Naomi Mitchison

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Naomi Mitchison
Biographical information
BornNovember 1, 1897
DiedJanuary 11, 1999
EducationOxford University
OccupationNovelist, poet

Naomi Mary Margaret Mitchison (November 1, 1897January 11, 1999) was a Scottish novelist and poet.

History[edit | edit source]

Mitchison was educated in Oxford, and contributed verse to Oxford Poetry for 1915 and 1916 (in the former, in company with J.R.R. Tolkien's "Goblin Feet"). Eventually, she became a prolific writer of books and articles, including Graeme and the Dragon (1954, illustrated by Pauline Baynes) and To the Chapel Perilous (1955, which Tolkien disliked).[1]

For many years, Mitchison was a fan of Tolkien's works, and they had a long-time correspondance. She became a proofreader of The Lord of the Rings when George Allen & Unwin sent her advance proofs of the first two volumes. Of The Fellowship of the Ring, Mitchison wrote "It is timeless and will go on".[2] Upon the release of the volume, she wrote the article "One Ring to Bind Them" in New Statesman and Nation (18 September 1954) reviewing the book. Although she criticised some vague aspects, and scientific uncertainties of the Secondary World, she praised its geographic, cultural, historical and linguistic depth.[3]

However, later in life she became increasingly critical of Tolkien's works, critizing the "grandiose style" of The Return of the King and the lack of a feminine perspective in The Lord of the Rings and finding The Silmarillion simplistic.[1]

Bibliography, selected[edit | edit source]

Articles[edit | edit source]

See also[edit | edit source]

External links[edit | edit source]


  1. 1.0 1.1 Christina Scull and Wayne G. Hammond (2006), The J.R.R. Tolkien Companion and Guide: II. Reader's Guide, pp. 592-3
  2. Quoted by D.M.S. in "Recent Readings", in the journal English 1956, 11, p. 31
  3. Quoted in Wayne G. Hammond and Christina Scull (eds), The Lord of the Rings: A Reader's Companion, p. xxxvi