Inklings Forever Volume 8 A Collection of Essays Presented at the Joint Meeting of The Eighth Frances White Ewbank Article 13 Colloquium on C.S. Lewis & Friends and The C.S. Lewis & Society Conference

5-31-2012 The evelopmeD nt of J.R.R. Tolkien's Ideas on - stories Paul E. Michelson Huntington University

Follow this and additional works at: https://pillars.taylor.edu/inklings_forever Part of the English Language and Literature Commons, Commons, Philosophy Commons, and the Religion Commons

Recommended Citation Michelson, Paul E. (2012) "The eD velopment of J.R.R. Tolkien's Ideas on Fairy-stories," Inklings Forever: Vol. 8 , Article 13. Available at: https://pillars.taylor.edu/inklings_forever/vol8/iss1/13

This Essay is brought to you for free and open access by the Center for the Study of C.S. Lewis & Friends at Pillars at Taylor University. It has been accepted for inclusion in Inklings Forever by an authorized editor of Pillars at Taylor University. For more information, please contact [email protected].

INKLINGS FOREVER, Volume VIII A Collection of Essays Presented at the Joint Meeting of



The Development of J.R.R. Tolkien’s Ideas on Fairy-stories

Paul E. Michelson Huntington University

Michelson, Paul E. “The Development of J.R.R. Tolkien’s Ideas on Fairy-stories.” Inklings Forever 8 (2012) www.taylor.edu/cslewis


The Development of J.R.R. Tolkien’s Ideas on Fairy-storiesi

Paul E. Michelson Huntington University

I. INTRODUCTION College, in January 1938 following the publication of The . But when In 1938, J. R. R. Tolkien was asked the time came, "in lieu of a paper 'on' fairy on very short notice if he would give the stories", Tolkien read a revised and 1939 Andrew Lang Lecture at the expanded ("about 50% longer") version University of St Andrews in Scotland. of his story .iv Rather surprisingly (Tolkien was a The importance and significance notoriously slow and perfectionistic of the Lang lecture was clear to Tolkien as writer), he agreed and—motivated by the he looked back. It was "written," he told pressures of a deadline and a creative dry us in 1964, "in the same period (1938- spell as he labored over a potential sequel 39), when was to —he systematically beginning to unroll itself and to unfold elaborated his thoughts on Fairy-stories prospects of labour and exploration in yet for the first time. unknown country as daunting to me as to Tolkien had, of course, been the . At about that time we had thinking about and discussing "" reached , and I had then no more with his friend and colleague C. S. Lewis notion than they had of what was to for more than a decade, including an early become of or who Strider was; poem on ""—the and I had begun to despair of surviving to making of , written after a late night find out."v discussion with Lewis about the purpose The truth of the matter, as he of myth that was a crucial step in Lewis's wrote to his publisher in 1938, was that conversion to Christianity.ii However, in "The sequel to The Hobbit has Tolkien's thought, "myths" and "Fairy- remained where it stopped. It has stories" are different. As he was to point lost my favour and I have no idea out in the Lang lecture, Fairy-stories are what to do with it. For one thing "a new form, in which is become a the original Hobbit was never creator or sub-creator." Put another way, intended to have a sequel...I am since " is one of the functions of really very sorry: for my own sake the ...what is normal and has as well as yours I would like to become trite [is] seen suddenly from a produce something....I hope new angle: and...man becomes sub- inspiration and the will creator."iii return. It is not for lack of wooing Characteristically, Tolkien had that it holds aloof. But my wooing had an earlier opportunity to discuss the of late has been perforce subject when he was invited to give a lecture on Fairy-stories at Worcester

2 The Development of J.R.R. Tolkien’s Ideas on Fairy-stories · Paul E. Michelson

intermittent. The Muses do not like once as juvenilia; but if a glance at such half-heartedness."vi their contents show that will not do, then where are you? There is Part of the problem, Tolkien later what is called a 'marketing wrote to W. H. Auden, was that he had problem'. Uncles and aunts can be made the mistake of tailoring The Hobbit persuaded to buy Fairy Tales (when to children: "It was unhappily really classed as Juvenilia) for their meant, as far as I was conscious, as a nephews and nieces, or under the 'children's story', and as I had not learned pretence of it. But, alas, there is no sense then, and my children were not class Senilia from which nephews quite old enough to correct me, it has and nieces could choose books for some of the sillinesses of manner caught Uncles and Aunts with uncorrupted unthinkingly from the kind of stuff I had tastes."x had served me....I deeply regret them. So do intelligent children."vii Finally, and obviously, the Lang Thus, as he put it in yet another lecture was significant since it provided letter, the core for Tolkien's continuing interest in a subject that eventually appeared as "I had not freed myself from the his seminal essay " ." contemporary delusions about On Fairy-stories

'fairy-stories' and children. I had to think about it, however, before I II. THE ANDREW LANG LECTURE, gave an 'Andrew Lang' lecture at St ST ANDREWS UNIVERSITY, 1939

