This essay was originally published in Revisiting Imaginary Worlds: A Subcreation Studies Anthology., ed. by Mark J.P. Wolf (New York: Routledge, 2016, pp. 46-66) and is reprinted here with permission.
An Unlikely Trio
A young man who constructed an imaginary world, complete with invented language(s) and layers of history: Thomas Chatterton, or J. R. R. Tolkien? A representation of the Middle Ages that makes use (ironic or not) of anachronistic material: Thomas Chatterton or Umberto Eco? A novelist whose self-reflection on the pseudo-medieval setting he created led to theorizing on building imaginary worlds: J. R. R. Tolkien or Umberto Eco? A writer fascinated by medieval manuscripts, which become integral to his medievalist fiction: Chatterton, Tolkien or Eco? Here are three seemingly distinct visions of the Middle Ages: the imagined past of medieval Bristol as envisioned by Thomas Chatterton (1752-1770), Romantic ‘enfant terrible’, forger of medieval manuscripts, and the real agent behind the authorial persona of 15th-century monk Thomas Rowley; Middle-earth, the pseudo-medieval ‘secondary’ world developed over 60 years by J. R. R. Tolkien (1892-1973), Oxford don, philologist and arguably the father of modern fantasy literature; and a dizzyingly detailed representation of a 14th-century Benedictine monastery, albeit full of anachronisms, constructed by Umberto Eco (1932-2016), semiotician, postmodern theorist and author of the best-selling The Name of the Rose (1980), a whodunit set in the Middle Ages. Forged Middle Ages, re-imagined Middle Ages, postmodern Middle Ages. Although this trio of writers may seem to be a somewhat random and idiosyncratic selection, this essay will aim to show that all three ‘dreamt’ of the Middle Ages in strikingly similar ways: by following the ‘rules’ of inventing a Secondary World, and by leaving its relationship to the Primary World deliberately ambiguous.
“Dreaming of the Middle Ages”
The 18th century, and the 1760s specifically, seems to have been a particularly fertile ‘chronotope’ for faking literature. In 1760, 1761 and 1763, Scottish poet James Macpherson presented to the world Fragments of ancient poetry, collected in the Highlands of Scotland, and the epics Fingal and Temora respectively, all works supposedly translated from ancient Gaelic manuscripts, written by the mythical bard Ossian. The poems became an international success and were considered a Scottish equivalent of Homer’s and Virgil’s epics, until Macpherson was suspected of forgery when he could not produce the manuscripts. In 1764, a translation of a supposed 16th-century tale from Naples, rediscovered in the library of ‘an ancient Catholic family in the north of England’, was presented to the world as The Castle of Otranto, A Story. Translated by William Marshal, Gent. From the Original Italian of Onuphrio Muralto, Canon of the Church of St. Nicholas at Otranto. The Italian story itself was supposedly based on a much older text, from the era of the Crusades. In the next edition, Horace Walpole, the actual author of this novel, dropped the entire ‘translated document’ pretense and called his creation ‘A Gothic Story’, thus consolidating a nascent literary genre, the Gothic novel, which flourished in the next few decades and is still informing much of our literary and popular culture tradition.
It was during the very same year, 1764, that a twelve-year-old lad from Bristol, Thomas Chatterton, first claimed that he was in possession of ‘some old MSS. which had been found deposited in a chest in Redcliffe Church’. Soon he had fashioned himself Thomas Rowley, a 15th-century monk from Bristol, a poet, and chronicler of Bristol’s past glory. And not only that, Chatterton was also ‘discovering’ manuscript after manuscript of Rowley’s works, as well as works from other of his contemporaries (some of them being actual historical personalities) including poetry, fragments from plays, as well as treatises on history, genealogy, topography, and architecture. Many of the manuscripts were on vellum all right, and definitely looked the part: battered, blackened, and generally ‘distressed’. The controversy that surrounded the authenticity of the Rowley documents became a sensation: was it possible that a young teenager had forged such a huge amount of documents, and had composed such accomplished literary works? Was all of this splendid vision of medieval Bristol just a fake, just the frenzied endeavors of a child prodigy to bestow grandeur upon himself and his hometown in a desperate pursuit of fame and recognition? Chatterton’s untimely death in 1770, aged only seventeen, contributed to the myth of the artist as a tortured genius, perpetuated by the Romantics and still with us today.
But what if we move away from the accusations of Chatterton as a forger (already rife when he was still alive, no less by important personages of the time, including – ironically – Walpole) or the more recent defense of his literary creativity and look at him as a world-builder? As Donald Taylor has pointed out, Chatterton’s Rowley works presupposed ‘a larger idea – Chatterton’s imagined world of ancient Bristol’. Creating the Rowley world involved: ‘first, inventing a language, second, imagining in detail a physical city through over a millennium of history, and, third, composing authenticating documents’.
The Rowleyan language was a mish-mash of archaic-sounding words gathered from a plethora of medieval dictionaries (mainly the 1737 Universal Etymological English Dictionary by Nathaniel Bailey), and collected into a lexicon of around 1800 words which Chatterton used consistently to compose the Rowley documents, imposing rather unhistorical but nonetheless coherent rules of grammar and spelling. The Rowleyan drawings contributed to the physicality and materiality of Chatterton’s imagined ancient Bristol: nearly half of them are heraldic, while the rest are what Taylor calls “historian’s objects”: drawings of coins, inscriptions, ruins, churches, etc. There are also five maps of Bristol and its landmarks. Chatterton’s imaginary world now had a coherent material culture that made it more ‘real’ than just the textual remains of one medieval persona. As for the authenticating documents, these were the Rowleyan documents themselves, both literary and historical. First, documents that recorded (and evidenced) Rowley’s life: letters between Rowley and his patron, Canynge (the latter a real historical personality), bills and legal documents, as well as an extract from one of Rowley’s sermons. Then, and more importantly, the remnants of Rowley’s ‘historical’ research: among others, genealogies, historical and architectural treatises on Bristol sites, and various notes on ancient Bristolians.
