Leprawns (or leprechauns) were creatures only appearing in some of the earliest versions of the legendarium. In one passage, the leprawns are seemingly described as a subgroup among the sprites. In early poems, the mysterious character Tinfang Warble is said to have been a leprawn.
Etymology[edit | edit source]
It has been suggested that the name leprawn is "Tolkien's own peculiar adaptation of leprechaun".
Other writings[edit | edit source]
The poem Goblin Feet speak of "tiny horns" played by "enchanted leprechauns".
Real-life[edit | edit source]
Tolkien, in response to an undergraduate's query about the truth of dragons and other legends, declared that behind such tales invariably lies something real; he then dug into his pockets and pulled out, along with a ball of string and other detritus, a small green shoe, thin and pointed in the toe, made of leathery substance that felt like reptile skin, and declared it, "stoutly and with apparent sincerity", to be a leprechaun's shoe.
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- According to Bradley J. Birzer, the source for this reminiscence is a letter from Norman Power to Clyde S. Kilby, kept at the Wade Collection, Marion Wade Center at Wheaton College: "Excerpt from a letter about JRRT, from Norman S. Power, Ladywood, Birmingham, England, author of THE FIRLAND SAGA," WCWC, Kilby Files, 3-8, "Tolkien the Man" from TOLKIEN AND THE SILMARILLION'". Cf. discussion at the Tolkien Society Facebook group (dated 13 August 2019).
- J.R.R. Tolkien, "Tengwesta Qenderinwa and Pre-Fëanorian Alphabets Part 2", in Parma Eldalamberon XVIII (edited by Christopher Gilson, Arden R. Smith, and Patrick H. Wynne), p. 122
- J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Book of Lost Tales Part One, "III. The Coming of the Valar and the Building of Valinor", p. 66
- J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Book of Lost Tales Part One, "III. The Coming of the Valar and the Building of Valinor", p. 108
- Peter Gilliver, Edmund Weiner and Jeremy Marshall, The Ring of Words: Tolkien and the Oxford English Dictionary, p. 77
- Philip and Carol Zaleski, The Fellowship: The Literary Lives of the Inklings, p. 370