Cilli, Oronzo/ Smith, Arden R./ Wynne, Patrick h.: J.R.R. Tolkien the Esperantist - Before the arrival of Bilbo Baggins
The book contains studies by Arden R. Smith, Patrick H. Wynne and Oronzo Cilli which examine the connection which existed between J.R.R. Tolkien, and the planned language Esperanto, created by L.L. Zamenhof.
Smith and Wynne’s essay, published originally in Seven (2000), presents Tolkien’s first experiments with inventing languages and analyses in depth his initial encounter with Esperanto, as mentioned in a notebook of his from 1909 which he called the Book of the Foxrook.
Cilli’s essay covers the period of Tolkien’s life when he first encountered Esperanto in his youth, via the Officers’ Training Corps and Baden-Powells’ Scout movement and the celebration of the World Congress of Esperanto (1930), which was attended by R.B. McCallum, and the British Congress of Esperanto (1933), for which Tolkien was named a patron. Thanks to Cilli’s research, a document previously unknown in Tolkien studies, The Educational Value of Esperanto, signed by Tolkien alongside other eminent British academics of the time, is included.
A contribution from Tim Owen of the Esperanto Association of Britain enriches the book. The Foreword is entrusted to John Garth, author of the books Tolkien and the Great War: The Threshold of Middle-earth (HarperCollins, 2003) and Tolkien at Exeter College (Exeter College, 2014).