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Commonplace book of Florence Mary Tolkien

 Single Item
MS. 20930
Held in our offsite storage facility

  • Request

Contains mainly poems written in by family and friends, many by her father John Benjamin Tolkien. Some of the poems in the album are dated, 1877-1882, but some were undoubtedly later, including a poem written by her father for his 30th wedding anniversary [16 Feb 1886] and one for her wedding day [14 Mar 1888]. Also includes a poem by W.C. Mountain, who was married to her older sister, Grace, and a sketch of a horse by Henry Empson, 1880.


  • Creation: 1877-1888


1 volume

Language of Materials

  • English

Preferred Citation

Oxford, Bodleian Libraries [followed by shelfmark and folio or page reference, e.g. MS. 20930, fol. 1].

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MS. 20930

Collection ID (for staff)

CMD ID 20930


Commonplace book of Florence Mary Tolkien.

Biographical / Historical

Florence Mary Tolkien (1862-1944) was the younger sister of Arthur Reuel Tolkien. She was born and brought up in Birmingham and is recorded on the 1881 census as a 'private teacher'. She married Tom Hadley, a friend of her brother's, in 1888 and they had two children: Roy (born 1889) and Margery (born 1890). Her husband was god-father to Arthur's eldest child, J.R.R. Tolkien. Tom Hadley died in 1911 and the following year Florence emigrated to Canada, aged 50, with her two adult children, settling in Victoria, British Columbia. She kept in touch with her Tolkien relatives in England, receiving a copy of The Hobbit on its publication in 1937 from her nephew, J.R.R. Tolkien. She remained in Canada until her death in 1944.

Custodial History

Homemade bookplate on front pastedown, 'Florence Mary Tolkien July 4th 1877'. Purchased from a second-hand store in British Columbia, Canada, by the donor's mother.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated to the library by Shona Gourlay, 25 Jan 2021.

Commonplace book of Florence Mary Tolkien
C. McIlwaine
Language of description
Script of description
Edition statement
First edition.

Repository Details

Part of the Bodleian Libraries Repository

Weston Library
Broad Street
Oxford OX1 3BG United Kingdom