Andrews On Fairy-stories; and I The lecture was named for must say I think the result was Andrew Lang (1844-1912), the entirely beneficial to The Lord of the pioneering collector of twelve volumes of Rings, which was a practical the "colour " fairy tale books between demonstration of the view that I 1889 and 1910. St Andrews had expressed. It was not written 'for originally proposed Gilbert Murray for children', or for any kind of person the 1938-1939 lecture, Hugh Macmillan in particular, but for itself."viii for 1939-1940, and Tolkien for 1940- and Douglas 1941. Neither Murray nor Macmillan Anderson summarize: "The lecture On were able to give the 1938-1939 lecture, Fairy-stories came at a critical juncture in so in October 1938, Tolkien was asked if Tolkien's creative development. It he would step in. He agreed and on marked the transition between his two November 25, 1938, the appointments of best-known works, but it also functioned Tolkien (1938-1939), Murray (1939- as the bridge connecting them, facilitating 1940), and Macmillan (1940-1941) were the perceptible improvement in and announced. In February 1939, Tolkien treatment from one to the other."ix suggested March 8, 1939 as the date for Tolkien was also becoming quite the lecture, which was accepted.xi frustrated and more than a little peeved The lecture, delivered under the with being pigeon-holed as a "children's title "Fairy Stories,"xii raised three writer." questions: "What are Fairy-stories? "It remains a sad fact that What is their origin? What is the use of xiii adults writing fairy stories for them?" These questions were dealt adults are not popular with with in a magisterial sweep that could be publishers or booksellers. They said to have done for Fairy-stories what have to find a niche. To call their Tolkien's 1936 British Academy lecture works fairy-tales places them at

3 The Development of J.R.R. Tolkien’s Ideas on Fairy-stories · Paul E. Michelson

on "" did for the study of early anecdote that he wrote for a revision of .xiv the lecture, but wound up omitting in the After debunking the idea that 1947 essay: "I once received a salutary Fairy-stories are about beings of lesson. I was walking in a garden with a diminutive size, Tolkien's response to the small child....I said like a fool: "'Who lives first question was that Fairy-stories "are in that flower?' Sheer insincerity on my not generally 'stories about ', but part. 'No one,' replied the child. 'There about Faery—stories covering all of that are Stamens and a Pistil in there.' He land or country which holds many things would have liked to tell me more about it, beside 'fairies' (of any size), besides but my obvious and quite unnecessary or fays or dwarves, witches, or it surprise had shown too plainly that I was holds the sun the moon the sky the earth stupid so he did not bother and walked and us ourselves. (sic)" Indeed, if one away."xx looked at the collection of Fairy-stories In the lecture, Tolkien also gathered by Andrew Lang and his wife, identified the three faces of Fairy-stories Tolkien pointed out, "the stories about "the Mystical (towards God divine), the fairies are few (and the whole poor) but Magical (towards the world) and the [are mostly] about men women and Critical (towards man in laughter and children in the presence of the tears). Though the essential centre of marvellous. [sic]"xv fairy-story is the Magical, both of the This led Tolkien to suggest that "if other things may be present separately or we cannot define a fairy-story positively together."xxi we can do [it] negatively." He disqualified What is the use of Fairy-stories? travelers tales (such as Gulliver's Travels) Tolkien briefly responded: renewal and and beast (the Monkey's Heart), escape. With regard to the latter, he though he did not mention dream stories launched his now well-known idea that such as Alice in Wonderland, as he did in "to judge whether escape is good or bad, the 1947 revision.xvi weak or strong we must know from what As for the question of origins, we are escaping." This is not hard to Tolkien argued (with Dasent) that "we understand when one is trying to escape must be satisfied with the soup that is set from a prison.xxii There the lecture ended. before us and not desire to see the bones of the ox out of which it has been boiled," III. ESSAYS PRESENTED TO adding that "By the soup I mean the story CHARLES WILLIAMS, 1947 as it is now served to us and by the bones the analysis of its sources."xvii He could The usual procedure was for the not resist showing, however, that he was Lang Lecture to be published by Oxford fully aware of the history of such analyses University Press, but this appears to have and their deficiencies.xviii been prevented by the outbreak of the As for the third and final Second World War. The delay was question—the use of Fairy-stories— fortuitous since it led Tolkien to develop Tolkien affirmed that they were not and expand on his ideas connected with necessarily written for children, even Fairy-stories. In any case Tolkien seems though he agreed with Lang that "He who to have been revising the lecture since would enter into the Kingdom of Fairy 1943 for independent publication, should have the heart of a little child." principally by converting it into more of Tolkien qualified this by noting that "They an essay and less of a lecture and by may have children's hearts...but they have adding material that he could not include also heads."xix He illustrated the dangers in a brief lecture. xxiii of patronizing children with a personal

