The Lord of the Rings in paperback so that it would be available in a broader market. By Niekas 15, however, Meskys came to the conclusion that whatever the circumstances, Ace Books’ actions were morally wrong, because they had taken Tolkien’s creation without permission and deprived him of legitimate income. Even so, he also took to task Allen & Unwin and Houghton Mifflin for their failure properly to deal with copyright, thus allowing the situation to develop.

For comments on Jack Gaughan’s covers for the Ace Books edition, see p. 563 in the article for ‘Illustration’.

pp. 23–4, entry for Adaptations: The paper quoted here by Janet Brennan Croft has been published in Fantasy Fiction into Film: Essays, ed. Leslie Stratyner and James R. Keller (2007). The quotations, with one trivial difference in text, appear on p. 11.

pp. 24–5, entry for Adaptations: To the list of critical works (beginning at the foot of p. 24), add: Kristin Thompson, ‘Film Adaptations: Theatrical and Television Versions’, in Stuart D. Lee, ed., A Companion to J.R.R. Tolkien (2014).

p. 44, l. 12 from bottom: For ‘Officers’ read ‘Officers’’ (with an apostrophe; the latter form is used in the King Edward’s School Chronicle, and therefore presumably is authoritative).

pp. 63–5, entry for Appearance: For photographs of Tolkien, by himself or with his family, see also numerous pages in Maker of Middle-earth.

p. 65, final paragraph, entry for Art: Catherine McIlwaine comments that ‘rapidity seems to be a feature of the “Ishnesses” and may have been central to the artist’s intention to capture a true or honest impression of a particular feeling, without the intrusion of the intellect’ (Maker of Middle-earth, p. 168).

pp. 68–73, entry for Arthur and the Matter of Britain: John Garth comments in The Worlds of J.R.R. Tolkien (2020) that Tolkien ‘underpinned The Lord of the Rings with the idea of the king who will return, cented it on a fellowship on a perilous quest, and ended it by sending the wounded hero to Faërie for healing. For a long time, he called Beleriand Broseliand, recalling Broceliande, the enchanted forest in Arthurian tales’ (p. 35).

p. 102, ll. 25–6, entry for Arthur Owen Barfield: A photograph of Barfield is also reproduced in Maker of Middle-earth, p. 26.

p. 103, l. 2, entry for Thomas Kenneth Barnsley: Barnsley entered King Edward’s School in January 1908.

p. 110, third paragraph, entry for The Battle of Maldon: Also see further, Thomas Honegger, ‘Scholarly Heroes, Heroic Scholars’, in Tolkien among Scholars, ed. Nathalie Kuijpers, Renée Vink, and Cécile van Zon (2016).

p. 113, second paragraph: The printed map of Middle-earth removed from The Lord of the Rings and annotated by Tolkien and Baynes was reproduced in Catherine McIlwaine, Tolkien: Maker of Middle-earth (2018), pp. 382–3, and in McIlwaine, Tolkien Treasures (2018), pp. 138 (complete), 139 (detail). The finished poster-map, A Map of Middle-earth, was reproduced in Tolkien: Maker of Middle-earth, p. 385, and in Tolkien Treasures, pp. 136 (complete), 137 (detail). Baynes’s original art for her Map of Middle-earth and for There and Back Again is held in the Bodleian Library, Oxford; both works were displayed in the Bodleian Library’s Tolkien exhibition in 2018.

p. 130, final paragraph: Also see further, Andy Orchard, ‘Found in Translation: Tolkien’s “Beowulf”‘, Oxford English 3 (2014), pp. 16–19.

p. 132, entry for Beowulf: The Monsters and the Critics: On Tolkien’s points regarding the pagan and the Christian in the Anglo-Saxon world, Tolkien wrote to his colleague Bruce Mitchell: ‘I think we fail to grasp imaginatively the pagan “heroic” temper, the almost animal pride and ferocity of “nobles” and champions on the one hand; or on the other the immense relief and hope of Christian ethical teaching amidst a world with savage values’ (quoted in the introduction by Bruce Mitchell to an edition of Beowulf, translated by Kevin Crossley-Holland (1968)).

p. 138, entry for Beowulf: The Monsters and the Critics: Add at end: ‘John Garth observes in The Worlds of J.R.R. Tolkien (2020) that when Tolkien lectured to Oxford undergraduates about Beowulf in the early nineteen-thirties he included an allegory related to his lament about critics interested in the poem not as a poem, but for historical or other data it might contain. In that story, the “critics” turn over the stones of a rock garden. When, however, he included a similar allegory in his British Academy lecture, the stones had been used to build a tower. Garth suggests that Tolkien was inspired to make this change by the widely-publicized construction of an intentionally useless folly in Faringdon, west of Oxford, opened in 1935.’

p. 150, l. 11 from bottom, entry for Beren and Lúthien: For ‘over a long period’ read ‘over a long period, with illustrations by Alan Lee’.

p. 151, l. 2: For ‘(1930) (*The Shaping’ read ‘(1930; *The Shaping’.

pp. 155–7, entry for Bibliographies: In 2019 Oronzo Cilli published Tolkien’s Library: An Annotated Checklist. He includes ‘books we know with absolute certainty Tolkien read, consulted, bought or borrowed’, those ‘he read as cited by scholars’, and ‘any text he read, studied, or simply was aware of’ (p. xxiii). Cilli documents these by reference to holdings in institutional and private libraries, to Tolkien’s own writings, and to information gleaned from secondary works (such as the Companion and Guide). It is a long list, including even those works cited as source material for words in the Oxford English Dictionary on which Tolkien worked, though Tolkien may not have known those sources beyond a quotation written on a dictionary slip. Cilli’s scope is wide, perhaps subjectively so, perhaps not; at any rate, his checklist is not exhaustive, and could not be, as one could never know of every work of which Tolkien was ‘aware’. See further, Wayne G. Hammond and Christina Scull, ‘Tolkien's Library: An Annotated Checklist (2019) by Oronzo Cilli’, Journal of Tolkien Research 7, no. 1, article 10 (2019); and Cilli’s reply to our review, ‘The Leaves Were Long, the Cover Was Green’, on academia.edu.

pp. 162–3, entry for Biographies: A second edition of Carpenter’s biography was published in 1987. Already by 1978, however, in the first paperback edition, his statement originally on p. 145, that Tolkien was amused by Lewis’s mock-scholarly critique of the Lay of Leithian (‘The Gest of Beren and Lúthien’) ‘but he did not accept any of Lewis’s suggested emendations’, was itself corrected to read ‘but he accepted few of Lewis’s suggested emendations’ (p. 149).

p. 165, third paragraph: On Edwards’ biography, see further, Nelson Goering’s perceptive review in Journal of Inklings Studies 7, no. 1 (April 2017), pp. 133–7.

p. 179, third paragraph, entry for The Book of Lost Tales: John Garth argues in ‘Ilu’s Music: The Creation of Tolkien’s Creation Myth’, in Fimi and Honegger, Sub-creating Arda: World-building in J.R.R. Tolkien’s Work, Its Precursors and Its Legacies(2019), that The Music of the Ainur was composed in 1917, earlier than Tolkien stated in 1964, indeed that ‘he may have created more of his mythology [while on duty at Withernsea] than previously realised’ (p. 119). Garth’s argument is that ‘Tolkien’s writings about his invented languages . . . suggest The Music of the Ainur predated Tolkien’s Gnomish Lexicon’ (p. 119), the primary manuscript layer of which is dated to Withernsea, 1917; and that Tolkien had a greater opportunity to write in 1917, while in hospital or on leave, than when he had ‘a day job [with the Oxford English Dictionary] and a busy family life’ after he left the army (p. 120). Garth comments that ‘if The Music of the Ainur was indeed written in early 1917 it would make abundant sense in terms of Tolkien’s creative ambitions’ (p. 120), and that the work ‘is a consolatory myth in response to the war, written partly for . . . Christopher Wiseman’ (p. 117). He also discusses the Music as ‘fugal’, and finds close parallels with a Babylonian creation narrative translated from the Akkadian by Henry Fox Talbot.

p. 196, fourth paragraph, entry for Henry Bradley: Bradley’s original letter of recommendation for Tolkien’s Leeds candidacy, dated 7 June 1920, is reproduced in Maker of Middle-earth, p. 87.

p. 199, entry for Denis Hugh Vercingetorix Brogan, l. 1: For ‘b. 1936’ read ‘1936–2019’.

pp. 204–5, entry for Calligraphy: Eduardo B. Kumamoto has explored the extent to which Tolkien adopted not only Edward Johnston’s ‘foundational hand’ but also Insular script, or Anglo-Saxon bookhand; see ‘“Written in a Fair Hand”: The Living Tradition of Medieval Scripts in J.R.R. Tolkien’s Calligraphy’, Journal of Tolkien Research 10, no. 2, article 8 (2020).

p. 205, ll. 5–8, entry for Calligraphy: We should have said more explicitly that Tolkien owned a copy of Johnston’s Writing & Illuminating, & Lettering, which was inherited by Christopher Tolkien. Although he may well have used other manuals or instruction sheets, Tolkien certainly used Johnston’s book. The design for the decorative title border of The Front Door, an illustration for The Hobbit (Artist and Illustrator, fig. 135; Art of The Hobbit, fig. 76), is adapted from Writing & Illuminating, & Lettering, fig. 87.

p. 223, ll. 13–15 from bottom, entry for Geoffrey Chaucer: Bowers’ Tolkien’s Lost Chaucer was published in 2019. It does not include the edition of selected works by Chaucer planned by Tolkien and George Gordon, but rather is an extended exploration of the ‘Clarendon Chaucer’, of Tolkien’s knowledge of Chaucer as a subject of research and teaching, and of Chaucer ‘as a major influence upon Tolkien’s literary imagination’, as the dust-jacket blurb reads. Bowers pleads that an edition of Selections from Chaucer’s Poetry and Prose would have been ‘a hefty volume’ entailing much puzzling out of Tolkien’s sometimes difficult handwriting, and that Tolkien himself, Bowers feels, ‘would have objected to having his . . . unfinished edition published’ in the fashion of Furnivall’s posthumous Hali Meidenhad (p. 4). Bowers’ ‘approach takes into respectful account what Tolkien did accomplish in his edited text, glossary, and notes, drawing into discussion his ancillary publication “Chaucer as a Philologist” and highlighting this editorial project’s contributions to his career as a fiction-writer as well as a scholar and teacher’ (p. 5). In this he succeeds, though one may quibble with his connections between Chaucer and Tolkien’s fiction, and with his frequent criticisms of Tolkien’s working method. The latter is echoed in the title of an excerpt from Tolkien’s Lost Chaucer published online on lithub.com: ‘Did Tolkien Write The Lord of the Rings because He Was Avoiding His Academic Work?: How a Literary Icon Always Felt Guilty about His Failings with Chaucer’ (2019) . Our short answer to the excerpt title’s question is: No. See also Nelson Goering’s review, ‘Tolkien’s Lost Chaucer (2019) by John M. Bowers’, in the Journal of Tolkien Research 9, no. 1, article 3 (2020).

pp. 229–32, entry for Children: In his blog post ‘Tolkien, Trains and Two Discoveries: Meccano and Hornby’, Tolkieniano, 25 November 2017, Oronzo Cilli deduces that the toy trains owned by the Tolkien boys were in the Hornby line made by Meccano, long a popular brand. ‘Hornby’ is mentioned in the ‘Father Christmas’ letter for 1932, in wording which suggests that the brand of trains, or accessories, was not always available for ‘Father Christmas’ to bring as gifts.