All of these three elements that comprise the Rowley world, notes Taylor, ‘share a common factor: density of imagining, something akin to what literary criticism calls verisimilitude’. Indeed, Taylor argues that Chatterton achieved this effect by ‘thickening’ the imagination, and persuading himself (and attempting to persuade his contemporaries) by ‘sheer weight of detail’. The 1911 editor of the Rowley poems, long after they had been discredited as forgeries, makes much the same point by using the metaphor of a building. He claims that the Rowley world can be:
…metaphorically described as a motley edifice, half castle and half cathedral, to which Chatterton all his life was continually adding columns and buttresses, domes and spires, pediments and minarets, in the shape of more poems by Thomas Rowley [and a number of his supposed contemporaries]…; together with plays or portions of plays which they wrote – a Saxon epic translated – accounts of Architecture – songs and eclogues – and friendly letters in rhyme or prose. In short, this clever imaginative lad had evolved before he was sixteen such a mass of literary and quasi-historical matter of one kind or another that his fictitious circle of men of taste and learning (living in the dark and unenlightened age of Lydgate and the other tedious post-Chaucerians) may with study become extraordinarily familiar and near to us, and was certainly to Chatterton himself quite as real and vivid as the dull actualities of Colston’s Hospital and the Bristol of his proper century.
Chatterton’s continuous engagement with the Rowley world gradually shifted from ‘exuberant, basically disinterested invention of “historic” detail about Bristol’ to using his constructed world in more complex ways to please patrons, invent a grand genealogy for himself, and – perhaps more importantly – glorify his own home city. Works such as ‘A Discorse on Brystowe’ (1768) attempted to prove that Bristol had a thriving history in British, Roman, and Anglo-Saxon times, rather than being a place only noticed from the time of the Norman Conquest onwards, as in Camden’s Britannia (1586). This time, Rowley was not the author, but supposedly only the translator of a much older work by Turgot, an 11th-century Saxon. In fact, Groom has argued that Chatterton was as much a ‘poet of English identity’, attempting two versions of an ‘English epic’ on the Battle of Hastings supposedly by Turgot and only translated by Rowley (in which the Saxons are the heroic defeated), as well as a poet of ‘regional identity’.
Thinking of Chatterton’s Rowley oeuvre as the construction of an elaborate pseudo-medieval imaginary world brings us very close to J. R. R. Tolkien and his secondary world of Middle-earth. Tolkien famously referred to his own art, the writing of fantasy literature, as a semi-religious experience of imitating God’s creative act. In his essay “On Fairy-Stories”, he claims that the writing of fantasy entails the creation of a ‘Secondary World’ and thus imitates God’s creation of the ‘Primary’ world. The fantasy writer is a ‘sub-creator’, a demiurgic entity in miniature;
What really happens is that the story-maker proves a successful “subcreator”. He makes a Secondary World which your mind can enter. Inside it, what he relates is “true”: it accords with the laws of that world. You therefore believe it, while you are, as it were, inside.
Mark J. P. Wolf, building on Tolkien’s self-reflective theorizing, has developed typologies for the study of imaginary worlds, independent of narrative, encompassing a number of genres, including fantasy, science fiction, the older trope of the traveller’s tale, as well as recent multimedia franchises such as Star Wars. Wolf has proposed that all works of fiction construct worlds, but their relationship to the Primary World (our ‘real’ world, as we perceive it) varies, depending on the degree of invention (“secondariness”) they contain. We can, therefore place works of fiction “along a spectrum of attachment to, or reliance on, the Primary World (as we know it) and its defaults”, with non-fictional autobiography being the closest to the Primary World, and separate secondary worlds (such as Tolkien’s Middle-earth) the farthest from it.
Tolkien’s work is usually unproblematically classified as “high” fantasy, and Middle-earth examined as a self-contained imaginary cosmos, completely separate from the Primary World. Unlike other celebrated examples of high fantasy, such as C. S. Lewis’s Narnia, or Philip Pullman’s multiple worlds in His Dark Materials trilogy, there are no portals to our world in Middle-earth. Or are they? One of Wolf’s central contentions is that world-building may occur outside the main narratives: “in the form of appendices, maps, timelines, glossaries of invented languages, and so forth”. A closer look into the ‘paratexts’ that accompany The Lord of the Rings (the Foreword, the Prologue, the Appendices, as well as Tolkien’s statements in letters and interviews) begin to destabilise this very clear classification.
In the Prologue and Appendices of The Lord of the Rings Tolkien actually claimed that both The Hobbit (1937) and The Lord of the Rings (1954-1955) were not his own creative writing but his ‘translation’ of selections from a manuscript compilation in an ancient, forgotten language: The Red Book of Westmarch. Here is Tolkien’s outline of the ‘textual transmission’ of this manuscript:
- The original manuscript called The Red Book of Westmarch was a compilation of Bilbo’s private diary, Frodo’s account of the War of the Ring (completed by Sam), Bilbo’s translations from Elvish sources in Rivendell, and hobbit-lore collected in the Shire.
- This book was then copied by scribes in Minas Tirith, who included annotations and corrections and added parts of The Tale of Aragorn and Arwen.
- A copy of this particular emended compilation was then made in Minas Tirith and brought back to the Shire, where marginalia were added at points.
- This, claims Tolkien, is the source he used for The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, as well as the later poetry collection The Adventures of Tom Bombadil and other verses from The Red Book.
Tolkien obviously here invokes his knowledge and expertise of medieval manuscripts. His day-job as a Professor of Anglo-Saxon (and later Professor of English Language and Literature) included teaching palaeography and studying and editing medieval manuscripts (mainly in Old and Middle English). For example, he describes the poems in the little book The Adventures of Tom Bombadil as found ‘on loose leaves’ or ‘written carelessly in margins and blank spaces’ of The Red Book, thus evoking in a delightful, pseudo-scholarly way his familiar images of manuscripts’ having added ‘marginalia’ or comments by later copiers or commentators. Nevertheless, is the ‘manuscript tradition’ of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings just a conceit, only a literary device to give more credibility, mystery, depth to the narrative? Or is Tolkien’s claim something more than just a literary device?
I have argued elsewhere that from around the time of The Lord of the Rings onwards, Tolkien started making a ‘claim to history’: talking about Middle-earth not as an imaginary world, but as Northern Europe in a very remote past in history, lost in the mist of myth and legend. In a 1956 letter to W.H. Auden he wrote:
I am historically minded. Middle-earth is not an imaginary world… The theatre of my tale is this earth, the one in which we now live, but the historical period is imaginary. The essentials of that abiding place are all there (at any rate for inhabitants of N. W. Europe), so naturally it feels familiar, even if a little glorified by the enchantment of distance in time.
Already in the Prologue of The Lord of the Rings he had written:
Those days, the Third Age of Middle-earth, are now long past, and the shape of all lands has been changed; but the regions in which Hobbits then lived were doubtless the same as those in which they still linger: the North-West of the Old World, east of the Sea.
