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Beorhtnoth Cassette

14 Jan, 2020 (edited)
2020-1-14 3:44:43 AM UTC

Anyone know how many of these were sold? Or how/where they were sold? Were they just given out at the Centenary? I feel like I've seen some info on this before but I can't recall where. (I'm excited to have found one!)

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14 Jan, 2020
2020-1-14 1:26:14 PM UTC
They were given gratis to members of the Centenary Conference. I don't know how many were made, or how many were given out, but there should be a list of members of the conference somewhere, which would provide an estimate.
14 Jan, 2020
2020-1-14 6:00:33 PM UTC
It was a gift to attendees from HarperCollins. Not sure how many were made. Maybe 400-500 made?? The programme book lists 364 attendees. Not sure how far in advance this was printed though so the final figure was probably higher. Christina Scull was chair of the organising committee so might remember those dim, distant days.....
14 Jan, 2020
2020-1-14 9:42:01 PM UTC
Thank you both! I’m sure I’d be speaking for anyone who wasn’t there in saying, “I wish I had been there!!”
15 Jan, 2020
2020-1-15 1:21:24 AM UTC
364 attendees are listed in the programme book, but that number included those who booked only for the later, Oxonmoot portion of the conference, while the cassettes were given to attendees at the Sheldonian Theatre performance of Donald Swann's song cycle and reading by Christopher Tolkien, on the second night of the conference. Subtracting the Oxonmoot-only attendees from the 364 leaves only 295. The programme book was indeed printed in advance of a final attendance number, and some of those listed could not be in Oxford for the Sheldonian event.

At any rate, at least 300 copies of the tape would have been needed, and allowing for copies given by the Tolkien family (who paid for it) or by HarperCollins to others not at the conference, or by conference staff to invited guests who couldn't attend (we ourselves delivered one of the tapes to Pauline Baynes), the quantity would have had to have been at least 350, perhaps 400. (500 seems less likely.)

After the conference, there were copies of the tape left over, perhaps two or three dozen if memory serves, which Christina handed over to Dick Williamson, the Tolkien Estate's solicitor.

Christina & Wayne
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