Cilli notes a classified advertisement in the March 1933 number of Meccano Magazine placed by ‘Tolkien, 20, Northmoor Road, Oxford’, offering ‘cash for four C.C.B. Red or Yellow “Break”’; other notices in the same magazine spell out ‘C.C.B.’ as Clark’s Creamed Barley, a popular cereal advertised as the ‘all-British breakfast’. The request appears to refer to reproduction hoardings to be added to a realistic model train layout. Cilli also comments that ‘M. Tolkien’ is listed in the June 1933 Meccano Magazine as a winner of a consolation prize in a ‘Popular Photo Contest’. Michael Tolkien was evidently member number 30992 of the ‘Hornby Railway Company’ fan club. Several local chapters of the club existed in Oxford during Michael’s boyhood; Cilli speculates that Michael joined in 1932 or 1933.

pp. 242–4, entry for Classical influences: Four essays in the collection Tolkien and the Classics (2019), ed. Roberto Arduini, Giampaolo Conzonieri, and Claudio A. Testi, consider parallels between Tolkien’s fiction and that of Homer, Apollonius of Rhodes, Euripides, and Vergil, but the connections are largely tangential and speculative. (The word ‘classics’ in the collection title is applied widely, beyond the Greek and Latin classics with which we are concerned in our article.)

p. 247, final two lines, entry for Nevill Henry Kendal Aylmer Coghill: A photograph of Coghill is also reproduced in Maker of Middle-earth, p. 26.

p. 288, entry for Colin Cullis: Like Tolkien, Cullis took only a second class in Honour Moderations. He continued to read Classics, failed Divinity Mods (passages for translation from the Greek New Testament) due to ill health in 1913 and 1914, and was excused both from the university Officer Training Corps and from living in college his final year (when he took rooms with Tolkien in St John Street). Severely ill during his last term, much of which he spent away, Cullis took only a third class in his final exams in 1915. After his work in Foreign Trade (as we describe), he held a staff position at the Federation of British Industries in London. See further, a long article about Cullis, ‘Tolkien’s Last Friend in Oxford When the World Went to War’, by John Garth on his blog, 29 July 2019.

p. 290, ll. 12–13: Somerville College Chapel Addresses and Other Papers includes a memoir of Helen Darbishire and a list of her published writing.

p. 290, entry for Martin Cyril D’Arcy: A volume of Father D’Arcy’s reminiscences, Laughter and the Love of Friends, was edited by William S. Abell and published in 1991. It includes an account of a talk by Hilaire Belloc at the Oxford chaplaincy, at which Tolkien was present. Belloc ‘came out with one [of] his pet themes: that the Anglo-Saxons were utterly unimportant in the history of England’. On this point ‘Tolkien disagreed profoundly’. D’Arcy recalls that Tolkien

was sitting just in front of me, and I saw him writhing as Belloc came out with some of his more extreme remarks. So during the interval, I said to him, ‘Oh, Tolkien, now you’ve got your chance. You’d better tackle him.’ He looked at me and said, ‘Gracious me! Do you think I would tackle Belloc unless I had my whole case very carefully prepared?’ He knew Belloc would always pull some fact out of his sleeve which would disconcert you! Now, that was a tremendous tribute from probably the greatest authority in the world at the time on that particular subject. [pp. 112–13]

p. 318, l. 6 from bottom, entry for James Harold Dundas-Grant: A photograph of Dundas-Grant is also reproduced in Maker of Middle-earth, p. 26.

pp. 322–5, entry for Éalá Éarendel Engla Beorhtast: It is interesting, though in regard to Tolkien probably irrelevant, to note that Charles William Stubbs, then Dean of Ely Cathedral and later Bishop of Truro, published a poem in 1899 (in his Byrhtnoth’s Prayer and Other Poems, London: T. Fisher Unwin), ‘The Carol of the Star’, in which Earendel is mentioned throughout in refrains: ‘Hail Earendel, / Brightest of Angels!’ and ‘Godlight be with us, / Hail Earendel!’ The first verse reads:

They came three Kings who rode apace,
To Bethlem town by God’s good grace:
      Hail Earendel,
      Brightest of Angels!
Pardie! It was a duteous thing,
Wise men to worship childë King:
      Godlight be with us,
      Hail Earendel!

Stubbs understood that Earendel was the ‘mythic name’ of the Star of Bethlehem, but this seems to be nowhere else attested.

T.A. Shippey suggests in The Road to Middle-earth that Tolkien ‘no doubt’ looked for ‘Earendel’ in the 1900 edition of the Crist by A.S. Cook, and in Jacob Grimm’s Teutonic Mythology. The latter would have told him that an analogue of the name, ‘Aurvandill’, appears in the Prose Edda, and that ‘Orendel’ in the German poem of that name (c. 1200) is a king’s son, shipwrecked in the Holy Land, who returns home ‘to convert his heathen countrymen’, ‘a messenger of hope’ (pp. 218, 219). John Garth points out in ‘“The Road from Adaptation to Invention”: How Tolkien Came to the Brink of Middle-earth in 1914’, Tolkien Studies 11 (2014), however, that Tolkien had at hand when he read of Earendel in the Crist an article by Barend Symons on Heldensage (hero-sagas) in volume 2 of Grundriss der germanischen Philologie (1893), edited by Hermann Paul, which Tolkien had borrowed for the summer from the Exeter College Library. Symons writes of the ‘Orendelsage’ in which the hero is ‘a wanderer upon the waters, a seafarer, the central figure in a Germanic mariner myth, now lost, corresponding to (but not deriving from) the classical myth of Ulysses/Odysseus; he certainly belongs among the oldest Germanic heroes’ (Garth, p. 14).

In the same essay (and more directly in The Worlds of J.R.R. Tolkien, 2020), Garth suggests an influential connection between Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s Song of Hiawatha and Tolkien’s ‘Earendel’ poem, and that Tolkien was familiar with Hiawatha beyond the latter having been inspired by the Kalevala and enjoying popularity in the early twentieth century. It is an intriguing analogue, but tenuous. Garth himself comments that ‘despite the similarities in overall idea and certain specifics of the imagery, it can be seen that if indeed The Song of Hiawatha helped to give Tolkien the impulse for “The Voyage of Earendel the Evening Star,” he made a sterling effort to avoid echoing Longfellow’s phrasing too closely’ (p. 21).

See further, David Llewellyn Dodds, ‘“Tolkien’s Narnia”?: Lit., Lang., Saints, Tinfang, and a Mythology – or Two – for Christmas’, in Kuijpers, Vink, and van Zon, Tolkien among Scholars (2016).

pp. 345–52, entry for Environment: See also *Power, into which come related issues regarding the Machine.

p. 348, ll. 10–11 from bottom, entry for Environment: In relation to Gandalf’s comment about Isengard (‘whereas it had once been green and fair, it was now filled with pits and forges. . . . Over all [Saruman’s] works a dark smoke hung and wrapped itself about the sides of Orthanc’) is a further description in bk. III, ch. 8: ‘Shafts were driven deep into the ground; their upper ends were covered by low mounds and domes of stone. . . . The shafts ran down by many slopes and spiral stairs to caverns far under; there Saruman had treasuries, store-houses, armouries, smithies, and great furnaces. Iron wheels revolved there endlessly, and hammers thudded.’

p. 388, add cross-reference: The Fall of Gondolin (story)see‘Of Tuor and His Coming to Gondolin’.

p. 388, add entry:

The Fall of Gondolin. Edition of texts relating the story of Tuor and the fall of Gondolin from *‘The Silmarillion’, edited by Christopher Tolkien. First published in Great Britain by HarperCollins, London, and in the United States by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Boston, in August 2018.


In his preface to *Beren and Lúthien (2017) Christopher Tolkien, then in his ninety-third year, presumed that it would be ‘the last book in the long series of editions of my father’s writings’. But ‘the presumption proved wrong’, as he wrote in the preface to The Fall of Gondolin, and instead it is the latter book, while presenting the third of the three ‘Great Tales’ Christopher drew from the legendarium (after *The Children of Húrin (2007) and Beren and Lúthien), which provides a final survey of the work of J.R.R. Tolkien and is a valedictory for his most industrious editor.

‘In this book’, Christopher writes,

one sees, in the complex narrative of many strands in various texts, how Middle-earth moved towards the end of the First Age, and how my father’s perception of this history that he had conceived unfolded through long years until at last, in what was to be its finest form, it foundered.

The story of Middle-earth in the Elder days was always a shifting structure. My History of that age [*The History of Middle-earth], so long and complex as it is, owes its length and complexity to this endless welling up: a new portrayal, a new motive, a new name, above all new associations. My father, as the Maker, ponders the large history, and as he writes he becomes aware of a new element that has entered the story. . . .

To illustrate the transformations that took place as time passed nothing is more striking than the portrayal of the god Ulmo as originally seen, sitting among the reeds and making music at twilight by the river Sirion, but many years later the lord of all the waters of the world rises out of the great storm of the sea at Vinyamar. Ulmo does indeed stand at the centre of the great myth. With Valinor largely opposed to him, the great God nonetheless mysteriously achieves his end.

Looking back over my work, now concluded after some forty years, I believe that my underlying purpose was at least in part to try to give more prominence to the nature of ‘The Silmarillion’ and its vital existence in relation to The Lord of the Rings – thinking of it rather as the First Age of my father’s world of Middle-earth and Valinor.

. . . I knew that long before, when The Lord of the Rings was finished but well before its publication, my father had expressed a deep wish and conviction that the First Age and the Third Age (the world of The Lord of the Rings) should be treated, and published, as elements, or parts, of the same work. [pp. 9–12]

Towards the end of his preface, Christopher comments on some of the problems specific to this book. ‘The tale of The Fall of Gondolin gathers as it proceeds many glancing references to other stories, other places, and other times: to events in the past that govern actions and presumptions in the present time of the tale’ (p. 16). In this volume he chose to relate relevant texts or extracts in succession with little or no commentary, followed by an account of the evolution of the story. As for the other two ‘Great Tales’, the text is illustrated by Alan Lee.

Christopher does, however, provide in his preface an introduction to the first narrative with a quote from *Unfinished Tales: ‘It is the remarkable fact that the only full account that my father ever wrote of Tuor’s sojourn in Gondolin, his union with Idril Celebrindal, the birth of Eärendel, the treachery of Maeglin, the sack of the city, and the escape of the fugitives – a story that was a central element in his imagination of the First Age – was the narrative composed in his youth’ (p. 18, slightly altered from the original text).

summary of the contents

A ‘Prologue’ (pp. 21–36) discusses the writing of The Fall of Gondolin while Tolkien was convalescing from trench fever; it was begun perhaps at the end of 1916, and written mainly in 1917. Though this is the earliest significant prose text of ‘The Silmarillion’ and the first written tale of *The Book of Lost Tales, chronologically it comes almost at the end of what would become a long history of the First Age. Extracts from the Sketch of the Mythology (c. 1926; see *The Shaping of Middle-earth, pp. 11–18) and the poem The Flight of the Noldoli from Valinor (c. 1925, from *The Lays of Beleriand, pp. 133–5) provide a synopsis of significant earlier events.

‘The Tale of The Fall of Gondolin’ (listed as ‘The Original Tale’ in the table of contents, and referred to by Christopher as the Tale), pp. 37–111 of the present book, reprints Tuor and the Exiles of Gondolin from *The Book of Lost Tales, Part Two (pp. 149–97), including the introductory and closing words of Littleheart son of Bronweg.

