“For ther as wont to walken was an elf”: Tolkien’s Recurrent Image of the Elf Maiden in the Wood

Jason Fisher - 2012
Theoretical ArticlesTheoretical Articles: A comprehensive knowledge of the works of J.R.R. Tolkien is needed to fully understand articles in this category, the subjects treated being studied in minute detail by their authors.
A paper for Tolkien Conference at The University of Vermont, Burlington, 13-15 April 2007.

Une traduction française de cet article a été publiée dans Tolkien 1892-2012, le numéro hors-série de L'Arc et le Heaume.

Tolkien 1892-2012

A french translation of this essay was published in Tolkien 1892-2012, a special issue of Tolkiendil's magazine, L'Arc et le Heaume.

Al was this land fulfild of fayerye.
The elf-queene, with hir joly compaignye,
Daunced ful ofte in many a grene mede.
– Chaucer, The Wife of Bath’s Tale, ll. 3-5
As he set foot upon the grass of the Vale he heard elven voices singing, and on a lawn beside a river bright with lilies he came upon many maidens dancing.1)
– Tolkien, Smith of Wootton Major

Introductory Remarks

Readers of Tolkien encounter many recurrent images and motifs – from Magic Rings to Hallowed Trees, from Hidden Doors to Holy Jewels – as well as many echoes, inversions, and transformations of these images. One particular recurrent image has always struck an espe-cially poignant chord with me: the image of the Elf Maiden in the Wood. Readers of The Silmarillion should remember this repeated image – in Elwë and Melian, Eöl and Aredhel, and most especially in Beren and Lúthien. A strikingly similar image occurs in the coda to The Lord of the Rings, in the moving Tale of Aragorn and Arwen. And we find it even in the allegory, Smith of Wootton Major, the last work published in Tolkien’s lifetime.

Clearly, the image was one of great primacy for Tolkien, and one that stayed with him throughout his entire life – from the composition of the Lost Tales, beginning in 1915, all the way to the writing of Smith some fifty years later. And it’s not terribly difficult to locate a biographical source right at the beginning. In his biography of Tolkien, Humphrey Carpenter writes about Tolkien’s nostalgic recollection of his wife’s singing and dancing in a hemlock wood in 1917, just as Lúthien would do in his legendarium.

But what about a literary source? Though a conflation of different sources is likely (and typical of Tolkien), I believe Chaucer’s Wife of Bath’s Tale offers the most likely model for the image of the Elf Maiden in the Wood, as we read in the tale that “The elf-queene, with hir joly compaignye, / Daunced ful ofte in many a grene mede2) – a very close echo of Tolkien’s recurrent motif. In my talk today, I’ll explore this precedent in detail, along with contemporary treatments of the same image in Gower’s Confessio Amantis and in the anonymous, and likely older, treatments of the Marriage of Sir Gawain. As I attempt to unravel the possible threads of connection between Tolkien and these late medieval sources, I’ll discuss how he transformed the image for his own use, and how it became situated in the larger and more personal context of the 1917 episode recounted by Carpenter.

The Recurrent Image of the Elf Maiden in the Wood

I’d like to begin with a closer look at the image that recurs so often throughout Tolkien’s works: the Elf Maiden – often alone, often dancing or singing – encountered by a mortal Man in a Wood. It’s an image so pervasive in Tolkien’s writings that I can only talk about a few instances today.

