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TCG Letter #1732

C.S. Lewis
J.R.R. Tolkien
7 December 1929
C.S. Lewis writes to Tolkien. He has sat up all night reading the Lay of Leithian and is delighted with it. He has yet to finish but Hammond/Scull noteChronology, p. 161[1] that he has reached approx. line 2017.

He notes that he would have enjoyed it as much had he found it in a bookstore from an unknown author. He has read as far as "where Beren and his gnomish allies defeat the patrol of orcs above the sources of the Narog and disguise themselves in the reaf."Old English for “garments, weapons, taken from the slain.”[2] Tolkien will mark the poem for revision based on Lewis' comments.

With the letter, Lewis includes no less that fourteen pages of commentary on the poem, some of which can be read in The Lays of Beleriand, pp. 315-29.

1 Chronology, p. 161
2 Old English for “garments, weapons, taken from the slain.”
J.R.R. Tolkien: Life and Legend, p. 67 (see items 194-6)
The History of Middle-earth: Vol. 03 - The Lays of Beleriand, see pp. 150-1 for parts of the commentary from Lewis
The Inklings: C. S. Lewis, J. R. R. Tolkien, Charles Williams and their friends (London: George Allen & Unwin, 1978), pp. 31-2
We note our sincerest thanks to Bruce R. Johnson from the C. S. Lewis Correspondence Project for his help with the details of this letter.

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