TOLKIEN, WILLIAM MORRIS and EXETER COLLEGE. MORRIS (WILLIAM) Some Hints on Pattern Designing. A Lecture Delivered at the Working Men's College, London, on December 10, 1881, J.R.R. TOLKIEN'S COPY, 1899
Lot 355
TOLKIEN, WILLIAM MORRIS and EXETER COLLEGE
MORRIS (WILLIAM) Some Hints on Pattern Designing. A Lecture Delivered at the Working Men's College, London, on December 10, 1881, J.R.R. TOLKIEN'S COPY, Printed at the Chiswick Press with the Golden Type designed for the Kelmscott Press, for Longmans & Co., 1899
Sold for £3,500 (US$ 5,992) inc. premium
Lot Details
TOLKIEN, WILLIAM MORRIS and EXETER COLLEGE
MORRIS (WILLIAM) Some Hints on Pattern Designing. A Lecture Delivered at the Working Men's College, London, on December 10, 1881, J.R.R. TOLKIEN'S COPY, with his neat signature in ink on front free endpaper, publisher's linen-backed boards, unopened (conjoined blank leaf at end torn without loss), upper cover with gilt-stamped coat-of-arms of Exeter College Oxford, a little worn and stained, slight gouge to lower cover [PMM 576], 8vo, Printed at the Chiswick Press with the Golden Type designed for the Kelmscott Press, for Longmans & Co., 1899

Footnotes

  • A BOOK FROM TOLKIEN'S LIBRARY - AN EXETER COLLEGE PRIZE COPY LINKING TWO OF ITS BEST-KNOWN GRADUATES.

    William Morris died when Tolkien was just four years old, but Tolkien considered much of his literary work to have been inspired by an early reading of Morris. Both shared a passion for Old English, Norse and Germanic mythology, and Morris' reconstructions of early Germanic life in The House of the Wolfings and The Roots of the Mountains greatly influenced the young Tolkien, who attempted to retell the Finnish tale of Kullervo in the style of The House of the Wolfings. In his later fiction, Tolkien directly borrowed character and place names from Morris, including 'Gandolf' and the horse 'Silverfax' (who appear in The Well at the World's End), the 'Dead Marshes' and 'Mirkwood'.

    Tolkien was at Exeter College from 1911 to 1915, changing course from Classics to English Language and Literature half way through. In 1914 he was awarded the Skeat Prize for English and it is well recorded that he used his £5 prize money to buy J. Morris Jones' A Welsh Grammar, Historical and Comparative, 1913, together with Morris's The House of the Wolfings, The Life and Death of Jason and the Volsunga Saga. Tolkien later observed that he never won another prize, and if this is the case, the Exeter College gilt stamp would seem to indicate that this book represented part of the same Skeat prize, or was an unofficial presentation at some other date.
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