Unseen letters from Tolkien.

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Unseen letters from Tolkien.

Post by chris63 on Sat Jul 23, 2011 5:55 am

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Re: Unseen letters from Tolkien.

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Sat Jul 23, 2011 12:18 pm

Its within a days travel, mmmm. Might have to pop along there. Thanks for that Chris where do you find out about this stuff?!

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Re: Unseen letters from Tolkien.

Post by chris63 on Mon Jul 25, 2011 7:27 am

Twitter. I sound like a budgie Laughing Laughing
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Re: Unseen letters from Tolkien.

Post by chris63 on Tue Jan 31, 2012 2:40 am

A happy day it would have been to find this letter, handwritten by J.R.R. Tolkien himself, pressed between the pages of an old book. The Telegraph reports that this is just what happened to an anonymous man who put it up for auction at Richard Winterton auctioneers in Lichfield, Staffordshire.

“It’s a complete mystery how it turned up,” says Adrian Rathbone of Richard Winterton auctioneers. “The letter was addressed to a couple Tolkien had met on holiday, but it wasn’t the seller’s family.” Not only is there no link between the seller’s family and Tolkien; even the book whose pages preserved the letter was not one of the professor’s works.

In the letter, Tolkien addresses a couple as “My Dear People” whom he met on “rather a disgusting (and costly) ‘holiday’?” taken in 1963. He explains that he had planned to send the letter sooner, but both he and Edith had been ill. He goes on:

“I am feeling better now, but I am afraid Edith is not – a v nasty cold. Rather a disgusting and costly holiday, but for us it was at any rate made memorable by your company and kindness.

“We thought of you yesterday, and hoped your journey home would be less unpleasant than our icy winds and snow have foreboded.”



Along with the note was a Christmas card and a photograph of Tolkien with his “Dear People”, Wilfrid and Nora.

Adrian Rathbone showed surprise at the price fetched by this piece. “The former owners brought it in to a valuation day that we held having found it at home. Letters like this do sell, but I have to say I thought the maximum it would fetch was GBP300-400, not GBP1,700.”

Just as the seller’s identity has not been given , so the name of the winner – an online bidder who seized the rare opportunity- remains hidden

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Re: Unseen letters from Tolkien.

Post by Elthir on Fri Jun 29, 2012 4:26 am

By the way can anyone help decipher the Anthony Howlett letter, specifically the words after 'In the general use (applicable to both S. and Q) of the period of the tale...'

http://tolkiengateway.net/w/images/5/52/Anthony_D._Howlett_28_May_1969.jpg

Then... something... then what I think reads: 'specialized Q. 'clerical' use seen'... something (maybe 'in R.' meaning in Rivendell? or perhaps it's 'in the')... then 'letter' something... then '- it would be'

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Re: Unseen letters from Tolkien.

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Fri Jun 29, 2012 4:48 am

'in the general use (applicable in both S. and Q.) of the period of the tale (unknown word) respecializes Q. 'classical' use seen in the letters (unknown word-names or nouns possibly?) it would be (elvish) Rivendell
in (unknown word) would be (elvish)

best I could manage I'm afraid.

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Re: Unseen letters from Tolkien.

Post by yooper on Fri Jun 29, 2012 6:01 am

I am pretty sure I got most of it...


Imladris would have been written in the antique S. mode shown on the gates of Moria:

[elvish]

In the general use (applicable to both S. and Q) of the period of the tale - not the specialied Q "classical" use seen in the letter [latter?] [unknown word] - it would be

[elvish]

Rivendell in this mode would be

[elvish] or
[elvish]
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Re: Unseen letters from Tolkien.

Post by yooper on Fri Jun 29, 2012 6:15 am

The more I look at it, I think it is "latter" as opposed to letter and the next, unknown word might actually start with 'm' rather than 'n'

"latter" fits the context better than "letter" does, because he is talking about "the period of the tale" and the word latter could be used as a time comparison.
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Re: Unseen letters from Tolkien.

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Fri Jun 29, 2012 12:09 pm

I agree latter fits better Yooper and on reflection I agree is the more likely word.

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Re: Unseen letters from Tolkien.

Post by Elthir on Fri Jun 29, 2012 12:41 pm

Thanks!

I agree with classical rather than clerical (LOL, why didn't I at least think of classical as an option) but I'm not sure about 'respecializes' (yooper's 'not the specialized' seems better here)... and I still think it looks more like letter, but I'll muse more on the possible context.

That word after letter/latter would help!
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Re: Unseen letters from Tolkien.

Post by Elthir on Fri Jun 29, 2012 1:01 pm

Hmm, could it be a letter 'gone wrong' (a mistake), then the word 'events'... although that doesn't seem like the best word to have chosen even if the comparison is to time.
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Re: Unseen letters from Tolkien.

Post by yooper on Fri Jun 29, 2012 3:50 pm

I agree it could be letter. hard to say without that next word for better context.

