Skip to main content

IMC 2015: Sessions

Session 699: Special Session: J. R. R. Tolkien at Leeds and in the Brotherton Library Special Collections

Tuesday 7 July 2015, 13.00-14.00

Introduction:Katy Thornton, Special Collections, Leeds University Library
Speaker:Alaric Hall, Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies, University of Helsinki

While more famously associated with Oxford University, J. R. R. Tolkien's first lectureship was at Leeds where, inter alia, he completed most of the work on his recently published translation of Beowulf. This talk draws on literary work published during Tolkien's time at Leeds held in Special Collections, along with recently acquired correspondence between Tolkien and Ida Gordon - medievalist, ex-student, and wife of Tolkien's friend and collaborator E. V. Gordon. It will explore how shaping a medieval syllabus at Leeds helped Tolkien develop his own literary endeavours.

Alaric Hall is a lecturer in the School of English at the University of Leeds. His research focuses on Britain and Scandinavia 500-1600. He is also working on medievalism, particularly in modern Icelandic culture.

Following the talk there will be an opportunity to observe the collection in more detail. Due to space restrictions this talk is limited to 30 participants, and admission will be on a first-come, first-served basis. Early arrival is therefore strongly recommended.

The Reading Room of Special Collections is open from 09.00-18.00 during the Congress week, and IMC delegates are welcome to pursue their research and explore the collection. More details can be found at