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Re: [mythsoc] Tolkien and Who's Who

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  • Jason Fisher
    I was pretty sure you must have done, David. :) ________________________________ From: David Bratman To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com Sent:
    Message 1 of 9 , May 31, 2013
      I was pretty sure you must have done, David. :)

      From: David Bratman <dbratman@...>
      To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
      Sent: Friday, May 31, 2013 3:34 PM
      Subject: Re: [mythsoc] Tolkien and Who's Who

      Actually, I did. I looked them all up back in the '70s, but I never did anything with that information.

      -----Original Message-----
      From: Jason Fisher
      Sent: May 31, 2013 2:45 PM
      To: "mythsoc@yahoogroups.com"
      Subject: Re: [mythsoc] Tolkien and Who's Who

      Thanks for this as well, John. Interesting to see some work on Who's Who that is older yet. I wonder who will chime in next about having looked up these references in 2004 or 1998 or ...? :-) Great idea, too, trying to track down all the initial appearances of the Inklings.


      From: John Rateliff <sacnoth@...>
      To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
      Sent: Friday, May 31, 2013 2:34 PM
      Subject: Re: [mythsoc] Tolkien and Who's Who

      Thanks for the postings, Ake and Jason. Pieces like this are valuable in showing how much the outside world had become aware of someone's importance.

      It'd be an interesting project sometime for someone to go through the yearly editions of WHO'S WHO and register when various Inklings first appeared. I made a start at this once years ago (http://sacnoths.blogspot.com/2007/04/tolkien-in-whos-who.html) but never followed up on it. Still, it was interesting to learn that by 1937 JRRT had been joined by C. L. Wrenn, Lord David Cecil, and Adam Fox but not Lewis (that came in the early '40s, after the radio broadcasts) nor Barfield (who I don't think ever did make it in, alas). Future Inkling Charles Williams has his own entry, rather to my surprise: hadn't thought he was that high-profile in the late '30s. Which just goes to show why this kind of information can correct impressions formed from more general sources (e.g., books about the Inklings).

      Have to say I found the piece recovered by Jason fascinating for the slightly alternate history it records through its optimistic projections of when JRRT and his collaborator (EVG  or GSG, respectively) would complete work on the GAWAIN and CHAUCER editions. 

      --John R.

      On May 31, 2013, at 12:36 PM, Jason Fisher wrote:
      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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