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TCG Letter #1174

J.R.R. Tolkien
Michael Bell
25 January 1969
Autograph Letter Signed
Tolkien was delighted that his letter arrived safely and "so quickly", see Letter from J.R.R. Tolkien to Michael Bell • 14 January 1969 (#1172). This reply followed one from Joy Hill ( Letter from Allen & Unwin (Joy Hill) to Michael Bell • 23 January 1969 (#1175)) where she explained Tolkien had been too busy to reply.

Tolkien returns a poem, but retains the one from Bell's wife, which Tolkien says is "charming and moving".

Tolkien is pleased that Bell has become a Catholic, but warns him that "boarding the bark" of Peter is not now a path to peace. He says that the Sea of Galilee is rough and that as a boy he was taken from the land of Egypt by his mother, who he describes as "beautiful". He continues that "one must take comfort in the calming of the storm" (Matthew 8). He follows that his friend C.S. Lewis arrived at Catholicism by "degrees" but that he remained hostile to the Roman Catholic Church.

Tolkien notes that Bell can of course use Rivendell and that his own granddaughter uses it. He suspects many others have used place names but had not felt the courtesy to ask Tolkien.
Related Letters
Thank you to 'Tuor son of Huor', TCG member for the correction to a word ('back' > 'bark') in our transcript. See Wikipedia link for more information.
Barque of Saint Peter, Wikipedia Link to Barque(bark) of Saint Peter

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