22 May 2024

Tolkien in East Yorkshire 1917 – 1918: An Illustrated Tour, by Phil Mathison




Had Tolkien not spent nearly 18 months convalescing in the East Riding of Yorkshire, then he would probably not have survived the Great War. By August 1918, his battalion, the 11th Lancashire Fusiliers, had suffering so many casualties that few remained and the unit was disbanded. If this grand master of literary creativity had fallen in France, there would have been no tales of Hobbits, Middle-earth, and certainly no Lord of the Rings.

Having deprived Great Britain of so many promising young men, it would have been a further tragedy if the First World War had extinguished this unique talent too.

This modest publication, which contains a number of previously unpublished details about the author’s stay in the area, attempts to guide you around the corners of East Yorkshire that have a Tolkien connection.

His stay recuperating at Brooklands Hospital in Hull gave JRRT time to develop his writings, but it is the fragile and atmospheric coast of Holderness where he was billeted that helped to inspire elements of the mythology that ultimately came to fruition in his classic trilogy.

Author Phil Mathison has entitled this area the Tolkien Triangle, for it is bounded by Hull in the west, Hornsea in the north east, and Kilnsea in the south east. Open these pages and discover the area for yourself.

Paperback, 120 pages.