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

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  • John Rateliff
    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
    Message 1 of 21 , Feb 17, 2012
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      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.
    • John Rateliff
      ... That s great news, Andrew. The latest BEYOND BREE [Feb. 2012, page 9] has a list sent in by Mark Hooker of the contents of that LEMBAS EXTRA 2011, which
      Message 2 of 21 , Feb 17, 2012
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        On Feb 17, 2012, at 11:58 AM, Andrew Higgins wrote:
        On the origin of Hobbit front last autumn when he guest lectured on The Mythgard Institutes Tolkien and Epic Course, Tom Shippey gave us an advance article called The Ancestors of the Hobbits - Strange Creatures in English Folklore which was due to appear in the next issue of Lembas Extra.  Which gave some excellent insight, as Professor Shippey always does, on The Denham Tracts.  if he has published it is worth a read. 

        That's great news, Andrew.
        The latest BEYOND BREE [Feb. 2012, page 9] has a list sent in by Mark Hooker of the contents of that LEMBAS EXTRA 2011, which includes Shippey's piece. I'll have to see if one of my friends in England can't send me a copy, since I'd love to see what Shippey has to say on this ever-fascinating topic.

        --JDR
      • John Rateliff
        ... I reprint Michael Scot s list in Appendix I of THE HISTORY OF THE HOBBIT (page 842). For those who don t have either mine or Scot s book handy, here s the
        Message 3 of 21 , Feb 17, 2012
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          On Feb 17, 2012, at 7:52 AM, Larry Swain wrote:
          Re: Middle English "hobbit", I know of no such form in Middle English, but plenty of Middle English "hob" forms and compounds.  Not the same thing of course.  According to Eaton's article in the Encyclopedia (edited by Drout), Denham of the Denham Tracts drew on the 16th century The Discoverie of Witchcraft by Reginald Scot, might be worth checking that work to see if "hobbit" appears there, though that isn't medieval and is a strange and odd error for Drout to make.

          I reprint Michael Scot's list in Appendix I of THE HISTORY OF THE HOBBIT (page 842). For those who don't have either mine or Scot's book handy, here's the relevant passage:

          <quote begins>
          "Denham’s primary source was a list of “vaine apparitions” compiled by the skeptic Reginald Scot more than two and a half centuries before in The Discoverie of Witchcraft [1584], an eloquent and impassioned refutation of the superstitions of his day. In Book VII of that work, after discussing the Oracle at Delphi and the Witch of Endor (I Samuel 28. 3–25), Scot gives the following mingling of classical lore with old wives’ tales:

          Chapter XV. Of vaine apparitions, how people have beene brought to feare bugges, which is partlie reformed by preaching of the gospell, the true effect of Christes miracle.

          . . . It is a common saieng [saying]; A lion feareth no bugs [bugbears, boogiemen]. But in our childhood our mothers maids have so terrified us with an ouglie [ugly] divell having hornes on this head, fier in his mouth, and a taile in his breech . . . and a voice roring like a lion, whereby we start and are afraid when we heare one crie Bough [Boo!]: and they have so fraied us with bull beggers, spirits, witches, urchens, elves, hags, fairies, satyrs, pans, faunes, sylens, kit with the cansticke, tritons, centaurs, dwarfes, giants, imps, calcars, conjurors, nymphes, changlings, Incubus, Robin good-fellowe, the spoorne, the mare [i.e., nightmare], the man in the oke [oak], the hell waine, the fierdrake [firedrake, dragon], the puckle [puck, pooka], Tom thome, hob gobblin, Tom tumbler, boneles, and such other bugs, that we are afraid of our owne shadowes . . . [S]ome never feare the divell, but in a darke night . . . speciallie in a churchyard, where a right hardie man heretofore scant durst passe by night, but his haire would stand upright.

          —1972 Dover facsimile reproduction of the

          1930 Montague Summers edition, page 86


          <quote ends>
          Drout does occasionally get eras off by a little -- he calls the Cottingley Fairy Photographs "Victorian" -- but I don't think he'd call Denham's work from the 1840s and 1850s "medieval". Like I said, we all make mistakes: I just wanted to follow this one up in case Drout was right about a Huddersfield Hobbit and I'd overlooked something major when trying to trace the word. Thanks all for the fact-checking.

          --JDR



        • Larry Swain
          ... doesn t speak well of him. Making these sorts of mistakes on a course on tape/CD sounds to me like arrogance. A lecturer is just as responsible for
          Message 4 of 21 , Feb 17, 2012
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            On Fri, Feb 17, 2012, at 11:17 AM, [2]WendellWag@... wrote:



            >>This tape is part of his output, and this sort of sloppiness
            doesn't speak well of him. Making these sorts of mistakes on a
            course on tape/CD sounds to me like arrogance. A lecturer is
            just as responsible for accuracy in his recorded lectures (for
            which he's paid well, incidentally) as for his scholarly papers.<<

            But his other recordings, his scholarly output in books and articles, do
            speak well of him. Before judging him too harshly for these issues in
            this lecture, a) with John, we all make mistakes and b) as for scholars,
            I may not like a particular book or article that contains errors, but I
            don't judge a scholar's entire output on a single article, lecture, or
            even book.