4 The Development of J.R.R. Tolkien’s Ideas on Fairy-stories · Paul E. Michelson

This resulted in the 1947 "I was deeply moved and had the appearance of Tolkien's revised study in peculiar emotion we all have— the C. S. Lewis-edited Essays Presented to though not often. It is quite unlike Charles Williams, xxiv a work intended any other sensation. And all of a originally as a festschrift for Williams as sudden I realized what it was: the he was ending his war-time refuge in very thing that I have been trying to Oxford and preparing to return to Oxford write about and explain—in that University Press's Amen House in fairy-story essay that I so much London. Williams' untimely death on wish you had read....For it I coined May 15, 1945 converted the tribute into a the word '': the memorial.xxv sudden happy turn in a story which Though Tolkien was later to pierces you with a joy that brings describe the 1947 essay as a publication tears (which I argued is the highest of the 1939 essay "with a little function of fairy-stories to enlargement,"xxvi it was considerably produce)....I concluded by saying expanded and modified. This owed in that the was the part, as Tolkien noted, to the fact that the greatest 'eucatastrophe' possible in lecture had been "a shorter form" of his the greatest Fairy Story....Of course presentation.xxvii Nevertheless, there I do not mean that the Gospels tell were important arguments in the 1947 what is only a fairy-story; but I do essay that were missing from the 1939 mean very strongly that they do tell lecture and its fragmentary ms. Several a fairy-story: the greatest....[In this] significant ideas—eucatastrophe, evange- you not only have that sudden lium, secondary world, secondary belief— glimpse of the truth...a glimpse that did not appear in the lecture, but found is actually a ray of light through the their way into the essay as Tolkien very chinks of the universe about developed his thoughts.xxviii us."xxxi Other concepts that were This was a major new mentioned in the lecture—such as the development of Tolkien's approach and faces of Fairy-stories, sub-creation,xxix was clearly articulated in the 1947 consolation, and the relationship of version of "On Fairy-stories." The fantasy to drama—were augmented in consolation of happy endings in Fairy- the essay. For example, in the essay, stories, touched upon briefly in the 1939 Tolkien lightly modified the "faces" of lecture,xxxii was now transformed from a Fairy-stories. His final formulation now merely "imaginative satisfaction of read "fairy-stories as a whole have three ancient desires" into the joy of the faces: the Mystical towards the evangelium.xxxiii Tolkien went so far as to ; the Magical towards claim that Nature; and the Mirror of scorn and pity towards man. The essential Face of "Almost would I venture to assert Faërie is the middle one, the Magical."xxx that all complete fairy-stories must The most prominent of the have it [the Consolation of the additions had to do with Tolkien's new ]. At least I would say ideas about Eucatastrophe and the that Tragedy is the true form of Supernatural element of Fairy-stories. drama, its highest function; but the Tolkien discussed this in a 1944 letter to opposite is true of Fairy-story.xxxiv his son, Christopher. He and his wife had Since we do not appear to possess a attended church where the priest spoke word that expresses this opposite— about : I will call it Eucatastrophe. The eucatastrophic tale is the true form

5 The Development of J.R.R. Tolkien’s Ideas on Fairy-stories · Paul E. Michelson

of the fairy-tale and its highest him...in the Elder Edda...is certainly function....It does not deny the just a fairy-story....If we could go existence of dyscatastrophe, of backwards in time, the fairy-story sorrow and failure: the possibility might be found to change in details, of these is necessary to the joy of or to give way to other tales. But deliverance; it denies (in the face of there would always be a 'fairy-tale' much evidence, if you will) as long as there was any Thórr. universal final defeat and in so far When the fairy-tale ceased, there is evangelium, giving a fleeting would be just thunder, which no glimpse of Joy, Joy beyond the walls human ear had yet heard."xxxviii of the world, poignant as grief."xxxv Much the same could be said about King In the end, "The Gospels contain a Arthur, who for us is historical, mythical, fairy-story, or a story of a larger kind and of Faërie simultaneously. xxxix which embraces all the essence of fairy- All of this is part of what Tolkien stories. They contain many marvels...and called the Pot of Soup, the Cauldron of among the marvels is the greatest and Story. The Cauldron contains all the most complete conceivable eucat- elements of story: history, myth, and astrophe. The Birth of Christ is the Fairy-story. Indeed, "History often eucatastrophe of Man's history. The resembles 'Myth,' because they are both Resurrection is the eucatastrophe of the ultimately of the same stuff....They have story of the Incarnation. This story been put into the Cauldron, where so begins and ends in joy."xxxvi many potent things lie simmering agelong The other major change as lecture on the fire..."xl became essay related to Faërie itself.xxxvii By 1947, Tolkien had become "An essential power of Faërie is," Tolkien even more convinced that Faërie could wrote, "...the power of making not be defined so much as experienced: immediately effective by the will the "Faërie cannot be caught in a net of visions of 'fantasy'....This aspect of words; for it is one of its qualities is to be 'mythology'—sub-creation, rather than indescribable, though not imperceptible. either representation or symbolic It has many ingredients, but analysis will interpretation of the beauties and terrors not necessarily discover the secret of the of the world—is, I think, too little whole."xli considered. Is that because it is seen But it can be caught in story. rather in Faërie than upon Olympus?" In Recall Sam Gamgee's query at a trying the 18th and 19th centuries, Faërie was moment in The Lord of the Rings: thought to be derived from Myth, and "I wonder if we shall ever be put was, therefore, a kind of "lower into songs or tales. We're in one, of mythology" as compared to "higher course; but I mean: put into words, mythology". As Myth dwindled down, "it you know, told by the fireside, or became folk-tales, , fairy- Märchen read out of a great big book with stories...." Tolkien responded: "That red and black letters, years and would seem to be the truth almost upside years afterward. And people will down." say: 'Let's hear about Frodo and the Tolkien illustrated this with Ring!' And they'll say: 'Yes, that's Thórr, who one of my favourite stories. Frodo "must...be reckoned a member of was very brave, wasn't he, dad?' the higher aristocracy of 'Yes, my boy, the famousest of The mythology: one of the rulers of the Hobbits, and that's saying a lot.'" world. Yet the tale that is told of