‘The Earliest Text’ (pp. 112–13) gives and comments on a note with an unused idea for the treachery that led to Morgoth’s triumph over Gondolin (The Book of Lost Tales, Part Two, p. 220). In this the traitor is ‘Eöl (Arval) of the Mole-kin of the Gnomes’, kin to the Sons of Fëanor, who is rejected by Isfin, daughter of Fingolma (i.e. the sister of Turgon), whereas in the Tale Eöl is Turgon’s nephew, son of his sister Isfin, and is rejected by Idril, Turgon’s daughter.

Turlin and the Exiles of Gondolin (pp. 114–19, from The Shaping of Middle-earth, pp. 3–5), a short prose text from the early 1920s, appears to be the beginning of a new version of the Tale but was soon abandoned.

Another extract (pp. 120–7) from the Sketch of the Mythology (from The Shaping of Middle-earth, pp. 34–7) provides evolving information about the founding of Gondolin and Tuor’s background, together with wider aspects of the legendarium. In this the traitor is Meglin, son of Isfin and the Dark Elf Eöl.

‘The Story Told in the Quenta Noldorinwa’ of 1930 (pp. 128–44) is ‘the only complete and finished version of “The Silmarillion”’ that Tolkien achieved (p. 128). The part concerning Tuor and Gondolin exists as an original typescript, with expanded and emended portions of the text typed to replace some of the pages. Christopher included both versions in The Shaping of Middle-earth (pp. 136–51), but divided the work into sections, with notes, keeping the expanded parts close to the original text. In The Fall of Gondolin he provides a continuous text of the final version, drawn from The Shaping of Middle-earth (pp. 136–7, 139–40, 137–8, 140–2, 146–8, 143–6, 151).

The ‘Last Version’ of the tale (pp. 145–202), as Christopher calls it, was begun by Tolkien in 1951, on a much larger scale, but was abandoned at the point where Tuor first looked upon Gondolin. Its title was actually Of Tuor and the Fall of Gondolin, but in Unfinished Tales (pp. 4–6, 17–51) Christopher gave it the more appropriate title Of Tuor and His Coming to Gondolin.

In ‘The Evolution of the Story’ (pp. 203–39) Christopher discusses the reasons his father abandoned the 1951 version, quoting from letters to George Allen & Unwin (Letters, pp. 136–7, 163). Tolkien had just finished The Lord of the Rings, which he had come to see as a sequel to the (unfinished) ‘Silmarillion’, and wanted to publish both works together; but in the postwar years no publisher was willing to take on a project of this size. Eventually Tolkien accepted the publication of The Lord of the Rings by itself. For Christopher, the unfinished 1951 text ‘is perhaps the most grievous’ of his father’s ‘many abandonments’ (p. 203), and the part published is ‘unique among the evocations of Middle-earth in the Elder Days, most especially perhaps in my father’s awareness of the detail, of the atmosphere, of successive scenes’ (p. 208). Christopher concludes that his father had the Lost Tales text before him when he wrote the Last Version.

Then follows (p. 208ff.) an overview and comparison of the various texts and extracts of the story, their inter-relationship, and the introduction of new elements from other texts. Christopher notes that although the Quenta Silmarillion (later 1930s) did not extend as far as the story of Tuor, it did include more information about Turgon and the founding of Gondolin (pp. 219, 220, from *The Lost Road and Other Writings, pp. 253–4, 264; and pp. 220–2 of The Fall of Gondolin, from the Grey Annals (*Annals of Beleriand), early 1950s, in *The War of the Jewels, pp. 44–5).

Christopher moves next to a discussion of Ulmo and his designs in sending Tuor to Gondolin. He shows (pp. 224–6, from *The Book of Lost Tales, Part One, pp. 209–10) that after the destruction of the Two Trees and the flight of the Noldoli‘in vain did Ulmo of his foreknowing plead before [the Valar] for pity and pardon on the Noldoli’ (p. 224), and that he had taken no part in the Hiding of Valinor. As a result of the Hiding, all attempts to reach Valinor had failed, and many had perished (pp. 226–7, from The Book of Lost Tales, Part Two, pp. 161–2). Christopher comments (The Fall of Gondolin, pp. 227–8) that

it is a remarkable feature of this piece that Ulmo is explicitly represented as altogether alone among the Valar in his concern for the Elves who lived under the power of Melko, . . . ‘but Ulmo desired that Valinor should gather all its might to quench his evil ere it be too late, and it seemed to him that both his purposes might perchance be achieved if messengers from the Gnomes should win to Valinor and plead for pardon and for pity upon the Earth’. [quoting, slightly altered, from Turlin and the Exiles of Gondolin, in The Shaping of Middle-earth, p. 3]

Christopher repeats the word of Ulmo to Tuor at Vinyamar in the Last Version, ‘though in the days of this darkness I seem to oppose the will of my brethren, the Lords of the West, that is my part among them, to which I was appointed ere the making of the World. . . . The last hope alone is left, the hope that they have not looked for and have not prepared. And that hope lieth in thee; for so I have chosen’ (pp. 228–9, from Unfinished Tales, p. 29).

This leads to consideration of why Tuor was chosen. In the Lost Tales version one answer is given: that ‘Melko was not much afraid of the race of Men’, and Ulmo thought a Man might escape his vigilance (p. 229, from Book of Lost Tales, Part Two, p. 165). In the Last Version, when Tuor wonders at being chosen, Ulmo replies: ‘If I choose to send thee . . . then believe not that thy one sword is not worth the sending. . . . But it is not for thy valour only that I send thee, but to bring into the world a hope beyond thy sight, and a light that shall pierce the darkness’ (pp. 229–30, from Unfinished Tales, pp. 29–30). In the Lost Tales versionUlmo had declared with ‘miraculous foresight’ that ‘of a surety a child shall come of thee than whom no man shall know more of the uttermost deeps, be it of the sea or of the firmament of heaven’ (p. 230, from The Book of Lost Tales, Part Two, p. 155). But there was also an earlier prophecy within the legendarium in the Grey Annals (The Fall of Gondolin, pp. 230–1): after defeat at the Battle of Unnumbered Tears, Huor, father of Tuor, had died defending Turgon’s retreat to Gondolin, having declared: ‘Yet if [Gondolin] stands but a little while, then out of thy house shall come the hope of Elves and Men. This I say to thee, lord, with the eyes of death; though here we part for ever . . . from thee and me shall a new star arise’ (p. 231, from The War of the Jewels, p. 76).

In the last few pages (pp. 232–9) of ‘The Evolution of the Story’, Christopher compares the far more imposing appearance of Ulmo in the Last Version with that in the Tale and comments on the addition of the armour left at Vinyamar by Turgon. He also notes Tuor’s longer wanderings in the Tale, some of which in the Last Version are transferred to Voronwë, the man chosen by Ulmo to guide Tuor to Gondolin. At this last mention of Ulmo, Christopher inserts an extract from The Music of the Ainur of the late 1930s (*Ainulindalë):

Ulmo has dwelt ever in the Outer Ocean, and governed the flowing of all waters, and the courses of all rivers, the replenishment of springs and the distilling of rain and dew throughout the world. In the deep places he gives thought to music great and terrible; and the echo thereof runs through all the veins of the world, and its joy is as the joy of a fountain in the sun whose wells are the wells of unfathomed sorrow at the foundations of the world. [p. 234, from The Lost Road and Other Writings, p. 161]

Early accounts of Tuor’s journey to Gondolin with Voronwë are very short. Christopher comments:

Beside these terse glances the account of the Last Version of the fearful days passed by Tuor and Voronwë in the bitter winds and biting frosts of the houseless country, their escape from the bands of Orcs and their encampments, the coming of the eagles, may be seen as a significant element in the history of Gondolin. . . . Most notable is their coming to the Pool of Ivrin . . . , the lake where the river Narog rose, now defiled and made desolate by the passage of the dragon Glaurung. . . . Here the seekers of Gondolin touched the greatest story of the Elder Days: for they saw a tall man passing . . . and they did not know that he was Túrin Turambar, the Blacksword, fleeing north from the sack of Nargothrond. . . . ‘Thus only for a moment, and never again, did the paths of those kinsmen, Túrin and Tuor, draw together.’ [pp. 235–6, from Unfinished Tales, p. 36]

Finally (pp. 236–9), Christopher compares the placing of the hidden and guarded entry to Gondolin and its passage in the various accounts.

In a ‘Conclusion’ (pp. 240–64) Christopher relates that ‘the original title of the Tale, Tuor and the Exiles of Gondolin, was followed by the words “which bringeth in the Great Tale of Eärendel.” Further, the “Last Tale” that followed The Fall of Gondolin, was the Tale of the Nauglafring’, which concludes with the words: ‘And thus did all the fates of the fairies weave then to one strand, and that strand is the great tale of Eärendel . . .’ (p. 240; see The Book of Lost Tales, Part Two, pp. 146, 242). ‘But the Lost Tale of Eärendel was never written’, Christopher continues. ‘There are many notes and outlines from the early period, and several very early poems; but there is nothing remotely corresponding to the Tale of The Fall of Gondolin’ (p. 241). Christopher therefore provides the conclusions of the only two texts to continue internally to the end of the Elder Days: the Sketch of the Mythology (present book, pp. 242–6, from The Shaping of Middle-earth, pp. 37–41) and the Quenta Noldorinwa (pp. 248–64, from The Shaping of Middle-earth, pp. 151–65). Christopher comments at the end of the former:

What little writing on the subject that survives from the earliest period of my father’s work had very largely been abandoned, and the account in the Sketch is effectively the first witness to wholly new features, among which is the emergence of the fate of the Silmarils as a central element in the story of the final war. . . . It is also very striking that Eärendel Half-elven is not as yet the voice that interceded before the Valar on behalf of Men and Elves. [pp. 246, 247]

And at the end of the latter: ‘My history of a history thus ends with a prophecy, the prophecy of Mandos’; and he repeats from The Children of Húrin his comment that ‘it is to be borne in mind that at that time the Quenta Noldorinwa represented (if only in a somewhat bare structure) the full extent of my father’s “imagined world”. It was not the history of the First Age, as it afterwards became, for there was as yet no Second Age, nor Third Age; there was no Númenor, no hobbits, and of course no Ring’ (p. 264).

