Oxfordshire School Paper Unearths Two Poems by J. R. R. Tolkien

The Shadow Man and Noel will be available to read soon.

A school in England has been sitting on a couple of unread J. R. R. Tolkien works for eighty years. Now, the two poems—Noel and The Shadow Man—will be able to see the light of day thanks to the great sleuthing of American Tolkien scholar Wayne Hammond. After reading an interview with the Lord of the Rings author in which he mentioned his poetry being published in “the Abingdon Chronicle,” Hammond contacted the head of the only publication he knew of in Abingdon, Oxfordshire—Our Lady’s school magazine.

Stephen Oliver, the headmaster of Our Lady, got to work looking for the poems that were casually mentioned in a vintage interview and was elated to find them in a 1936 annual issue while preparing for an event:

We uncovered our own copy and I saw the two poems Mr Hammond had been looking for. My excitement when I saw them was overwhelming. I am a great Tolkien fan and was thrilled to discover the connection with the school.

Both poems will be part of an upcoming exhibit at the school. Noel finds Tolkien writing about the Christmas season, while The Shadow Man is an early, rough version of the author’s 1962 work, The Adventures of Tom Bombadil.

(via The Guardian)


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