Clearly the most important of these images, its earliest prototype and the most central on the stage of Tolkien’s legendarium, is the meeting of Beren and Lúthien. If you’ll indulge me, I’d like to read just two or three stanzas in which Tolkien describes their meeting in verse:

The leaves were long, the grass was green,
The hemlock-umbels tall and fair,
And in the glade a light was seen
Of stars in shadow shimmering.
Tinúviel was dancing there
To music of a pipe unseen,
And light of stars was in her hair,
And in her raiment glimmering.
There Beren came from mountains cold,
And lost he wandered under leaves,
And where the Elven-river rolled
He walked alone and sorrowing.
He peered between the hemlock-leaves
And saw in wonder flowers of gold
Upon her mantle and her sleeves,
And her hair like shadow following.
As Beren looked into her eyes
Within the shadows of her hair,
The trembling starlight of the skies
He saw there mirrored shimmering.
Tinúviel the elven-fair,
Immortal maiden elven-wise,
About him cast her shadowy hair
And arms like silver glimmering.3)

We hear the story of Beren and Lúthien retold again and again in Tolkien’s work. The first version of the story, called The Tale of Tinúviel, was written in 19174) as one of the earli-est components of The Book of Lost Tales, in which many of the stories that would later comprise the published Silmarillion took their first forms. There were differences in this early conception of the tale – for one, Tinúviel was called a “fairy”, and Beren was originally an Elf, not a mortal Man – but by and large, the image of their meeting was the same from the very beginning. Tolkien continued writing the Lost Tales though the early 1920s, toward the end of which he rewrote The Tale of Tinúviel, erasing the earliest pencil draft and inking over it with his revisions – one of the first of many palimpsests Tolkien would leave behind.5)

Next, Tolkien cast the legend into verse form as the epic poem, The Lay of Leithian, begun in 1925 and abandoned in 1931.6) Like so many of Tolkien’s writings, the poem was never completed, though Tolkien did take it up again briefly during the 1950s, after having finally completed The Lord of the Rings.7) Then, beginning around 1930, Tolkien gradually developed the prose version most readers know from The Silmarillion from the raw material in his 1926 “Sketch of the Mythology” and from The Lay of Leithian.8)

The meeting of Beren and Lúthien also finds a place in The Lord of the Rings. While passing the night on Weathertop on their way to Rivendell, the Hobbits beg Aragorn to tell them a story “about the Elves before the fading time.”9) He complies, echoing the very same words of Vëannë in The Book of Lost Tales: “I will tell you the tale of Tinúviel.”10) What follows is one of the more beautiful poems in The Lord of the Rings, and yet another form in which the meeting of Beren and Lúthien is told – though incidentally, portions of this poem are much older than The Lord of the Rings itself, parts of it going all the way back to the beginning.11) Aragorn also offers a prose summary of the events related in the Quenta Silmarillion; but later, in the Hall of Fire in Rivendell, the Hobbits “heard told in full the lay of Beren and Lúthien and the winning of the Great Jewel.”12)

Even before turning to the many echoes of this image in Tolkien’s other tales, one is struck by its primacy. Why was this image of such importance to Tolkien, beginning in 1917 and returning to him again and again over the next five decades? At the beginning of my talk, I mentioned an episode from Tolkien’s own life, and therein lies the answer. As many of you may know, Tolkien married Edith Bratt in March, 1916, prior to his departure for France and the War. But after only six months in France, and plagued by chronic trench fever, Tolkien returned to England and was posted to Yorkshire. While there, convalescing from his illness, he began work on his mythology, writing The Fall of Gondolin, The Cottage of Lost Play, and the beginnings of other tales and poems. In the autumn of 1917, Edith gave birth to their first child, John, and Edith and John moved to the village of Roos, near which Tolkien was sta-tioned. Then, as Carpenter relates in Tolkien’s biography:

On days when he could get leave, [Tolkien] and Edith went for walks in the coun-tryside. Near Roos they found a small wood with an undergrowth of hemlock, and there they wandered […] She sang and danced for him in the wood, and from this came the story that was to be the centre of The Silmarillion: the tale of the mortal man Beren who loves the immortal elven-maid Lúthien Tinúviel, whom he first sees dancing among hemlock in a wood.13)

This was a key moment in Tolkien’s life and a vital part of the memories that tinged all of his fiction with a sense of nostalgia.14) Moreover, we have Tolkien’s own words, from a touching letter he wrote to his son, Christopher, after Edith’s death in 1971, in which he recalls the epi-sode vividly, despite the fog of more than fifty years:

[S]he was (and knew she was) my Lúthien […] Yet I hope none of my children will feel that the use of this name is a sentimental fancy […] I never called Edith Lúthien – but she was the source of the story that in time became the chief part of the Silmarillion. It was first conceived in a small woodland glade filled with hemlocks at Roos in Yorkshire […]. In those days her hair was raven, her skin clear, her eyes brighter than you have seen them, and she could sing – and dance. But the story has gone crooked, & I am left, and I cannot plead before the inexorable Mandos.15)

I’d like to turn now to some of the other occurrences of this image of a mortal Man meeting an Elf Maiden in a Wood. The prototype, the meeting of Beren and Lúthien, was cer-tainly the most important, but its importance is highlighted all the more by its many echoes in Tolkien’s other tales. In The Silmarillion, we find several similar encounters, as when Elwë meets Melian in the forest of Nan Elmoth. Elwë was an Elf, not a mortal Man, but Melian, being a Maia, nevertheless represented a higher spirit for whom he would feel a natural rever-ence. In a telling detail, when the enchantment of love first falls on Elwë, it is heralded by the “song of nightingales.”16) Note that the name, Tinúviel, is a poetic word for nightingale in Tolkien’s invented language, Sindarin. And of course, the connection between Lúthien Tinúviel and Melian is a natural one, as Lúthien was Melian and Thingol’s daughter. In this way, the meeting of Elwë and Melian prefigures that of Beren and Lúthien in the chronology of The Silmarillion. Later in the Quenta, in a rather sinister inversion of the image, Eöl the Dark Elf would ensnare Aredhel, the daughter of Fingolfin, in the same wood of Nan Elmoth. And in another echoing image, Túrin Turambar chances on Nienor in Brethil – they were not Elves, they were in fact brother and sister, and their tale is among the most tragic in all The Silmarillion.

In the supplementary material accompanying The Lord of the Rings, we find another echo in The Tale of Aragorn and Arwen, which Tolkien himself called “the most important of the Appendices.”17) There we read of the first meeting of Aragorn and Arwen:

The next day at the hour of sunset Aragorn walked alone in the woods, […] and he sang, for he was full of hope and the world was fair. And suddenly even as he sang he saw a maiden walking on a greensward among the white stems of the birches; and he halted amazed, thinking that he had strayed into a dream, […].
For Aragorn had been singing a part of the Lay of Lúthien which tells of the meeting of Lúthien and Beren in the forest of Neldoreth. And behold! there Lúthien walked before his eyes in Rivendell, clad in a mantle of silver and blue, fair as the twilight in Elven-home; her dark hair strayed in a sudden wind, and her brows were bound with gems like stars.
For a moment Aragorn gazed in silence, but fearing that she would pass away and never be seen again, he called to her crying, Tinúviel, Tinúviel! even as Beren had done in the Elder Days long ago.18)

For my final example, I’d like to turn to Tolkien’s last published work, Smith of Wootton Major. Here again, we see the image of the Elf Maiden in the Wood, but this time, we’re no longer in Middle-earth; we’re now in Faery, and the Elf Maiden is the Queen of Faery, up-on whom Smith chances while wandering away from home. Tolkien describes this encounter:

As he set foot upon the grass of the Vale he heard elven voices singing, and on a lawn beside a river bright with lilies he came upon many maidens dancing. The speed and the grace and the ever-changing modes of their movements enchanted him, and he stepped forward towards their ring. Then suddenly they stood still, and a young maiden with flowing hair and kilted skirt came out to meet him […] [S]he smiled as she spoke […]: “Come! Now that you are here you shall dance with me”; and she took his hand and led him into the ring.
There they danced together, and for a while he knew what it was to have the swiftness and the power and the joy to accompany her. For a while.19)

And in this image from Smith of Wootton Major we find a close echo of an image in Geoffrey Chaucer, so I’d like to turn now to the question of sources.

