Thomas Smith De recta et emendata linguae anglicae scriptione
Dialogus Halle a. d. S, Vienna Austria, 1913 First thus
Original brown wrappers, exterior soiled, rear panel separated,
mostly unopened with page edges unseparated and uncut. viii + 61
+ (6) + 44 + xxii pp.
In ballpoint pen, on front wrapper: "THOMAS SMITH / (1568)
/ De recta et emendata linguae / anglicause scriptione dialogus."
Tolkien added his calligraphic fountain pen signature, "JRR
Tolkien" below this, followed by, "from E.V. Gordon. /
April / 1933" adding his three-dot symbol beneath the date
. The fountain pen signature and note were written over an
earlier, faded signature and note in pencil, also in Tolkien’s
hand: "JRR Tolkien / From EVG / 1933/."
E(ric) V(alentine) Gordon was one of Tolkien’s good friends.
They met when Gordon was appointed as a junior lecturer to "the
language side of the English Department at Leeds" (J.R.R. Tolkien
- the Authorized Biography, Humphrey Carpenter, p. 104) in 1922.
"This small dark Canadian (who was unrelated to George Gordon)
had been a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford, and Tolkien had tutored him
during 1920" (104). Tolkien and Gordon collaborated on
"a new edition of the Middle English poem Sir Gawain and the
Green Knight, as there was none in print that was suitable for university
students. Tolkien was to be responsible for the text and glossary
while Gordon would provide the greater part of the notes" (105).
The translation was published by the Clarendon Press in 1925.
They also collaborated on "A Glossary of Middle English,"
and "helped to found the Viking Club amongst undergraduates,
which besides drinking, singing and reading sagas, translated nursery
rhymes into Anglo-Saxon" (The Tolkien Family Album, John and
Priscilla Tolkien, p. 47). Gordon passed away from an undiagnosed
kidney disorder in 1938.
Original wraps are protected with an archival sleeve.