6 The Development of J.R.R. Tolkien’s Ideas on Fairy-stories · Paul E. Michelson

"'It's saying a lot too much,' said Unwin now proposed re-publication of Frodo, and he laughed, a long clear "On Fairy-stories" in 1964 as part of a laugh from his heart. Such a sound "new" book, entitled , which had not been heard in those places included revised versions of the Lang since came to Middle-earth. Lecture/essay and of Tolkien's quasi- To Sam suddenly it seemed as if all autobiographical , "Leaf by the stones were listening and the Niggle."xlvi tall rocks learning over them. But The changes between 1947 and Frodo did not hear them; he 1964 are carefully catalogued by Flieger laughed again."—even though he and Anderson, who identify "substantial realized "You and I, Sam , are still revisions to at least two passages, and a stuck in the worst places of the host of lesser revisions at the sentence story..."xlii level..." including the addition of subheadings that make the argument Tolkien's own summary of the easier to follow.xlvii The key changes essay? appear in the initial paragraphs of the "If adults are to read fairy-stories as essay, which are less diffident in tone, and a natural branch of literature...what where Faërie now appears prominently in are the values and functions of this the second sentence instead of several kind?...First of all: if written with pages later. Flieger and Anderson art, the prime value of fairy-stories attribute these changes to Tolkien's will simply be that value which, as increased confidence in his art and his literature, they share with other conception of Fairy-stories, showing "the literary forms. But fairy-stories ongoing development of his vision" while offer also, in a peculiar degree or making "the trajectory of Tolkien's , these things: Fantasy, thinking clear."xlviii Recovery, Escape, Consolation Tree and Leaf was followed by the [including the Eucatastrophe], all September 1966 American publication of things which children have, as a a mass market paperback book called The rule, less need than older people. Tolkien Reader, a rather obvious ploy to Most of them are nowadays very capitalize on the tidal wave of Tolkien's commonly considered to be bad for popularity, which was reaching tsunami anybody."xliii proportions especially in the United xlix The essay concludes with six States. Unfortunately, "the text [of 'On pages of significant notes which elaborate Fairy-stories'] is a poor one," Flieger and important points or add details that Anderson tell us, "with numerous typographical errors...that are not only Tolkien had to omit in the lecture. xliv incorrect but also misleading. There is no evidence that Tolkien undertook any IV. TREE AND LEAF (1964) revisions for this edition."l This is AND AFTER unfortunate, given that The Tolkien was and is still the most widely For many years, Essays Presented Reader available source for "On Fairy-stories." to Charles Williams was the only available of Tolkien's ideas on Fairy- One other major problem created stories. Much to Tolkien's annoyance, by by both Tree and Leaf and The Tolkien 1955 Oxford University Press had Reader was that juxtapositioning the "infuriatingly let it go out of print, though essay On Fairy-stories and "Leaf by it is now in demand—and my only copy Niggle" gave the false impression that the latter was a working out in fictional form has been stolen."xlv As a result, Allen and of the precepts of the former. This

7 The Development of J.R.R. Tolkien’s Ideas on Fairy-stories · Paul E. Michelson

"mythconception" was fostered by Wootton Major. This story was the Tolkien's "Introduction" to Tree and Leaf product of an unlikely chain of events, which blithely informed readers that beginning in 1964 with a request from a "Though one is an 'essay' and the other is publisher for a preface to a new edition of a 'story', they are related: by the symbol George MacDonald's The Golden Key. The of the Tree and Leaf, and by both touching project was eventually shelved, but the in different ways on what is called in the ms. of Tolkien's draft preface remains as essay 'sub-creation". Also they were does a note by Tolkien to Clyde Kilby written in the same period (1938- dealing with the MacDonald edition and 1939)..."li the genesis of the subsequent story. All of This is misleading at best because these were published by Verlyn Flieger in "" is an allegory and, as the 2005 Extended Edition of Smith of readers with Tolkien should Wootton Major.lvi know, allegory has no place in Faërie. Tolkien related to Kilby that he Tolkien made this plain in a 1957 letter: was glad in the end that the MacDonald "There is no '' or conscious project collapsed because his re-reading allegory in my story. Allegory...is wholly of MacDonald had reminded him of why foreign to my way of thinking." However, MacDonald "critically filled me with "That there is no allegory does not, of distaste."lvii However, as he worked on course, say there is no applicability. the preface, Tolkien "found it necessary to There always is."lii The real "example" deal with the term 'fairy'—always story was actually Tolkien's 1967 work necessary nowadays whether talking to Smith of Wooton Major, which he had children or adults..."lviii written between 1964 and 1967.liii Tolkien's draft was a condensed The third editionliv of "On Fairy- version of some of his key ideas On Fairy- stories" appeared in 1983, when stories and as such provides a convenient collected and edited terminus to this account of the several of Tolkien's essays under the title development of his ideas. "If a thing is The and The Critics.lv The only called a 'fairy tale', the first point to note changes were to correct editorial errors. is 'tale'," Tolkien wrote, defending the This was followed in 2008 with Verlyn legitimacy of Fairy-stories as a form of Flieger and Douglas A. Anderson's literature.lix He followed this by pointing Expanded edition with commentary and out how "fairy" was often "misused" to notes (London: HarperCollins, 2008). identify a story as "specially suitable for The text of Tolkien's now-classic essay children."lx follows the 1983 Christopher Tolkien Next, Tolkien noted that "fairy" edition. The volume also includes all of itself is often misunderstood. It was once the surviving manuscript materials a related to " " and extensive On Fairy-stories 'big word', including many notes and commentary. Unfortunately, marvellous things, but it has in the scholarly nature of this volume and ordinary use dwindled, so that I the fact that it was published only in suppose to many people 'fairy' now Great Britain and only in hardback, makes means first of all a little it unlikely that it will get the use it creature....But 'fairy tales' are not deserves. just stories in which imaginary The 1947 essay, as subsequently creatures of this kind appear. Many modified/edited, was not, however, do not mention them at all. In Tolkien's last word . Late On Fairy-stories many others where they do appear in life, he wrote a piece to illustrate his (such as The Golden Key) they are ideas On Fairy-stories called Smith of

