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Another Tolkien letter at Christie's

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  • Doug Kane
    Hi all! A friend pointed out to me that there is another Tolkien letter being auctioned by Christie s. This one was written to a Professor Przemyslaw
    Message 1 of 6 , May 28 11:19 AM
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      Hi all!

      A friend pointed out to me that there is another Tolkien letter being auctioned by Christie's. This one was written to a Professor Przemyslaw Mroczkowski in January 1964. I'm curious as to whether anyone knows anything about Prof. Mrockzkowski. The letter apparently is signed "Ronald Tolkien" so it must be someone that Tolkien had something of a personal relationship with. Here's the link:

      http://www.christies.com/LotFinder/lot_details.aspx?from=searchresults&intObjectID=5210971&sid=66d5002a-4bc4-464a-8c9b-47091f3318ed

      There is no particular reason for the inquiry (certainly the letter is WAY outside my price range). I'm just curious about learning more about anyone that Tolkien was close to.

      Doug

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    • David Bratman
      ... Mroczkowski in January 1964. I m curious as to ... Polish professor of English. Wrote books called Chaucer to Chesterton: English classics from Polish
      Message 2 of 6 , May 28 11:40 AM
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        Doug Kane <dougkane@...> wrote:

        >A friend pointed out to me that there is another
        >Tolkien letter being auctioned by Christie's.
        >This one was written to a Professor Przemyslaw
        Mroczkowski in January 1964. I'm curious as to
        >whether anyone knows anything about Prof. Mrockzkowski.

        Polish professor of English. Wrote books called "Chaucer to Chesterton: English classics from Polish perspective" and "The medievalism of G.K. Chesterton: a critical enquiry." And that's just what's actually in English. There is an essay about Tolkien and Lewis in his 1975 book (in Polish), "Dzentelmeni i poeci: Eseje z literatury angielskiej" (trans: "Gentlemen and Poets: Essays on English Literature") (see http://www.forodrim.org/bibliography/tolklist.html)

        In Grotta's biography (1978 ed., p. 78) he is described as "a Polish scholar who became friends with Tolkien shortly after World War II, and is at present a professor of English philology at the Jagiellonian University in Cracow." Grotta quotes from several letters of Tolkien's to him, and his thoughts on Tolkien and his works.
      • Doug Kane
        Thanks, David! You were high on the list of people that I expected would be able to fill me in. I ve never read Grotta s biography. I guess I should. ...
        Message 3 of 6 , May 28 11:49 AM
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          Thanks, David! You were high on the list of people that I expected would be able to fill me in. I've never read Grotta's biography. I guess I should.

          ----- Original Message -----
          From: David Bratman
          To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
          Sent: Thursday, May 28, 2009 11:40 AM
          Subject: Re: [mythsoc] Another Tolkien letter at Christie's





          Doug Kane <dougkane@...> wrote:

          >A friend pointed out to me that there is another
          >Tolkien letter being auctioned by Christie's.
          >This one was written to a Professor Przemyslaw
          Mroczkowski in January 1964. I'm curious as to
          >whether anyone knows anything about Prof. Mrockzkowski.

          Polish professor of English. Wrote books called "Chaucer to Chesterton: English classics from Polish perspective" and "The medievalism of G.K. Chesterton: a critical enquiry." And that's just what's actually in English. There is an essay about Tolkien and Lewis in his 1975 book (in Polish), "Dzentelmeni i poeci: Eseje z literatury angielskiej" (trans: "Gentlemen and Poets: Essays on English Literature") (see http://www.forodrim.org/bibliography/tolklist.html)

          In Grotta's biography (1978 ed., p. 78) he is described as "a Polish scholar who became friends with Tolkien shortly after World War II, and is at present a professor of English philology at the Jagiellonian University in Cracow." Grotta quotes from several letters of Tolkien's to him, and his thoughts on Tolkien and his works.




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        • Wayne G. Hammond
          ... Read it, by all means, just don t necessarily trust its accuracy. There are also four references to Professor Mroczkowski in the Chronology volume of The
          Message 4 of 6 , May 28 12:05 PM
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            >I've never read Grotta's biography. I guess I should.

            Read it, by all means, just don't necessarily trust its accuracy.

            There are also four references to Professor Mroczkowski in the Chronology
            volume of The J.R.R. Tolkien Companion and Guide.

            Wayne


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          • David Bratman
            ... Grotta s primary value is his interviews with and quotes from a number of Tolkien s more peripheral friends who don t happen to appear in Carpenter. This
            Message 5 of 6 , May 28 12:14 PM
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              Doug Kane <dougkane@...> wrote:

              >I've never read Grotta's biography. I guess I should.

              Grotta's primary value is his interviews with and quotes from a number of Tolkien's more peripheral friends who don't happen to appear in Carpenter. This is because Carpenter was writing a documentary biography while Grotta had to scavenge around in the middens. Some of his findings provide modestly useful additional perspectives, and Mroczkowski's is one.
            • Doug Kane
              ... That s what I have heard before. Based on what I have been told, it didn t seem worth taking the time. ... Why am I not surprised? ;-) That s what I get
              Message 6 of 6 , May 28 12:19 PM
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                Wayne wrote:

                > >I've never read Grotta's biography. I guess I should.

                > Read it, by all means, just don't necessarily trust its accuracy.

                That's what I have heard before. Based on what I have been told, it didn't seem worth taking the time.

                > There are also four references to Professor Mroczkowski in the Chronology
                > volume of The J.R.R. Tolkien Companion and Guide.

                Why am I not surprised? ;-) That's what I get for asking a question from work, rather than waiting until I can go home and check the obvious source first. I'll check those references as soon as I get home.

                Thanks, Wayne!



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