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Re: Another Tolkien eBay Letter
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One correction to our post this morning: after checking our Pauline Baynes correspondence files, we find that Tolkien sent her at least two typewritten letters. However, the typewriter font, manner of typing, etc. of those certainly genuine letters are distinctly different from the characteristics of the one offered on eBay.

Christina has spent part of the day looking closely at the chronology of the Tolkien-Baynes-Allen & Unwin exchange in 1962, about which we'll have more to say this evening.

Wayne

Posted on: 2009/12/11 12:28
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Re: Another Tolkien eBay Letter
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And also from the same eBay seller is this allegedly autographed (in blue ink) Return of the King:

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/A-TOLKIEN-SIGNE ... tible?hash=item439c046fb1

The letter supposedly to Mrs Gasch (Pauline Baynes) fits into the known chronology (possibly thanks to Scull and Hammond, not what we meant to enable), but one has to wonder why Tolkien would twice misspell his publisher's name, why Tolkien would be acting as secretary or agent for Allen & Unwin when A&U always wrote this kind of letter themselves, why this should be a typed letter when all of Tolkien's known letters to Pauline (we've handled them) are manuscript, not to mention the usual problems of atypical typewriting, layout, etc., and the curious use of 'finalise' which we expect Tolkien would have considered substandard English.

Once again, it's interesting to look at the seller's other items offered on eBay. These include a questionable T.S. Eliot autograph in the Practical Cats and a tambourine, of all things, supposedly from T.E. Lawrence's home Clouds Hill and autographed by both Lawrence and Winston Churchill. Lots of blue ink, naturally.

Wayne and Christina

Posted on: 2009/12/11 6:31
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Re: Another Tolkien eBay Letter
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Like the "Higgins" letters and the one supposedly to Walter Hooper, we strongly doubt the authenticity of the one to "Chris". It does indeed have the same paper, signature, and so forth we've seen before. Just as the "Hooper" letter takes off from the published letter to Hooper of 22 November 1966 (Letters, p. 371), repeating or adapting certain key words, so the "Chris" letter proceeds from Tolkien's letter to Joy Hill of 12 December 1966 (also Letters, p. 371, immediately following the one to Hooper!): "impertinent" > "impertinence", "claim property in inventing proper names" > "claim legal sway over the invention of proper names", etc.

So, was this letter supposed to have been sent to Christopher Wiseman? or to Christopher Tolkien? In either case, it would not have been signed "J.R.R. Tolkien". Are we to believe that Tolkien, on 11 December (if we read the date correctly), sent "Chris" a copy of the papers from the "young ass", and then on the 12th sent the originals to Allen & Unwin with his letter to Joy Hill? (The enclosures consisted of a sketch of the plot and three sample chapters, plus a covering letter: see Chronology, p. 682.)

Also, the reproduction of the "Chris" letter is clear enough to compare its typewriter face against that of Tolkien letters in our files only a day apart, and it's obviously a different machine in use.

As for the Unwin Books Hobbit being offered by the same seller, it seems to us that the second (non-printed) signature was written as carefully as possible to match the printed signature, and therefore not by Tolkien himself. We have on our shelves an Unwin Books Hobbit (first printing) with an unquestionably genuine Tolkien signature under the printed one, and there are differences between the two such as naturally occur from signature to signature. Our copy had been autographed for Rayner Unwin, who gave it to us as a wedding present in 1994 with a note from Rayner laid in: "The book you know: the second signature is not a printing error -- or forgery!"

Wayne and Christina

Posted on: 2009/11/21 13:40
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Re: 1991 HarperCollins Hardback Slipcase Lord of the Rings
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Our set is also 11.2 cm wide. It was bought in London, and Christina assumes that she got it as soon as it reached the shops.

Do both variants give the printing location as Glasgow, as ours does? Do both have the GBP14.99 price on the jacket flaps? Was the wider variant perhaps made for an overseas market, or for a book club edition, and separately printed? It seems less likely that HarperCollins would change the dimensions of binding cases and slipcase partway through the run, and more likely that the variants represent separate manufactures.

I'm wondering what caused the 0.7 cm difference in width. Thicker paper? Thicker boards?

Wayne

Posted on: 2009/11/9 5:29
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Re: Festival in the Shire (August 2010)
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Is that likely, do we suppose?

Given the cost of transatlantic travel, on top of the conference/festival/exposition cost, accommodations, etc., no, not likely.

Wayne & Christina

Posted on: 2009/11/3 6:02
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