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Re: Middle English Vocabulary
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The bibliography of A Middle English Vocabulary is necessarily complicated because Oxford University Press bound copies of the sheets as needed. This led to sheets of the first printing being bound with different advertisements and different wrappers, when they were bound as a separate publication (some were bound up with Kenneth Sisam's Fourteenth Century Verse & Prose). Also, no copies are marked as "first printing" or the like, so one has to identify them according to the number of ornaments on the upper cover and dates and other features of added advertisements and the wrappers, and to note the features of the deposit copies in the British Library and Bodleian Library, which are presumably from the first publication.

In the Bibliography I describe the first printing and three binding variants of which I was aware. I then describe two copies I presume to be later than those three, by virtue of the rubber-stamped line "PRINTED IN ENGLAND" (all caps); and a later printing, clearly so as "Printed in England" (upper and lower case) is set in type. Because your copy A has a line of this sort on the title-page, it's presumably a later issue or printing. The heading of the advertisements in copy A would suggest this too, as all copies of the first printing (as I identify it) have "EARLY AND MIDDLE ENGLISH" (all caps). (I don't recall having seen any with just "Middle English".) Your copy B has some of the points I associate with the first printing, binding variant 1.

Wayne

Posted on: 2010/4/10 6:12
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Re: Tolkien Signatures on eBay???
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No, it's not d'Ardenne, but we can't think who it might be either -- perhaps one of the Oxford students he was tutoring around that time, or a friend in the Exeter College Essay Club? The handwriting is Tolkien's, anyway, his earlier, less disciplined script: compare, for instance, the page from The Fall of Gondolin in The Book of Lost Tales, Part Two, and the 1913 inscription reproduced in J.R.R. Tolkien: Life and Legend, p. 27. The latter is signed 'John Reuel Tolkien', so only one 'R', as it were, in that case.

Wayne & Christina

Posted on: 2010/4/4 14:29
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Re: Tolkien Signatures on eBay???
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The latest (which went unsold, with no bids) is a standard Allen & Unwin internal memo of the period. We've seen many examples. Nor do we have any problem with the signature and date on the verso being in Tolkien's hand. The event to which Tolkien was driven on 14 July 1972, at the Allen & Unwin offices and warehouses at Hemel Hempstead, is mentioned in our Chronology, p. 765, and in Letters, p. 421.

Wayne & Christina

Posted on: 2010/3/24 18:43
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Re: New Letter from Tolkien found between books
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I enclose a merely secretarial letter. I am obliged to leave a large part of the letters to a part-time secretary; but I always re-read them before sending any reply

Meaning, we suppose, that he dictated some of his letters to a secretary (which he is known to have done), she typed them, and before posting he read them, as well as re-read the letters to which he was replying. This gave him the opportunity to add handwritten notes below the typewritten part.

Wayne & Christina

Posted on: 2010/2/12 20:47
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Re: New Letter from Tolkien found between books
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Since there could be a consensus but not a resolution among the writers in this thread, we asked Christopher and Baillie Tolkien about the letter to the Fourth Class and the larger question about secretaries signing Tolkien's name in his style. Christopher knows his father's writing very well, as no one would dispute, and his wife Baillie had direct experience as one of JRRT's secretaries. Christopher replied this morning that the letter of 31 December 1964 is genuinely by his father, 'entirely characteristic, and signed by him: the signature is unquestionable and in no way out of the ordinary'. Further, Christopher rejected completely the idea that his father would have directed a secretary to imitate his signature, or that a secretary would have done so without direction: this would have been 'contrary to his sense of propriety'.

Wayne & Christina

Posted on: 2010/2/12 19:30
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