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Re: Unusual Items

Subject: Re: Unusual Items
by R Hunt on 2008/1/1 7:20:03

I'm not a Tolkien fan per se.

I picked up a book for $4AUS at an antique shop in Rockingham, Western Australia where I live.

The book is 'Nova et Vetera' by ex-communicated, former Jesuit preist, George Tyrrell and was first published in 1897.

I am a practising Catholic and was quite excited about such a find however, further discovery has led me to post this message .

In the inside cover of the book is a coat of arms with several words that are unfamiliar to me (in Latin).

'Franciscus Morgan et Osborne' and 'Edgbaston' were easy enough to decipher as proper nouns that I could look up on Google.

On the next page, in faded fountain pen, 'Francis Morgan 1907' is written and then a word which looks like "theoratoby".

So I looked up 'Edgbaston' and one of the sites I found was the home page of The Birmingham Oratory. I looked up "Francis Morgan" and found the following page:

http://www.birmingham-oratory.org.uk/tolkien/

It might seem like a very slight thing but to me, it is fascinating to think that the book sitting next to me on my desk was once read by a) Fr Francis Morgan of the Birmingham Oratory (of John Henry Newman fame) and b) by the legal guardian of J R R Tolkien.

As a consequence of my petty research detailed above, I have come to read a lot more about Tolkien than I ever expected to in my lifetime and have been fascinated with his personal history.

Indeed, a fortunate find!