Monday, January 18, 2010

The Green Dragon

So, I was v. interested to read, in the newest issue of BEYOND BREE, a paragraph by David Bratman in which he reports his discovery that Oxford once had a Green Dragon pub:

". . . According to AN ENCYCLOPEDIA OF OXFORD PUBS, INNS AND TAVERNS by Derek HOney (Oakwood Press, 1998) . . . a Green Dragon stood in St. Aldate's, by Christ Church, until 1926 when it and two other pubs were demolished to make way for the War Memorial Garden. This is also close to Pembroke College, to which Tolkien was attached beginning in 1925, so it's possible that he had a pint or two in Oxford's Green Dragon in his day . . ."

I'm not surprised that Tolkien might have patronized a real Green Dragon, but had I known that there was one that close to his own college at Pembroke that first year after he returned from Leeds, I would certainly have included the fact in MR. BAGGINS. A nice little discovery on David's part.

--John R.


Anonymous said...

great ...........................................................

Wayne and Christina said...

Also noted by us in 2005, also using Honey as a source, in The Lord of the Rings: A Reader's Companion, p. 76: "The Green Dragon: Dozens of pubs with this name are recorded in Britain. There was one in Oxford, in different buildings in St Aldates, from 1587 until its final demolition in 1926."

John D. Rateliff said...

Dear Wayne & Christina:

Quite right; I saw nothing on it in the COMPANION & GUIDE but had not thought to check the LotR READER'S COMPANION on this point, either when making the post or, more significantly, when discussing The Great Mill, The Green Man, and The Green Dragon in my TOLKIEN STUDIES piece ("A Kind of Elvish Craft" -- Vol. VI. page 11).

Thanks for the correction -- have you sent one into BEYOND BREE as well?

--John R.