The ‘European flavour’ of Middle-earth is evident to readers and critics alike, not only in terms of Tolkien’s borrowings from Northern European medieval literature but also in terms of the material culture of the different peoples of Middle-earth as we see them in The Lord of the Rings. For example, the Riders of Rohan have clear resonances with the Anglo-Saxons, while the Men of Gondor and their ancestors, the Númenóreans, are renowned mariners whose burial customs resemble those of the Vikings. Still, is Tolkien’s claim that Middle-earth ‘is’ (Northern) Europe just a nod to his sources, literary and archaeological, or is there a strong desire to link his invented world to the real world in a tangible way, however anachronistic?
The answer to this question may be found in the origins of Middle-earth and the initial impetus for Tolkien’s extended ‘legendarium’, which has affinities with Chatterton’s motivation: a desire to produce a ‘mythology for England’. While still an undergraduate in Oxford, Tolkien became ‘intoxicated’ by the Kalevala (a prime example of an ‘invented tradition’ that became a national symbol and contributed to the demands of Finnish independence) and felt the acute longing for ‘something of the same sort that belonged to the English’. Much later, Tolkien outlined his youthful desire for ‘a mythology for England’:
I was from early days grieved by the poverty of my own beloved country: it had no stories of its own (bound up with its tongue and soil), not of the quality that I sought, and found (as an ingredient) in legends of other lands… Do not laugh! But once upon a time… I had a mind to make a body of more or less connected legend, ranging from the large and cosmogonic, to the level of romantic fairy-story… which I could dedicate simply to: to England; to my country…
In the 1910s and early 1920s, Tolkien went on to create this ‘mythology’ that he could dedicate to England: The Book of Lost Tales, sadly unfinished and published posthumously by Tolkien’s son, Christopher, is the earliest version of what most readers know as The Silmarillion (1977). It begins with a cosmogony, it includes a pantheon of gods and goddesses, and it focuses on the awakening of the Elves and the later coming of Men. But the original ‘land’ where all of this takes place is not the secondary world of Middle-earth, but England itself. In the first version of the mythology an early Anglo-Saxon called Eriol arrives to the island of the Elves and hears their ‘lost tales’, the long lost English mythology Tolkien longed for. The island itself becomes England when the sons of Eriol, Hengest and Horsa, lead the Anglo-Saxon invasion and liberate the Elves from Orcs and other creatures of Evil. Eriol’s third son, Heorrenda, records the legends of the Elves in the ‘The Golden Book of Heorrenda’ as the Elves depart for the West never to return. Their memory, though, and their tales are the myths of England.
Tolkien never quite made up his mind about the ‘framework’ of his mythology. Later on, he decided that the traveller to the island of the Elves was not Eriol, but Ælfwine, ‘a man of eleventh-century Wessex’, who leaves England driven by the Norman’s Yoke to find the island of the Elves. In that version of the mythology, the Elves once did leave in England but departed to the West many years before. Ælfwine finds out that the Elves (who have their own languages – which Tolkien was already developing for years) can speak in Old English to him. He stays with them for a while and then returns to report and maintain the true tradition of the Elves for the English. The legends of the Elves are not just oral, at that stage: Ælfwine reads the ‘Golden Book’, written in the Elvish languages, and he draws upon it to write The Book of Lost Tales in his own native language, Old English. Tolkien’s mythological tales, therefore, are a ‘translation’ from Ælfwine’s Old English recounting of the legends he read about the Elves from their own ‘Golden Book’. The ‘Golden Book’ is attributed to different wise men and sages of the Elves: Rúmil, the elfsage of Valinor, is the first scribe, and Pengolod (or Pengoloð) of Eressëa is the maker of a subsequent manuscript compilation, including Rúmil’s works as well as his own material. Ælfwine is the compiler of the final Book of Lost Tales into Old English. In later drafts, Tolkien even wrote parts of Ælfwine’s ‘original’ Old English text, which Tolkien supposedly ‘translated’ in Modern English.
There were no manuscripts ‘feigned’ to look like original Anglo-Saxon documents in these early phases of Tolkien’s legendarium – such artefacts came later, as we shall see below. But Tolkien’s chains of transmission of his mythology from the Elves, to his Anglo-Saxon mediator, to his English contemporaries are not that dissimilar from Chatterton’s layers of ancient Bristol history via Rowley and Turgot. Tolkien began with the Elves as oral storytellers, but – like Chatterton – was seduced by the longing for the materiality of the manuscript, the tangible artefact that can bestow an ‘authentic’ aura of the past.
Umberto Eco’s treatment of manuscripts is quite different. One could argue that his best-selling novel The Name of the Rose had a manuscript at its heart, as the plot revolves around a lost manuscript: the second volume of Aristotle’s Poetics on comedy. Examining The Name of the Rose alongside Chatterton’s medieval Bristol and Tolkien’s Middle-earth may seem like too much of a stretch: instead of Romantic forgery or fantasy we have here a work of fiction that straddles a number of different genres: Is it a detective story? A historical novel? Or a postmodern pastiche? Can it be all three?
Richter has actually appositely called The Name of the Rose “a detective story in quotation marks”, “a critique and parody of the form”. Although the reader is fooled into believing that there is a pattern in the novel (such as in Agatha Christie’s The ABC Murders (1936), for example), especially given William of Baskerville’s belief in signs and the ability of the well-ordered mind to ‘read’ nature and the universe like a book, they end up realizing that there is no pattern; moreover, not all deaths are murders, “very little is discovered and the detective is defeated”. Similarly, the case for a historical novel is thwarted by Eco’s deliberate and calculated use of anachronisms. Richter divides them into real anachronisms, like the allusion to Freud when William explains Adso’s dream, let alone the Holmes and Watson prototypes for our detective and main narrator; and ‘phony’ anachronisms, a double bluff of quoting a source that is seemingly late but that further research reveals to be pre-14th century and thus appropriate for the novel’s setting, such as the cliché phrase “standing on the shoulders of giants”. Postmodern pastiche seems like the safest bet: The Name of the Rose is a deeply ironic text that displays intertextuality, play and keeps on throwing the reader ‘off balance’.
Nevertheless, Umberto Eco himself drew attention to the creative process that led to this multi-layered text, and described the construction of his medieval Benedictine abbey as a process of world-building. In his Reflections on The Name of the Rose – once more, an important paratext, often the ‘locus’ for world-building – he states that ‘writing a novel is a cosmological matter’. He explains that:
To tell a story you must first of all construct a world, furnished as much as possible, down to the slightest details… The first year of work on my novel was devoted to the construction of the world. Long registers of all the books that could be found in a medieval library. Lists of names and personal data for many characters, a number of whom were then excluded from the story. In other words, I had to know who the rest of the monks were, those who do not appear in the book. It was not necessary for the reader to know them, but I had to know them. Whoever said that fiction must compete with the city directory? Perhaps it must also compete with the planning board. Therefore I conducted long architectural investigations, studying photographs and floor plans in the encyclopedia of architecture, to establish the arrangement of the abbey, the distances, even the number of steps in a spiral staircase. The film director Marco Ferreri once said to me that my dialogue is like a movie’s because it lasts exactly the right length of time. It had to. When two of my characters spoke while walking from the refectory to the cloister, I wrote with the plan before my eyes; and when they reached their destination, they stopped talking.