After a brief list of names, Christopher provides (pp. 287–300) additional notes on ‘Ainur’, ‘Húrin and Gondolin’, ‘Iron Mountains’, ‘Nirnaeth Arnoediad: The Battle of Unnumbered Tears’, ‘The Origins of Eärendel’, ‘The Prophecy of Mandos’, and ‘The Three Kindreds of the Elves in The Hobbit’. (The second of these documents how, by another shift in the story as told in the Grey Annals, the location of the hidden city of Gondolin was not treacherously revealed by Maeglin, but unwittingly by Húrin.) The volume concludes with a ‘short glossary of obsolete, archaic and rare words’ (pp. 301–2) and family trees of the House of Bëor and the princes of the Noldor.

p. 389, entry for Fandom and popularity: A selection of fan letters written to Tolkien is included in Maker of Middle-earth, pp. 98–111.

p. 421, first paragraph, entry for The ‘Father Christmas’ Letters: A de luxe edition, issued by HarperCollins in 2019, contain a few images not published earlier.

p. 423, fifth paragraph, entry for The ‘Father Christmas’ Letters: The commercial recording first issued in 1997 included almost all of the texts omitted from printed editions to that date.

pp. 432–3, entry for Filey (Yorkshire): A photograph of Tolkien and his three sons on the beach at Filey, 1925, is reproduced in Maker of Middle-earth, p. 180, and another, dated September 1925, on p. 262.

p. 433, ll. 10–11, entry for Finn and Hengest: The Fragment and the Episode: Delete ‘(though, like her husband, of Jutish origin)’. This is a problematic statement, apparently without scholarly consensus. We seem to have accepted wholly C.L. Wrenn’s statement in A Study of Old English Literature.

p. 437, l. 3 from bottom: For ‘c. 1968’ read ‘c. 1968’.

pp. 449–50, entry for Hugh Reginald Freston: Like Tolkien, Freston was a contributor to the collection *Oxford Poetry 1915, with the poems ‘A Girl’s Song’ and ‘Sometimes I Wonder’.

p. 450, l. 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. 451, entry for Gawain’s Leave-Taking: A manuscript of the poem, reproduced in the de luxe edition (2020) of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Pearl and Sir Orfeo, includes part of an early draft of the opening canto of the Lay of Leithian (see Reader’s Guide, p. 649), evidently preceding the earliest text published in The Lays of Beleriand. Since Tolkien began to write the Lay during the summer examinations of 1925, and the reproduced manuscript of Gawain’s Leave-Taking is a fair copy (implying an earlier version or versions), the latter can also be dated to no later than summer 1925.

p. 453, final paragraph, entry for Robert Quilter Gilson: Gilson joined the 11th Battalion of the Suffolk Regiment, recruited entirely in the city and county of Cambridge and known as the Cambridgeshire Pals, or Cambridgeshires. His commission as second lieutenant is dated 28 November 1914.

p. 454, l. 4: Gilson was promoted to full lieutenant as of 8 January 1916. Accounts vary as to whether the 11th Suffolk departed for France on 7 or 8 January; John Garth states the latter, and we are inclined to accept that date.

pp. 464–6, entry for Eric Valentine Gordon: Jean Barman writes in Sojourning Sisters: The Lives and Letters of Jessie and Annie McQueen (2003; Annie McQueen was E.V. Gordon’s mother) that Gordon and Tolkien ‘shared personal attributes that may have drawn them together’ at Oxford and especially Leeds, besides ‘their common interest in philology, or linguistics’. ‘They were colonials’, Gordon having been born in Canada, Tolkien in South Africa. ‘They lost their fathers when young . . . and were thereafter managed by strong women. They were men of small stature and had been largely home schooled, being thereby, more than usually, left to their own devices. All of these factors may explain their escape into languages existing only in the imagination [i.e. not currently spoken or written], including Old and Middle English’ and Old Norse (Old Icelandic). Barman puts Gordon’s life into an interesting family context, though her comments on Tolkien are drawn largely from existing accounts.

p. 467, l. 4: For ‘Officers’ read ‘Officer’.

p. 469, l. 6: For ‘Officers’ read ‘Officer’.

p. 481, l. 4 from bottom, entry for Colin Graham Hardie: A photograph of Hardie is also reproduced in Maker of Middle-earth, p. 26.

pp. 482–3, entry for Robert Emlyn Havard: A photograph of Havard, with his son Peter, is reproduced in Maker of Middle-earth, p. 26.

p. 491, third paragraph, entry for Historical and cultural influences: Thijs Porck comments in ‘New Roads and Secret Gates, Waiting around the Corner: Investigating Tolkien’s Other Anglo-Saxon Sources’, in Kuijpers, Vink, and van Zon, Tolkien among Scholars (2016), that it seems likely that Tolkien’s depiction of the Dragon-helm of the house of Húrin, with its distinctive visor, was influenced by a description of the Sutton Hoo helmet in the September 1947 number of Antiquity (‘its visor, embellished with gilded nose and mouth, is unique’, p. 61).

p. 501, entry for The History of Middle-earth: In 2002 Christopher Tolkien’s indexes to the twelve volumes were compiled by Helen Armstrong and published as a separate volume, The History of Middle-earth Index. The original index entries remain distinct, as originally published, but appear in sequence. A list of corrigenda to the index was published by Morgan Thomsen on his blog Mythoi, 26 March 2012.

pp. 511–13, entry for The Hobbit: According to Catherine McIlwaine in Tolkien: Maker of Middle-earth (2018), p. 290, Tolkien’s son John ‘recorded in his diary for New Year’s Day 1930, “In the Afternoon we played in the Nursery. After tea Daddy read ‘The Hobbit’.”‘ From this evidence it is clear that Tolkien’s memory of writing the first words of The Hobbit in 20 Northmoor Road, to which the Tolkien family moved (from no. 22) on 14 January 1930, cannot be correct, and that his story was already in development by the end of 1929. Thus, Christopher Tolkien’s 1937 remarks on The Hobbit to Father Christmas, that his father ‘read it to John, Michael, and me in our winter “reads” after tea in the evening’, and his brother Michael’s contention that The Hobbit was begun (as a story told to the Tolkien sons) no later than 1929 (see p. 513), are now confirmed; but also, we are now able to account better for Tolkien’s various comments that after writing the first line of the story, ‘for some years I got no further than the production of Thror’s Map’ (p. 511), that the story ‘unfolded itself gradually’ (p. 512), and that as it was told in serial form, his youngest sons ‘had to grow up to it successively’ (p. 512). It still cannot be certain, however, precisely when Tolkien wrote the first words of The Hobbit, and when he completed the story in its published form.

p. 563, second paragraph, entry for Illustration: In Niekas 13 (15 September 1965) Jack Gaughan commented that it was his error alone that the cover to the Ace Books Two Towers depicted a Nazgûl on a flying horse rather than a ‘pterodactyl’. He had had to read the second and third volumes of The Lord of the Rings and lay out the covers on a short deadline, and therefore could not read them carefully. Ed Meskys had noted in Niekas 12 (15 June 1965) that most fan artists depicted the Nazgûl beasts ‘as impossibly large Pterodactyls’ (p. 78). Tolkien commented in a 1958 letter that he did not intend these creatures to be actual pterodactyls, though they were pterodactyl-like.

In ‘The Ace Tolkien Covers’, Niekas 16 (late June 1966), Gaughan described at length his process for making the Ace Book covers. Commissioned to illustrate a cover for The Fellowship of the Ring, he borrowed a copy from a neighbour and also read The Hobbit in a public library copy, neither of which he had read previously. He had only a weekend to produce art for the first cover, and later only two weeks to produce the second and third covers. ‘I decided that Tolkien fans would buy it if it were printed upside down and backwards, but how were we to get this book to people who were not Tolkien fans? So it was ME who eliminated the hairy Hobbits from the covers and the fairy forests. I was afraid that should I have illustrated the stories as I think they should be illustrated, we’d miss the market . . . the S.F. [science fiction] and fantasy reader who hadn’t read the books. So I chose scenes wherein I could minimize the fairy-tale visual qualities and play up those which related to S.F. as it is now being sold’ (p. 47). Because he could not possibly have read The Two Towers and The Return of the King as quickly as needed, he consulted his friend Lin Carter, who summarized and advised, but was not able to show the finished paintings to Carter before they had to go to the publisher.

‘I shall not say I have no opinions on the morals involved in this business [the Ace Books affair] (which made themselves known to me as this whole thing blossomed after the production of the first volume),’ Gaughan writes (Niekas 16, p. 49), ‘but I intend to keep my unlettered opinions thereon to myself. But I rather doubt I could have passed up the opportunity to work on books like those were it handed to me by the devil himself. (Incidentally, in spite of what some people tell me they think, it was not handed to me by the devil himself.)’

p. 567, l. 11: For ‘Bendani’ read ‘Brendani’.

pp. 569–76, entry for The Inklings: See further, David Bratman, ‘“Gifted Amateurs”: C.S. Lewis and the Inklings’, in Bruce Edwards, ed., C.S. Lewis: Life, Works, and Legacy (2007), vol. 3, pp. 279–320.

p. 594, third paragraph: By ‘the writing of The Story of Kullervo . . . to mid-October 1914’ we mean that Tolkien appears to have been writing it at that time, and to have begun to write it not long before.

p. 600, entry for King Edward’s School, Birmingham: The urban environment in which the school was situated while on New Street, and which Tolkien experienced as a pupil, is expressed in the final verse of the school song (by Alfred Hayes and A. Somervell):

Here no classic grove secludes us, here abides no cloistered calm;
Not the titled nor the stranger, wrestles here to gain the palm;
Round our smoke-encrusted precincts labour’s turbid river runs;
Builders of this burly city temper here their strenuous sons.

The verse was removed from the song when the school moved to Edgbaston, because it was no longer strictly true.

p. 602, l. 17 from bottom: For ‘Officers’ read ‘Officers’’.

p. 603, penultimate paragraph: A corridor from the original King Edward’s School building was preserved in the new building as the school chapel.

pp. 613–14, entry for Languages: Tolkien stated in one of his Oxford lectures on Chaucer: ‘I cannot myself read the Oriental languages required for a first-hand investigator [i.e. of an Asian source for Chaucer’s “Pardoner’s Tale”]: Pali [a liturgical language of the Indian subcontinent], nor Persian nor Arabic nor Chinese, to name the most important’ (quoted in John M. Bowers, Tolkien’s Lost Chaucer (2019)).

p. 616, entry for Languages: Under ‘Dutch’, on 19 July 1957 Tolkien wrote to Max Schuchart, apologizing that his command of Dutch is not sufficient to fully appreciate Schuchart’s achievement in translating The Lord of the Rings, but making numerous suggestions for translation of Appendix D (‘The Calendars’).

pp. 617–18, entry for Languages: In spite of his expressed feelings towards the French language, Tolkien sometimes used French loanwords in English; see Paul J. Smith, ‘French Connections in Middle-earth: The Medieval Legacy’, in Kuijpers, Vink, and van Zon, Tolkien among Scholars (2016).

p. 632, final paragraph, second sentence, entry for Languages, Invented: To correct and clarify, the Gnomish Grammar, called Lam na nGoldathon, is distinct from the Gnomish Lexicon, but cross-referenced from the latter. Gilson, et al. in Parma Eldalamberon 11 (1995), in which the Lexicon and Grammar are published, note that the Elvish title of the Lexicon, i·Lam na·Ngoldathon, ‘may be intended as the overall title for the grammar and lexicon considered as two parts of a single work’ (p. 4). The Lexicon is dated 1917, establishing at least when its main ink layer was completed; it is possible that the work was begun in late 1916.

p. 641, entry for The Last Ark: In The Worlds of J.R.R. Tolkien (2020) John Garth suggests that one possible source of influence on The Last Ark was Barzaz Breiz, an anthology of Breton ballads edited by Hersart de la Villemarqué from which Tolkien also adapted The Lay of Aotrou and Itroun.

p. 658, entry for Kathleen Marguerite Lea, ll. 8–9: For ‘send her a calligraphic manuscript of a revision’ read ‘sent her a revised typescript’.

p. 680, third paragraph, entry for The Legend of Sigurd and Gudrún: Also see Renée Vink, ‘A Poet’s Choices: Tolkien, Heusler and the Gap in the Poetic Edda’, in Kuijpers, Nathalie, Renée Vink, and Cécile van Zon, eds. Tolkien among Scholars (2016).

