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After taking her degree in English, Griffiths undertook research under the supervision of J.R.R. Tolkien, acquiring an interest in Old English Philology. She soon became one of Tolkien's close friends, and was one of the early readers of a manuscript of The Hobbit. It was Griffiths who suggested Susan Dagnall of Allen & Unwin to borrow the typescript from Tolkien.
Tolkien signed a copy of The Lord of the Rings to her with a dedication in Quenya: Elainen tárin periandion ar meldenya anyáran (to Elaine, Queen of Hobbits and my very old friend). The copy is currently held at collection of the Greisinger Museum.
- Biographies of Founding Fellows (1958): M. Elaine Griffiths at St Anne's College (accessed 28 May 2011)
- "The Queen of Hobbits for Sale" at TolkienLibrary.com (accessed 28 May 2011)
- "Real eye opener - Visiting the Greisinger Museum" dated 11 January 2013, Herr-der-Ringe-Film.de (accessed 12 February 2013)