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(did you mean Carpenter's Letter #155?)

TCG Letter #155


From
J.R.R. Tolkien
To
Iona and Peter Opie
Date
25 November 1951
Type
Unknown
Transcript
Partial
This letter of which excerpts were published in The Lore and Language of Schoolchildren concerned the etymology of the word 'faynights'. After it was published in The Sunday Times, Iona and Peter Opie sent a letter to the newspaper, explaining the use of the word (published on 25 November 1951). Tolkien had read their letter, and wrote a long letter in reply, discussing the etymology of 'faynights'.

He wrote that he read their letter just as we was working on a similar etymological puzzle in Chaucer. In their work The Lore and Language of Schoolchildren, Iona and Peter Opie quoted from Tolkien's letter, which states, amongst other things, that the terms 'fains I', 'fains' and 'fainites' are survivals of medieval English from the 14th Century.

This letter was believed previously to be a draft, but it is the letter which was sent to the editor of The Times and Tolkien asked the editor to forward it to the Opie's. It is held by the Bodleian Library, labelled 'MS. Opie 71'.

Also note that the Bodleian use the spelling 'faynites' in their description.
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