Sourcing Tolkien's Image: Chaucer, Gower, and Gawain

There are many possible sources for Tolkien’s Elf Maiden motif – indeed the image is surely bound up in the entire “elvish tradition” in Celtic and Germanic literature. But of course, some sources are likelier than others – either because of Tolkien’s special fondness for them or because of the close similarity of the image. As I hinted earlier, we find probably the nearest analogue in Geoffrey Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, specifically in The Wife of Bath’s Tale. There, we read about a knight of King Arthur’s court who chances to encounter Elves on his travels. Chaucer writes:

And in his wey it happed hym to ryde,
In al this care, under a forest syde,
Wher as he saugh upon a daunce go
Of ladyes foure and twenty, and yet mo;
Toward the whiche daunce he drow ful yerne,
In hope that som wysdom sholde he lerne.
But certeinly, er he cam fully there,
Vanysshed was this daunce, he nyste where.20)

This is almost a direct echo of the passage I read from Smith, with the exception of the vanish-ing, which is rather more like Lúthien’s fleeing from Beren. It also echoes an episode from The Hobbit, in which the Dwarves and Bilbo come upon the disappearing revels of the Woodland Elves. But returning to Smith and the Land of Faery, Verlyn Flieger points out that “[i]n some early drafts of Smith [Tolkien] used a modified Middle English spelling, “Fayery”, close to that used by Chaucer in the Wyfe of Bath’s Tale […] His final spelling of the word in Smith simply dropped Chaucer’s middle y and final e and simplified it to Faery.”21)

Continuing to search the literature of the late Middle Ages, we find a strikingly similar tale in the works of John Gower, in his Confessio Amantis, specifically in The Tale of Florent, in Book I. But although Gower’s version of the tale is similar enough to Chaucer’s as to be immediately recognizable, it bears less resemblance to Tolkien’s. Most especially, there are no Elves in Gower’s tale. Both describe a sylvan encounter with a “lothly wommannysch figure;”22) however, in Gower’s tale, the beautiful young woman is old and ugly because of a stepmother’s curse; whereas, in The Wife of Bath’s Tale,

Chaucer has left out the stepmother and her bewitchment, and saves, humbles, and rewards the young knight by the agency of a good fairy; for the ugly old woman is evidently such by her own will and for her own purposes.23)

But Tolkien knew Gower, just as he knew Chaucer. In his seminal essay, “On Fairy-stories,” he alludes to Gower’s use of the word “faierie” – which occurs in Book II of the Confessio. We also know that Tolkien was reading Gower in 1939, around the same time he was preparing to impersonate Chaucer for a “Summer Diversion”, in which he performed se-lections from The Canterbury Tales in the original Middle English.24) Clearly, both authors were in his mind at the same time, and this was probably not the only nor even the first such occasion. There are also excerpts from Gower in Kenneth Sisam’s Fourteenth Century Verse and Prose, for which Tolkien prepared the Glossary in the early 1920s.25)

As has been shown,26) Chaucer and Gower probably derived their respective tales from a common source, the traditional Marriage of Sir Gawain. This ballad, while not directly re-lated to the Middle English Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, is nevertheless a part of the larger “Gawain tradition”, with which Tolkien was very familiar. More specifically, there’s ample evidence that Tolkien knew the famous collection, Child’s Ballads27), which includes the text of and a commentary on The Marriage of Sir Gawain. Tom Shippey observes that Tolkien “respected the English and Scottish Popular Ballads collected by F.J. Child as being […] the last living relic of Northern tradition,”28) and he notes that “[p]articularly vital […] are the philological introductions to each ballad,”29) which would undoubtedly have interested Tolkien greatly. Putting all this together, we can be reasonably sure Tolkien knew the Gawain ballad. As an antecedent for both Chaucer and Gower, the poem might well have fertilized the leaf-mould of Tolkien’s mind, even though the similarities to his own image of the Elf Maiden in the Wood are much less pronounced than those we saw in Chaucer. But like The Wife of Bath’s Tale and The Tale of Florent, The Marriage of Sir Gawain presents the story of the “loathly lady,” a woman transformed by magic into the appearance of an old hag who is sud-denly restored to youth and beauty when Sir Gawain (like Tolkien’s Smith) makes the more selfless choice.

