Monday, November 7, 2022

Tolkien on Love and Marriage : Tolkien Geeks Reads From Letter 43

And since Tolkien mentioned Brigham Young, there is an excursus on Mormon history.

Tolkien on Romance, Chivalry, and Soul Mates
Tolkien Lore, 7 Nov. 2022

5:30 & 5:55 [Comments are about chivalric love and about Arthuriana]

5:30 Indeed.

The thing is, CSL and GKC between them make it seem to me that marrying for love came into fashion both among Catholics and Protestants around the Renaissance.

CSL at the allegory of love speaks of a relation where the very nasty person "rumour (I think allegorically portrayed as a parrot) arrives a bit too late, since the couple is already married. This was in the poem by some Anglican.

On the Catholic side, certain fathers confessor were coming to the conclusion that one way of preventing the kind of Arthur - Guinevere - Lancelot triangles chivalric love had been about was to allow a falling in love between girls and (usually) young men rather than when one party was already married to someone else, and so to use the sentiment for matrimonial fidelity rather than the romantic fidelity against matrimonial duty. It is possible the Jesuits were pioneering this - in Place Royale by Corneille (name of play refers to what is now Place des Vosges), the main couple involve a man pushing his love to Jesus, because Jesus is a more faithful and strong lover than he is himself, but the secondary couple involve a young man and a girl getting to a Jesuit priest to marry before their parents can object.

5:55 It can be added, while the Morte d'Arthur by Malory is very seriously a mix between facts from sixth century or late fifth, and fan fiction, one thing I consider actually factual, at least potentially, is, this triangle. Why? Because "King" Arthur was faced with the duty of getting his wife executed, and didn't do it.

In Roman law, this was a situation ended by Justinian. Whether it was introduced by Constantine as I thought or Constantine was reapplying Lex Iulia de Adulteriis, a wife who was habitually unfaithful was facing execution, and a husband who disagreed with that could be charged with proxenetism. From Justinian, you have the unfaithful wife put into a monastery, and the husband had three years to forgive her, if he didn't take her back, she became a kind of nun, not as virgin, but as penitent.

11:40 [Tolkien refers to the founder of Latter Day Saints]

11:40 To the second founder. Brigham Young was successor to Joseph Smith.

"In those days," they conquered Utah from Indians, and hadn't yet been conquered by the US Army.

Btw, not sure about their exact relation to Ute Indians.

Tolkien Lore
Oops you’re right, forgetting my history 😅

Hans-Georg Lundahl
@Tolkien Lore No problem, happens.

Kevin Russell
Joe founded the religion, discovered the plates, and had the social structure (polygamy) revealed to him by an angel, but the practical Brigham BUILT the religion as we know it and held it together. He said the foot of the Wasatch was "the place". With no Brigham, I suspect it may have become just another Oneida Community, Shaker town, or (what was it Brook Farm?) some other utopian fantasy with no "legs". BY was an amzing character, no matter how you slice it.

The Ute-Shoshone family of indigenous people is the dominant grouip in the entire Great Basin. When the state was established, the name was adopted from these people. The LDS church leaders called their state Deseret.

@Hans-Georg Lundahl The Indigenous people in much of the region did not have fixed, year-round settlements, but moved according to seasons and food abundance. The Mormons didn't so much "conquer" as move in, squat, and take the land. What happened to the Indians was collateral damage, and no doubt the Mormons considered they were "destined" to occupy Deseret. "Sorry about that, buddy". I doubt they ever tried to place themselves in the footgear of a Ute wife and mother.

The Moutain Meadow Massacre is another interesting episode. Some LDS zealots reportedly dressed up like Indians and attacked a wagon train of American pilgrims heading west, and murdered dozens of them. The Mormons had more trouble with non-Morman whites as they ever did with the Utes and Shoshone.

Hans-Georg Lundahl
@Kevin Russell Thank you for the informations!

I hope you don't mind me sharing them in my blog.

I had a somewhat detailed knowledge of Joseph Smith and then Brigham Young made the trek to ... Deseret. I was very unaware of most of these details.

Kevin Russell
@Hans-Georg Lundahl Sure, I don't mind. LDS history is fascinating, although I am not an expert or a member of the church.

Fawn Brodie's biography of Joe Smith is a good place to start, or Bernie V.'s 1846, Year of Decision. Mormons were also the first white settlers in western Nevada, then retreated after the Comstock discvovey.

The last 60 years of the 19th Century are some of the most amazing and crucial years of our republic, and our religious evolution will stand up against anyone's for novelty and diversity.

Hans-Georg Lundahl
@Kevin Russell For sure for "novelty" - as a Catholic and ex-Lutheran, I can argue that between these two confessions teaching a "novum" (a novelty in Latin) was a mutual accusation of heresy.

Not meaning I think Joe worse than many other Protestants, if anything the contrary, just listened to a video on the potato famine - which the landlords survived not just vitally but also economically very well since selling the wheat their tenants grew in London.

Kevin Russell
@Hans-Georg Lundahl Thanks. I need to read up on the potato famine, since I have ancestors on both sides of the pale. Amazing that a society rested mostly on one staple, but didn't others rely on slash and burn maize that ran into difficulties?

And what a can of worms is wealth distribution, class, and ownership of property.

No society ever seems to get them right for any length of time, and we have not even mentioned monetary policy.

Hans-Georg Lundahl
@Kevin Russell "Amazing that a society rested mostly on one staple,"

A specific class. Tenants.

They also grew another staple, wheat, contractually reserved for their landlords who made business as usual in London with it.

12:52 [Monogamy is no easy walk for a man]

12:52 One of the problems mentioned by him (?) is, women get menopause sooner than men "lose interest" (some never do, or King David only within 24 hours of dying).

Perhaps I am misrecalling, another problem is of course that the man doesn't get pregnant, which makes it possible to get other woman pregnant as well. It may have been that one that he mentioned.

And one of the solutions is a man marrying late a woman who is younger than himself. Which of course entails a huge mortification (or débauche) up to that late marriage.

25:42 [Tolkien Geek speaks of it being usual to marry from places one spent lots of time in - schools, workplaces]

25:42 Unless those particular places have tended to be such where a certain person was too bullied to be attractive to the other sex, specifically a man too bullied to be attracted to a woman.

There is a reason I left Sweden. And since than I have been on roads or in streets, which is not the most ideal place from which to get up and for instance get married.

There is, therefore, also a reason I am to the right and to the left bothering people to take a look at my blogs (usually specific blog posts and usually not the ones I'd need Gresham's and the Blyton heirs' and Simon Tolkien's permission to monetise) and see if they can get someone (themselves or other) to start considering a little editors' business. Contrary to lawyer or physician, that business is not a protected status. You cannot call yourself physician or open a practise without going to med school for sufficiently long with sufficiently good results, as my parents know, and you cannot call yourself lawyer or attorney or notary without sufficient degrees in law school, as I am very sure you know. The same is not true for editing companies, though being good or at least decent at accounting is obviously a very good asset before you start any business.

As you may know, starting an editor's business to promote the work of one specific man is not unheard of, and as Arkham House was not founded by Lovecraft, it need not be the writer himself.

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