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Lot 394
TOLKIEN (J.R.R.) Typed letter signed ("J.R.R. Tolkien"), to Deirdre Levinson
Sold for £549 (US$ 923) inc. premium
Auction Details
Lot Details
Typed letter signed ("J.R.R. Tolkien"), to Deirdre Levinson, who had written to him from South Africa ("...I am distressed to hear about S.A. But it began a long time ago. My mother disliked it and was distressed to observe that my father did not, and was evidently going to stay. It was the country, that is the land, though, in his case..."): he protests that "I am not in a state of content or repose. As far as I am concerned, that state lies, if anywhere/when, beyond Purgatory. But I am well, and fairly cheerful" and expresses surprise to hear "that my works are known to exist by anybody, let alone read", joking that the "absence of a monument in Bloemfontein is of course regretful", nevertheless remarking how shocked he was to hear of Roy Campbell's death ("...with a little effort I could have seen a little more of him in recent years..."); much of the rest of the letter is devoted to Oxford gossip, including ructions over Roman Catholics following a "rather ill-tempered attack" by the Archbishop of Canterbury, while protesting at the Inkling caricature foisted on him ("...I am sorry to be pinned down to beer, especially in quantity. On the whole it goes better with tobacco than other drinks; but I have never been a gargantuan swiller of it. I very much liked your mead, by the way. I am trying to get some more, Is l-ph-s-h the modern Hebrew for this concoction, and if so what is the vocalism?..."), two pages, 4to, Headington, 26 June 1957


  • Tolkien was, of course, born in Bloemfontein.