pp. 682–90, entry for Clive Staples Lewis: The Fame of C.S. Lewis: A Controversialist’s Reception in Britain and America by Stephanie L. Derrick (2018) is an important contribution to Lewis biography. It is a closely detailed study, drawn from a wide range of sources, of how Lewis was seen on both sides of the Atlantic, and how his reputation influenced sales and criticism. Derrick argues that the public Lewis was a manufactured image, ‘a mitigated commercial product, a platform. Perhaps this is partly due to the fact that Lewis often employed rhetorical devices that encouraged his readers to associate the texts they were reading with him as an individual’ (p. 182).

p. 690, ll. 1–2, entry for Clive Staples Lewis: Photographs of Lewis are also reproduced in Maker of Middle-earth, pp. 20, 26.

p. 704, l. 18 from bottom: For ‘Officers’ read ‘Officers’’.

p. 713, second paragraph, entry for The Lord of the Rings: Add following the first sentence: ‘This letter refers to the Hobbit sequel as ‘The Lord of the Ring’ (sic), a title Tolkien would come customarily to use for “the new story”’, in the plural, by 2 February 1939 (again in a letter to Furth, see Letters, p. 41).’ This appears to be the earliest public reference to the title, if in a singular form. In the Marquette University Tolkien papers 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 Maker of Middle-earth, pp. 330–1.

p. 735, l. 3: For ‘BBC Channel 4’ read ‘Channel 4’.

pp. 754–5, entry for Lyme Regis (Dorset): A photograph of Tolkien and his family, with Father Francis Morgan, at Lyme Regis in August 1928 is reproduced in Maker of Middle-earth, p. 226.

p. 755, entry for Ronald Buchanan McCallum: To McCallum’s writings, add: Public Opinion and the Last Peace (1944). In this he acknowledges Tolkien’s assistance in suggesting a connection between pacifist and passive-resistance.

pp. 761–2, entry for Josef Madlener: Stefan Borgschulze informs us that the postcard series Gestalten aus Märchen und Sage includes reproductions of Madlener’s Der Frühling (‘The Spring’), Waldmärchen (‘Forest Fairy-tale’), Die Bergfee (‘The Mountain Fay’), Der Berggeist, Rübezahl, and Hubertushirsch (‘Hubertus’ Stag’), and that it was published in 1935. There were, however, earlier postcard series which featured art by Madlener, and it is evident that, if Der Berggeist was truly the inspiration for Gandalf, Tolkien must have acquired a reproduction somewhat earlier than 1935. See further, Joseph Kiermeier-Debre and Fritz Franz Vogel, Josef Madlener: Mein Kosmos (2007).

Madlener’s painting Der Berggeist is reproduced in Maker of Middle-earth, p. 65.

pp. 773–7, entry for Maps: For reproductions of maps, see also Maker of Middle-earth.

p. 790, l. 6 from bottom: For ‘in the former’ read ‘in the former (*Oxford Poetry 1915)’.

pp. 792–4, entry for Francis Xavier Morgan: José Manuel Ferrández Bru has published a book-length biography of Father Francis, ‘Uncle Curro’: J.R.R. Tolkien’s Spanish Connection (2018), in part incorporating earlier writings we cite in our article. He describes Father Francis as one of Tolkien’s ‘leading guides’ in both his faith and his studies; ‘indeed, he was primarily responsible for ensuring that Tolkien attended Oxford University, thanks to his financial support and, indirectly, giving his initial opposition to Tolkien’s relationship with the woman who later would become his wife’ (p. xii). ‘Uncle Curro’ (‘Curro’ was a family nickname, the Andalusian colloquial equivalent of ‘Francis’) expands our knowledge of the background and early years of Father Francis, demonstrating that Humphrey Carpenter’s description of him as ‘half Welsh and half Anglo-Spanish (his mother’s family were prominent in the sherry trade)’ (Biography, p. 27) is inadequate. Born Francisco Javier Morgan-Osborne, his father was of Welsh ancestry, but English for all intents and purposes, of a family of wine merchants who had close ties to producers in Spain. His mother’s parents were Spanish and English; like his mother, young Francisco was raised Roman Catholic. In time, his name would be shortened (omitting his maternal surname) and anglicized, as he attended the Oratory School in Birmingham and pursued Catholic studies in London and Louvain. He became an Oratorian novitiate in 1877 and was ordained a priest in 1883, joining the Community of the Birmingham Oratory shortly afterward.

Ferrández Bru sees ‘a covert and unjust animosity’ towards Father Francis among Tolkien biographers because the priest had taken a ‘firm stance against a young love with poor prospects (at that moment) for Tolkien’s career and, in general, for his future’ (p. xii). This is certainly the attitude of Joseph Pearce in Tolkien: Man and Myth (1998) and of Michael White in Tolkien: A Biography (2001), but not by Humphrey Carpenter in Biography or Raymond Edwards in Tolkien (2014); the latter especially defends Father Francis against any charge of tyranny. Ferrández Bru also asserts that the perceived image of Father Francis as unpleasant, petty, and shortsighted is more stereotype than reality, though even in his own account it seems to have a basis in truth. He suggests that Tolkien’s Middle-earth writings have parallels with Spanish Historical Romanticism, and makes a comparison between one of Tolkien’s riddles in The Hobbit, “Voiceless it cries, / wingless flutters,” and a very similar riddle composed by Father Francis’s great-aunt, the novelist Cecilia Böhl de Faber.

‘Uncle Curro’ includes previously unpublished memories of Father Francis by Priscilla Tolkien, two family trees, and a selection of photographic portraits and reproductions.

pp. 793–4, entry for Francis Xavier Morgan: Photographs of Father Francis are reproduced also in Maker of Middle-earth, pp. 137, 226.

p. 803, third paragraph, entry for William Morris: Also see further, Tom Shippey, ‘William Morris and Tolkien: Some Unexpected Connections’, in Arduini, Conzonieri, and Testi, Tolkien and the Classics (2019).

pp. 803–14, entry for Mortality and immortality: Anna Vaninskaya devotes one-third of Fantasies of Time and Death: Dunsany, Eddison, Tolkien (2020) to a dense exploration of death, memory, and sensucht, or wistful yearning, in Tolkien’s fiction and scholarship. She observes that his ‘human beings [in his fiction] – clinging to life, rebelling against death, and yet mysteriously attracted to it; goaded by “a passionate love of the real primary world, and hence filled with the sense of mortality, and yet unsatisfied by it” (Letters, 145) – are one of the greatest “fantasy” creations of the twentieth century’ (p. 213).

Also see further, Amy Amendt-Raduege, ‘The Sweet and the Bitter’: Death and Dying in J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings (2018).

pp. 814–15, entry for Robert Patrick Ruthven Murray: For ‘(b. 1925)’ read ‘(1925–2018)’. The son of Congregationalist missionaries, Father Murray spent his childhood in China, then attended Eltham College and Taunton School. He entered Oxford after a year’s intensive study of Persian. His conversion to Roman Catholicism came after a period in which he observed the Anglican faith. Before entering the Society of Jesus novitiate he taught for a year at Beaumont College; and during his Jesuit studies he taught Classics at St Ignatius College, Stamford Hill. He was skilled in Latin, Greek, Hebrew, and Aramaic, as well as in many European languages, and was a specialist in Syriac. At Heythrop College, ‘when he gave the first lecture in the brand-new post-Vatican II theology course . . . he offered to read the essays of a remarkably international gang of students in whatever language they preferred – and then added, sheepishly, that he could manage “a little Romanian”, if necessary’ (Michael Barnes S.J., ‘Robert Murray S.J.’, The Tablet, 5 May 2018, p. 29). He is remembered as a conscientious and influential teacher, who if he had been less so, might have published more. ‘For years he was working on a book on prophecy, a topic that touched him deeply; if he had not been so thorough in his scholarship and less daunted by the enormity of the enterprise, it might have seen the light of day. Nevertheless, with his extraordinary command of the sources, he kept up a steady trickle of scholarly studies, many of which have been the basis for others to build on’ (Barnes, p. 29).

p. 821, first paragraph, entry for Music: Also see further, Music in Tolkien’s Work and Beyond, ed. Julian Eilmann and Friedhelm Schneidewind (2019), most notably the essay ‘Laments and Mercy: Tolkien and Liturgical Music’ by Michaël Devaux and Guglielmo Spirito, pp. 29–58. Devaux and Spirito aim ‘to offer an overview of Tolkien and the liturgical music of his time [that he would have heard in Birmingham, Oxford, and elsewhere], with a focus on its possible influence on the Tolkienian conception of Elvish music’ (p. 29).

p. 822, add cross-reference: Music of the Ainur see Ainulindalë.

pp. 827–30, entry for Names: This seems an appropriate place in which to say a few words about Tolkien’s monogram. He produced many variations of this device, a stylized combination of three or four initials, which he sometimes used to sign his art instead of his straightforward initials or name. An early example of a ‘JRT’ combination is on Tolkien’s drawing of Lyme Regis harbour (Artist and Illustrator, fig. 8), August 1906, and an early ‘JRRT’ combination, a prototype of the monogram often included on Tolkien’s published works, appears on his drawing of a keystone and gargoyles in Lambourn (Artist and Illustrator, fig. 13), 31 August 1912.

The ‘JRRT’ monogram most familiar to Tolkien’s readers was registered as a trademark by the executors of his estate in 1990, the year that Unwin Hyman, successor to George Allen & Unwin, was acquired by HarperCollins (see *Publishers). This combines the vertical capital J with the crossbar of the capital T, and has the R and R back to back (i.e. one reversed in direction) against the stroke of the J. Two ornaments, each composed of four dots, appear at lower left and upper right, and above the combined letters, immediately above the J/T, is a mark like a flame.

The first use of this monogram in print seems to have been on the half-title of the booklet that accompanied Drawings by Tolkien in 1976 and 1977 (see *Art), though this was reproduced in mirror reverse, with the J curving to the right and the ornaments at upper left and lower right. Allen & Unwin used the monogram first in 1978 on the slipcase of their set The Tolkien Library; in 1980 on the binding of Pictures by J.R.R. Tolkien; in 1981 on the front of the dust-jacket of (their edition of) The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien; and from The Book of Lost Tales, Part One in 1983, on the front panel of the dust-jacket of each volume of The History of Middle-earth. Allen & Unwin at first seem to have thought it appropriate for the covers of their more serious publications – The History of Middle-earth was not expected to have a wide market, and to appeal to only the most serious Tolkien readers. In 1990, Unwin Hyman began to use the monogram on spines: for example, on a paperback Lord of the Rings with new cover art by Ted Nasmith.

