Tolkien grave

Taking a walk from a course at lunchtime I come across Wolvercote cemetary and little signs pointing to “J R R Tolkien, author”. So I follow them. And there he is, along with Edith aka Luthien (checking up on wiki I find that “Tolkien’s first civilian job after World War I was at the Oxford English Dictionary, where he worked mainly on the history and etymology of words of Germanic origin beginning with the letter W” – isn’t that cute. Just think what might have happened had he started on F, instead).

On the grave is a thick red book, which proves on inspection to be a copy of LORT in, probably, norwegian, though I couldn’t say for sure.

Comments

  1. #1 inel
    2007/10/30

    I hope you had time to pop into the Eagle and Child a little further south.

    BTW Tolkien would be turning in his grave if he saw how you spelled his name above ;-)

    [Sadly no F+F, we're too far out of town. I did get to the Trout, but they have ponced it up. I've corrected my spelling - oops -W]

  2. #2 Munin
    2007/10/31

    Lament to the dead King:

    From dark Dunharrow in the dim morning
    with thane and captain rode Thengel’s son:
    to Edoras he came, the ancient halls
    of the Mark-wardens mist-enshrouded;
    golden timbers were in gloom mantled.
    Farewell he bade to his free people,
    hearth and high-seat, and the hallowed places,
    where long he had feasted ere the light faded.
    Forth rode the king, fear behind him,
    fate before him. Fealty kept he;
    oaths he had taken, all fulfilled them.
    Forth rode Théoden. Five nights and days
    east and onward rode the Eorlingas
    through Folde and Fenmarch and the Firienwood,
    six thousand spears to Sunlending,
    Mundburg the mighty under Mindolluin,
    Sea-kings’ city in the South-kingdom
    foe-beleaguered, fire-encircled.
    Doom drove them on. Darkness took them,
    horse and horseman; hoofbeats afar
    sank into silence: so the songs tell us.

  3. #3 csrster
    2007/10/31

    “proves on inspection to be a copy of LORT in, probably, norwegian”

    I hope not since “lort” means “shit” in norwegian.

    [Oh great. This is also an excuse for me to say that the language could be elvish, anyway - lots of umlauts -W]

  4. #4 Tim Worstall
    2007/10/31

    Norwegian? Maybe Anglo Saxon (he was prof on Anglo Saxon, wasn’t he?) or possibly even Icelandic, which I think he also taught?

  5. #5 Magnus Westerstrand
    2007/10/31

    Could be Finnish which he was a fan of…

  6. #6 inel
    2007/10/31

    “ponced it up”? Good grief, what is the world coming to?

    My best guess is that the book you saw was written in Old Norse, which predates and differs from all the Nordic languages spoken now. Tolkien *loved* the ancient languages.

    Tolkien’s linguistic cellar is a treat: you can listen to samples, including Welsh, my heirloom tongue ;-)

  7. #7 Eli Rabett
    2007/11/01

    Rather fond of the Eagle and Child myself although the Wayne’s preferred the Lamb and Flag. Too bad about the Trout tho.

  8. #8 guthrie
    2007/11/01

    I would have thought that “ponced it up” was the mirror of “tarted it up”, a ponce being a man who lives off a prostitutes earnings.

  9. #9 SCM
    2007/11/02

    My fave was the Lamb and Flag – v. handy for the Science Area. It got many a student through their thesis and it was our favourite spot for proof-reading.

    The pubs round here in Melbourne (and indeed much of Australia) are shite in comparison. I miss the beer too :-(

    I had no idea Tolkein’s grave was in Wolvercote – I’ve got friends there so I’ll have to check it out next time I visit.