Eco here is displaying the desire for an ‘encyclopaedic’ knowledge of the minutiae of the Middle Ages (especially its materiality, such as architecture, books, etc.) which “do not advance the story but which provide background richness and verisimilitude to the imaginary world”. Moreover, the reference to lists of characters that did not even make it in the finished novel brings to mind the numerous cases of backstories in imaginary worlds, which are often only alluded to, allowing scope to be developed in prequels.
But surely, one would reasonably argue, the world Eco is constructing here is a representation of the ‘real’ Middle Ages, not a fictitious medieval past as in the case of Chatterton, nor a pseudo-medieval England/Europe in some distant, imaginary past, as in Tolkien’s Middle-earth. Indeed, Eco flaunts his extensive research in Reflections by interspersing his discussion with images from medieval manuscripts, mosaics and reliefs, accompanied by specific quotations from The Name of the Rose they presumably inspired. And it should also be noted that Eco was no stranger to the Middle Ages prior to the publication of his novel: he had written extensively on medieval aesthetics, beginning with his 1954 doctoral thesis on the aesthetics of Thomas Aquinas. Is there any worth in reading the 14th-century Benedictine abbey of The Name of the Rose as a legitimate secondary world or should we just accept that it is the setting of a (meticulously researched) historical novel?
Eco made ambiguous comments about the connections between The Name of the Rose and medieval history. Notably in Reflections he points out that: ‘one element of my world was history’ and thus the logical thing to do would be to set the novel in the 13th century, the period he knew best. However, another element was a self-conscious play with tropes of the detective novel: “I needed an investigator, English if possible (intertextual quotation [sic]), with a great gift of observation and a special sensitivity in interpreting evidence”; but a medieval Sherlock Holmes came with strings attached: in order to work he had to be a Franciscan of the period after Roger Bacon. A third element was ‘a developed theory of signs’. For a semiotician like Eco, the Middle Ages was evidently also a pretext to ‘play’ with signs, meanings, patterns (or lack thereof) and perhaps to make a point about the meaninglessness of meaning, culminating in William’s monologue at the close of the novel, when all has been revealed, ending with the pathetic (or perhaps liberating?) “there is no order in the universe”. This is corroborated by Coletti who has argued that The Name of the Rose ‘medievalizes’ concerns of modern language theory by imaginatively (re)presenting the demise of structuralism and the onset of deconstruction. But, again, this premise demands a particular moment in the Middle Ages. As Eco grudgingly admits: “we find a developed theory of signs only with the Occamites… so I had to set the story in the fourteenth century – much to my irritation, because I could not move easily in that period”. This decision made the inclusion in the novel of the Fraticelli and the (fascinating but very complex) debate about poverty frankly inevitable. Reflections offers explanations on more practical choices Eco made while constructing his medieval world, such as why the time the novel is set had to be November 1327 and why the abbey had to be in a mountainous region (the answer involves a vat of blood and the right time for slaughtering a pig).
Eco’s theorizing on world-building sounds uncannily close to Tolkien’s (if more sardonic). He notes that the construction of a world:
…has nothing to do with realism (even if it explains also realism). A completely unreal world can be constructed, in which asses fly and princesses are restored to life by a kiss; but that world, purely possible and unrealistic, must exist according to structures defined at the outset (we have to know whether it is a world where a princess can be restored to life only by the kiss of a prince, or also by that of a witch, and whether the princess’s kiss transforms only frogs into princes or also, for example, armadillos).
Consequently, if you set the parameters of your imaginary world, you have to stick to them. If you want a world in which you can have fun with postmodern pastiche (e.g., a medieval Sherlock Holmes) and make a point about the non-fixedness of meaning (is there a meaning in this pattern, or rather, is there a pattern at all?) then you are stuck with the 14th century whether you like it or not. This is a basic premise of world-building: consistency, “the degree to which world details are plausible, feasible, and without contradiction”. But here, also, lies the ‘imaginary’ of Eco’s Middle Ages: these Middle Ages can accommodate a Watson-esque narrator, a ludic allusion to the Irish Potato Famine, and a quotation from Wittgenstein. What makes them so different to Chatterton’s fancies or Tolkien’s dreams?
Perhaps one major difference is the motivation for Eco’s world construction. If Chatterton’s medieval Bristol was part of a project for the glorification of the self and the regional past, and Tolkien’s Middle-earth a leftover of the pursuit of a ‘national’ mythology, Eco’s The Name of the Rose seems to have come out of a whim, or game:
I wrote a novel because I had a yen to do it. I believe this is sufficient reason to set out to tell a story. Man is a storytelling animal by nature. I began writing in March of 1978, prodded by a seminal idea: I felt like poisoning a monk. I believe a novel is always born of an idea like this: the rest is flesh that is added along the way.
Elsewhere, he attributed the choice of the Middle Ages as a setting to chance, having first considered setting the story in contemporary times. But I would agree with Coletti that “Eco’s description of the casual genesis of what would become his blockbuster novel’s most essential feature is typical of his tendency to downplay processes of intention that might bring his novels into deliberate conversation with his other intellectual endeavors”. In his essay “Dreaming of the Middle Ages”, Eco argued that the Middle Ages represent our immediate past which – perhaps – holds some of the answers to our present and future:
…looking at the Middle Ages means looking at our infancy, in the same way that a doctor, to understand our present state of health, asks us about our childhood, or in the same way that the psychoanalyst, to understand our present neuroses, makes a careful investigation of the primal scene. Our return to the Middle Ages is a quest for our roots…
In another instance he insisted on the political dimensions of this return to the Middle Ages:
all the problems of modern Europe took the shape in which we still feel them during the Middle Ages: communal democracy and the banking economy, national monarchies and urban life, new technologies and rebellions of the poor. The Middle Ages are our infancy to which we must always return for anamnesis.
Eco’s motivation, therefore, seems to be another use of the past to illuminate the present, which is one reason why one finds so many anachronisms and modern resonances in The Name of the Rose. Inspiring regional or national pride; imagining a pan-European, mythical past; elucidating the politics of the modern condition: all three of our world-builders examined here have constructed imaginary worlds in order to interrogate, elucidate, or even mock our relationship with the past.
