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University of Leeds

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The University was Tolkien's second post-[[World War I|war]] employer. After the ''[[Oxford English Dictionary|New English Dictionary]]'' and a year of tutoring students in [[Oxford]], Tolkien decided to apply for a post at the University of Leeds. Tolkien had an interview with George S. Gordon, the University's Professor of English, in June 1920.<ref name="Interlude">[[Humphrey Carpenter]], ''[[J.R.R. Tolkien: A Biography]]'', "Oxford Interlude"</ref> It was a fruitful job interview: Tolkien was appointed a Reader in English Language in October of the same year, with a free commission to develop the linguistic side of a large and growing School of English Studies.<ref name="L7">{{L|7}}</ref>  
 
The University was Tolkien's second post-[[World War I|war]] employer. After the ''[[Oxford English Dictionary|New English Dictionary]]'' and a year of tutoring students in [[Oxford]], Tolkien decided to apply for a post at the University of Leeds. Tolkien had an interview with George S. Gordon, the University's Professor of English, in June 1920.<ref name="Interlude">[[Humphrey Carpenter]], ''[[J.R.R. Tolkien: A Biography]]'', "Oxford Interlude"</ref> It was a fruitful job interview: Tolkien was appointed a Reader in English Language in October of the same year, with a free commission to develop the linguistic side of a large and growing School of English Studies.<ref name="L7">{{L|7}}</ref>  
  
The start was rough: though Gordon found Tolkien a room in Leeds,<ref name="L46">{{L|46}}</ref> [[Edith Tolkien|Edith]] and young [[John Tolkien|John]] still lived in [[Oxford]]. In weekends, Tolkien would go to his family - now expanded with the birth of [[Michael Tolkien|Michael]]. Not until 1921 did Tolkien get full housing for his family, first at [[5 Holly Bank]]<ref name="Chronology1921">[[Wayne G. Hammond]] and [[Christina Scull]], ''[[The J.R.R. Tolkien Companion and Guide]]: [[The J.R.R. Tolkien Companion and Guide: Chronology|Chronology]]'', "1921"</ref> and then at [[11 St. Mark's Terrace]].<ref name="Venture">[[Humphrey Carpenter]], ''[[J.R.R. Tolkien: A Biography]]'', "Northern venture"</ref> They later moved to [[2 Darnley Road]].<ref>[[J.R.R. Tolkien]], [[Baillie Tolkien]] (ed.), ''[[Letters from Father Christmas]]''</ref>
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The start was rough: though Gordon found Tolkien a room in Leeds,<ref name="L46">{{L|46}}</ref> [[Edith Tolkien|Edith]] and young [[John Tolkien|John]] still lived in [[Oxford]]. In weekends, Tolkien would go to his family - now expanded with the birth of [[Michael Tolkien|Michael]]. Not until 1921 did Tolkien get full housing for his family, first at [[5 Holly Bank]]<ref name="Chronology1921">{{CG|C}}, "1921"</ref> and then at [[11 St. Mark's Terrace]].<ref name="Venture">[[Humphrey Carpenter]], ''[[J.R.R. Tolkien: A Biography]]'', "Northern venture"</ref> They later moved to [[2 Darnley Road]].<ref>{{HM|LFC}}</ref>
  
Under Gordon, Tolkien began focusing on philology, and taught various courses, such as "History of English", "Middle English texts", "Old and Middle English philology", "introductory Germanic philology", the second-year course "Old Icelandic" and "Medieval Welsh".<ref name="L7"/> He might even have continued to fret on some of his hardest assignments of his time at the ''OED''; several notes of his time show his added thoughts on "''walrus''" and "''walnut''" in Leeds notebooks.<ref>[[Peter Gilliver]], [[Jeremy Marshall]], [[Edmund Weiner]], ''[[The Ring of Words]]'', page 23</ref>  The post of Reader was changed into a Professorship,<ref name= "L46"/> and in [[1922]], Tolkien was joined by [[E.V. Gordon]].<ref name= "Venture"/> Together, they started work on ''[[Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (edition)|Sir Gawain and the Green Knight]]'', and Tolkien continued to work on his ''[[A Middle English Vocabulary]]''.<ref>[[Wayne G. Hammond]], [[Douglas A. Anderson]], ''[[J.R.R. Tolkien: A Descriptive Bibliography]]'', "A: Books by J.R.R. Tolkien"</ref> A year later, they would be joined by [[Lascelles Abercrombie]]<ref name="L46"/> and [[Wilfred Rowland Childe]].<ref name="Chronology1922">{{CG|C}}, "1922"</ref>
+
Under Gordon, Tolkien began focusing on philology, and taught various courses, such as "History of English", "Middle English texts", "Old and Middle English philology", "introductory Germanic philology", the second-year course "Old Icelandic" and "Medieval Welsh".<ref name="L7"/> He might even have continued to fret on some of his hardest assignments of his time at the ''OED''; several notes of his time show his added thoughts on "''walrus''" and "''walnut''" in Leeds notebooks.<ref>{{HM|RW}}, p. 23</ref>  The post of Reader was changed into a Professorship,<ref name= "L46"/> and in [[1922]], Tolkien was joined by [[E.V. Gordon]].<ref name= "Venture"/> Together, they started work on ''[[Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (edition)|Sir Gawain and the Green Knight]]'', and Tolkien continued to work on his ''[[A Middle English Vocabulary]]''.<ref>[[Wayne G. Hammond]], [[Douglas A. Anderson]], ''[[J.R.R. Tolkien: A Descriptive Bibliography]]'', "A: Books by J.R.R. Tolkien"</ref> A year later, they would be joined by [[Lascelles Abercrombie]]<ref name="L46"/> and [[Wilfred Rowland Childe]].<ref name="Chronology1922">{{CG|C}}, "1922"</ref>
  