From 'Loathly Lady' to 'Elven-Fair ... Immortal Maiden': How Tolkien Transformed a Tradition

All the sources I’ve spoken about have the motif of the “loathly lady” in common, and Chau-cer’s version, moreover, associated the motif with Elves and Fairies. But Tolkien’s own Elves and Fairies are far from “loathly”; indeed, they’re preternaturally young and beautiful. So if we’re going to take Chaucer, and to a lesser extent Gower and Gawain, as a source for his im-age of the Elf Maiden in the Wood, then what are we to make of this fundamental shift of ugliness to beauty in Tolkien?

Much of the Elf tradition in medieval Germanic and Celtic literature painted Elves in rather a negative light, blaming them for blights, deaths, diseases, disappearances, and all manner of other unexplained and dreadful events. Elves were therefore terrible, dangerous creatures, to be avoided and feared. Yet they were also strangely attractive, mysterious, and alluring. Shippey explains that “[p]eople did not know where to place themselves between the polarities of good and evil,” and offers a number of examples of these early attitudes.30)

But Tolkien felt these impressions weren’t quite accurate. Elves were terrible, in the older, more proper sense of striking awe in the mortals who chanced upon them, and they could be dangerous, yes, but Tolkien did not believe they were evil. Tolkien held that Elves were not to be trifled with by mere mortals, that meddling or mingling with them could be perilous, but that it need not always be.

We see an example of this in the treatment of Galadriel in The Lord of the Rings. When Faramir ventures to call her “perilously fair,” Sam replies:

“I don’t know about perilous […]But perhaps you could call her perilous, because she’s so strong in herself. You, you could dash yourself to pieces on her, like a ship on a rock; or drownd yourself, like a hobbit in a river. But neither rock nor river would be to blame.”31)

Even the land of Lothlórien – essentially, the Land of Faery directly transplanted into Middle-earth32) – shares in this misattribution of peril. Boromir calls “the Golden Wood” a “perilous land” where “few come out who once go in; and of those few none have escaped un-scathed.”33) To this, Aragorn replies that Lothlórien is “[p]erilous indeed […] fair and perilous; but only evil need fear it, or those who bring some evil with them.”34) Likewise, Éomer expresses misgivings about Lothlórien and Galadriel, saying, “[t]hen there is a Lady in the Golden Wood, as old tales tell! […] Few escape her nets, they say.”35)

Yet for the Fellowship, and therefore for us as readers, Galadriel is one of the most beneficent and beautiful characters in The Lord of the Rings. Had Tolkien’s tale been a medi-eval ballad, sung by prejudiced mortals like Boromir and Éomer, Galadriel might have been transformed into a “loathly lady” herself, to be feared and shunned. But in Tolkien’s telling, Galadriel is certainly formidable, but she’s far from loathly – at least, to those who actually meet her.

In fact, there may be connection – though arguably, a tenuous one – between the “loathly lady” tradition and the character of Galadriel. In early drafts of the chapters set in Lothlórien, published in The Treason of Isengard, Tolkien actually uses the word “loathly” during the gift-giving scene. Speaking to Trotter, who would go on to become Aragorn, Galadriel says:

‘Elfstone is your name, Eldamir in the language of your fathers of old, and it is a fair name. I will add this gift of my own to match it. […] All growing things that you look at through this [gem], […] you will see as they were in their youth and in their spring. It is a gift that blends joy and sorrow; yet many things that now appear loathly shall seem otherwise to you hereafter.’36)

In this passage, it sounds – to my ears, at least – as if Tolkien were toying with the motif of the “loathly lady,” and warning that perceived old age and ugliness may be mere appearance, that the Elfstone may reveal the true youth and beauty hiding behind a “loathly” exterior. But Tolkien rejected the passage during his protracted revisions, and the only use of “loathly” which survives in the published Lord of the Rings refers to Shelob37) – a “loathly lady” if ever there were one!

