Monday, August 8, 2022

J. S. Ryan's passing

Sad to hear from Doug A. about the passing of J. S. Ryan, the last survivor I think of that first generation of Tolkien scholars who published books on JRRT as far back as the 1960s.  He had the odd distinction of having his work dissed by Tolkien himself (and quite unfairly, I think).  Here's a judicious evaluation and overview of his long career:

--John R.


Paul W said...

I presume by diss you refer to Tolkien's "nonsensical" comment on "Germanic Mythology Applied: The Extension of the Literary Folk Memory" (according to the article). Would you mind explaining why it is unfair? I haven't read the article yet myself, just curious.

John D. Rateliff said...

Dear Paul W.

I can post an explanation, but it'll take me a few days. I'll see about devoting a comment on this topic within the next few days.

--John R.

Garkbit said...

I met J.S.Ryan in the 1980s when he was visiting Cambridge and spent an evening at a Cambridge Tolkien Society pubmoot. He was entertaining company - despite failing to mention that he had actually known Tolkien. All I can remember of our conversation however is his extremely catty remarks about Father Francis and Edith - basically to the effect that it was all the fault of the crazed fundamentalist Morgan that Tolkien had married the wholly unsuitable Edith! He evidently felt that Edith's influence had somehow held Tolkien back from the stellar academic career he should have had.