 
Tolkien left Leeds [[Letter 8|somewhat abruptly]] in 1925 when he was elected to the [[Rawlinson and Bosworth Professor of Anglo-Saxon|Rawlinson and Bosworth Professorship of Anglo-Saxon]] at [[University of Oxford|Oxford]], so that he actually occupied both posts simultaneously for the duration of 1926.<ref name="L46" /> Reflecting on his time at Leeds in a later letter, Tolkien refuted the idea that he did not enjoy his time there:
 
Tolkien left Leeds [[Letter 8|somewhat abruptly]] in 1925 when he was elected to the [[Rawlinson and Bosworth Professor of Anglo-Saxon|Rawlinson and Bosworth Professorship of Anglo-Saxon]] at [[University of Oxford|Oxford]], so that he actually occupied both posts simultaneously for the duration of 1926.<ref name="L46" /> Reflecting on his time at Leeds in a later letter, Tolkien refuted the idea that he did not enjoy his time there:

Revision as of 20:54, 5 March 2012

University of Leeds

The University of Leeds is a centre for learning in the city of Leeds in Yorkshire, England. J.R.R. Tolkien taught there between 1920 and 1925; first as Reader but later a full Professor.

Contents

Tolkien at Leeds

The University was Tolkien's second post-war employer. After the New English Dictionary and a year of tutoring students in Oxford, Tolkien decided to apply for a post at the University of Leeds. Tolkien had an interview with George S. Gordon, the University's Professor of English, in June 1920.[1] It was a fruitful job interview: Tolkien was appointed a Reader in English Language in October of the same year, with a free commission to develop the linguistic side of a large and growing School of English Studies.[2]

The start was rough: though Gordon found Tolkien a room in Leeds,[3] Edith and young John still lived in Oxford. In weekends, Tolkien would go to his family - now expanded with the birth of Michael. Not until 1921 did Tolkien get full housing for his family, first at 5 Holly Bank[4] and then at 11 St. Mark's Terrace.[5] They later moved to 2 Darnley Road.[6]

Under Gordon, Tolkien began focusing on philology, and taught various courses, such as "History of English", "Middle English texts", "Old and Middle English philology", "introductory Germanic philology", the second-year course "Old Icelandic" and "Medieval Welsh".[2] He might even have continued to fret on some of his hardest assignments of his time at the OED; several notes of his time show his added thoughts on "walrus" and "walnut" in Leeds notebooks.[7] The post of Reader was changed into a Professorship,[3] and in 1922, Tolkien was joined by E.V. Gordon.[5] Together, they started work on Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, and Tolkien continued to work on his A Middle English Vocabulary.[8] A year later, they would be joined by Lascelles Abercrombie[3] and Wilfred Rowland Childe.[9]

Tolkien left Leeds somewhat abruptly in 1925 when he was elected to the Rawlinson and Bosworth Professorship of Anglo-Saxon at Oxford, so that he actually occupied both posts simultaneously for the duration of 1926.[3] Reflecting on his time at Leeds in a later letter, Tolkien refuted the idea that he did not enjoy his time there:

I was devoted to the University of Leeds, which was very good to me, and to the students, whom I left with regret. The present students are among my most attentive readers...[10]

Publications

Tolkien contributed several poems to The Gryphon, Yorkshire Poetry, A Northern Venture and Leeds University Verse. He also finished stories that would later become The Book of Lost Tales Part One.[5]

See also

References

  1. Humphrey Carpenter, J.R.R. Tolkien: A Biography, "Oxford Interlude"
  2. 2.0 2.1 J.R.R. Tolkien; Humphrey Carpenter, Christopher Tolkien (eds.), The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien, Letter 7, (dated 27 June 1935)
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 J.R.R. Tolkien; Humphrey Carpenter, Christopher Tolkien (eds.), The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien, Letter 46, (dated 26 November 1941)
  4. Wayne G. Hammond and Christina Scull (2006), The J.R.R. Tolkien Companion and Guide: I. Chronology, "1921"
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Humphrey Carpenter, J.R.R. Tolkien: A Biography, "Northern venture"
  6. J.R.R. Tolkien, Baillie Tolkien (ed.), Letters from Father Christmas
  7. Peter Gilliver, Edmund Weiner and Jeremy Marshall, The Ring of Words: Tolkien and the Oxford English Dictionary, p. 23
  8. Wayne G. Hammond, Douglas A. Anderson, J.R.R. Tolkien: A Descriptive Bibliography, "A: Books by J.R.R. Tolkien"
  9. Wayne G. Hammond and Christina Scull (2006), The J.R.R. Tolkien Companion and Guide: I. Chronology, "1922"
  10. J.R.R. Tolkien; Humphrey Carpenter, Christopher Tolkien (eds.), The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien, Letter 229, (dated 23 February 1961)

External links