Concluding Remarks

Since my time today is limited, rather than offer a lengthy and essentially redundant conclusion, I’d rather close with a final echo of the image I’ve been talking about. Let’s return for a moment to The Tale of Aragorn and Arwen. Many years after the War of the Ring, in the Fourth Age of Middle-earth, Aragorn, being a mortal Man, must finally depart the Circles of the World, and Arwen, having made the same choice as did Lúthien in the First Age, must die as well. In a poignant echo of the image of the Elf Maiden in the Wood, Tolkien writes that Arwen

went out from the city of Minas Tirith and passed away to the land of Lórien, and dwelt there alone under the fading trees until winter came. Galadriel had passed away and Celeborn also was gone, and the land was silent.
There at last when the mallorn-leaves were falling, but spring had not yet come, she laid herself to rest upon Cerin Amroth; and there is her green grave, until the world is changed, and all the days of her life are utterly forgotten by men that come after, and elanor and niphredil bloom no more east of the Sea.38)

Thank you.

Works Cited and Recommended Reading

  • Carpenter, Humphrey. Tolkien: A Biography. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1977.
  • Chaucer, Geoffrey. Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales (Selected): An Interlinear Translation. Ed. Vincent F. Hopper. Great Neck (NY): Barron’s Educational Series, 1948.
  • Child, Francis James. The English and Scottish Popular Ballads: Part I. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1882.
  • ———. The English and Scottish Popular Ballads: Part II. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1882.
  • Drout, Michael D.C., ed. The J.R.R. Tolkien Encyclopedia: Scholarship and Critical Assessment. New York: Routledge, 2007.
  • Fisher, Jason. “Mythology for English.” Drout. 445-7.
  • Garth, John. Tolkien and the Great War: The Threshold of Middle-earth. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2003.
  • Gower, John. The Complete Works of John Gower. Ed. G.C. Macaulay. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1901.
  • Johnson, Judith A. J.R.R. Tolkien: Six Decades of Criticism. Westport (CT): Greenwood Press, 1986.
  • Keightley, Thomas. The Fairy Mythology, Volume I. London: William Harrison Ainsworth, 1828.
  • Kilby, Clyde. Tolkien and the Silmarillion.
  • Lobdell, Jared. The World of the Rings: Language, Religion, and Adventure in Tolkien. Chicago: Open Court, 2004.
  • Salu, Mary and Robert T. Farrell, eds. J.R.R. Tolkien, Scholar and Storyteller: Essays in Memoriam. Ithaca (NY): Cornell University Press, 1979.
  • Scull, Christina and Wayne G. Hammond. The J.R.R. Tolkien Companion and Guide: Chronology. Boston: Hough-ton Mifflin, 2006.
  • ———. The J.R.R. Tolkien Companion and Guide: Reader’s Guide. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2006.
  • Shippey, Tom. J.R.R. Tolkien: Author of the Century. London: HarperCollins, 2000.
  • ———. “Poems by Tolkien: Uncollected.” Drout. 532-5.
  • ———. The Road to Middle-earth. 3rd rev. ed. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2003.
  • Sisam, Kenneth. Fourteenth Century Verse and Prose. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1921.
  • Tolkien, J.R.R. The Book of Lost Tales Part One. Ed. Christopher Tolkien. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1984.
  • ———. The Book of Lost Tales Part Two. Ed. Christopher Tolkien. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1984.
  • ———. “Chaucer as a Philologist: The Reeve’s Tale.” Transactions of the Philological Society (1934): 1-70.
  • ———. “The Devil’s Coach-horses.” Review of English Studies 1 (1925): 331-36.
  • ———. The Fellowship of the Ring. 2nd ed. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1965.
  • ———. The Hobbit. 2nd ed. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1966.
  • ———. “The Lay of Aotrou and Itroun.” Welsh Review 4:4 (1945): [254]-266.
  • ———. The Lays of Beleriand. Ed. Christopher Tolkien. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1985.
  • ———. Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien. Ed. Humphrey Carpenter. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1981.
  • ———. The Lost Road and Other Writings: Language and Legend before ‘The Lord of the Rings’. Ed. Christo-pher Tolkien. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1987.
  • ———. “Middle English ‘Losenger’: Sketch of an Etymological and Semantic Enquiry.” Essais de Philologie Moderne (1951). Paris: Les Belles Lettres, 1953: [63]-76.
  • ———. The Monsters and the Critics and Other Essays. London: George Allen and Unwin, 1983.
  • ———. The Return of the King. 2nd ed. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1965.
  • ———. The Return of the Shadow.
  • ———. The Silmarillion. Ed. Christopher Tolkien. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1977.
  • ———. The Shaping of Middle-earth: The Quenta, the Ambarkanta, and the Annals. Ed. Christopher Tolkien. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1986.
  • ———. Smith of Wootton Major. Extended ed. Ed. Verlyn Flieger. London: HarperCollins, 2005.
  • ———. The Treason of Isengard.

