TOLKIEN (J.R.R.) Tolkien's copy of Arthur Sidgwick's Introduction to Greek Prose Composition with Exercises (1902), used by him as a pupil at King Edward VI's Grammar School, Birmingham, and as an undergraduate at Exeter College, Oxford, inscribed with many youthful variants of his signature and accompanying dates, 1907-1911
Lot 241
TOLKIEN (J.R.R.) Tolkien's copy of Arthur Sidgwick's Introduction to Greek Prose Composition with Exercises (1902), used by him as a pupil at King Edward VI's Grammar School, Birmingham, and as an undergraduate at Exeter College, Oxford, inscribed with many youthful variants of his signature and accompanying dates, 1907-1911
Sold for £5,250 (US$ 8,953) inc. premium
Lot Details
TOLKIEN (J.R.R.)
Tolkien's copy of Arthur Sidgwick's Introduction to Greek Prose Composition with Exercises (1902), used by him as a pupil at King Edward VI's Grammar School, Birmingham, and as an undergraduate at Exeter College, Oxford, inscribed with many youthful variants of his signature and accompanying dates: the upper cover is inscribed by him with his name and below "Class II/ KEMS" (i.e. King Edward's Musical Society) with below the date "January 22. 1909"; on the inner upper cover with his calligraphic monogram foreshadowing his mature hand "e. coll:/ exon: oxon/ 1911" with below "tandem A.G. Cox e Coll. Vig. Oxon"; on the facing page are three signatures, two in a forerunner of his mature flourished style and one cursive, with dates marking his progression and class-ranking through King Edward's between September 1907 and January 1910, plus a note "K.E.M.S. Jan 1907"; reversed on the back fly-leaf he has drawn his enlarged flourished signature with a brush, publishers cloth, some wear consistent with class-room use, a few leaves towards the end loose, 8vo, Birmingham and Oxford, 1907-1911, sold as an association copy not subject to return

Footnotes

  • TOLKIEN THE PHILOLOGIST AT SCHOOL AND UNIVERSITY: 'Tolkien started to study Latin and Greek at age eleven, at King Edward's School in Birmingham, the backbone of whose curriculum was formed by both classical languages. The education he received in Classics was extensive, thorough, and intense; as a result of his proficiency in and command of both Greek and Latin, he was awarded an Open Classical Exhibition at Exeter College, Oxford. Furthermore, Ancient Greek was precisely the language that awakened Tolkien's appetite for devising invented tongues as an adolescent (Carpenter 36). Therefore, Tolkien's classical education was far from being sketchy or superficial, and it would be surprising if none of it were ever apparent in his subsequent writings. While it is true that Tolkien formally abandoned reading for Classics in 1913 and changed focus to English (Carpenter 63), he never truly left Greek and Latin literature behind. As time passed, without abandoning his love of Old English, Gothic, and Old Norse, he returned to the classical languages. Throughout his letters he continued to dispel notions that his only sources of inspiration were Northern ones and to make assurances about the influence of Classical literature on his work' (Miryam Librán-Moreno, 'Greek and Latin Amatory Motifs in Éowyn's Portrayal', Tolkien Studies, volume 4, 2007, p. 73).

    Scholarly attention has also been paid to the importance to Tolkien as narrator of the Greek Active and Middle Voices (the latter discussed by Sidgwick, pp. 89-92), for example by Jane Chance, Tolkien the Medievalist, 2003, pp. 6, 45 and 53; and of the Oratio Obliqua (Sidgwick, pp. 15-30). See illustration on preceding page.
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