“Naturally, a Manuscript”
Wolf has shown that “a secondary world is usually connected to the Primary World in some way, but, at the same time, set apart from it enough to be a “world” unto itself, making access difficult”. This separation and detachment from the Primary World can be a temporal one, having worlds set “in the ancient (or even imaginary) eras of the past”. The worlds of Chatterton, Tolkien, and Eco fit well with this description: they are set in the medieval past; feigned, imagined, and reconstructed. But what makes them even more strikingly comparable is not so much what separates them from the Primary World, but what connects them to it: the (idea of the) manuscript.
Chatterton’s fascination with manuscripts was the initial spark of his Rowley enterprise. His father, Thomas Chatterton senior, an amateur historian, had discovered a chest of forgotten 15th century manuscripts in the ‘muniment’ room of the Church of St. Mary Redcliffe, mainly bills and legal documents belonging to William Canynge, a wealthy merchant and mayor of Bristol. Born a few months after his father’s death, Chatterton only came across scraps of those manuscripts when he saw his mother using them for thread papers and patterns. He was ‘immediately arrested’ by the Gothic lettering and this encounter enabled the young Chatterton to “give a medieval shape to his imagination”. His possession of these genuine 15th century fragments of manuscripts, and his access to vellum as a result of his apprenticeship as a legal scrivener, led to a large-scale forgery endeavour. He practiced copying the lettering of the manuscripts and used different techniques to ‘antiquate’ parchment:
One friend said that Chatterton held vellum over a candle flame to blacken and shrivel the parchment; another said that he would rub streaks of yellow ochre, rub it on the ground, and then crumple it in his hand…
The manuscripts were key to authenticating his vision of medieval Bristol. The recent Ossian controversy must have been influential. Macpherson’s downfall was his insistence on manuscript sources for Ossian’s two epics: in reality, most of the material he had collated and reconfigured as Ossian’s ancient epics was folk poetry and ballads in Scots Gaelic collected in the Highlands. The Highland hero Fingal is cognate with the Irish Fionn mac Cumhaill, the protagonist of a shared Gaelic folk tradition. By claiming ancient manuscript sources for Ossian’s version of the Fenian legend, Macpherson managed to annoy the Irish, who accused him of usurping their own cultural heritage, but also did not convince the English critics, who demanded to see the manuscripts. Macpherson did attempt to ‘forge’ these manuscripts, translating his own ‘translations’ into what he believed to be ancient Gaelic, but did not finish this task. Chatterton went one step further.
Tolkien was always concerned with the transmission of his mythology, inventing one ‘framework’ after the other. As we have seen, the earliest version of his mythology was already part of a feigned manuscript tradition, and so was the supposed source for his best-known works, The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. But Tolkien also went a step further. He started creating facsimiles of supposedly original documents from Middle-earth. He spent a considerable amount of time creating three pages from The Book of Mazarbul, a tattered manuscript compilation recording the fate of Balin and his Dwarves that the Fellowship of the Ring find and read in Moria. The book is described in these words:
It had been slashed and stabbed and partly burned, and it was so stained with black and other dark marks like old blood that little of it could be read. Gandalf lifted it carefully, but the leaves crackled and broke as he laid it on the slab… he gingerly turned the leaves… written by many different hands, in runes, both of Moria and of Dale, and here and there in Elvish script.
Tolkien’s facsimiles for the three last pages of The Book of Mazarbul were a labour of love. His official biographer, Humphrey Carpenter, describes how Tolkien created this artefact – a process very similar to how Chatterton handled vellum:
He… spent many hours making this facsimile, copying out the pages in runes and elvish writing, and then deliberately damaging them, burning the edges and smearing the paper with substances that looked like dried blood.
The original plan was that these facsimiles would be reproduced in The Fellowship of the Ring (1954) in lieu of illustrations, but this plan had to be scrapped as the cost was prohibitive. Tolkien was quite disappointed. In a 1956 letter he wrote:
Reluctantly… I had to abandon, under pressure from the ‘production department’, the ‘facsimiles’ of the three pages of the Book of Mazarbul, burned tattered and blood-stained, which I had spent much time on producing or forging.
Tolkien also created a ‘facsimile’ of Bilbo’s contract from Thorin and the Dwarves in The Hobbit, and three versions of ‘The King’s Letter’, being the ‘facsimile’ of the letter that Sam Gamgee received from Aragorn in the unpublished ‘Epilogue’ of The Lord of the Rings.
What was the point of these ‘forgeries’? They could, presumably, act as ‘paratexts’, as part of “secondary world infrastructures”, aiming to enrich the culture of Middle-earth. But it may be that they were also signs of something more complex. Wolf has theorised the effect of vicariously entering and experiencing fantasy worlds by using “liquid” metaphors: immersion, absorption, and saturation. It may not be an exaggeration to claim that Tolkien spent the last few years of his life ‘immersed’ into the imaginary ‘reality’ of Middle-earth, and absorbed by its scope and detail, to the level of ‘saturation’. One of Tolkien’s students, Anthony Curtis, who interviewed Tolkien for an article in 1963, recalled that:
[Tolkien] spoke [about his mythology] without any self-consciousness of a set of events which in his mind seemed to exist with as much reality as the French Revolution or the Second World War.
His son, Christopher Tolkien, has noted that during his last years Tolkien had grown “detached from the old legends”, the First Age of his mythology, which had become like “legends of the real world that he could observe and study”. More recently, Tolkien’s colleague Arne Zettersten reported:
I have many memories of discussions with Tolkien about maps and armies, battles and campaigns – all entirely fictitious but treated by him as though they constituted the real world, the world he prioritized…
Moreover, as it is evident from Hammond and Scull’s Tolkien: Artist and Illustrator, his later art, even casual doodles and sketches, was channelled towards creating artefacts from Middle-earth: an aviation badge for the Nazgul (titled ‘Mordor Special Mission Flying Corps’), a ‘design for a Númenórean carpet’ and heraldic devices for numerous princes of the Elves. However tongue-in-cheek the descriptions of these designs and patterns may have been, or however casual, often done in an idle hour, they show Tolkien’s investment in the world he had created and which he vicariously entered to continue expanding until the last few weeks before his death.
