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24350Re: [mythsoc] Tolkien and Who's Who

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  • Jason Fisher
    May 31, 2013
      This is a fascinating addition to what I had stumbled across a few years ago. Thanks for sharing, Åke.

      From: Åke Bertenstam <arawn74@...>
      To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
      Sent: Friday, May 31, 2013 1:32 PM
      Subject: Re: [mythsoc] Tolkien and Who's Who

      Who's who in Literature was a short-lived annual, or to quote from the entry in COPAC (copac.ac.uk):

      Who's who in literature.
      Liverpool : Literary Year Books Press, 1924-1934.
      Physical description
      v. ; 21 cm.
      Contains list of "Fictitious and pseudonymous names."
      Authors, English — Periodicals.
      Literature — Periodicals.
      Related item
      Continues: Literary year-book (London, England : 1921)

      Ake Bertenstam

      2013/5/31 Åke Bertenstam <arawn74@...>
      Very interesting, I had completely missed that blog entry. However, your entry seems to come from another source, i.e. Who's Who in Literature. My entry is from the standard Who's Who, still being published. To quote the full title from the title page: Who's Who 1925, An Annual Biographical Dictionary with which is incorporated "Men and Women of the Time", Seventy-seventh year of issue. Published by A & C Black Limited, 4, 5 & 6 Soho Square London W 1. (This annual started already in 1849.)

      2013/5/31 Jason Fisher <visualweasel@...>
      Indeed! I wrote about the 1925 Who's Who back in 2009 and noted several of the same things you did, Åke — 

      The text you quote below is different from the text I saw and quoted. It's more complete, for one thing. But the one I saw referred to a planned Selections from Chaucer, which never came to be. Very interesting stuff.


      From: Åke Bertenstam <arawn74@...>
      To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
      Sent: Friday, May 31, 2013 12:24 PM
      Subject: [mythsoc] Tolkien and Who's Who

      I don't know if this has ever been noted anywhere but just out of curiosity I went through my library's holdings of Who's Who to check which year was the first with an entry for Tolkien. I must say I was a bit surprised to find out that this was as early as 1925. I quote the entry in entirety just to show how it looked like.

      "TOLKIEN, John Ronald Reuel, Professor of the English Language, University of Leeds, since 1924; b. 3 Jan. 1892; e. s. of late Arthur Reuel Tolkien, of Bloemfontein, South Africa; m. 1916, Edith, d. of late E. Bratt; two s. Educ.: King Edward VI. School, Birmingham; Exeter College, Oxford (Stapeldon Exhibitioner). First Class, English Language and Literature, 1915; served with Lancashire Fusiliers, 1915-18; Tutor in English School, Oxford, 1919; Reader in English Language, University of Leeds, 1920; Examiner in the Universities of Oxford and Leeds. Publications: A Middle-English Vocabulary, 1922; Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (edited with E. V. Gordon), 1924. Recreations: tennis, fives. Address: 2 Darnley Road, West Park, Leeds." (Who''s Who, 1925, p 2855).

      A possible conclusion from this might be that in 1925 there where few enough professors that a professorship in itself might be enough to render an entry in Who's Who. Also of slight interest to note is that the Tolkien/Gordon edition was listed despite not yet being published when this edition appeared as can be surmised from the year given (1924 instead of 1925).

      Just in case you wonder: no entry for E. V. Gordon in this edition of Who's Who.

      Ake Bertenstam

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