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Tolkien's rewriting on Kalevala

Tol Eressea

Nov 30 2011, 2:19pm

Post #1 of 15 (1812 views)
Tolkien's rewriting on Kalevala Can't Post

I know his rewriting on the tale of Kullervo has been published in... was it Vinya Tengwar? Is there any way for a regular fan to have a look of it (or any of the new material sent by Christopher?)

<3 Gandy, Raddy, Sharkey, Ally & Pally <3


Nov 30 2011, 4:52pm

Post #2 of 15 (1517 views)
Tolkien Studies, Volume VII [In reply to] Can't Post

Edited by the wonderful Verlyn Flieger.

'But very bright were the stars upon the margin of the world, when at times the clouds about the West were drawn aside.'


Tol Eressea

Nov 30 2011, 5:35pm

Post #3 of 15 (1514 views)
-and the equally wonderful Anderson and Drout [In reply to] Can't Post

- the book can (hopefully) still be ordered from West Virginia University Press - see this page



Nov 30 2011, 6:27pm

Post #4 of 15 (1529 views)
To be clear [In reply to] Can't Post

I was referring to the fact that Verlyn edited and transcribed "The Story of Kullervo” and "Essays on Kalevala" that appear in Volume VII of Tolkien Studies, not the fact that she is one of the co-editors of the journal.

But yes, Doug and Michael are the co-editors of the journal, and they are wonderful as well. (I'd insert your favorite thumbs-up emoticon here if I could.)

'But very bright were the stars upon the margin of the world, when at times the clouds about the West were drawn aside.'


Tol Eressea

Nov 30 2011, 10:26pm

Post #5 of 15 (1472 views)
Thank you both! // [In reply to] Can't Post


<3 Gandy, Raddy, Sharkey, Ally & Pally <3

Tol Eressea

Nov 30 2011, 11:48pm

Post #6 of 15 (2003 views)
Tolkien's 1944 Sir Orfeo [In reply to] Can't Post

You're welcome - and, you might also like to know that Tolkien's 1944 version of Sir Orfeo is (legitimately) available online courtesy of the good folk at West Virginia University Press -


Here's an extract from the introduction. it's by Carl hostetter, who also edited the piece.

"Although the booklet itself does not bear its author's name, it has been identified as a work by J.R.R. Tolkien. In their J.R.R. Tolkien: A Descriptive Bibliography, Wayne G. Hammond and Douglas A. Anderson note of this booklet that one of the five known copies, held by the English Faculty library at Oxford, "contains a note, reported to be in Tolkien's hand, which states that this edition of 'Sir Orfeo' was prepared for the naval cadets' course in English, which Tolkien organized in January 1943 and directed until the end of March 1944" (209). Hammond and Anderson further report the existence of three other copies of the booklet in which the lines of the poem have been numbered in pencil, by tens, in what appears to be Tolkien's hand. Two of these copies have in addition a few textual emendations in pencil, again apparently in Tolkien's hand. It is upon one of these two emended copies that the present edition is based."

It's best viewed in PDF format.

(This post was edited by geordie on Nov 30 2011, 11:55pm)


Dec 1 2011, 12:40am

Post #7 of 15 (1451 views)
You're welcome! // [In reply to] Can't Post


'But very bright were the stars upon the margin of the world, when at times the clouds about the West were drawn aside.'



Dec 1 2011, 12:43am

Post #8 of 15 (1520 views)
It still staggers me [In reply to] Can't Post

that the Royal Navy, in the middle of a desperate war, trying to train raw officer cadets as quickly as possible for rigorous convoy duty, felt it was necessary to teach them to appreciate Middle English poetry. "An officer and a gentleman", indeed!

Thank God Professor Tolkien was available to serve his country in this fashion, of course.

squire online:
RR Discussions: The Valaquenta, A Shortcut to Mushrooms, and Of Herbs and Stewed Rabbit
Lights! Action! Discuss on the Movie board!: 'A Journey in the Dark'. and 'Designing The Two Towers'.
Footeramas: The 3rd (and NOW the 4th too!) TORn Reading Room LotR Discussion; and "Tolkien would have LOVED it!"
squiretalk introduces the J.R.R. Tolkien Encyclopedia: A Reader's Diary

= Forum has no new posts. Forum needs no new posts.


Dec 1 2011, 3:12am

Post #9 of 15 (1509 views)
Well, Squire... [In reply to] Can't Post

You never know in the middle of a sea battle when a quote from 'Piers Plowman' would come in handy.

Please visit my new blog...The Dark Elf File...a slighty skewed journal of music and literary comment, fan-fiction and interminable essays.

Tol Eressea

Dec 1 2011, 1:07pm

Post #10 of 15 (1548 views)
Yes, [In reply to] Can't Post

- and CS Lewis did courses for RAF personnel too, I believe. In fact, I've just remembered reading somewhere or other that both men worked on courses for British P..O.W.S held captive in Germany. There was a government programme for this; darned if I can remember now where I read that.

Anyway; your comment about 'an officer and a gentleman' brings to mind Rayner Unwin, whose own studies at Oxford were interrupted by the war - much like those of Tolkien's son Christopher; but unlike CT, Rayner went into the Royal Navy. Rayner served as an officer, and he was a gentleman too. I met him several times over the years, at Oxonmoot and elsewhere. Usually at some table or other in the bookdealers' room. We'd chat about this and that; or rather, he'd talk and I'd listen. He used to call Tolkien 'the Old Man', a left-over from his Navy days, I expect; seamen would call their captain 'the Old Man'. Oddly enough, that's what Saruman's folk called Saruman- Sharkey; Sharku; Old Man. 'A sign of affection, possibly', said Saruman. But in the case of Rayner, it was truly affectionate. Smile Rayner said to me (ref. the Silmarillion) that he thought of it as a pearl necklace. JRR had made the pearls, but Christopher had provided the string.