8 The Development of J.R.R. Tolkien’s Ideas on Fairy-stories · Paul E. Michelson

not important....the truth is that a sequel to The Hobbit had been fruitless, fairy did not originally mean a as he told Auden, since he "was not 'creature' at all, small or large. It prepared to write a 'sequel', in the sense meant enchantment or magic, and of another children's story." Through the or country in Lang lecture, Tolkien came to see which marvellous people lived, "that the connexion in the modern great and small, with strange mind between children and 'fairy powers of mind and will for good stories' is false and accidental, and and evil. There all things were spoils the stories in themselves and wonderful: earth, water, air, and for children. I wanted to try and fire, and all living and growing write one that was not addressed to things, beasts and birds, and trees children at all (as such); also I and herbs were strange and wanted a large canvas. A lot of dangerous, for they had hidden labour was naturally involved, since powers and were more than they I had to make a linkage with The seemed to be to mortal eyes....The Hobbit; but still more with the Fairy Queen was not a queen background mythology That had to shaped like a little fairy, but the be re-written as well."lxiv Queen of Fairy, a great and dangerous person, however Once he had clarified in his mind the beautiful, Queen of the enchanted essentials of Fairy-stories in preparing world and all its people. A fairy tale the Lang Lecture, the road forward from is a tale about that world..." lxi Bree was opened up. In the process, Flieger and Tolkien's 1964 manuscript Anderson write, "Tolkien established concluded: "This could be put into a positive criteria by which fairy-stories— '' like this. There was once a and by extension his own developing kind cook, and he thought of making a cake for of —could be a children's party. his chief notion was evaluated." At the same time, "He built up that it must be very sweet, and he meant a working vocabulary for the craft of to cover it all over with sugar-icing..."lxii fantasy that could be used in its criticism, Though the ms. breaks off here, we all developing such terms as sub-creation, recognize that this story is an early draft Secondary World, Faërie, inner consistency of .lxiii of reality, Cauldron of Story, the Soup."lxv The story is noteworthy as a Finally, "The of 'On Fairy-stories' deliberate application by Tolkien of his from lecture to published and twice re- ideas concerning Fairy-stories and repays republished essay is an index of Tolkien's a thoughtful reading. If Tolkien's developing views and continuing publishers were interested in the further engagement with the subject."lxvi dissemination of Tolkien's revolution on The net result was to give Fairy-stories, it would be well if this story imaginative fantasy literature was combined with the essay on Fairy- respectability. It seems safe to say that far stories into a single mass market fewer people today think that Fairy- paperback. stories are primarily for children, that

escapism is always bad, and that adults V. CONCLUSIONS shouldn't be interested in fantasy

literature.lxvii At the same time, Tolkien's The Lang lecture and its further ideas about Faërie, sub-creation, and development were important in a number Eucatastrophe have developed a of ways. Tolkien's efforts to come up with

9 The Development of J.R.R. Tolkien’s Ideas on Fairy-stories · Paul E. Michelson

considerable degree of currency in a wide Notes reading and writing public.lxviii J. R. R. Tolkien was a master i In what follows, I will use "Fairy-stories" to storyteller. His Lord of the Rings was, as indicate what Tolkien is talking about, which C. S. Lewis put it, "like lightning from a was the final title of his work. He was not clear sky."lxix I think it is no exaggeration always consistent on what to call such stories, as will appear below in various quotations. to say that Tolkien's "On Fairy-stories" Flieger and Anderson's expert edition of J. R. was also like lightning, flashing over the R. Tolkien, On Fairy-stories, Expanded edition story-telling landscape and continuing to with commentary and notes edited by Verlyn have revolutionary potential for literary Flieger and Douglas A. Anderson (London: work of the present and future. At the HarperCollins, 2008), which publishes the same time, Tolkien warned us not to over "definitive" version of the now-classic essay analyze the subject: along with relevant manuscripts, was indispensable for the task that follows. "Faërie is a perilous land, and in it are pitfalls for the unwary and ii C. S. Lewis to Arthur Greeves, October 18, dungeons for the overbold....In that 1931, in C. S. Lewis, Collected Letters. Volume realm a man may, perhaps, count I: Family Letters, 1905-1931 edited by Walter himself fortunate to have Hooper (London: HarperCollins, 2000), pp. wandered, but its very richness and 975-977. See also , strangeness tie the tongue of a Tolkien. A Biography (Boston: Houghton traveller who would report them. Mifflin, 1977), pp. 146-148. "Mythopoeia" And while he is there it is was eventually published by Christopher Tolkien in J. R. R. Tolkien, Tree and Leaf, dangerous for him to ask too many second edition edited by Christopher Tolkien questions, lest the gates should be (London: Unwin Hyman, 1988), pp. 97-101. shut and the keys be lost."lxx For discussion, see and Wayne G. Hammond, The J. R. R. Tolkien Companion: Vol. II: Reader's Guide (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2006), pp. 620-622.

iii"Manuscript A," in Tolkien, On Fairy-stories, 2008, pp. 181, 192. Since Tolkien spoke and wrote of the realm of "Faërie", one wonders why he didn't call them "Faërie-stories". See Verlyn Flieger's note on Tolkien's "idiosyncratic" uses of "Fairy>Faëry> Fayery>Faery," in J. R. R. Tolkien, Smith of Wooton Major. Extended Edition edited by Verlyn Flieger (London: HarperCollins, 2005), p. 143. There are also a number of manuscript fragments dealing with Magic, Miracles, and Faëry that have been published by Flieger and Anderson in Tolkien, On Fairy-stories, 2008, including, "Manuscript B Miscellaneous Pages," pp. 252 ff., especially pp. 254-257, and 260 ff. These bear further examination, but this is outside of the scope of the present paper.

