The new “Tolkien-Gordon Collection” at the University of Leeds focusses on Tolkien’s time at the University as well as his collaboration with E.V. Gordon, with whom he worked on Sir Gawain and the Green Knight.
The collection – now part of the University of Leeds Special Collections and bought with the support of the Brotherton Family, Friends of the National Libraries, and the V&A Purchase Fund – includes a copy of the rare Songs for the Philologists, a first edition of The Hobbit dedicated to Gordon, six letters and eleven manuscripts.
An early version of a poem “The Stone Troll”, known as “The Root of the Boot“, is also included in the collection has been recited by Tolkien fans in Leeds.
Dr Alaric Hall, Lecturer in Medieval Literature at Leeds’ School of English, said about the collection:
In Gordon, Tolkien found a kindred spirit as well as a colleague, one who shared his delight in the study of medieval philology. At Leeds they created the Viking Club, whose meetings were characterised by members singing drinking songs they’d written in Old English and Old Norse. Gordon maintained the group after Tolkien left for Oxford, whilst Tolkien continued to supply songs and poems, some of which are the manuscripts in this collection. The Old Norse Reading Group, a descendant of the Viking Club continues similar activities to this day.