The Monsters and the Critics
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May 12
2022/5/12 4:49:06 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
Might be useful if you mention the exact editions you are referring to, as an example the latest Letters from Father Christmas edition has had extensive edits made to it.
May 12
2022/5/12 5:29:20 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia

Trotter wrote:

Might be useful if you mention the exact editions you are referring to, as an example the latest Letters from Father Christmas edition has had extensive edits made to it.
It is based on the American kindle edition. But I've checked the box-opening videos of the 19 Deluxe & 20 Centenary editions, and a 2020 Brazil translation (which includes edits first introduced in 2019), judging from the sample pages, those transcriptions are still unchanged.
May 13
2022/5/13 2:40:35 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
For Letters, I have a full list of every difference (including punctuation and capitalization differences) between the 2019 published text and the manuscript letters. HarperCollins used this to make a lot of changes in the 2020 edition, but many are intentional editorial decisions and will not be "corrected" as they are not in error. For example, "Cave Brown Cave" is always changed to "Cave Bear" in the transcripts. Also a lot of personal notes about family etc. are not transcribed.

I can publish the document here sometime this weekend I think.
May 13
2022/5/13 4:13:54 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia

Urulókë wrote:

For Letters, I have a full list of every difference (including punctuation and capitalization differences) between the 2019 published text and the manuscript letters. HarperCollins used this to make a lot of changes in the 2020 edition, but many are intentional editorial decisions and will not be "corrected" as they are not in error. For example, "Cave Brown Cave" is always changed to "Cave Bear" in the transcripts. Also a lot of personal notes about family etc. are not transcribed.
I can publish the document here sometime this weekend I think.
Look forward to it!

I think the editorial style is not consistent, they directly used the older shortened transcription without double-checking. The original "Cave Brown Cave" actually appears in 1934 letter, but a paragraph later the editor changed him back to "Cave Bear" again. Priscilla's Bingo came out of nowhere in 1935, because Tolkien's first reference to Bingo in 1934 was deleted. And a passage from 1940 letter is moved to 1943.
May 17
2022/5/17 18:09:24 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
I haven't had time to transcribe/format this for better layout and legibility, but here is the google drive document (view only) for those interested. Looking back over it, I do see that I did not actually note every contraction/expansion, so that is something I might go back and add for a final version of the comparison. Let me know if you have feedback!

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1Rk ... yg1vR59o/edit?usp=sharing
May 18 (edited)
2022/5/18 2:45:51 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
Thanks, very helpful! I have the following suggestions:

#19 The 4th addressee is Áslaug, as already discussed in my errata suggestion for Companion and Guide.
#112 But Polar Bear says that nearly all of it is in my letter between the two red stars. > But Polar Bear says that nearly all of it is actually in my letter between the two red stars.
#157 The runes are ᛗᚣᛏᚢᚱᚾ [Anglo-Saxon runes "My Turn"]

And a few more: (I don't have 2019 ed, so page numbers may have ±1 error)
P56 I was cutting Christmas trees when I hurt it. > I was cutting Christmas trees wen I hurt it.
P58 My real name is Karhu but I don’t tell most people. > My real name is Karhu but I don’t tell most people. Mi Paw
P70 Not finished until Christmas Eve, 24th December > December 20rd ?! Not finished until Christmas Eve, 24th
P136 No ink this year > No INK this year
P149 Northpole Road, Oxford (he always says that) > Northpole Road (he always says that) Oxford
May 18
2022/5/18 16:38:03 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
Thanks! I've updated the document with these, and added your screen name to the list of acknowledgements 😉

When I pull out of the google doc to the site here, I will renumber them sequentially, or just not number them. The gaps and "a", "b" style numbering were because multiple updated documents were sent to HarperCollins so it was important to keep the numbering the same from version to version as updates were added.
May 18 (edited)
2022/5/18 17:07:07 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia

zionius wrote:

Thanks, very helpful! I have the following suggestions:

#19 The 4th addressee is Áslaug, as already discussed in my errata suggestion for Companion and Guide.
#112 But Polar Bear says that nearly all of it is in my letter between the two red stars. > But Polar Bear says that nearly all of it is actually in my letter between the two red stars.
#157 The runes are ᛗᚣᛏᚢᚱᚾ [Anglo-Saxon runes "My Turn"]

And a few more: (I don't have 2019 ed, so page numbers may have ±1 error)
P56 I was cutting Christmas trees when I hurt it. > I was cutting Christmas trees wen I hurt it.
P58 My real name is Karhu but I don’t tell most people. > My real name is Karhu but I don’t tell most people. Mi Paw
P70 Not finished until Christmas Eve, 24th December > December 20rd ?! Not finished until Christmas Eve, 24th
P136 No ink this year > No INK this year
P149 Northpole Road, Oxford (he always says that) > Northpole Road (he always says that) Oxford

I have for some time now been working on a detailed list (with commentary) of all differences between the manuscripts and the printed text, available here. It runs some 77 pages but I have so far only got part of the way through 1933. You'll find all the things you mention above in it, as far as it currently goes (e.g., see Aslaug on p.24), though do let me know if I've overlooked anything. In addition, there are several appendices, of which appendix B, C, and D are likely to be of most interest here. Appendix C.2 is based on, but makes a quite a few additions and corrections to, Urulókë's list. Let me know if you have any questions – I hope this is helpful. I'll update periodically as I work on this further.
May 19 (edited)
2022/5/19 7:46:00 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia

Philomythos wrote:



I have for some time now been working on a detailed list (with commentary) of all differences between the manuscripts and the printed text, available here. It runs some 77 pages but I have so far only got part of the way through 1933. You'll find all the things you mention above in it, as far as it currently goes (e.g., see Aslaug on p.24), though do let me know if I've overlooked anything. In addition, there are several appendices, of which appendix B, C, and D are likely to be of most interest here. Appendix C.2 is based on, but makes a quite a few additions and corrections to, Urulókë's list. Let me know if you have any questions – I hope this is helpful. I'll update periodically as I work on this further.

This is so amazing! I was planning to do the same thing two weeks ago and ended up with only 5 pages, now I'm glad I didn't speed too much time doing things you've done 100 times better! Here are my suggestions:

p.2 "I do not regularly reproduce the “Arktik” letters letters “[Uparrow]” and “V” but transcribe them as T and U respectively" I guess PB used the runic “ᛏ” rather than uparrow for T. His other writings are clearly similar to runes, with no horizontal stroke.

p.6 "What do we know about this letter draft?" I guess it might be from a pitch letter to Stanley Unwin in 1937. The letter mentions "correspondence for almost 20 years". And Chronology says: "27 October 1937 Tolkien travels to London, probably on the 12.05 train, for a 12.45 lunch with Stanley Unwin. Unwin asks him to submit various writings for consideration. After their meeting Unwin makes a rough list of material that Tolkien has mentioned. These include ‘a volume of short fairy stories in various styles practically ready for publication … (Sil Marillion) [sic]’; ‘the typescript of a History of the Gnomes, and stories arising from it’; Mr. Bliss; The Lost Road, ‘a partly written novel of which we could see the opening chapters’; ‘a great deal of verse of one kind and another which would probably be worth looking at’; a translation of Beowulf ‘upon which he has as yet done very little’; and the ‘Father Christmas’ letters (Tolkien–George Allen & Unwin archive, HarperCollins)."

p.8 Jennie Grove's full name is Mary Jane Grove. She was referred to as "Auntie Jenni" & "Auntie Glove" in later letters. "Auntie Mary" might also be her.

p.8 "Aslaug (p.40, cf. below:24), who is almost certainly an Icelandic au pair at the Tolkiens’ house at that time." Her name is actually Áslaug (with acute accent). Interview of another Icelandic au pair girl Arndís Þorbjarnardóttir (https://timarit.is/page/1928715#page/n25/mode/2up, she stayed during 1930 c.Jan to c.June) mentioned Áslaug & Rúna were two girls before her staying. Áslaug (who stayed 1.5 years) was her classmate at Kvennaskólinn í Reykjavík (the first secondary school for women in Iceland), Rúna graduated from Flensborgarskólinn (another secondary school).

p.14 "These [Christmas crackers] are mentioned several other times in the letters," Crackers are also depicted in LFC20 p.72 & p.176.

p.26 “The moon was going out!” It is also useful to note in the letter this event happened "just after teatime", whereas in Oxford the eclipse time is about 16:00~19:00(https://www.timeanddate.com/eclipse/lunar/1927-december-8), a perfect match.

p.29 for wicket bear read wicked bear

p.35 "“RAIQE! TELKUME KIRYANDON NOLO.” Its meaning is obscure." Damien & Aelfwine discussed its possible meaning here. https://tolkienlistsearch.herokuapp.co ... /5e9c3605acad32fd587a3ac9 https://tolkienlistsearch.herokuapp.co ... /5e9c3605acad32fd587a3acb

p.37 Olaf is a Norse name meaning "ancestor's descendant".(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Olaf)

p.60 “when the polar star was not in the Big Dipper” means axial precession of the earth. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Axial_precession)

p.60 According to CJRT, "all of the ‘Father Christmas’ cave images appear in a book which had once belonged to his father, Prehistory: A Study of Early Cultures in Europe and the Mediterranean Basin by M.C. Burkitt (2nd edn. 1925)" (Companion and Guide). I've located half of them: https://twitter.com/zionius/status/1426818920606945281 where the roman numerals mean plate number in the book. Tolkien used cave paintings from France, Spain, Sweden, Russia, etc.

Urulókë , I guess at least two transcript changes noted by Philomythos could be included in your suggestion to HC:
It seems "December 20rd !! Not finished until Christmas Eve" should read "December 23rd !! Not finished until Christmas Eve". And "the two red stars" in 1932 letter referred to the two red "*" on LFC19 p.105 bottom & p.109 top, so the transcription should include them, if "red stars" are mentioned. (The text between the red stars is a paraphrase of the letter in goblin alphabet.)
May 19
2022/5/19 8:06:55 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
I've been collecting Chinese translation errors in Tolkien books. The current list (http://searcherr.work/JRRTErrata/) includes 400 errors in simplified Chinese LOTR, H, S & UT. It is written in Chinese, of course. But if anyone is interested, you can grasp the rough meaning via google translator, especially since the corresponding English texts are also given.
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