iv Carpenter, Tolkien, 1977, pp. 165-166; and J. R. R. Tolkien to C. A. Furth, Allen and Unwin, July 24, 1938, in J. R. R. Tolkien, The Letters of J. R. R. Tolkien selected and edited by

10 The Development of J.R.R. Tolkien’s Ideas on Fairy-stories · Paul E. Michelson

Humphrey Carpenter with the assistance of Reports on the 1939 Lecture," in Tolkien, On Christopher Tolkien (Boston: Houghton Fairy-stories, Expanded edition, 2008, pp. 173- Mifflin, 1981), pp. 38-39. The first version of 205, and pp. 159-169. Ms. A, which Flieger this tale had been rejected by Allen and Unwin and Anderson identify as the 1939 lecture text in 1937, but, because it eventually became written between December 1938 and March clear that Tolkien's "new" Hobbit would not 1939, is missing pp. 1-4 and a few pages at the be finished in the foreseeable future, his end, but they are reasonably certain that these publishers accepted the expanded story for "missing pages" were mostly "recycled" into publication. In the end, Farmer Giles did not Manuscript B, which was written between appear until 1949. For details, see Christina 1943 and 1945. See Flieger and Anderson, Scull and Wayne G. Hammond's "Manuscript B," in Tolkien, On Fairy-stories, "Introduction," to the 50th anniversary Expanded edition, 2008, pp. 173, 195-196. edition of J. R. R. Tolkien, Farmer Giles of Ham edited by Christina Scull and Wayne G. xiii "The St. Andrews Citizen, March, 1939," Hammond (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1999), reporting on the lecture changes the tense, pp. iii-xiii. reprinted in Tolkien, On Fairy-stories, Expanded edition, 2008, p. 165. The same v J. R. R. Tolkien, "Introductory Note," in his wording is used in "Manuscript B," in Tolkien, Tree and Leaf (London: George Allen and On Fairy-stories, Expanded edition, 2008, pp. Unwin, 1964), p. 5, also in his The Tolkien 207-208, possibly recycled from the lecture, Reader (New York: , 1966), and in the 1947 version. p. 31. xiv J. R. R. Tolkien, "Beowulf: The Monsters and vi J. R. R. Tolkien to C. A. Furth, July 24, 1938, in The Critics," reprinted in J. R. R. Tolkien, The Tolkien, Letters, 1981, pp. 38-39. Monsters and The Critics and Other Essays viiJ. R. R. Tolkien to W. H. Auden, June 7, 1955, edited by Christopher Tolkien (London: in Tolkien, Letters, 1981, p. 215. HarperCollins, 1983, paperback edition, 1997), pp. 5-48. Tolkien's essay was, writes viii J. R. R. Tolkien to Jane Neave, November 22, Michael D. C. Drout, "the single most 1961, in Tolkien, Letters, 1981, p. 310. important critical essay ever written about Beowulf..." in his "Introduction," to J. R. R. ixFlieger and Anderson, in Tolkien, On Fairy- Tolkien, edited by stories, Expanded edition, 2008, p. 15. Michael D. C. Drout (Tempe AR: Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, x"Manuscript B," in Tolkien, On Fairy-stories, 2002), p. 1. (This work publishes the Expanded edition, 2000, p. 249. This manuscripts from which Tolkien drew the manuscript dates from 1943, but portions of it Beowulf lecture, according to Christopher were "recycled" from his 1938-1939 notes. Tolkien. p. xv.) Interestingly, Tolkien had Judging from the context ("If there were more some pungent criticisms to make of time, I should like to speak more of modern "quarrying researchers" who see Beowulf as a fairy-stories..." is how the following paragraph source and not as something in itself. (pp. 6-7) begins), this was likely written for the original that are reflected in "Manuscript B," in 1939 lecture. Tolkien, On Fairy-stories, Expanded edition, 2008, p. 218, where he reproved scholars for xi Details in Verlyn Flieger and Douglas A. "studying the stories not for themselves, but Anderson, "The History of 'On Fairy-stories'," as a quarry from which to dig evidence or in Tolkien, On Fairy-stories, Expanded edition, information on other matters in which they 2008, pp. 123-125. are interested....So much so that they are apt to get off their own proper track..." These xiiThough only a partial draft manuscript for same strictures are reiterated in "On Fairy- the lecture remains, its basic ideas can be stories." gathered from what remains and from several local newspaper accounts, all conveniently reprinted in Flieger and Anderson's Expanded Edition: "Manuscript A," and "Contemporary

