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Re: [mythsoc] who were Tolkien's students

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  • Wayne G. Hammond
    ... CL ... Wrenn was a contemporary and colleague of Tolkien, born 1895, first class degree from Queen s College, Oxford, in 1917. As David says, Auden only
    Message 1 of 4 , Jan 20, 2004
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      David wrote, in reply to Ted:

      >>Can anyone provide a list of Tolkien's students? I don't have Scholar and
      >>Storyteller at hand, but those I can think of are: Tom Shippey, WH Auden,
      CL
      >>Wrenn, and Derek Brewer? Who else?
      >
      >Wrenn was never a student of Tolkien's. Auden only attended his lectures.
      >I'd have to check on Shippey and Brewer.

      Wrenn was a contemporary and colleague of Tolkien, born 1895, first class
      degree from Queen's College, Oxford, in 1917. As David says, Auden only
      attended Tolkien's lectures -- as thousands of undergraduates must have,
      over the years, which did not thereby make them "Tolkien's students". As an
      Oxford professor he supervised postgraduates but did not tutor
      undergraduates. (David rightly notes E.V. Gordon as one of Tolkien's
      students when JRRT was only a freelance tutor at Oxford in 1919-20. At
      Leeds, both as Reader and as Professor, Tolkien had wider duties, but that
      was Leeds, which had a different system.) Shippey was born in September
      1943, so was only 15 when Tolkien retired in 1959. (I don't know where
      Shippey got his B.A.; his doctorate is from Cambridge. If he was an
      undergraduate at Oxford, at age 19, it's possible that he heard Tolkien
      lecture on Beowulf and the Freswael when JRRT returned to substitute for
      Wrenn in Michaelmas Term 1962 and Hilary Term 1963.) Brewer is said to have
      been a student of C.S. Lewis.

      Scholar and Storyteller won't help at all with this question, by the way.

      >Roger Lancelyn Green was Tolkien's B.Litt. supervisee.

      Only for the last term of Green's work (Michaelmas Term 1943), after his
      thesis was referred back for revision (by examiners Tolkien and David
      Nichol Smith; Nichol Smith was Green's supervisor before then).

      >In his first teaching stint at Oxford in 1920, Tolkien tutored E.V. Gordon,
      >later his colleague and collaborator.
      >
      >Carpenter's biography (p. 158) lists Simonne d'Ardennne, Elaine Griffiths,
      >Stella Mills, and Mary Salu as among his pupils. D'Ardenne was Tolkien's
      >most significant pupil, in being a prominent scholar whose work was
      >strongly influenced by Tolkien and who worked closely with him.
      >
      >There are others. It would be possible to compile a complete list of
      >Tolkien's grad students from pubished Oxford records, and this may have
      >been done.

      Christina and I have spent many days scouring the _Oxford University
      Gazette_ and records in the Oxford University archives for just this
      information, as well as the students Tolkien examined but did not
      supervise, and much else, which will be included in our _J.R.R. Tolkien
      Companion and Guide_ now tentatively scheduled for publication this fall.
      We don't pretend, however, that we have a complete list of Tolkien's
      students, as the available sources don't include all of the Recognized
      Students (postgraduates, often from overseas, who are members neither of a
      college nor of the University) that were assigned to Tolkien.

      Wayne Hammond
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