Betsy Devine: Funny ha-ha and/or funny peculiar

Making trouble today for a better tomorrow…

Betsy Devine: Funny ha-ha and/or funny peculiar header image 4

Tolkien’s table, Merton College

June 1st, 2008 · 1 Comment

Tolkien’s table, Merton College

Originally uploaded by betsythedevine

Is this the table where JRR Tolkien wrote Lord of the Rings? Is it the setting he had in mind for Elrond’s conference where 4 hobbits, 2 men, and one each of wizard/elf/dwarf pledge their faith to a fellowship of the One Ring?

It may well be both of these, for it is a fine old stone table in the gardens of Merton College, one where (it is said) Tolkien would often sit outdoors writing on fine days like yesterday in the years after 1945, when he became Oxford’s Merton Professor of English language and literature.

Merton (founded in 1260 by Walter de Merton) has many lovely medieval spaces set among peaceful lawns and well-tended gardens. I would not be surprised in Tolkien’s vision of Lothlorien’s elegant retreat from a dangerous world owes something to his own experiences of life in this setting.

Tags: England · Heroes and funny folks · Wide wonderful world · writing

1 response so far ↓