11 The Development of J.R.R. Tolkien’s Ideas on Fairy-stories · Paul E. Michelson

xv "Manuscript A," in Tolkien, On Fairy-stories, xxviTolkien, "Introduction," Tree and Leaf, Expanded edition, 2008, p. 176; and "The St. 1964, p. 5; and in , 1966, p. Andrews Citizen, March 1939," reprinted in 31. Tolkien, On Fairy-stories, Expanded edition, 2008, pp. 164-166. The punctuation of some xxviiTolkien, "Introduction," Tree and Leaf, of the manuscripts is rather haphazard. 1964, p. 5; and in The Tolkien Reader, 1966, p. 31. xvi "Manuscript A," in Tolkien, On Fairy-stories, Expanded edition, 2008, pp. 177-179; and xxviiiThe final version in Tolkien, "On Fairy- "The St. Andrews Citizen, March 1939, stories," in Tolkien, On Fairy-stories, Expanded reprinted in Tolkien, On Fairy-stories, edition, 2008, contains three mentions of Expanded edition, 2008, pp. 166-167. secondary worlds, pp. 52, 61-64, and 77, compared to none in 1939; and five on xvii"Manuscript A," in Tolkien, On Fairy-stories, secondary belief, pp. 52, 59, 61, 63, and 64, Expanded edition, 2008, p. 180. compared to none in 1939. On eucatastrophe and evangelium, see below. xviii "Manuscript A," in Tolkien, On Fairy- stories, Expanded edition, 2008, pp. 180-185. xxixThe final version in Tolkien, "On Fairy- stories," in Tolkien, On Fairy-stories, Expanded xix "Manuscript A," in Tolkien, On Fairy-stories, edition, 2008, pp. 42, 59, 78, includes three Expanded edition, 2008, pp. 185-188. mentions of sub-creation compared to two in the lecture, pp. 181, 192. xx "Manuscript B," in Tolkien, On Fairy-stories, Expanded edition, 2000, p. 248. xxx "Manuscript B," in Tolkien, On Fairy-stories, Expanded edition, 2000, p. 226; and Tolkien, xxi"Manuscript A," in Tolkien, On Fairy-stories, "On Fairy-stories," in Tolkien, On Fairy-stories, Expanded edition, 2008, p. 183. Expanded edition, 2008, p. 44. xxii"Manuscript A," in Tolkien, On Fairy-stories, xxxi J. R. R. Tolkien to Christopher Tolkien, Expanded edition, 2008, pp. 193-194; and November 7-8, 1944, in Tolkien, Letters, "The St. Andrews Citizen, March 1939," 1981, pp. 99-101. reprinted in Tolkien, On Fairy-stories, Expanded edition, 2008, pp. 167-168. xxxii "The Scotsman, March 9, 1939," in Tolkien, On Fairy-stories, Expanded edition, 2008, p. xxiiiFlieger and Anderson, in Tolkien, On Fairy- 131. stories, Expanded edition, 2008, pp. 131 ff. on this project. The draft is "Manuscript B," in xxxiiiTolkien, "On Fairy-stories," in Essays Tolkien, On Fairy-stories, Expanded edition, Presented to Williams, 1947, p. 81. 2008, pp. 206-299. xxxiv The mention of drama here is not xxiv(London: Oxford University Press, 1947), accidental and it required Tolkien to make xiv + 145 pp. another important change in the lecture through a significant expansion of his ideas on xxvLewis wrote: "We had hoped to offer the the relationship of fantasy and drama. See whole collection to Williams...when peace Flieger and Anderson, in Tolkien, On Fairy- would recall him from Oxford to London. stories, Expanded edition, 2008, pp. 138 ff., Death forestalled us; we now offer as a and Tolkien, "On Fairy-stories," in Essays memorial what had been devised as a Presented to Williams, 1947, pp. 69 ff. greeting." C.. S. Lewis, "Preface," in Essays Presented to Charles Williams, 1947, p. vi. A xxxv Tolkien, "On Fairy-stories," in Essays little confusingly, Lewis's own contribution Presented to Williams, 1947, p. 81. (pp. 90-105) was entitled "On Stories". It had originally been titled "Popular Romance." See C. S. Lewis to T. S. Eliot, May 17, 1945, in Lewis, Collected Letters, 2000, Vol. I, p. 650.

