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NF-Lee's Gildor and Frodo

FOTR 'Directors Cut' (aka EE) - sublime

Posted on 2011.06.15 at 16:58


mechtild at 2011-06-17 13:10 (UTC) (Link)
You met Priscilla? Oh, how excellent. :)

Yes, Edith did not seem too happy with life in the guy-shadows, but, from what I *think* I read in a book or essay by Joseph Pearce, whose interest is Catholic convert writers in particular, it may have been an issue of religion, too [I've been doing a lot of Tolkien reading this year, but mostly secondary materials]. I can't remember exactly, but the piece I read made it sound as though Edith felt pressured into becoming a Catholic, having been perfectly happy in the protestant congregation she was in, along with the ties she had there in terms of family and friends, in order to acquiesce to JRRT's urgent desire that she share his faith. I think the essay said that within a few years she clearly did not share his devotion, did not go to mass with him, even on Sundays with JRRT and the children. I'm pretty sure that's what it said. Only after many years, it said, did she reconcile herself to having become a Catholic. So perhaps her dissatisfaction with being Mrs. Tolkien was more than not being included in the male intellectual society and pub camaraderie he loved and thrived in so much. It was not just that she was not welcomed or acceptable to this boy's group, it was being cut off from people and things she had really liked and needed, at his insistence.

Again, I don't know if what I read was actually fact, but I think the author had access to unpublished letters, whence he was getting his material, including a late letter in which Tolkien wrote [to someone] that he regretted bulldozing Edith into converting, since it set back rather than forwarded her acceptance of the faith. Or something like that.
pearlette at 2011-06-17 15:25 (UTC) (Link)
That all makes sense to me, from what I've gleaned over the years.

Edith finally seemed to be happy, and more relaxed, when they moved to Bournemouth, in the later years.

I met Joseph Pearce! He was one of 'our' authors, when I worked for HarperCollins Religious. Good times. :)
mechtild at 2011-06-17 18:09 (UTC) (Link)
You met Joseph Pearce? How fun. Or, hopefully it was. I liked a couple of his books enough to buy them. And, yes, Edith did seem happier in later years, apart from declining health. They seem to have weathered the rough times between them very well.
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