Tolkien and Wales

From Tolkien Gateway
Tolkien and Wales: Language, Literature and Identity
Tolkien and Wales.jpg
AuthorCarl Phelpstead
PublisherUniversity of Wales Press
Released30 April 2011

Tolkien and Wales: Language, Literature and Identity is a 2011 scholarly book which discusses the influence of Wales and Welsh on the work and life of J.R.R. Tolkien. The author states that:

"This is the first book-length study of Tolkien's debts to Welsh language and literature. It traces those influences in Tolkien's scholarly and creative work, paying particular attention to some relatively neglected texts. The book draws on unpublished manuscripts and on Tolkien's own collection of Welsh books in order to evaluate the influence of Wales and Welsh on Tolkien's writings and on his sense of national identity."[1]

From the publisher[edit | edit source]

Tolkien once wrote: 'I love Wales - and especially the Welsh language'. This book explores how that love influenced Tolkien's ideas about language, many aspects of his creative writing, and his sense of an English identity. It describes more fully than before the extent and depth of Tolkien's debt to Welsh language and literature, and argues that Tolkien's love of Wales and Welsh is inseparable from his love of, and sense of belonging to, England. The book gives detailed attention to both Tolkien's fiction and his scholarly writings, including some relatively neglected texts. Wales and Welsh were seminal influences on the writings of the twentieth century's most popular writer and this book reveals the range and depth of these influences.

Unpublished manuscripts[edit | edit source]

Phelpstead draws upon the following unpublished manuscripts held at the Bodleian Library (quotes from the manuscripts are marked in bold):[2]

  • MS Tolkien 7-8 [papers relating to 'English and Welsh'] (cf. p. 125 (note 38))
  • MS Tolkien A18/1 [including partial text and translation of Pwyll, with notes] (cf. pp. 9, 11, 60-1, 139 (note 33))
  • MS Tolkien A19/3 [including notes on etymology of Lydney; draft of 'Celts and Teutons'] (for 'Lydney', cf. pp. 56, 137 (note 13); for 'Celts and Teutons', cf. pp. 15, 127 (notes 64, 76))
  • MS Tolkien drawings 85

See also[edit | edit source]

External links[edit | edit source]


  1. Tolkien and Wales at (accessed 11 June 2011)
  2. "Bibliography", p. 165