Lascelles Abercrombie became Professor of English Literature at the University of Leeds, beating out J.R.R. Tolkien who was then Reader in English Language at Leeds. When Tolkien applied for the position of Rawlinson and Bosworth chair of Anglo-Saxon at Oxford, it was Abercrombie who wrote a letter of recommendation, praising Tolkien.
- "[J.R.R. Tolkien] has throughout acted as my advisor and collaborator in the conduct and policy of the department as a whole....I have never consulted him without gaining an illumination that can penetrate as well as expatiate. But I must not omit to mention that I have gained at least as much from the keen artistic sensibility as from the science of his scholarship."
- ― Lascelles Abercrombie, June 25, 1925