            Larry Swain
            Chair, English Dept.
            Bemidji State University

            --
            http://www.fastmail.fm - Access your email from home and the web
          • "Beregond, Anders Stenström"
            ... _Uth[e-hook]rsfild_. The etymology is prob. the _field_ or land of _Hother_, _Other_ or _Huther_, _Uther_, the original owner; _or_ possibly
            Message 5 of 21 , Feb 17, 2012
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              David Bratman wrote:

              > (If there's
              > no initial H in the Huddersfield dialect, what's the dialect's name for its
              > own town?)

              _Uth[e-hook]rsfild_. The etymology is "prob. the _field_ or land of
              _Hother_, _Other_ or _Huther_, _Uther_, the original owner; _or_
              possibly _Ottersfield_, from ME. _oter_, OE. _otor_, an otter", so
              the H- of the standard form is possibly not original.

              Chivalrously,

              Beregond
            • James Curcio
              My understanding is it was a lecture done on his feet, not something read from a script, or something where you could go back and do it again. I ll be honest
              Message 6 of 21 , Feb 17, 2012
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                My understanding is it was a lecture done "on his feet," not something read from a script, or something where you could go back and do it again. 

                I'll be honest though, if something isn't a life and death thing, I tend not to worry about it too much. ;)  

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                Cell: 484-319-7323
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                On Fri, Feb 17, 2012 at 7:41 AM, David Bratman <dbratman@...> wrote:
                 

                WendellWag@... wrote:

                >This tape is part of his output, and this sort of sloppiness doesn't speak
                >well of him. Making these sorts of mistakes on a course on tape/CD sounds
                >to me like arrogance. A lecturer is just as responsible for accuracy in
                >his recorded lectures (for which he's paid well, incidentally) as for his
                >scholarly papers.

                I said "explain", not "excuse".

                James Curcio wrote:

                >People misspeak. Maybe I'm missing what the big deal is.

                It's a big deal when it's speaking before the microphones for a prepared recording. When a movie actor flubs a line, they do it again.


              • WendellWag@aol.com
                I ve talked (well, communicated by E-mail) with people who ve done courses on tape/CD and read various things by such people. It is not done on your feet.
                Message 7 of 21 , Feb 17, 2012
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                  I've talked (well, communicated by E-mail) with people who've done courses on tape/CD and read various things by such people.  It is not done "on your feet."  The company issuing the course gets recommendations from students who've taken courses from the professor at their university.  The company sends out people to listen to their lectures.  They bring the professor in to record the course.  They insist that he prepares a script and they fact-check it.  They insist that he practice the lectures beforehand to make sure that he can do it in the correct amount of time and with no significant hesitations.  They record it and then listen to it to make sure that it corresponds with the script.  They test it with a customer focus group before releasing it.  Courses on tape/CD are expensive.  Small mistakes might get by.  It's a lecture and not a scholarly paper, so nobody expect brilliant, original ideas.  However, just winging it when you record the lectures is most certainly not acceptable.  I've listened to many courses on tape/CD over the years, and it's always clearly prepared and not a matter of winging it.
                   
                  Wendell Wagner
                   
                  In a message dated 2/17/2012 6:58:43 P.M. Eastern Standard Time, jamescurcio@... writes:
                  My understanding is it was a lecture done "on his feet," not something read from a script, or something where you could go back and do it again.
                • James Curcio
                  Oh, well, in that case, it s a matter of simply being incorrect. I meant my understanding as in, having skimmed the messages in the thread. Not based on some
                  Message 8 of 21 , Feb 17, 2012
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                    Oh, well, in that case, it's a matter of simply being incorrect. I meant "my understanding" as in, having skimmed the messages in the thread. Not based on some prior knowledge of this individual. 

                    But I will speak to something that I do have direct experience of. It still irks me that I accidentally wrote the "devil's interval" was a minor 3rd rather than flatted 5th in a book that's been used in 3 college level classes that I know of. It got by me and 2 editors. It's something I know, mis-wrote, and never caught on multiple editorial passes. But it doesn't exactly keep me up nights. When (and if) the 2nd edition comes out, it'll be one of the many little errors to be fixed. 

                    The point of this and my prior messages in this thread was simply--Life goes on, we hope. 

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                    Cell: 484-319-7323
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                    On Sat, Feb 18, 2012 at 12:40 AM, <WendellWag@...> wrote:
                     

                    I've talked (well, communicated by E-mail) with people who've done courses on tape/CD and read various things by such people.  It is not done "on your feet."  The company issuing the course gets recommendations from students who've taken courses from the professor at their university.  The company sends out people to listen to their lectures.  They bring the professor in to record the course.  They insist that he prepares a script and they fact-check it.  They insist that he practice the lectures beforehand to make sure that he can do it in the correct amount of time and with no significant hesitations.  They record it and then listen to it to make sure that it corresponds with the script.  They test it with a customer focus group before releasing it.  Courses on tape/CD are expensive.  Small mistakes might get by.  It's a lecture and not a scholarly paper, so nobody expect brilliant, original ideas.  However, just winging it when you record the lectures is most certainly not acceptable.  I've listened to many courses on tape/CD over the years, and it's always clearly prepared and not a matter of winging it.
                     
                    Wendell Wagner
                     
                    In a message dated 2/17/2012 6:58:43 P.M. Eastern Standard Time, jamescurcio@... writes:
                    My understanding is it was a lecture done "on his feet," not something read from a script, or something where you could go back and do it again.


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