In 1999, the Tolkien Society seminar was held at Wolfson Court, Cambridge, on Saturday 12th June.
Proceedings now available at a cost of £5.50 (including UK postage) from:Tolkien Society Trading Ltd Malcolm Lindley, 8 Chantry Lane, WESTBURY, WILTS, UK, BA13 3BS
|Date||Event and Location|
|Friday 11th June evening:||
Innmoot at The Castle Inn, 38 Castle Street. The traditional pub stop, with good food and real ale.
|Saturday 12th June||
09.30 - 17.00: the Seminar at Wolfson Court, including coffee and tea breaks and a lunch of strawberries and salmon. (Not in that order.)
|Saturday 12th June, evening:||
A *Mead Tasting at the seminar room in Wolfson Court. A wide range
of meads for tasting in sensible quantities, with supplies of bread,
cheese and other food to sustain even the hungriest of hobbits.
|Sunday l3th June, 11.00- 16.00:||
The Puntmoot: a traditional CTS event, involving a voyage up the Granta in a flotilla of punts, a picnic lunch in Grantchester meadows, and return down-river to Cambridge. See the adventures of our gallant crews below ...
Report by Chris Crawshaw, slightly abridged from Amon Hen 158 and tampered with by the web staff.
"Saturday was wet as we converged on Wolfson Court, Cambridge, the venue for the seminar. The Seminar room was just large enough to house us all, but we could not latch the door from the inside. Hibernia became an excellent door balrog, sitting partly in front of the closed door to prevent it swinging open, keeping out much of the extraneous noise.
The morning session began with Alan Turner and his paper The Romans in Middle-earth: Classical precedents for Tolkien's early conception of mythology. His talk was interspersed with some well-timed comments from the elements. One clap of thunder in particular did make us wonder if someone else was trying to get a word in! After coffee, Andrew Wells, with a little help from Sarah, spoke on Beowulf, Maldon and Holy Maidenhood. The latter part of the title, he confessed, was more to gain our interest than supply the talk. There was some interesting input reported from students of Anglo Saxon who had taken up the subject after reading Tolkien.
This was followed by Madawc Williams with Reflections on Reflections on Fairy Stories. After the morning sessions, those who had paid in advance for lunch were treated to a mouth-watering meal of salmon and strawberries. The quality was excellent. (Those who left it too late were served boiled roadrunner and yoghurt by the college canteen, which saved them walking into town in the rain.)
David Doughan's fear that after such a good lunch we would all nod off during his paper England? Which England? was unfounded. His talk was lively and humorous and of course very interesting. Christine Davidson's paper Some English Myth-Makers: Success and failure prior to Tolkien complemented David's paper beautifully. After tea the final paper of the seminar, John Ellison's Tolkien's mythology of England: The Shire as local community rounded off a very informative and interesting session.
I have not attempted to describe the papers in detail as they will be published as a Peter Roe booklet before too long, we hope. Many of us met up again at Wolfson Court that evening for a mead-tasting which boasted (and toasted) around twelve varieties.
Sunday dawned dry and, later, very sunny. This was just as well as the day's activities included a Puntmoot and a picnic. Synchronised punting is quite a sight and I hope my photos will do it justice. The picnic was well catered with a good supply of bread, meats, cheeses, salads and drinks. The day was hot and still as we sat near the willow - thankfully, we were protected from this dangerous carnivorous arboreal species by a safety fence."
"Matthew Vernon and the Cambridge Tolkien Society are to be applauded for their hard work in organising the 1999 Tolkien Society Seminar. Now, who's going to do 2000? "