|Lake Windermere - England's Largest Lake - What Secrets Does It Hold?|
|H.C. Kennedy Wyld's Universal Dictionary of the English Language|
The first reference Sedgefield is making is to the 1911 'The Place-Names of Lancashire' by Henry Cecil Kennedy Wyld (1870-1945). From 1904 to 1920, Wyld was Baines Professor of English Language and Philology, Liverpool University. From 1920 to his death in 1945 he was Professor of English Language and Literature at Oxford and seems to have been one of J.R.R. Tolkien's great allies in the bringing together of the literature and language curriculum at Oxford. According to Hammond and Scull's Chronology - Tolkien knew Wyld and on 20 May 1929 (while at Pembroke College) Wyld, Tolkien and C.T. Onions signed a letter to the Secretary of Facilities asking the University to appoint a lecturer in 'English Language' (Chronology, p.149). Tolkien also mentions him in a letter to Christopher when he learns that Wyld has died 'god rest his soul' and he needs to work on finding a replacement for him as Professor of English Language and Literature at Oxford (Letters, p.108).
|The Germanic God Ullr|
The two examples Ekwall gives are interesting because both of them are examples of the English countryside having imprinted on them the names of past lost gods of England. One of the best studies of this is Brian Branston's The Lost Gods of England (Thames and London, 1957) which shows how they key Germanic gods worshiped by pre-Christain Anglo-Saxon inhabitants of England can be found in the name of English places.
And Thjothnuma a third;
Nyt and Not, | Non and Hron,
Slith and Hrith, | Sylg and Ylg,
Vith and Von, | Vond and Strond,
Gjol and Leipt, | that go among men,
And hence they fall to Hel.
As I was doing this preliminary investigation into the meaning of Lake Windermere and the mysteries that the understanding of the name might disclose - I thought about what it must have been like on 24 September 1914 when the young J.R.R. Tolkien while staying at his Aunt Jane Neave's farm in Phoenix Farm in Gedling near Nottingham discovered the name Earendel and from his linguistic exploration - his 'finding out' what the name and the story behind it was - gave birth to an entire new mythology.
As a great teacher (master in the Latin magister sense) who I very much respect and admire recently said to me 'Words can lead you into uncharted territory - both literally and figuratively Sleuth on!'
A crux for exploration begins - all from England's largest river!