Since their acquisition of Unwin Hyman, the monogram has been reproduced on the spine of many, but not all, of HarperCollins' Tolkien publications, chiefly those which include primary material. Tolkien’s other publishers, such as Houghton Mifflin Harcourt in the U.S.A., use the monogram more widely, and despite its protected legal status, some have reproduced it indiscriminately, such as on craft goods.

p. 828, third paragraph, entry for Names: According to Ryszard Derdzinki on the Tolknięty website for 17 April 2019, the surname Tolkien was used before members of the family emigrated to England from Gdańsk in Polish Prussia. The form of name was used concurrently with Tolckien, Tolkiehn, Tollkühn, and Tollkien. The oldest form was Tolkyn or Tolkin, from the thirteenth to the fifteenth centuries.

p. 829, ll. 8–10 from bottom, entry for Names: Sarah Ogilvie notes in Words of the World: A Global History of the Oxford English Dictionary (2013) that Tolkien was called ‘Jirt’ (after his initials JRRT) by members of the family of C.T. Onions.

p. 843, l. 11: For ‘Brak’ read ‘Brae’.

p. 864, add entry:

Norwich (Norfolk). Tolkien visited Norwich in the last half of September 1913; the reason for his visit is not known. (The following year, he visited the resort town of Cromer, north of Norwich.) Norwich figures in his poem The Man in the Moon Came Down Too Soon, based in part on the nursery rhyme about the man in the moon who ‘asked his way to Norwich’.

p. 896, l. 2: W.H. Auden adopted, with credit to On Fairy-Stories, Tolkien’s term ‘Secondary World’ in his T.S. Eliot Memorial Lectures, Secondary Worlds (1968). At the start of the second of his four essays, ‘The World of the Sagas’, Auden wrote: ‘Present in every human being are two desires, a desire to know the truth about the primary world, the given world outside ourselves in which we are born, live, love, hate and die, and the desire to make new secondary worlds of our own or, if we cannot make them ourselves, to share in the secondary worlds of those who can’ (p. 49).

p. 903, l. 12 from bottom: For ‘70–72’ read ’70–2’.

pp. 907–8, entry for Charles Talbut Onions: Sarah Ogilvie explains in her Words of the World: A Global History of the Oxford English Dictionary (2013) that Tolkien and Onions were firm friends, and that Onions frequently entertained Tolkien. The youngest of Onions’ children, Giles Onions,

recalled many of the Inklings visiting their house. On one occasion, Tolkien was visibly shocked by the chaos of Onions’ life with ten children: ‘Jirt [as the family called Tolkien, after his initials JRRT, see *Names] was over for lunch and my brother John was hitting golf balls in the back garden. . . . One came up through the ventilator, bounced around the dishes on the table, and nobody took any notice. Jirt always remarked how funny it was, but for us it was normal.’ Giles and his sister Elizabeth described a father who was largely absent from family life, forever worried about money, and thoroughly devoted to the dictionary [OED]. [p. 42]

Ogilvie describes Onions’ work on the OED in two chapters, in which ‘he emerges as far and away the most inclusive of all the editors until the present day of loanwords and World Englishes’ (p. 42).

p. 912, final paragraph, entry for Oxford and environs: The Tolkiens’ house at 1 Alfred Street (Pusey Street) no longer exists.

pp. 921–2, entry for Oxford and environs: A photograph of Exeter College in 1914 is reproduced in Maker of Middle-earth, p. 142.

pp. 936–44, entry for Oxford, University of: It may be useful to add to this section (‘University Institutions and Officials’) an explanation of common room as it applies to Oxford (and more generally to universities). The term is applied both to a physical space, as in ‘a meeting was held in the Common Room’, and to a group of members who gather to dine or otherwise to meet for a purpose. In both senses, as a named space or a named group, it is commonly capitalized, and we have intended it to be so in the Companion and Guide, though Tolkien did not always do so in letters. An Oxford college typically has a Junior Common Room, for undergraduates, and a Senior Common Room, for academics and graduates. Each may have its own rules and criteria for membership. For example, a January 1950 printed notice issued by the Exeter College Senior Common Room included as Full Members ‘Fellows of the College, past or present, Honorary Fellows, and Lecturers living in College’, while Extra Members included ‘Masters of Arts of the College, and others [who] may be elected’, and ‘Old Members of the College who are members of other Common Rooms may be elected as Extra Members without Entrance Fee’, normally 3 guineas. In January 1950 Tolkien (then attached to Merton, previously attached to Pembroke, and with a B.A. from Exeter) was listed as an Extra Member of the Exeter Senior Common Room.

p. 947, l. 26, entry for Oxford English Dictionary: The manuscript of Tolkien’s draft definition of walrus is reproduced in Maker of Middle-earth, p. 86.

p. 949, third paragraph, entry for Oxford English Dictionary: Also see further, Sarah Ogilvie, Words of the World: A Global History of the Oxford English Dictionary (2013).Ogilvie’s book is especially interesting in its proof that the original editors of the OED were less conservative about including words from English usage beyond British English than generally thought, compared with Burchfield as editor of the Supplement.

pp. 962–6, entry for Oxford English School: The Polish scholar Przemysław Mroczkowski commented that

Tolkien’s speech was extremely difficult to follow, since it was all but inarticulate. . . . Tolkien didn’t care to articulate; he simply expected and assumed that you could follow him with ease.

Tolkien’s lectures had a keen following, but they weren’t, in my opinion, especially popular. . . . He . . . would occasionally speak extemporaneously on whatever interested him at the moment. Sometimes he would spend the entire lecture period reading a translation of a Norse saga or a Middle English poem instead of concentrating on the work at hand. Like his conversation, his lectures were very often difficult to understand. [quoted in Daniel Grotta, J.R.R. Tolkien: Architect of Middle-earth (1992), p. 78]

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), pp. 157–8, that there is some question about which of Tolkien’s lectures he attended, but they could have been given only during Michaelmas Term 1957, coinciding with Mroczkowski’s study in England and Tolkien’s lecture schedule.

p. 974, entry for Ralph Stuart Payton: According to the King Edward’s School online Roll of Honour, Payton enlisted in the Birmingham Pals already in 1914, along with his friend *T.K. Barnsley. He rose first to the rank of sergeant, then was commissioned as a second lieutenant and machine gun officer. He was sent to France as a full lieutenant in November 1915. His death on the Somme on 22 July 1916 was between High Wood and Delville Wood.

p. 996, l. 13: For ‘Oxford Poetry 1915’ read ‘*Oxford Poetry 1915’.

pp. 1006–7, entry for Poole (Dorset): See further, Rodney Legg, ‘Tolkien in Bournemouth and Dorset’, The Dorset Magazine, November 2009.

pp. 1009–13, entry for Power: Jonathan S. McIntosh writes in his wide-ranging discussion of Tolkien and St Thomas Aquinas that ‘the difference between true art and the tyranny of domination is that the one seeks to shepherd things as they are, cultivating and adorning those properties already inherent in them by virtue of their createdness, whereas the other imposes upon things one’s own godlike order and purposes’ (The Flame Imperishable: Tolkien, St. Thomas, and the Metaphysics of Faërie (2017), p. 240). Referring to Tolkien’s letter to Milton Waldman, McIntosh submits that the use of Machine or Magic to transcend natural limitations ‘is the relevant mythological, theological, and metaphysical context for Tolkien’s whole polemic against modern industrialization: its lust after “devices” and “apparatuses” for the more efficient control of nature is nothing less than a continuation of what for both Tolkien and St. Thomas was the primeval and diabolical quest for the creational power of God, whereby one might “bring into Being things of his own”’ (p. 241). This is the ‘theological subtext to Sauron’s Ring, which is in its own turn a symbol of all forms of tyrannous technology’, and ‘helps make further sense of Tolkien’s claim that the central conflict in The Lord of the Rings, a book that never mentions the Creator, is nevertheless “about God, and His sole right to divine honour” (Letters, p. 243). The question posed by the Ring, in essence, is the question of who among creatures has the right to “play God,” to which the entire quest of the Fellowship to destroy the Ring is the implicit answer, namely, that only God has the right to play God’ (p. 241).

pp. 1016–26, entry for Prejudice and racism: Patrick Curry provides, in the early chapters of his Defending Middle-earth: Tolkien, Myth and Modernity (1997), a useful discussion of criticism of Tolkien’s works through contemporary lenses such as classism and racism. By and large, he defends Tolkien against such attacks, arguing for the primacy of the story (chiefly The Lord of the Rings) rather than what a reader may bring to it. Curry writes, for example:

Now it is true that Tolkien’s evil creatures [Orcs] are frequently ‘swart, slant-eyed,’ and tend to come from the south (‘the cruel Haradrim’) and east (‘the wild Easterlings’) – both threatening directions in Tolkien’s ‘moral cartography’. It is also true that black – as in Breath, Riders, Hand, Years, Land, Speech – is often a terrible colour, especially when contrasted with Gandalf the White, the White Rider, and so on. But the primary association of black here is with night and darkness, not race. And there are counter-examples: Saruman’s sign is a white hand; Aragorn’s standard is mostly black; the Black Riders were not actually black, except their outer robes; and the Black Stone of Erech is connected with Aragorn’s forebear, Isildur.

Overall, Tolkien is drawing on centuries of such moral valuation, not unrelated to historical experience attached to his chosen setting in order to convey something immediately recognizable in the context of his story. [pp. 41–2]

Following on the Peter Jackson film adaptations of The Lord of the Rings, which gave the work a broader exposure in popular culture, Anderson Rearick III felt it important in his essay ‘Why Is the Only Good Orc a Dead Orc?: The Dark Face of Racism Examined in Tolkien’s World’ (Modern Fiction Studies 50, no. 4, Winter 2004) to examine claims of racism in Tolkien’s work, such as those put forward by John Yatt in the Guardian newspaper and by Stephen Shapiro of the University of Warwick. Both arguments, Rearick notes, are weakened by making claims primarily based on the authors’ experiences of the films. He replies to these from different angles, finally arguing in respect to Tolkien’s faith:

Racism is a philosophy of power, but The Lord of the Rings functions with the Christian idea of the renouncement of power. . . . Racism claims that one can tell the value of an individual just by looking at his or her outward appearance. But nothing could be more overtly counter to the Christian worldview that Tolkien functions in even as he creates his fantasy. To paraphrase: ‘Man (Elf, dwarf and Ent) looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart’ (1 Sam. 16.7). Nothing could be more contrary to the assumptions of racism than a Hobbit as a hero. (p. 872)

‘Beyond Black and White: Race and Postmodernism in The Lord of the Rings Films’ by Sue Kim, also in the Winter 2004 Modern Fiction Studies, is another example of a critic conflating the experiences of a viewer with those of a reader. Kim takes the Jackson adaptations to task for ‘racial coding’ – for example, ‘the Easterlings have kohl-rimmed, almond-shaped eyes and dark skin and, they wear turbans’, while the Southrons ‘are large, muscular, face-painted, and black’ (p. 879) – noting that this aspect is ‘more striking’ in the visual medium but nonetheless is generally drawn from Tolkien’s text (p. 876).

