The Third Tolkien on View

"The son’s hand is more disciplined, more refined, more florid, and more regal than Mabel’s—as it must be, in this case, writing as a king. Yet the stylistic rudiments of the son’s letter are drawn entirely from the mother’s. Her talents and tastes for calligraphy have been passed to Ronald and he has transformed them into a grand art by grafting them into his epic work.

Tolkien’s genius was his own. His mother’s influence is not ultimately responsible for what he made of it. His very love for fairy stories (and far more) he received from Mabel. But, as childhood admirers of The Hobbit found when reading The Lord of The Rings, his understanding of them, with time, matured far beyond that original inception. And yet, with what material would Tolkien have had to work if his mother had not adorned his soul and mind so richly? His works of imaginative genius have been, in their heart, touched by a mother’s love."