Eric Valentine Gordon (14 February 1896 – 1938) was a Canadian philologist who worked alongside J.R.R. Tolkien on various scholastic works and published books. Gordon was educated at Victoria College and McGill University. He also attended University College at Oxford University (1920), and later taught at Leeds University (1922-1931) and Manchester University (1932-1938). In 1930, he married Ida Pickles, a former student.
Works with Tolkien on Old and Middle English
While Tolkien was teaching at Leeds University, Gordon worked with him on A Middle English Vocabulary and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. After Gordon had come to Leeds, Tolkien wrote in his diary "Eric Valentine Gordon has come and got firmly established and is my devoted friend and pal."
While Gordon died in 1938, yet another two works, to which Tolkien contributed, were published posthumously by Ida, Gordon's wife and a philologist as well. The first was Pearl (1953; Tolkien contributed to this book with a section, "Form and Purpose", in the introduction) and the second was The Seafarer (1960). Both works were revised and completed by Ida Gordon.
The Viking Club
Gordon also began the Viking Club with Tolkien. In this club they would read Old Icelandic sagas (and drink a lot of beer) with students and faculty, and invent original Anglo-Saxon songs. A collection of these was privately published as the book Songs for the Philologists.
- 1922: A Middle English Vocabulary (editor)
- 1925: Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, co-edited with J.R.R. Tolkien
- 1927: An Introduction to Old Norse
- 1936: Su Klukka Heljar and When I'm Dead, in Songs for the Philologists, with J.R.R. Tolkien et al.
- 1937: The Battle of Maldon (editor)
- 1953: Pearl (editor)
- As contributor
- Jane Chance (2003), Tolkien the Medievalist
- Humphrey Carpenter (2000), J.R.R. Tolkien: A Biography, New York: Houghton Mifflin, page 111
- Humphrey Carpenter (2000), J.R.R. Tolkien: A Biography, New York: Houghton Mifflin, page 145
- Verlyn Flieger (2001). A Question of Time, p. 262
- Humphrey Carpenter (2000), J.R.R. Tolkien: A Biography, New York: Houghton Mifflin, page 112