In ‘Diversity and Difference: Cosmopolitanism and The Lord of the Rings’ (Journal of the Fantastic in the Arts 21, no. 3, 2010) Helen Young argues that The Lord of the Rings ‘is ultimately a cosmopolitan work because it provides a model of society in which common ground and a united purpose not only allow diversity, but require it’ (p. 352). She demonstrates Tolkien’s presentation of different species and their interactions, as they ‘need to join together with a common purpose to resist a common foe’ (p. 354), and maintains that ‘The Lord of the Rings may be read as a vision of a modern racially and culturally diverse world’ (p. 362).

p. 1035, entry for Quantock Hills (Somerset): It was on this walking holiday, perhaps, when Tolkien was ‘in the neighbourhood of Minehead’, as he told Clyde S. Kilby (see p. 1337). He also remarked on a ‘really long walk’ from Lyme Regis to Minehead in a letter to his grandson Michael George Tolkien (see p. 755).

p. 1052, entry for Francis Vincent Reade: Before his conversion, Vincent Reade was curate at Porthleven in Cornwall.

pp. 1053–62, entry for Reading: Lists of books owned by Tolkien are included in a blog post by Jason Fisher, ‘Scattered Leaves’, 21 October 2015.

pp. 1056–8, entry for Reading: Tolkien was twice sent a copy of Dune by Frank Herbert, a science fiction novel often compared (more for its scope than content) to The Lord of the Rings. He wrote to one of the donors, John Bush, that he disliked it intensely.

p. 1061, l. 3, entry for Reading: We took Joanna Tolkien’s reference to The Borrowers in her 1994 address to the Tolkien Society to mean the series (except for The Borrowers Avenged, which was not published until 1985), not only the first of the ‘Borrowers’ titles; and although this seems most likely in context, we must allow that we were working from a transcription of her talk and not a recording. As published, her words read: ‘I was handed from his [Tolkien’s] bookshelf the Narnia books – C.S. Lewis – The Borrowers – Mary Norton – and Andrew Lang Fairy Stories’ (Armstrong, ed., Digging Potatoes, Growing Trees, vol. 2, p. 34).

p. 1063, first paragraph, entry for Recordings: The British Library website now (noted May 2020) dates the recording of ‘At the Tobacconist’s’ to July 1929, and of ‘Wireless’ to April 1930.

p. 1082, entry for Religion: ‘In Tolkien, St. Thomas, and the Metaphysics of Faërie (2017) Jonathan S. McIntosh studies in depth the influence of St Thomas Aquinas on Tolkien. ‘Structuring my discussion around Tolkien’s creation-myth, the Ainulindalë’, he writes,

I have attempted not simply to analyze Tolkien’s fiction in light of it, but also to show how the latter purposefully incarnates such important Thomistic themes as the relationship between faith and reason; the being, attributes, and persons of the divine Creator; the simultaneous realism or mind-independence and yet inherent intelligibility of all created being; the realization or fulfillment of intelligible form or essence in and through a thing’s real act of existence; the dependence of artistic sub- or ‘con’-creation on the Creator’s prior, exclusive act of creation; the anthropological significance of angels; and the metaphysics of evil.

But ‘far from Tolkien’s metaphysics being narrowly reducible to St. Thomas’s, the nature of his Thomism often lies as much in his creative departures from or innovations upon the thought of the angelic doctor as it does in his overt debt to it’. McIntosh conceives the influence of St Thomas on Tolkien in terms of providing ‘an inherited, trustworthy, yet always tacitly assumed, intellectual benchmark or framework by which Tolkien might both the more effectively determine what was metaphysically necessary, and within those parameters the more keenly discern what was metaphysically and therefore sub-creatively possible’ (pp. 261–2).

p. 1083, second paragraph: Claudio A. Testi’s 2013 essay has been superseded by his book-length study of paganism and Christianity in Tolkien’s works, Pagan Saints in Middle-earth (2018).

p. 1090, l. 11 from bottom: For ‘Officers’ read ‘Officers’’.

p. 1092, ll. 15–16: For ‘(with Tolkien)’ read ‘(*Oxford Poetry 1915, with Tolkien)’.

p. 1110, add entry:

Rosalind Ramage. Poem, a manuscript of which was reproduced in Catherine McIlwaine, Tolkien: Maker of Middle-earth (2018), p. 97. The title character is blown by the wind high into the sky above Wells (in Somerset), before fluttering down slowly like a feather. Tolkien sent this to a real Rosalind Ramage, a seven-year-old fan of The Hobbit and the daughter of a former porter of Merton College, Oxford who later became a teacher in Wells. Tolkien recalled visiting Wells in 1940. In 1964 he offered the poem to the volume Winter’s Tales for Children 1, but it was not accepted.

p. 1126, entry for Sarehole (Warwickshire): A photograph of Gracewell Road, c. 1900, is reproduced in Maker of Middle-earth, p. 126. A photograph of the view across the yard of the mill, c. 1890, is on p. 131 of Maker of Middle-earth.

p. 1127, l. 23, entry for Sarehole (Warwickshire): In Black and White Ogre Country: The Lost Tales of Hilary Tolkien (2009) the Dell is called more fully ‘Bumble Dell’, after the dialect word bumble for ‘blackberry’.

pp. 1130–1, entry for Science: For Tolkien’s interest in botany, see also Walter Judd and Graham Judd, Flora of Middle-earth: Plants of J.R.R. Tolkien’s Legendarium (2017).

pp. 1145–6, entry for Donald William Edward Shakespeare: A photograph of Anthony Shakespeare is reproduced in Maker of Middle-earth, p. 151.

p. 1157, l. 17: For ‘may written a little’ read ‘may have written a little’.

pp. 1171–86, entry for The Silmarillion: On problems Tolkien encountered when attempting to complete The Silmarillion for publication, see Renée Vink, ‘Tolkien the Tinkerer: World-building versus Storytelling’, in Fimi and Honegger, Sub-creating Arda: World-building in J.R.R. Tolkien’s Work, Its Precursors and Its Legacies (2019), and John D. Rateliff, ‘The Flat Earth Made Round and Tolkien’s Failure to Finish The Silmarillion’, Journal of Tolkien Research 9, no. 1, article 5 (2020).

p. 1173: The running head is missing. It should read the silmarillion (book) as on the facing page.

p. 1177, l. 8 from bottom: For ‘squence’ read ‘sequence’.

p. 1199, third paragraph, entry for Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (W.P. Ker Lecture): The lecture is also included in the de luxe edition (2020) of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Pearl and Sir Orfeo.

p. 1213, final paragraph, entry for Geoffrey Bache Smith: The photograph is reproduced also in Maker of Middle-earth, p. 159.

p. 1210, penultimate paragraph: Smith had joined the Oxford University Officer Training Corps in October 1914. The 19th Battalion of the Lancashire Fusiliers was also known as the 3rd Salford Pals.

p. 1211, l. 6: For ‘Oxford Poetry’ read ‘Oxford Poetry (*Oxford Poetry 1915)’.

p. 1213, l. 7 from bottom: G.B. Smith’s elder brother, Roger, had also attended King Edward’s School.

p. 1224, fourth paragraph: A tin of Player’s Gold Leaf Navy Cut was displayed with some of Tolkien’s pipes in the 2018 Bodleian Library exhibition Tolkien: Maker of Middle-earth.

p. 1225, l. 15: For ‘Officers’ read ‘Officers’’.

pp. 1227–8, entry for Societies and clubs: The Stapeldon Debating Society was Exeter College’s version of the Oxford Union Society, of which Tolkien was also a member, though there seems to be no record of him participating in a debate in the latter.

p. 1229, ll. 14–16: Of these five papers, four were presented while Tolkien was an undergraduate, but ‘Bull-roarers and High Gods’ was not presented until October 1919, by ethnologist R.R. Marett of Exeter College.

p. 1231, ll. 1–2: For ‘Officers’ read ‘Officer’.

pp. 1231–7, entry for Societies and clubs: At Oxford Tolkien was also associated with the Mermaid Club, a small society (founded 1902) whose aim was to promote the reading and study of Elizabethan and post-Elizabethan drama. Tolkien was a guest at the Club’s annual dinner held on 25 February 1933, and present at the annual dinner on 5 March 1938. His friend H.F.B. Brett-Smith was a Life Member and frequently President, and Tolkien himself appears as an Honorary Member in a list of life and honorary members dated 1936–7.

pp. 1247–8, entry for Source criticism: John Garth’s Worlds of J.R.R. Tolkien (2020) is devoted to source-hunting, identifying not only real and imaginary places, but also literature and art, which Garth suggests were influences, or possible influences, on Tolkien’s Middle-earth fiction. In the introduction to his book he gives its rationale, in effect a defence of source-hunting and of the theory that Tolkien needed something to fuel his writing, however extraordinary his imagination. At the same time, however, Garth comments that, ‘properly conducted, the search for inspiration can enrich our appreciation of Tolkien’s extraordinary creative powers’. His method was to ‘observe Tolkien’s footsteps closely, consider the context and try to enter sympathetically into his creative thoughts and feelings. . . . Although my intuition will inevitably err at times, everything is weighed on the scales of fact and likelihood, drawing on rich published resources as well as my own extensive researches.’ The result is a book which ‘advances many theories of my own about what inspired the Middle-earth “legendarium”, alongside a few of the most cogent and interesting claims made by others’ (p. 6). Some of the inspirations he puts forward are qualified by ‘surely’, ‘clearly’, ‘must have’, ‘it is tempting to think’, ‘it can hardly be doubted’, and the like, which to the critical reader should serve always as cautionary labels. Garth himself sounds a valid caution in addressing a claim, made by Seamus Hamill-Keays, that Buckland in The Lord of the Rings is based directly on a Buckland estate in South Wales. Indeed, there are remarkable similarities between a map of the Welsh Buckland and Tolkien’s map of the Shire (as drawn by Christopher Tolkien), but as Garth writes, ‘the claim for inspiration depends on the idea that Tolkien visited this private estate as a child, which is not known’, and Hamill-Keays has shown only that ‘the necessary social connections . . . may have existed for such a visit. Coincidence cannot be ruled out’ (p. 19).

p. 1248, l. 5: For ‘consciously or nor’ read ‘consciously or not’.

p. 1249, l. 12 from bottom: For ‘paricularly’ read ‘particularly’.

p. 1249, l. 5 from bottom: For ‘inversigating’ read ‘investigating’.

p. 1256, l. 5 from bottom: For ‘Officers’ read ‘Officers’’.

p. 1275–8, entry for Switzerland: Alex Lewis and Elizabeth Currie propose in their Tolkien’s Switzerland: A Biography of One Special Summer (2019) a detailed timeline of Tolkien’s visit to Switzerland, from the day the authors imagine that he began to pack for the trip (on 21 July 1911) to its supposed conclusion at the Brookes-Smiths’ home on 14 September. They conclude that it was ‘not possible’ for the party to travel to Innsbruck before reaching Switzerland, as recalled by Colin Brookes-Smith, because in the authors’ view there would not have been enough time to do so. At other points, 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. The result is largely conjecture, based on what Lewis and Currie think the party ‘would have’ done and on their own visits to Switzerland. They do, however, usefully locate Tolkien precisely on two dates, for each of which his name appears in a guest book: at the Ober Steinberg Berg-Gasthaus in the Inner Lauterbrunnenthal, south of Interlaken, on 5 August 1911, and that of the Cabane de Bertol, on the Col de Bertol (Bertol Pass) south of Arolla, on 25 August.

The latter is presumably the high-altitude hut recalled by both Tolkien and Colin Brookes-Smith, located at 10,722 feet, not Mont Collon as we guess on p. 1277. Denis Bridoux, who has also investigated Tolkien’s visit to Switzerland extensively, made this point to us in 2015, but at the time we felt that it was too tentative to include in the second edition of the Companion and Guide. He identified the Cabane de Bertol more firmly in a slideshow in 2016, but we overlooked this in a lengthy PowerPoint file Denis shared with us. (His presentation, made at the Tolkien Society’s Oxonmoot gathering in 2016, may be seen on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A--NE6B3UBM&t=1974s.) He doubts that the party visited Zermatt, though Tolkien recalled an evening there. In regard to the beginning of the journey as recalled by Colin Brookes-Smith, Bridoux wonders why the party went via Innsbruck if they did not intend to visit the area, as otherwise they could have taken a train direct to Zurich. He has also taken a keen interest in their river journey, assuming that this occurred. Like Lewis and Currie, Bridoux has had sometimes to rely on conjecture, and has suggested numerous connections between the Swiss landscape and Tolkien’s pictures.

