Thursday, October 1, 2015

Tolkien links with Leeds in 2015

The Brotherton Library at the University of Leeds made the purchase of letters, poems and prose that will form the Gordon-Tolkien Collection held by the Brotherton Library.

            'They provide insight into the close friendship between Tolkien and Eric Gordon,
              who joined him in the English department at Leeds in 1922.'


Among the papers is a draft of a drinking song 'The Root of the Boot' (Sam's 'Troll Poem' from The Fellowship of the Ring). This was performed at the Whitelock's Ale House, Turk's Head Yard in Leeds back in March.

Tolkien Society Seminar 2015

The Tolkien Society's Seminar was held in Leeds this year; this annual event hosted by the TS consisted of a range of papers under the theme 'One Hundred Years of Middle-earth'.

Plans are ongoing for the 2016 Seminar which again will be held in Leeds.

The scheduling of the Seminar in early July coincides with  the International Medieval Congress
 held annually at the University of Leeds.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Tolkien, Professor of English Language

J.R.R Tolkien, University of Leeds
On the 1st Ocober 1924 J.R.R. Tolkien started the new academic year at the University of Leeds as Professor of English Language.

After his appointment as Reader in English Language in 1920, he had been given the responsibility for the linguistic teaching of the language side of the syllabus in the English Department.

When George Gordon left Leeds Tolkien was a candidate for the Leeds chair. In the event it went to Lascelles Abercrombie, however the Vice-Chancellor at Leeds promised Tolkien that a new Professorship of English Language would be created.

2015 Tolkien Society Seminar, 4th July
           The Hilton, Neville Street, Leeds

The Tolkien Society

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Happy Anniversary!

Well a year has passed since the Tolkien Society with the Leeds Civic Trust unveiled the plaque at 2 Darnley Road. It stirred quite an interest in Tolkien and Leeds.

             There was a bulletin from the University of Leeds 
                who also supported of the plaque. It includes a
                the portrait of Tolkien from the 1920s when he
                was a member of the English Faculty.
It was followed by a piece during the run-up to the release of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey referring to materials held at the Brotherton Library.
For today’s residents of West Park the Leodis Photographic Archive contains some period images of Darnley Road. These provide an insight to the opportunities that Tolkien saw for himself and his family at this time in their life. They had been living in St Marks Terrace (off Woodhouse Lane) for the best part of three years, though life so close to the city came with its own problems,  ‘chemicals in the air rotted the curtains within six months, and baby Michael was covered in smuts if he was left outside in his pram for any length of time; and Ronald found that he had to change his collar three times a day!’
The move to what were the ‘leafy suburbs’ of north Leeds must have been quite a prospect.
It still is, and today 2 Darnley Road stands as a lasting memorial to the development of Leeds and those who have come to live and work in this great city.

Ian Spittlehouse
The Tolkien Society

Monday, October 1, 2012

The plaque is here!

It has been a long journey to get here, but this morning the plaque was unveiled to an audience invited by the Tolkien Society, Leeds Civic Trust and the West Park Residents Association.

The plaque at 2 Darnley Road, West Park was unveiled by Dr Kersten Hall a visiting Fellow at the University of Leeds.

 It was an honour to attend such an event and my thanks go out to everyone who helped make it happen.

Leeds Book Club
The Leeds Civic Trust
University of Leeds

Headingley Lit Fest
                             with Ian left holding the bag heh heh ;-)
Middle-earth News
The One Ring . Net
Geek Syndicate
The Examiner
For other reports search: plaque tolkien

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Monday, September 24, 2012

The Final Countdown

The Tolkien Society is pleased to announce that the Leeds Civic Trust will be siting a blue plaque at 2 Darnley Road, West Park, Leeds. Dr Kersten Hall, graduate of St Anne’s College, Oxford and Visiting Fellow to the Faculty of Arts at the University of Leeds will unveil the plaque on the 1st of October 2012. Ian Spittlehouse, Trustee and the Tolkien Society’s liaison with the representatives of West Park and the Leeds Civic Trust said, ‘This is a timely recognition of Tolkien’s tenure in Leeds, and a welcome addition to Yorkshire’s influence on his academic and literary career.’ J.R.R. Tolkien, graduate of Exeter College, Oxford, was Reader in English language at the University of Leeds, his family moved to Leeds residing briefly at 5 Holly Bank, Headingley and then leasing a house in St Mark’s Terrace. In 1924 Tolkien bought the semi-detached property in Darnley Road. He went on to be made Professor of the English Language at the university. The family lived there for over a year before Tolkien’s election to the Rawlinson and Bosworth chair of Anglo-Saxon saw them return to Oxford in 1926. During his time at the University of Leeds Tolkien was instrumental in shaping the English Language syllabus at the university; some aspects of this were still present sixty years later. He also worked with E.V. Gordon to produce an edition of the Middle English poem Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, which was published in 1925. Tolkien’s time in Leeds prefaced his long academic career at Oxford and the publication of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. During his time in Leeds he was developing the story-teller’s art. He began writing The Father Christmas Letters, for his son, John, in 1920. In 1925 he composed a story for his second son, Michael, to explain the loss of a toy dog on the beach at Filey. This was eventually edited and published in 1998 as Roverandum. The plaque will be unveiled at 11:30am on the 1st October 2012 at 2 Darnley Road, West Park, Leeds.