I lked Rayner very much; he was very popular at Tolkien Society events. It was a great shock to us all when he died suddenly; I was among those who attended his memorial service, at London's Stationers' Hall. Rayner was an author himself; his last book 'George Allen & Unwin: A Remembrancer' is one of the essentials for a Tolkien biblionut like me. Shame it was published in such few numbers.

(This post was edited by geordie on Dec 1 2011, 1:09pm)

Tol Eressea

Dec 3 2011, 10:47am

Post #11 of 15 (1488 views)
Is there any way for a regular fan to have a look of it (or any of the new material sent by Christopher?) [In reply to] Can't Post

- there is more of JRR's material to be found in Tolkien Studies; off the top of my head, I remember his paper 'Chaucer as a Philologist: The Reeve's Tale' is in one volume or other - along with a delightful piece; Tolkien's rendition of 'The Reeve's tale', which he recited at a festival in Oxord called 'Summer Diversions', in 1939.

Some years ago Christina Scull asked me to look out a couple of newspaper accounts of this performance, and another one by Tolkien the year before (when he recited The Nonne's Preeste's Tale'), for inclusion in Scull and Hammond's 'The JRR Tolkien Companion and Guide'. I spent several happy hours among the back-numbers of the Oxford Mail and the Oxford Times, searching the microfiche for reports on each occassion.

As it happens, Tolkien's performances feature in reports for both festivals, (and note that his children's book The Hobbit is not mentioned in either report - in those days it seems to have been expected that readers of the Mail, and the Oxord Times, would know who tolkien was without being told. )

Anyway; in both reports we gain a vivid impression of JRR dressed as Chaucer, complete with false beard and dressed in fourteenth century robes and a liripipe, reciting Chaucer, as far as I can tell, from memory. That must have been an experience!

Mind you; the reporter took JRR to task for leaving out the 'rude bits' in 'The Reeve's Tale'. He reckoned it didn't say much for a modern Oxford audience if Tolkien felt he had to omit the saucier parts of Chaucer's prose. (horrible paraphrase, from memory).

So; for any regular fan who wishes to see more of Tolkien's work, made available by the kindnesses of Christopher, I recommend you look this up.

(This post was edited by geordie on Dec 3 2011, 10:49am)

Tol Eressea

Dec 3 2011, 11:03am

Post #12 of 15 (1563 views)
Some more of Tolkien's posthumous writings [In reply to] Can't Post

- while I'm at it, here's a few more examples of JRR's writings, compiled by CT, or by others at CT's request:

Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Pearl, and Sir Orfeo. Translated by J.R.R. Tolkien. London: George Allen & Unwin, [September] 1975. Pp. [3]-146, [1] pp.
ISBN 0-04-821035-8

Tree and Leaf, Smith of Wootton Major, "The Homecoming of Beorhtnoth, Beorthelm's Son". London: Unwin Books, [30 October] 1975. 175 pp.
ISBN 0-04-820015-8
Contains reprints of Tree and Leaf, Smith of Wootton Major (with Pauline Baynes' illustrations), and "The Homecoming of Beorhtnoth, Beorthelm's Son".

· The Old English Exodus. Text, translation, and commentary by J.R.R. Tolkien. Edited by Joan Turville-Petre. Oxford: At the Clarendon Press, 1981 [Published 28 January 1982]. x, 85 pp.
ISBN 0-19-811177-0

· Finn and Hengest: The Fragment and the Episode. Edited by Alan Bliss. London: George Allen & Unwin, 1982 [Published 20 January 1983]. xii, 180 pp.
ISBN 0-04-829003-3
The Monsters and the Critics and Other Essays. Edited by Christopher Tolkien. London: George Allen & Unwin, [3 March] 1983. [5], 240 pp.
ISBN 0-04-809019-0
Contains the following essays: "Beowulf: The Monsters and the Critics", "On Translating Beowulf", "Sir Gawain and the Green Knight", "On Fairy-Stories", "English and Welsh", "A Secret Vice", and "Valedictory Address to the University of Oxford

As you can guess, I've lifted it from elsewhere - a very good Tolkien bibliography page
(which unfortunately has not been updatedfor a while; but it's still vital for us biblionuts) -


And of course, CT has let us fans have a load more stuff; inc. editions of FGH and SWM edited by other hands - I can list them later, if anyone's interested; got to go now (I'm being taken out to lunch by by kids and grandson - nice!)


(This post was edited by geordie on Dec 3 2011, 11:04am)

Tol Eressea

Dec 3 2011, 8:02pm

Post #13 of 15 (1441 views)
Thank you! // [In reply to] Can't Post


<3 Gandy, Raddy, Sharkey, Ally & Pally <3

N.E. Brigand

Jan 30 2012, 11:32pm

Post #14 of 15 (1369 views)
We discussed the P.O.W. courses in 2009. [In reply to] Can't Post

See here.

Also, I wanted to note that this late 2011 discussion was the subject of further consideration at the blog of Christina Scull and Wayne Hammond (with squire expanding a little there on his remarks here).

Discuss Tolkien�s life and works in the Reading Room!
How to find old Reading Room discussions.

Tol Eressea

Jan 31 2012, 8:55pm

Post #15 of 15 (1453 views)
Ah, thanks for that.// [In reply to] Can't Post



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