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Tolkien letter on "Antiques Roadshow"

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  • John D Rateliff
    So, while changing channels last night came across an English episode of Antiques Roadshow --where ordinary folks bring in antiques and collectables for
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 15, 2006
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      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      known, unpublished.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.

      --John R.
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