So, while changing channels last night came across an English episode
of 'Antiques Roadshow' --where ordinary folks bring in antiques and
collectables for experts to evaluate. This time, a guy brought in two
Tolkien letters that had belonged to his great aunt, one handwritten
and the other typed. They showed both side of the handwritten letter,
which was to Miss Burns on 26th July 1956, discussing Frodo's failure
on Mt. Doom. A lengthy excerpt of a draft appears as letter #191
(LETTERS OF JRRT pages 251-252) but the final letter is, so far as I
known, unpublished. Even though badly waterstained, the assessor
thought it'd go for a minimum of a thousand pounds, and probably more
than twice that. Wasn't able to tape the episode, since this came up
so unexpectedly, but just goes to show you never know where Tolkien
references will turn up these days.
Case in point: also this week saw the first episode of the new season
of DOCTOR WHO, in which his companion (who's from modern-day London)
refers to the villain's cowering sycophantic minion as
"Gollum" (e.g., along the lines of "Keep Gollum here away from me").
Finally, in the manga NEGIMA, volume 14, one episode opens with the
picture of a character who loves to read holding a stack of eight
books, the topmost of which is THE LORD OF THE RINGS (and the
publisher on the spine "Allen & Unwin"). My eyes aren't good enough
to make out the other seven titles, but one of them is "..... ENGLISH
LEXICON" from Oxford (i.e., O.U.P.). This is, by the way, the same
character who praised Earthsea in an earlier volume.
Hope all at Sammath Naur are safe and didn't suffer anything more
than inconvenience from today's earthquakes.