• "You Tempt me Grievously to a Mythological Essay": J. R. R. Tolkien’s Correspondence with Arthur Ransome

    Author(s):
    Alaric Hall (see profile) , Samuli Kaislaniemi
    Date:
    2013
    Subject(s):
    Tolkien studies
    Item Type:
    Book chapter
    Tag(s):
    Arthur Ransome, Brotherton Library, J. R. R. Tolkien
    Permanent URL:
    http://dx.doi.org/10.17613/M61Z41S3S
    Abstract:
    ' "You Tempt me Grievously to a Mythological Essay": J. R. R. Tolkien’s Correspondence with Arthur Ransome', edits a letter from Tolkien to Ransome held in the Brotherton Library of the University of Leeds. On December 13th 1937, the celebrated children’s author Arthur Ransome wrote to J. R. R. Tolkien with a few comments on Tolkien’s newly published book The Hobbit. Tolkien lost no time in replying, and his letter provides one of his earliest comments on his published fiction, and a relatively early explicit commentary on his mythic writing. This article publishes for the first time Tolkien’s response to Ransome in its entirety, and answers some of the questions regarding the chronology of Tolkien’s correspondence which arise. An analysis of the letter reveals that while, as many scholars have shown, the ‘sources’ and ‘inspirations’ of The Hobbit include the likes of Beowulf and the Poetic Edda, already in 1937—and contrary to his own later claims—Tolkien’s principal primary source for fleshing out his prose stories with characters, places, and references to historical events was the vast legendarium he had created himself.
    Notes:
    Mémoires de la Société Néophilologique de Helsinki, 90
    Metadata:
    Published as:
    Book chapter    
    Status:
    Published
    Last Updated:
    2 years ago
    License:
    All Rights Reserved
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