Harry and Sirius were both laughing; Mundungus, who had toppled backwards off his chair, was swearing as he got to his feet; Crookshanks had given an angry hiss and shot off under the dresser, from whence his large yellow eyes glowed in the darkness.

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

I think "whence his large yellow eyes glowed in the darkness" is just fine. Why should we need 'from' here? Any thoughts?

1 Answer 1


It's not needed, but it's still widely accepted:

Strictly speaking, whence means ‘from what place,’ as in whence did you come? Thus, the preposition from in from whence did you come? is redundant and its use is considered incorrect by some. The use with from is very common, though, and has been used by reputable writers since the 14th century. It is now broadly accepted in standard English
Oxford Dictionaries

Notably, "from whence" was used by Shakespeare in Timon of Athens:

Our poesy is as a gum, which oozes
From whence 'tis nourish'd...

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