12 The Development of J.R.R. Tolkien’s Ideas on Fairy-stories · Paul E. Michelson

xxxviIn Manuscript B, in Tolkien, On Fairy- preface by Christopher Tolkien includes the stories, Expanded edition, 2008, p. 295, he early 1930s poem "Mythopoeia". added a comment later omitted in the 1947 essay: "Marvels: yes, but the story is true, xlvii Flieger and Anderson in Tolkien, On Fairy- therefore the marvels are true, occurring in stories, Expanded edition, 2008, pp. 147-148. history." The "substantive" changes are discussed on pp. 148-151; the others (some 20 in number) xxxviiWhat follows is from Tolkien, "On Fairy- are on pp. 151-155. stories," in Essays Presented to Williams, 1947, pp. 51-52. xlviii Flieger and Anderson in Tolkien, On Fairy- stories, Expanded edition, 2008, pp. 147-148. xxxviiiTolkien, "On Fairy-stories," in Essays Presented to Williams, 1947, p. 52. xlixDetails in Tolkien, On Fairy-stories, Expanded edition, 2008, p. 156. This volume xxxixTolkien, "On Fairy-stories," in Essays included the contents of Tree and Leaf, along Presented to Williams, 1947, p. 55. with "The Homecoming of Beorhtnoth Beorhthelm's Son," and "The Adventures of xlTolkien, "On Fairy-stories," in Essays . The Tolkien Reader is still in Presented to Williams, 1947, p. 56. print. xli Tolkien, "On Fairy-stories," in Essays lTolkien, On Fairy-stories, Expanded edition, Presented to Williams, 1947, pp. 42-43. 2008, p. 156. xliiJ. R. R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, 50th liTolkien, Tree and Leaf, 1964, p. 5; The Tolkien Anniversary Edition (New York: Houghton Reader, 1966, p. 31. Mifflin, 2004), pp. 712-713. liiJ. R. R. Tolkien to Herbert Shiro, November xliiiTolkien, "On Fairy-stories," in Essays 17, 1957, in Tolkien, Letters, 1981, p. 262. Presented to Williams, 1947, p. 66. For other comments on allegory, see Tolkien, Letters, 1981, pp. 41, 121, 145, 121, 220, and xliv "Notes," in Tolkien, "On Fairy-stories," in 246. Of course, like Fairy-stories, allegory is a Essays Presented to Williams, 1947, pp. 84 ff. branch of what Tolkien called the "Tree of Tales" or part of "the Cauldron of Story". xlvJ. R. R. Tolkien to Houghton Mifflin, June 30, Tolkien, On Fairy-stories, Expanded edition, 1955, in Tolkien, Letters, 1981, p. 220. The 2008, pp. 39, 46-47. quotation is from notes sent by Tolkien to Houghton Mifflin to deal with inquiries about liii J. R. R. Tolkien, Smith of Wooton Major. Tolkien's work, principally to correct errors Extended Edition edited by Verlyn Flieger about same. Ironically, Essays presented to (London: HarperCollins, 2005). See below. Charles Williams was reprinted in a paperback edition in early 1966 by Eerdmans in the livThe Flieger-Anderson Extended Edition United States. This edition was reproduces the 1983 text, adding only a photolithoprinted so the pagination is helpful paragraph numbering system. identical to the hardcover Oxford University Press edition. One alteration in the text is a lvSee the preface by Christopher Tolkien in J. change of the date of the Lang Lecture from R. R. Tolkien, The Monsters and The Critics and 1940 to 1938 (p. 38). Both are incorrect. Other Essays, edited by Christopher Tolkien (London: George Allen and Unwin, 1983), xlviJ. R. R. Tolkien, Tree and Leaf (London: paperback edition: London: HarperCollins, George Allen and Unwin, 1964), with an 1997), p. 3: for Tree and Leaf "some minor introductory note by Tolkien. A second alterations were made, and it is this later text edition, J. R. R. Tolkien, Tree and Leaf, second that is given here with the correction of some edition edited by Christopher Tolkien errors that go back to the 1964 reprinting." (London: Unwin Hyman, 1988), with a The essay is reprinted on pp. 109-161 of the collection.

13 The Development of J.R.R. Tolkien’s Ideas on Fairy-stories · Paul E. Michelson

lviSee Verlyn Flieger, "Afterword," to J. R. R. than 800 people gained admittance...." J. R. R. Tolkien, Smith of Wooton Major. Extended Tolkien to Michael George Tolkien, October Edition edited by Verlyn Flieger (London: 28, 1966, Letters, 1981, pp. 370-371; HarperCollins, 2005), pp. 59 ff. The Christina Scull and Wayne G. Hammond, The J. documents are published here as "'Genesis of R. R. Tolkien Companion: Vol. I: Chronology the story'. Tolkien's Note to Clyde Kilby," pp. (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2006), pp. 678- 69-70, and "Tolkien's draft introduction to 679. The Golden Key," pp. 71-75. Unhappily, this edition has become a rare book, apparently lxivJ. R. R. Tolkien to W. H. Auden, 7 June 1955, published in a very limited print run only in in Tolkien, Letters, 1981, p. 216. the UK and only in hardback. lxvFlieger and Anderson, in Tolkien, On Fairy- lvii"Tolkien's Note to Clyde Kilby," in Tolkien, stories, Expanded edition, 2008, p. 19. Smith of Wooton Major. Extended Edition, 2005, p. 69. The note was sent by Tolkien in lxviFlieger and Anderson in Tolkien, On Fairy- response to an interest expressed by Kilby in stories, Expanded edition, 2000, p. 128. December 1967 in buying the Smith manuscripts for the Wade Collection at lxvii A recent example is Arthur Krystal, "Easy Wheaton College. See pp. 135-136. Writers. Guilty pleasures without guilt," The New Yorker, May 28, 2012, pp. 81-84. lviii "Tolkien's Note to Clyde Kilby," in Tolkien, Smith of Wooton Major. Extended Edition, lxviiiSee T. A. Shippey, J. R. R. Tolkien. Author of 2005, p. 69. the Century (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2000), pp. vii ff. and also pp. 318-328. lix"Tolkien's introduction," in Tolkien, Smith of Wooton Major. Extended Edition, 2005, p. 73. lxixC. S. Lewis, "Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings," in his On Stories and Other Essays in Literature lx"Tolkien's introduction," in Tolkien, Smith of edited by [New York: Wooton Major. Extended Edition, 2005, p. 73. Harcourt, Brace, Jovanovich, 1982), p. 83. lxi"Tolkien's introduction," in Tolkien, Smith of Wooton Major. Extended Edition, 2005, pp. lxxTolkien, "On Fairy-stories," in Tolkien, On 73-74. Fairy-stories, Expanded edition, 2008, p. 27. lxii "Tolkien's introduction," in Tolkien, Smith of Wooton Major. Extended Edition, 2005, p. 74. lxiiiInterestingly, Tolkien recapitulated the history of his 1938 Worcester College lecture On Fairy-stories in 1966,when he was scheduled to give a lecture at Blackfriars in Oxford on October 26. He read instead Smith of Wootton Major (to an of over 800!). Tolkien late wrote "I did not warn you of my talk on Wednesday night. I thought you would be too busy. I did not give a talk in fact, but read a short story recently written and yet unpublished; and that you can read when you have time: Smith of Wootton Major: if I have not already inflicted on you. Though the title is intended to suggest an early Woodhouse [sic] or story in the B[oys'] O[wn] P[aper], it is of course nothing of the kind. The event astonished me altogether, and also the promoters of the series....I am told that more