On Tolkiendil

1) Tolkien Smith 31
2) , 20) Chaucer Wife of Bath’s Tale ll
3) , 18) , 31) , 33) , 34) , 35) , 38) Tolkien Lord of the Rings
4) Tolkien Lost Tales II 3
5) Tolkien Lost Tales I 203-4, Lost Tales II 3
6) Tolkien Lays of Beleriand 150
7) Tolkien Lays of Beleriand 330
8) For the meeting of Beren and Lúthien in the “Sketch of the Mythology,” see Tolkien Shaping of Middle-earth 24-26; for the earliest prose version in the Qenta Noldorinwa, ibid. 109-16. For the more familiar version of the Quenta Silmarillion, see Tolkien Lost Road 292-307.
9) Tolkien Lord of the Rings 191
10) Tolkien Lost Tales II 6, Lord of the Rings 191
11) Tolkien Return of the Shadow 179-82, and see the note in Tolkien Letters 420
12) Tolkien Lord of the Rings 277
13) Carpenter 97
14) Clyde Kilby, Christina Scull and Wayne Hammond, and John Garth all describe the same experience in their biographical works, and interested readers may turn to their descriptions in addition to Carpenter’s.
15) Tolkien Letters 420
16) Tolkien Silmarillion
17) Tolkien Letters 237
19) Tolkien Smith 31-3
21) Tolkien Smith 143
22) Gower 77; Chaucer describes her thus: “A fouler wight ther may no man devyse” Chaucer ll
23) Child Ballads II 292
24) See Scull and Hammond Chronology 228
25) See Sisam
26) See Child Ballads II 291, Gower 472-3
27) Scull and Hammond Reader’s Guide 487
28) Shippey Road to Middle-earth 278-9
29) Ibid., 347
30) Shippey Road to Middle-earth 58-9
32) One recalls Chaucer’s line, “Al was this land fulfild of fayerye.
36) Tolkien Treason of Isengard 276
37) Tolkien Lord of the Rings. “Loathly” does occur in a few other places among Tolkien’s manuscripts (e.g., in drafts of Music of the Ainur, Túrin and the Foalókë, etc.), but these usages are profoundly negative and seem to have little to do with the “loathly lady” tradition. There’s also the Loathly Land (see the Etymologies under DYEL-), and the Loathly Tower > Minas Morgul.
essais/tolkien_1892-2012/jason_fisher.txt · Dernière modification: 06/04/2020 18:47 (modification externe)
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