In the case of The Book of Mazarbul, however, Tolkien realised much later that he had made a fundamental mistake, which was a direct result of getting far too engrossed in the idea of a ‘real’ manuscript source from Middle-earth. Tolkien had constructed an elaborate ‘theory’ for his translation from The Red Book of Westmarch, which is beyond the scope of this essay to discuss. Suffice it to say that during the Third Age of Middle-earth most Men (and hobbits) spoke a Common Language, while the Elves and other beings maintained their own, very different languages. Tolkien claimed that he translated the Common Speech in modern English while he kept all the other languages intact (hence the phrases in Elvish, Dwarvish, Black Speech, etc. scattered throughout The Lord of the Rings). Long after the facsimile of The Book of Mazarbul had been completed, it dawned on Tolkien that the text he had transcribed in runes and Elvish script was actually in modern English! Surely, the language that Gandalf read in the document supposedly found in Moria cannot have been modern English, it must have been in Common Speech, which Tolkien had – supposedly – translated for the benefit of the reader. In a remarkable late document, in which Tolkien seems to be making a note to himself, he writes:
In preparing an example of the Book of Mazarbul, and making three torn and partly illegible pages, I followed the general principle followed throughout: the Common Speech was to be represented as English of today… Consequently the text was cast into English… But it is of course in fact an erroneous extension of the general linguistic treatment. It is one thing to represent all the dialogue of the story in varying forms of English: this must be supposed to be done by ‘translation’… But it is quite another thing to provide visible facsimiles or representations of writings or carvings supposed to be of the date of the events in the narrative.
It is intriguing that Tolkien’s excitement to produce such a wonderful example of feigned palaeography led him to such an obvious mistake. But, then, the romance of the forged manuscript often led its creators astray. Chatterton is one case in point: by the time of his untimely death, there were voices that had already accused him of fabrication. The sheer volume of his feigned manuscripts was just too good to be true, and when the language of these documents began to be scrutinised the inconsistencies were revealed. Tolkien – though a linguist by profession – was also fooled by language. The desire for ‘authenticating’ his own mythology by implying a long-lost historical and textual link with a mythical past was too seductive.
Umberto Eco did not attempt forging manuscripts, but he similarly presented The Name of the Rose as his ‘translation’ of a source that traces its origin in a manuscript. His account of textual transmission is complicated, to say the least. The authorial voice in the ‘Preface’ tells us that the ultimate source of the story is a 14th-century manuscript found in the monastery of Melk written in Latin by Adso. Eco supposedly translated the story from Abbé Vallet’s 19th-century French translation of Jean Mabillon’s 17th-century edition of Adso’s Latin manuscript. However, our author/translator loses his source in a painful break-up with his lover and is left only with his own hand-written notes. Further research proves fruitless. There is no manuscript in Melk, and when he looks up Mabillon’s compilation in Paris he realizes that the story of Adso is not included. Vallet’s book seems to have never existed, according to the press that supposedly printed it. Our ‘translator’ temporarily gives up, significantly noting that “I began to think I had encountered a forgery”. However, a few years later in Buenos Aires he comes across quotations from Adso’s manuscript in a work about chess, originally in Georgian and translated into Italian. The source is not Mabillon or Vallet, but Father Athanasius Kircher. To complicate matters, there are no details as to which of Kircher’s works it refers to, and there is no trace of Adso or his tale in any of Kircher’s known works. The authorial voice remains baffled and ambiguous until the end:
On sober reflection, I find few reasons for publishing my Italian version of an obscure, neo-Gothic French version of a seventeenth-century Latin edition of a work written in Latin by a German monk toward the end of the fourteenth century…. I really don’t know why I have decided to pluck up my courage and present, as if it were authentic, the manuscript of Adso of Melk.
In Reflections, Eco presents this complex and ambiguous textual transmission as a conscious choice to both hide his inexperience as a narrator and foreground the conscious intertextuality of his novel:
So I wrote the introduction immediately, setting my narrative on a fourth level of encasement, inside three other narratives: I am saying what Vallet said that Mabillon said that Adso said…
But at the same time, this chain of transmission can absolve him of any responsibility for constructing an ‘authentic’ version of the Middle Ages: the ‘original’ story will have been tampered with from source to source and the reader can’t expect authenticity. Moreover, the existence of the original manuscript itself remains uncertain. Was Eco creating and ‘translating’ a fake? Was he conflating the creativity of the novelist with the deceit of the forger? Are his claims that far away from Chatterton’s activities?
Three Little Middle Ages
This brief essay is not meant to be an in-depth study of Chatterton, Tolkien, and Eco. It, rather, attempts to tease out similarities and parallels between their respective works by approaching them from a different angle: instead of examining a case of Romantic forgery, the establishment of ‘high’ fantasy, and a highly-successful example of postmodern pastiche, it discusses these three writers as world-builders who attempted pseudo-medieval secondary worlds, more or less in touch with the Primary World. Chatterton presented his 15th-century world as real, meticulously producing the ‘evidence’ he needed, but never admitted that Rowley was an imaginative (re)creation of the past. Taylor argues that Chatterton saw himself as ‘some kind of historian’, believing at least that the past he imagined was ‘the sort of thing’ that could have happened. Tolkien did at least contemplate presenting his early mythology as the ‘lost’ mythology of England, using scraps and fragments of the literature and legends of England’s Anglo-Saxon past. He gave up on this project, but later on continued linking his extended legendarium with ‘real’ history and bestowing on his Middle-earth a strong flavour of Northern European medieval literature and materiality. Eco seemingly attempted a historical novel set in the 14th century, but this is a world-building genre that already sits somewhere in the middle of Wolf’s spectrum of “degrees of subcreation”: historical novels “may try to remain true (at least in spirit) to history” but “they will necessarily invent some characters and places as well, though often in a way that disrupts the continuity of the Primary World as little as possible”. The difference here is Eco’s deliberate anachronisms, which keep on reminding the reader about the constructedness of history and definitely the imaginary nature of his Middle Ages.
The efforts of Chatterton, Tolkien, and Eco show us what happens when the medieval past becomes an imaginary world. Or, to put it differently, what is going on when what can easily be defined as an imaginary world is an attempt (a genuine one, to a greater or lesser degree) to (re)present the ‘real’ medieval past. All three authors offer material links (notably, feigned/fabricated manuscripts) that point to the ‘reality’ of their invented worlds and rely – to a greater or lesser extent – on ‘accurate’ historical/cultural/textual sources to “furnish” their worlds. However, at the same time all three partake in building secondary world infrastructures, and ultimately achieve different levels of invention, completeness, and consistency. We can, therefore, consider them as fellow subcreators, fellow travellers in imaginary worlds, and fellow ‘forgers’. The theoretical framework of world-building may well be an alternative but equally illuminating way of approaching medievalism.
