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Tolkien the spy?
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"GCHQ museum in Cheltenham shows JRR Tolkiien was possible candidate to work at Bletchley Park"

http://tinyurl.com/p8wbu5

- wellinghall

Posted on: 2009/9/16 0:11


Re: Tolkien the spy?
Thain
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I found this really interesting to read - it does make sense that someone with such a deep understanding and training in languages could be useful for code and cipher work. It would also make sense that Tolkien would want to help out in the war effort in some way at home.

I am a little far away from my library at the moment - is this the first evidence of this? Did it get mentioned at all in Wayne and Christina's works?

Posted on: 2009/9/16 2:20
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- Jeremy


Re: Tolkien the spy?
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See our J.R.R. Tolkien Companion and Guide: Chronology, pp. 224 (January 1939, Tolkien agrees to work in the cryptography department of the Foreign Office in the event of war), 226 (27 March 1939, Tolkien begins a four-day training course), 232 (October 1939, Tolkien is informed that he will not be required to work as a cryptographer). See also Letters, note for letter 35, p. 436.

Wayne & Christina

Posted on: 2009/9/16 5:23


Re: Tolkien the spy?
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Wayne, thanks for this. Unfortunately, most of our boxes are still buried by the detritus of moving house, so I couldn't check these references for myself; and the exhibition appears to be for GCHQ staff only, and I no longer know anyone working there, so I can't check the exhibits for myself.

- wellinghall

Posted on: 2009/9/16 6:57


Re: Tolkien the spy?
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I notice this bit in the Telegraph version of the article (http://bit.ly/m818w): "A record of [Tolkien's] training carries the word ''keen'' beside his name." This leads the GCHQ historian to remark that ''While he didn't sign up as was probably intended, he did complete three days' training and was 'keen' to do more." I think it plain that "keen" was written only to indicate the pronunciation of "Tolkien" (distinguishing it from "kine")....

Posted on: 2009/9/16 7:38



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