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Re: New Letter from Tolkien found between books
Not too shy to talk
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2009/7/21 1:53
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I am not going to enter further than this.
I do not believe it to be in Tolkien's nature to allow a secretary to forge his signature. The implications in this discussion seem to be that he was aware of the forgeries (which I do not believe them to be). Why would he have to know?
I know nothing about his secretaries, and I do not mean to imply anything against them, but if these signatures are a forgery could it not be the secretary taking it upon themselves to compose and sign these letters.

Posted on: 2010/2/8 20:34


Re: Forum updates (current and pending)
Shirrif
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I think I agree Jeremy. It is probably to the great benefit of this sites standing that discussion is public, and not hidden away --so members & non-members alike can benefit from the insight some of the genuine (i.e. myself definitively excluded) experts provide.

Although, we should continue some sort of private forum & continue to post in it, just to annoy Deagol!

BH

Posted on: 2010/2/8 15:14
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You drive a hard bargain – you can have it for £10 all-in – one consolation (for you) is that you do not have to hear the cries of my children, for bread...


Re: New Letter from Tolkien found between books
Home away from home
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Maybe we should sent you a copy of 'letters by J.R.R. Tolkien' to make up to you! Tolkien did write MANY letters, and with many I mean almost on a daily basis. Many are very touching and all are very personal. But it is true that when people started sending letters to Tolkien in bulk someone helped him out to answer all letters. But even then we can see clearly that Tolkien did go through these letters, because in numerous cases he ads a line or two (handwritten) and signed them in person. I can however understand fully (especially since I live a very (extreme) busy life) that there will be moments I'm unable to answer all emails that I receive (and this is also in bulk) - I'd be happy if someone once in a while would aid me. But I believe in Tolkien's case the secretary letters are the exception...

Posted on: 2010/2/8 13:38


Re: New Letter from Tolkien found between books
Just popping in
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2010/2/5 6:42
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I am aware that I am not a pro in this discussion and I do not really dare to share my thought on this, but as a simple admirer of Tolkiens work your discussion touches a deep question regarding my view on Tolkiens character. My kids have seen the “water-colour letter” and they loved it. I have shown your discussion to them and they are confused.

On the one hand there is the English scholar and renown writer who receives letters from his admirers and answers them with the help of a secretary himself with lots of personal referrals to the original letter especially when children write to him, on the other hand there is a Tolkien who does not have the time to write to them and lets a secretary not only phrase and type them but lets her forge his signature under these “fake” letters.
I have had to learn that my admiration of a writer does not necessarily be mirrored in his character so I am open to your much more mature thoughts. How does the style of answering fan post give insides of a character and what does that mean in this special case.
Please forgive me to join into this highly sophisticated discussion but it touches a nerve.

Posted on: 2010/2/8 12:17


Private forum on TolkienGuide cont.
Thain
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I have had some good discussions via email with enough people that my thoughts are clarifying in regards to a private "member" forum. These are still just thoughts, so feel free to chime in and continue the conversation!

There is no such thing as 100% assurances that a member forum is "secure" and will prevent a forger from seeing what is posted either immediately or at some point in the future. Passwords can be guessed - how many of you are using a secure password for an out-of-the-way forum such as this? [Admin note, I can't tell because the database is encrypted even from my eyes.] How do I or anyone else effectively know that a regular here at some point isn't a forger trying to appear innocuous for a long enough period of time to be accepted into the community? How do we know that a search bot won't find a way past the (currently effective) barrier that prevents them from caching and sharing what is behind the member wall?

Also, as evidenced by W&C's article for the LOTR Plaza, there is value in having these discussions in a public forum - there is educational value both for buyers and sellers in knowing that fakes are out there, and knowing where to come (or who to ask privately) before making a big financial decision.

My heavy preference at this time is to have the conversations in public (the regular forums), and the experts filter themselves to what they feel is appropriate in such a venue. If they are not willing to share something such as a scan in a public forum, but are willing to share it privately, then email or other one-to-one (to more than one if desired) makes the most sense. Providing the illusion of privacy that can falter at any time does not make much sense to me now that I have thought about it more and discussed it with others.

Posted on: 2010/2/8 11:36
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