 There are a few tantalising instances in which their names cross. For example, Tolkien as an undergraduate at Oxford was a devoted reader of Francis Thompson, the 19th century Catholic poet who died of laudanum addiction and claimed that he was saved from taking his own life by the ghost of Thomas Chatterton (See Humphrey Carpenter, J.R.R. Tolkien: A Biography. London: Allen & Unwin, 1977, pages 55-6; and Brigid M. Boardman, Between Heaven and Charing Cross: The Life of Francis Thompson, New Haven; London: Yale University Press, 1968, pages 86-7). Much later, when Tolkien was a well-established professor, he was appointed supervisor of Daphne Castell’s B.Litt. thesis: she was to work on Thomas Chatterton (see Christina Scull and Wayne Hammond, The J.R.R. Tolkien Companion and Guide: Volume 1: Chronology, London: HarperCollins, 2006, page 369). It is not known, though, whether Tolkien expressed an interest in supervising this thesis, or whether this was just an appointment made by the English Faculty without any specific research interest considerations. As for Umberto Eco, he only mentions Tolkien once in The Search for the Perfect Language, in relation to “fictitious languages” which are beyond the scope of this study (see Umberto Eco, The Search for the Perfect Language, Oxford: Blackwell, 1995, page 3). Nevertheless, the aim of this essay is not to argue for direct or indirect lines of influence, but rather to approach all three writers as world-builders based on the striking similarities and parallels in their respective (re)presentations of the Middle Ages.
 The title of an essay by Umberto Eco in Faith in Fakes: Travels in Hyperreality (see see Umberto Eco, Faith in Fakes: Travels in Hyperreality, London : Minerva, 1995, pages 61-72).
 K. K. Ruthven, Faking Literature, Cambridge; New York: Cambridge University Press, 2001, page 5.
 Quoted in Maurice Evan Hare, “Editors Introduction” in Thomas Chatterton, The Rowley poems, reprinted from Tyrwhitt’s 3rd ed.; edited, with a introduction, by Maurice Evan Hare, Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1911, page viii.
 See Nick Groom, The Forger’s Shadow: How Forgery Changed the Course Of Literature, London: Picador, 2002.
 See ibid.
 Donald S. Taylor, (1978) Chatterton’s Art: Experiments in Imagined History, Princeton, N.J: Princeton University Press, 1978, page 44, emphasis added.
 Ibid., page 45.
 Chatterton was probably following the forty-four rules outlined in ‘General Rules for understanding the Language of Bishop Douglas’s Translation of Virgil’s Æneid’ in Rudiman’s 1710 edition of this text; see Thomas Chatterton, The Complete Works of Thomas Chatterton: A Bicentenary Edition, Volume II, edited by Donald S. Taylor in association with Benjamin B. Hoover, Oxford : Clarendon Press, 1971, pages 1179-80.
 Donald S. Taylor, (1978) Chatterton’s Art: Experiments in Imagined History, Princeton, N.J: Princeton University Press, 1978, page 50.
 Ibid., page 49.
 Ibid., page 49.
 Maurice Evan Hare, “Editors Introduction” in Thomas Chatterton, The Rowley poems, reprinted from Tyrwhitt’s 3rd ed.; edited, with a introduction, by Maurice Evan Hare, Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1911, pages ix-x.
 Donald S. Taylor, (1978) Chatterton’s Art: Experiments in Imagined History, Princeton, N.J: Princeton University Press, 1978, page 52.
 Nick Groom, The Forger’s Shadow: How Forgery Changed the Course Of Literature, London: Picador, 2002, pages 170-1.
 Tolkien, J.R.R. (2008) Tolkien On Fairy-stories, edited by Verlyn Flieger and Douglas A. Anderson, London: HarperCollins, page 52. The origins of Tolkien’s main ideas in this essay have been traced by many scholars including Tanya Wood, “Is Tolkien a Renaissance Man? Sir Philip Sidney’s Defence of Poesy and J. R. R. Tolkien’s ‘On Fairy- Stories’”, in George Clark and Daniel Timmons, editors, J.R.R. Tolkien and His Literary Resonances: Views of Middle-earth, Westport: Greenwood Press, pages 95‒108; Michael Milburn, “Coleridge’s Definition of Imagination and Tolkien’s Definition(s) of Faery”, Tolkien Studies, 7, 2010, pages 55-66; and Mark J.P. Wolf, Building Imaginary Worlds: The Theory and History of Subcreation, New York: Routledge, 2012.
 Ibid., page 27.
 Ibid., pages 27-8.
 Ibid., page 2.
 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, 50th Anniversary Edition, edited by Wayne G. Hammond & Christina Scull, London: HarperCollins, 2004, page 1.
 See ibid., pages 14-15 and 1027-1028; and J.R.R. Tolkien, Tales from the Perilous Realm, London: HarperCollins, 2002, pages 61-4.
 For an insightful investigation of Tolkien’s knowledge of medieval manuscripts and orality and literacy in Middle-earth see Stuart D. Lee, “Manuscripts: Use, and Using”, in Stuart D. Lee, editor, A Companion to J.R.R. Tolkien, Oxford: Blackwell, 2013, pages 56-76.
 J.R.R. Tolkien, Tales from the Perilous Realm, London: HarperCollins, 2002, pages 61-2.
 The ‘found manuscript/document’ topos was, of course, already commonplace at least since the Renaissance.
 Dimitra Fimi, Tolkien, Race and Cultural History: From Fairies to Hobbits, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2008, pages 117-21 and 160-88.
 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien, edited by Humphrey Carpenter, with the assistance of Christopher Tolkien, London; George Allen & Unwin, 1981, page 239.
 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, 50th Anniversary Edition, edited by Wayne G. Hammond & Christina Scull, London: HarperCollins, 2004, page 2.
 See Dimitra Fimi, Tolkien, Race and Cultural History: From Fairies to Hobbits, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2008, pages 165-79.
 The most important anachronism is the culture of the hobbits, who represent “more or less a Warwickshire village of about the period of the Diamond Jubilee [of Queen Victoria]” (Tolkien, 1981, pages 230, 235) in the midst of the ‘heroic’ cultures of Men that seem to come straight out of medieval literature.
 Tolkien never used the exact phrase “a mythology for England”: it was rather established by his biographer, Humphrey Carpenter, but has been often used since as a standard term to refer to his early nationalistic project.
 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien, edited by Humphrey Carpenter, with the assistance of Christopher Tolkien, London; George Allen & Unwin, 1981, page 214.
 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Story of Kullervo, edited by Verlyn Flieger, London: HarperCollins, 2015, page 105.
