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22947Re: [mythsoc] "Joseph Bright" and Huddersfield hobbits

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  • John Rateliff
    Feb 17, 2012
      Thanks David, for the Carpenter quote. I shd have caught that one myself.

      Thanks Anders, for the confirmation re. Haigh. I see I'll have to save up and get myself a copy of the Haigh.*

      And thanks all for the comments and clarifications.


      Everyone makes mistakes -- I still cringe from having written "Gower" when I meant "Langland" in THE HISTORY OF THE HOBBIT (finally corrected in the new one-volume edition), and remember Taum's once giving a lecture on Tolkien where he mentioned THE LORD OF THE RINGS' having been illustrated by the Queen of Sweden (he meant Denmark). For the record, though, Drout doesn't just say "Bright" once but calls Joseph Wright that every time he refers to him -- including in phrases like "in Joseph Bright's GOTHIC GRAMMAR . . . ". The Haigh bit is much more serious, since he states something as a fact that isn't.

      From everything I've seen, Drout is a careful scholar; that's what made these and other slips surprising. I suspect he either didn't hold this audiobook to the same standards as his written scholarship or (which is perhaps more likely) these recordings may have been done in a rush, without time for fact-checking.

      And, as I said, there's good stuff here as well. For example, Drout ends his discussion of Tolkien's World War I experience by saying it's important to remember that JRRT didn't come out of the war a shell-shocked broken man, or emerge from his orphaned childhood lost in nostalgia to the extent that he was unable to move on with his life: he fell in love, married, raised a family, thrived in his chosen profession, &c.

      --John R.


      *and I'll have to name my next D&D character Obi Obuk.
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