Tuesday, March 31
Shadow

Tag: Tale

The Scholarly Tale | History today

The Scholarly Tale | History today

Main History
Even in the world of academic publishing, where time moves at its own pace, 29 years is a long time to work on a project that has never been completed. In 1922, J.R.R. Tolkien was commissioned by Oxford University Press as a junior collaborator for a student edition of selected passages from Chaucer. He was a young academic at the start of his career and it should have been a pretty easy job: adapting excerpts from an existing edition with notes and glossary for a student readership. Tolkien worked back and forth on the project in the 1920s, but was hampered by an unreliable co-editor and his own inability to meet the publisher's limits. He asked for 20 pages of notes and produced 160 pages of material, far too detailed for the readership. The project failed, but was finally stoppe...