"latter modes" would make alot of sense in the context, and I would think that was what it is, but that word doesn't seem to have a "d" in it!

it looks most like names, nouns, mains, means, etc. but none of those seem to make sense with letter or latter.
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Re: Unseen letters from Tolkien.

Post by yooper on Fri Jun 29, 2012 3:56 pm

could he be referring to one of the Quenya letter reference tables/appendices/etc?

something along the lines of "letter charts" or "letter tables" would make sense in the context but I can't think what that second word could be if this was his intention.
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Re: Unseen letters from Tolkien.

Post by Elthir on Sat Jun 30, 2012 3:27 pm

I would think it would have to be something Mr. Howlett was familiar with: ... specialized Q classical use seen in... and if I recall correctly The Road Goes Ever On was published at this point too, but that isn't helping any, so far.

I keep thinking that 'this time' I look at the word I will suddenly realize what it should be, and therefore likely is. Nothing yet however.

Laughing
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Re: Unseen letters from Tolkien.

Post by David H on Sat Jun 30, 2012 4:18 pm

The word "letter" or "letters" is pretty clear (though not certain), but I can't make out the following word either.

As for context though, the simplest meaning might be simply referring to the Moria script immediately above. Then it might say something like:

- not the specialied Q "classical" use seen in the letters named -

I suspect the word in question was commonly used by Tolkien because of the casual way it was written. If he were referring to an separate document I suspect he would have taken a little more care to make it readable. It's just a trait of archivists and scholars.

I'm afraid that's the best I can do.
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Re: Unseen letters from Tolkien.

Post by Orwell on Sun Jul 01, 2012 2:45 am

How can you see an unseen letter? Suspect

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Re: Unseen letters from Tolkien.

Post by David H on Sun Jul 01, 2012 7:30 am

Orwell wrote:How can you see an unseen letter? Suspect

It takes godlike powers Cool
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Re: Unseen letters from Tolkien.

Post by Elthir on Mon Jul 02, 2012 4:28 pm

Orwell wrote:How can you see an unseen letter? Suspect

Plus we can't 'see' (as in decipher yet) all the letters within the letters.

Obviously the letters, both seen and unseen, include letters, but we can't see the letters in the latter letters (the unseen letters), and even all of the letters in the seen letters -- or else we could read the word after letter or latter, in the recent letter under discussion.

Or something.
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Re: Unseen letters from Tolkien.

Post by Orwell on Sat May 24, 2014 11:50 pm

Something or any thing? scratch

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Re: Unseen letters from Tolkien.

Post by malickfan on Tue Jul 29, 2014 8:33 pm

Hammond and Scull note in the JRR Tolkien Companion and Guide: Readers Guide, that they had (as of 2006) recorded some 1500 letters by Tolkien published, or in private collections, with more continuing to come to light, as far as I can tell a great deal of the unpublished letters detail his correspondence with publishers and members of the T.C.B.S, interesting certainly, but perhaps of too personal and obscure a nature to merit publication.

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Re: Unseen letters from Tolkien.

Post by Eldorion on Tue Jul 29, 2014 9:16 pm

I think they should release them, so long as they don't mess with the numbering from the original edition of the Letters.  I'm not gonna try to re-learn the numbers of the more famous letters now. Mad

(Probably wouldn't be cost-effective anyway; I can't imagine the Companion and Guide was a big seller either. Very grateful to Hammond & Scull for all they've done, though.)
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Re: Unseen letters from Tolkien.

Post by malickfan on Tue Jul 29, 2014 9:40 pm

Eldorion wrote:I think they should release them, so long as they don't mess with the numbering from the original edition of the Letters.  I'm not gonna try to re-learn the numbers of the more famous letters now. Mad

(Probably wouldn't be cost-effective anyway; I can't imagine the Companion and Guide was a big seller either.  Very grateful to Hammond & Scull for all they've done, though.)

I seem to recall reading that Hammond and Scull had suggested an Expanded edition of Letters to The Publishers at some point, but were turned down due to concerns about it's feasibility as a popular book (though I might be imagining that)-it's a fair enough point, as you say I don't think Letters would be a big seller, and coming hot off the back of the films it might seem a bit of cash. Somewhat ironically they quote from numerous unpublished letters in the Companion and Guide (Recently purchased a copy...all I can say is wow!, there is alot of info in those books...) and I get the impression, if given the opportunity they'd certainly be the right candidates for such a job.

I've read most of their books, and yes I'm very very grateful for the hard work, and fascinating insights they've given readers.

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Re: Unseen letters from Tolkien.

Post by malickfan on Tue Dec 30, 2014 9:52 pm


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Re: Unseen letters from Tolkien.

Post by chris63 on Wed Dec 31, 2014 7:15 pm


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Re: Unseen letters from Tolkien.

Post by Bluebottle on Thu Apr 30, 2015 4:18 pm


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