In his recollection of the Swiss journey, Colin Brookes-Smith refers to a ‘map of the tour’ kept by Dorothy Le Couteur, but it is not clear if this covered only the part of the visit after Brig, or the entire visit; in any case, it is not known to survive.

p. 1296, l. 19, entry for Tidworth (Wiltshire): For ‘Officers’ read ‘Officers’’.

p. 1297, entry for Bernard Joseph Tolhurst: A photograph of B.J. Tolhurst is reproduced in Maker of Middle-earth, p. 151.

pp. 1297–9, entry for Tolkien family: On 30 March 1951 Tolkien replied to a letter from Florence Tolkien, whose husband, Charles Embury Tolkien, had been born in Canada but whose family was English. Florence had found a copy of The Hobbit and was curious to know more about the Tolkiens. J.R.R. Tolkien thought that he was probably a third cousin, but it was now difficult to learn about Tolkien family history due to destruction during the war and to the fact that, his father having died when he was four, the chief sources of information about the Tolkiens, his father’s sisters, had died without setting down what they knew. Family tradition held that the Tolkiens had been minor nobility in Saxony (Leipzig), and that the surname passed also into Poland, perhaps at the union of the crowns of Poland and Saxony. His immediate ancestors escaped to England around 1746, after the Prussian invasion. The emigrants lived in London, except for his grandfather, John Benjamin Tolkien, who moved to Birmingham. ‘Tolkien’ clocks and pianos, he noted, were once renowned. J.B. Tolkien, however, was a rigid Baptist and would not deal with music halls or theatres; as a result, he became a poor man by the time Tolkien knew him. The family has a tradition of naming the eldest son Johann or John, which passed to Tolkien himself because his eldest uncle, John Tolkien (i.e. John Benjamin Tolkien, 1845–1883, his father’s half-brother), whom he calls a sailor, had no sons. It was also this uncle John, Tolkien says, who had the tradition of a family coat of arms, described as two gold chevrons and five gold stars on a blue shield, with a half-griffin as a crest and the motto Fest und Treu (‘firm and faithful’).

Commenting on this letter, which is transcribed on the Tolknięty website, Ryszard Derdzinski writes that the Tolkiens ‘were minor nobility from Teutonic Prussia and earlier (in the 13th century) from Wernigerode in Saxony’, and that he has found no Tolkiens from Leipzig. Tolkien relatives (Tolkien, Tollkeihn, Tollkühn) lived in East Prussia up to 1945. The tradition of naming the eldest son Johann or John, he says, ‘belonged only to the descendants of the younger brother from Gdańsk, to Johann Benjamin Tolkien’s (1752–1819) branch. J.R.R. Tolkien’s uncle, John Benjamin Tolkien . . . had only one daughter, Beatrice Emily Louise Tolkien (1868–1935).’ As for the Tolkien family arms, according to Derdzinski’s research they were not as described by Tolkien, and Fest und Treu ‘is probably a false motto’.

p. 1298, l. 12: For ‘Richard’ read ‘Ryszard’. Ryszard wrote to us as ‘Richard’, but online has used the Polish spelling, and we used it elsewhere in the Reader’s Guide in preference to ‘Richard’, e.g. p. 828.

p. 1301, third paragraph, entry for Arthur Reuel Tolkien: The photograph of Arthur Tolkien with his staff at Bank house is reproduced also in Maker of Middle-earth, p. 124, and that of Arthur with his family on p. 115.

p. 1301, l. 17 from bottom, entry for Christopher Reuel Tolkien: For ‘(b. 1924)’ read ‘(1924–2020)’.

p. 1303, l. 9: For ‘edited’ read ‘issued’.

p. 1303, ll. 12–13: For ‘and *Beren and Lúthien (2017)’ read ‘*Beren and Lúthien (2017), and *The Fall of Gondolin (2018). The latter served as the valedictory to his long labours as the central figure in Tolkien studies.’

p. 1303, l. 21: For ‘Mythpoeic’ read ‘Mythopoeic’.

p. 1303, ll. 5–7 from bottom: A photograph of the bronze bust of Tolkien in the English Faculty Library is reproduced in Maker of Middle-earth, p. 19.

p. 1309, ll. 7–8: Photographs of Edith Tolkien are reproduced also in Maker of Middle-earth, as are many photographs of the Tolkien parents and children.

p. 1309, fifth paragraph, entry for Hilary Arthur Reuel Tolkien: According to Colin Brookes-Smith’s memoir, Hilary attended a ‘horticultural college’ between his visit to Switzerland (1911) and starting to work on the farm at Gedling (1913?), but we have not been able to verify this from another source.

p. 1310, l. 6, entry for Hilary Arthur Reuel Tolkien: For ‘thirty-five’ read ‘thirty-four’, and for ‘Magdalen’ read ‘Annie Madeline (called Magdalen)’. Hilary and Magdalen were married on 5 July 1928.

p. 1314, ll. 11–12, entry for Mabel Tolkien: The photograph is of Mabel and Arthur Tolkien, with baby Ronald at ten months and household servants. This is also reproduced in Maker of Middle-earth, p. 115. Another portrait photograph of Mabel is on p. 127 of Maker of Middle-earth.

p. 1336, l. 9: For ‘Officers’ read ‘Officers’’.

p. 1381, l. 17: For ‘Oxford Poetry 1915 (*Goblin Feet)’ read ‘*Oxford Poetry 1915’.

p. 1393, l. 18: For ‘of coal trucks’ read ‘on coal trucks’.

pp. 1402–5, entry for War: In ‘Scholarly Heroes, Heroic Scholars’, in Kuijpers, Vink, and van Zon, Tolkien among Scholars (2016), Thomas Honegger examines ‘how and to what extent Tolkien’s experiences in WW I . . . influenced his “reading” of the depictions of war and violence in medieval texts’ and more generally queries ‘what is a hero and what constitutes “right” heroic action?’ (p. 18). Also, see further, Janet Brennan Croft and Annika Röttinger, eds., ‘Something Has Gone Crack’: New Perspectives on J.R.R. Tolkien in the Great War (2019).

p. 1403, third paragraph: The first line is indented too far.

p. 1404, l. 19: For ‘Officers’ read ‘Officer’.

p. 1404, l. 22: For ‘Officers’ read ‘Officers’’.

p. 1416, l. 1: For ‘Officers’’ read ‘Officer’.

p. 1420, ll. 21–2, entry for Charles Walter Stansby Williams: A photograph of Williams is reproduced in Maker of Middle-earth, p. 26.

p. 1421, l. 10: For ‘Officers Training Corps at both Blundell’s and’ read ‘Officer Training Corps at both Blundell’s and at’.

p. 1421, ll. 22–3: For ‘verses Tolkien had written for an American fan’ read ‘a poem Tolkien had written for a young fan’.

p. 1422, entry for Christopher Luke Wiseman: Wiseman later served, in 1918, as an instructor on the battleship HMS Monarch.

p. 1440, entry for Women and marriage: Lisa Coutras includes chapters pertinent to this subject in her book Tolkien’s Theology of Beauty (2016), ‘Tolkien and Feminist Criticism’ and ‘The Transcendental Feminine’. Among other comments, she notes

that Tolkien never condones the treatment of women as possessions of men or sexual objects. In instances where women are mistreated, this is viewed negatively in the text.  For example, when Túrin’s homeland is overrun by Eastern Men, women are taken into forced marriages and treated as property. Later, when Túrin falls in among a band of outlaws, he prevents and condemns the attempted rape of a local woman. This group is viewed by the Elf Beleg as a fallen social group. Another example is Rohan in decline, when Wormtongue planned to take Éowyn into a forced marriage. In view of these examples, Tolkien perceived the objectification of women as morally wrong. [p. 203]

Coutras also comments that ‘Elvish society in particular is held up as Tolkien’s ideal, emulating a gender equality integrated with “otherness.” Looking to the customs of Elven society, men and women had equal choice and opportunity regarding the activities of life. Women were raised as equals in thought, choice, combat, and marriage’ (p. 206).

p. 1455, fifth paragraph, entry for Yorkshire: Also see further, Michael Flowers, ‘Tolkien in East Yorkshire, 1917–18: A Hemlock Glade, Two Towers, the Houses of Healing and a Beacon’, in Croft and Röttinger, ‘Something Has Gone Crack’: New Perspectives on J.R.R. Tolkien in the Great War (2019).

p. 1455, l. 9: For ‘Humber River’ read ‘River Humber’.

p. 1455, l. 10: For ‘earlier in 1917’ read ‘on 31 July 1917’. The hospital held a maximum of seventeen officers.

p. 1455, l. 18: For ‘Winthernwick’ read ‘Withernwick’, and for ‘town’ read ‘village’.

p. 1455, ll. 25–6: For ‘a few miles’ read ‘about two miles’.

p. 1455, ll. 27–9: Remove the sentence ‘Tolkien resided . . . medical officer at Easington’, and replace with the following at the end of the paragraph (after ‘Lost Tales.’): ‘He was given medical treatment two miles south of Easington, at Fort Godwin in the village of Kilnsea.’

p. 1462: For the birth date of Joanna Tolkien, for ‘1945’ read ‘1944’.

p. 1467, add: The Fall of Gondolin. Edited by Christopher Tolkien. London: HarperCollins, 2018; Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2019.

p. 1474, penultimate entry: A de luxe edition of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Pearl and Sir Orfeo was published by HarperCollins, London, in 2020, which includes Tolkien’s W.P. Ker Lecture on Sir Gawain and the Green Knight and an editorial note by Chris Smith.

pp. 1483–1503, ‘Published Art by J.R.R. Tolkien’: A revision of this section, accounting for art published in newer works such as Tolkien: Maker of Middle-earth and the de luxe edition (2019) of Letters from Father Christmas, is on our website as a PDF, at http://www.hammondandscull.com/addenda/Tolkien_art_list_revised_July_2020.pdf.

p. 1483, l. 19 after titling: Delete the extraneous comma after ‘bit’.

p. 1486, ll. 13–14 from bottom: For ‘1920’ read ‘1923’.

p. 1505, l. 10 from bottom: For ‘226–7’ read ‘227–8’.

p. 1517, bibliography entry for The Nameless Land, l. 4: Before ‘were published in’ add ‘with The Nameless Land itself,’.

p. 1533, ll. 5–6: The entry for ‘The Lonely Troll he sat on a stone’ should not run on after that for ‘Lo! young we are and yet have stood’. A line break was omitted.

p. 1562, add: Christopher, Joe R. ‘J.R.R. Tolkien, Narnian Exile’. Mythlore 15, no. 1, whole no. 55 (Autumn 1988), pp. 37–45; 15, no. 2, whole no. 56 (Winter 1988), pp. 17–23.

p. 1583, add: Hazell, Dinah. The Plants of Middle-earth: Botany and Sub-creation. Kent, Ohio: Kent State University Press, 2006.

p. 1601, add: Ordway, Holly. ‘Tolkien, Morris, and the Dead Marshes: An Unrecognized Connection’. 19 November 2015. http://www.hollyordway.com/2015/11/19/tolkien-morris-connection/.

p. 1603, l. 20 from bottom: For ‘31–3’ read ‘31–2, 35’.

p. 1605, add: Rateliff, John D. ‘The Missing Women: J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lifelong Support for Women’s Higher Education’.  Croft and Donovan, Perilous and Fair: Women in the Works and Life of J.R.R. Tolkien, pp.  41–69.

p. 1606, add: Reid, Robin Anne. ‘The History of Scholarship on Female Characters in J.R.R. Tolkien’s Legendarium: A Feminist Bibliographic Essay’. Croft and Donovan, Perilous and Fair: Women in the Works and Life of J.R.R. Tolkien, pp.  13–40.

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

Copyright © 2006–2020 by Wayne G. Hammond & Christina Scull
This page was last updated on 20 December 2020
Design by NimbleFingers