 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien, edited by Humphrey Carpenter, with the assistance of Christopher Tolkien, London; George Allen & Unwin, 1981, pages 144–5.
 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Book of Lost Tales, Part Two, edited by Christopher Tolkien, London: George Allen & Unwin, 1984, pages 278-94.
 Ibid., pages 300-10.
 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Shaping of Middle-Earth, edited by Christopher Tolkien, London: George Allen & Unwin, 1986, pages 205-8.
 David H. Richter, “Eco’s Echoes: Semiotic Theory and Detective Practice in The Name of the Rose”, Studies in Twentieth-Century Literature, 10:2, 1986, page 214.
 Umberto Eco, Reflections on The Name of the Rose, London: Secker & Warburg, 1985, page 54.
 Umberto Eco, The Name of the Rose. London: Picador, 1984, page 430.
 David H. Richter, “Eco’s Echoes: Semiotic Theory and Detective Practice in The Name of the Rose”, Studies in Twentieth-Century Literature, 10:2, 1986, pages 220-21.
 Umberto Eco, Reflections on The Name of the Rose, London: Secker & Warburg, 1985, page 20.
 Ibid., pages 23, 24-5.
 Mark J.P. Wolf, Building Imaginary Worlds: The Theory and History of Subcreation, New York: Routledge, 2012, page 2.
 Ibid., page 202.
 Umberto Eco, Reflections on The Name of the Rose, London: Secker & Warburg, 1985, page 26.
 Ibid., page 26.
 Ironically, ‘the Middle Ages as a pretext’ is the first of the ‘Ten Little Middle Ages’ that Eco outlines in his essay “Dreaming of the Middle Ages”, in which he contrasts the historical novel with “cloak-and-dagger stuff” that has “no real interest in the historical background”; see Umberto Eco, Faith in Fakes: Travels in Hyperreality, London : Minerva, 1995, page 68.
 Umberto Eco, The Name of the Rose. London: Picador, 1984, page 484.
 Theresa Coletti, Naming the Rose: Eco, Medieval Signs, and Modern Theory, Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1988.
 Umberto Eco, Reflections on The Name of the Rose, London: Secker & Warburg, 1985, page 26.
 Ibid., page 27.
 Ibid., pages 25-6.
 Mark J.P. Wolf, Building Imaginary Worlds: The Theory and History of Subcreation, New York: Routledge, 2012, page 43.
 See David H. Richter, “Eco’s Echoes: Semiotic Theory and Detective Practice in The Name of the Rose”, Studies in Twentieth-Century Literature, 10:2, 1986, pages 221-2.
 Umberto Eco, The Name of the Rose. London: Picador, 1984, page 14.
 See Umberto Eco, “How I Write”, in Charlotte Ross and Rochelle Sibley, editors, Illuminating Eco: On the Boundaries of Interpretation, Aldershot: Ashgate, 2004, page 176.
 Theresa Coletti, “Eco’s Middle Ages and the Historical Novel”, in Peter Bondanella, editor, New Essays on Umberto Eco, Cambridge; New York: Cambridge University Press, 2009, page 72.
 Umberto Eco, Faith in Fakes: Travels in Hyperreality, London : Minerva, 1995, page 65.
 Mark J.P. Wolf, Building Imaginary Worlds: The Theory and History of Subcreation, New York: Routledge, 2012, pages 73-4.
 The title of the prologue of Eco’s The Name of the Rose.
 Ibid., pages 25-26.
 Ibid., page 28.
 Nick Groom, The Forger’s Shadow: How Forgery Changed the Course Of Literature, London: Picador, 2002, page 147.
 Ibid., pages 148.
 K. K. Ruthven, Faking Literature, Cambridge; New York: Cambridge University Press, 2001, pages 9-10.
 A good overview of Tolkien’s ‘frame narratives’ can be found in Verlyn Flieger, Verlyn, “Frame Narrative”, in Michael D.C. Drout, editor, J.R.R. Tolkien Encyclopedia: Scholarship and Critical Assessment, New York: Routledge, 2006,pages 216-218.
 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, 50th Anniversary Edition, edited by Wayne G. Hammond & Christina Scull, London: HarperCollins, 2004, page 321.
 Humphrey Carpenter, J.R.R. Tolkien: A Biography. London: Allen & Unwin, 1977, page 245.
 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien, edited by Humphrey Carpenter, with the assistance of Christopher Tolkien, London; George Allen & Unwin, 1981, page 248, emphasis added.
 John D. Rateliff, The History of The Hobbit, Part One, London: HarperCollins, 2008, pages 105-7.
 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Shaping of Middle-Earth, edited by Christopher Tolkien, London: George Allen & Unwin, 1986, pages 130-1.
 Mark J.P. Wolf, Building Imaginary Worlds: The Theory and History of Subcreation, New York: Routledge, 2012, page 154.
 Ibid., pages 48-9.
 Quoted in Christina Scull and Wayne Hammond, The J.R.R. Tolkien Companion and Guide: Volume 1: Chronology, London: HarperCollins, 2006, page 611.
 In Helen Dickinson (writer) and Derek Bailey (dir.), J.R.R.T.: A Film Portrait of J.R.R. Tolkien, for the Tolkien Partnership: Landseer Film and Television Productions Ltd., 1996.
(in Dickinson and Bailey 1996)
 Arne Zettersten, J.R.R. Tolkien’s Double Worlds and Creative Process: Language and Life, New York; Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2011, page 112.
 Wayne G. Hammond and Christina Scull, J.R.R. Tolkien: Artist and Illustrator, London: HarperCollins, 1995, pages 189, 191, 192-5.
 For a detailed discussion of Tolkien’s ‘theory of translation’ see Dimitra Fimi, Tolkien, Race and Cultural History: From Fairies to Hobbits, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2008, pages 189-94.
 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Peoples of Middle-earth, edited by Christopher Tolkien, London: HarperCollins, 1996, pages 298-9.
 Umberto Eco, The Name of the Rose. London: Picador, 1984, page xiii, emphasis added.
 Ibid., page xiv, emphasis added.
 Umberto Eco, Reflections on The Name of the Rose, London: Secker & Warburg, 1985, page 20.
 Donald S. Taylor, (1978) Chatterton’s Art: Experiments in Imagined History, Princeton, N.J: Princeton University Press, 1978, page 48.
 Mark J.P. Wolf, Building Imaginary Worlds: The Theory and History of Subcreation, New York: Routledge, 2012, page 27.
 Ibid., pages 33-48.
 Ibid., pages 154-94.