Thursday, August 29, 2019

Raymond Edwards' footnotes

So, I shd add that quite apart from the quality of  Raymond Edwards' biography of JRRT, I only discovered as I was wrapping it up that he is a footnoter after my own heart.

In his account of Tolkien's early days as a writer, Edwards quotes G. B. Smith's comment that one of Tolkien's poems reminded him the woman who wore all her jewelry after breakfast. Then in Note 46 on Chapter 1 (page 301) Edwards points out that the quip is not original with Smith but had earlier been used "by the poet and critic Arthur Symons about the novelist George Meredith's verse." He then goes on to clarify:

"This Symons should not be confused with
the biographer A. J. A. .Symons (The Quest for Corvo),
brother to the crime writer Julian Symons,
nor any of them with the historian and homosexual
proselytizer John Addington (J. A.) Symonds.
All are roughly contemporary, which does not help."

This even outdoes the note in my Dunsany dissertation distinguishing E. Nesbit (Edith Bland)--the English writer and friend of Dunsany's who first published one of his important works-- from Evelyn Nesbit (the notorious femme fatale at the center of a lurid murder and subsequent scandalous trial).

I bow to the master.
-- JDR

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