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Guide to Tolkien's Letters
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23 Feb, 2023 (edited)
2023-2-23 4:56:28 PM UTC

Urulókë wrote:

I am spending time in this book recently, so I will update this post as I note things.

Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien (eBook)
  • Letter 255: "He says: pam is norna cenned/fyrnstreama geflotan Fastitocalon, ‘to him is a name appointed, to the floater in the ancient tides, Fastitocalon’. => þam is noma
24 Feb, 2023
2023-2-24 3:53:23 AM UTC

Urulókë wrote:


Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien (eBook)

I noted some a while ago:

9
It would be kind if you would retum>return the rejected.

17
Still that in [no] way detracts from their public effect.

19
But the real fun about ores>orcs and dragons (to my mind) was before their time.

43
Much though moderm>modern conditions have changed feminine circumstances,
In those days chaps joined up, or were scormed>scorned publicly.

52
Have at the Ores>Orcs, with winged words, hildenasddran>hildenǣddran (war-adders), biting darts

54
endeth Fæder lar his suna.>endeth Fæder lár his suna.
Longaoð>Longað þonne þy lǽs þe him con léoþa worn,

60
but as far as I can see they will not concem>concern me further this term

61
wyrce se þe móte [domes laer>]dómes ǽr déaþe.

62
to Lewis and Williams on Wed. moming>morning.

71
Yes, I think the ores>orcs as real a creation as anything in ‘realistic’
But it does make some difference who are your captains and whether they are ore>orc-like per se!

90
Is nu fela folca þætte fyrngewntu>fyrngewritu healdan wille,

91
Bill Femy>Ferny
Aragom>Aragorn

96
What's the matter with him this moming>morning
a country who is not a member of its actual Govermment>Government.

110
Houghton Muffin>Mifflin

120
Fanner>Farmer Giles of Ham

124
As far as my nemory>memory

131
late corners>comers
The Men who appear are mainly those of the Three Houses of the Fathers of them>Men
In the North is the Kingdom of Amor>Arnor
wholly absent from The Hobhit>Hobbit.

185
though un-hirelike>un-Shirelike, I fear, in reality.

205
Not that I think that this sensation is really one of the hwelpes of pe>þe liun at all:

209
ỏδντ>ỏδοντ
λóγος>λόγος [Latin o>Greek omicron]
20 Jun, 2023
2023-6-20 9:07:27 AM UTC
William Cloud Hicklin recently posted the official errata list for The Chronology of The Lord of the Rings in http://forum.barrowdowns.com/showpost.php?p=737179 . It is imperfect as barrowdown forum doesn't support strikethroughs and special characters, so I make a copy of it with the correct format in my previous post.
27 Jul, 2023 (edited)
2023-7-27 7:36:32 AM UTC
Silmarillion Index: Hithaeglir...The form Hithaeglin on the map to The Lord of the Rings is an error.
LRRC lxiii: 'Hithaeglir', the Sindarin name of the Misty Mountains, appears on the 1954 map as 'Hithaeglin'.

When I checked the 1954 map, it actually reads "Hithaiglin". The same spelling can be found in one of Tolkien's earlier maps (Art of LR fig.157. Meanwhile fig.159 has "Hithaeglir"). I can't find any maps with "Hithaeglin", though the spelling did appear in Letters no.144 and its quotation in HoMe 5.
26 Aug, 2023 (edited)
2023-8-26 9:06:48 AM UTC
Biography by Carpenter

Compiled by comparing 6 editions: Houghton Mifflin 1977 hardcover (1st ed), Unwin 1978 paperback, Unwin 1987 pb, HM 2000 pb, HarperCollins 2002 pb, HarperCollins kindle edition.

The later paperbacks correct many errors in the 1977 1st ed, such as:

II.3: even Ronald, loyal to Father Francis, found it hard to [obey>]follow his guardian’s wishes.

II.4: Madelener > Madlener

II.5: Deputy Professor of Comparative [Philosophy>]Philology

II.7: That go droning by a-whirring and a-humming. > That warn you with their whirring and their humming.
O! the little tinkling sounds: > O! the little tinkly sounds:

IV.3: After the Second World War he restricted this activity to examining regularly for [the Catholic University of Ireland>] various colleges in Ireland,

IV.4: Tolkien was amused by this, but he [did not accept any>] accepted few of Lewis’s suggested emendations.

IV.4: Indeed only by myth-making, only by becoming a ‘sub-creator’ and inventing stories, can Man [ascribe>]aspire to the state of perfection that he knew before the Fall.

App.D: As his father’s literary executor he [has been faced>]was faced with the immense task of ordering The Silmarillion for publication.


However, there are some cases where the paperbacks make the wrong change:

II.4 (p49 in 1st ed): Kalevala or Land [of>]or Heroes [Wrong since 1978 pb]

III.3 (p106): tells of a strange slimy creature who lives beneath the floor of a cave and [has>]his pale luminous eyes. [Wrong since 1978]

IV.1 (p118): Tolkien goes into the garden to see how the broad beans are coming [along>]alone. [Wrong since 2002]

IV.3: Hwæt, IV.4: Hwæt, ærdagum. [æ became œ since 2002]

IV.4 (p152): searoþancolra [þ became p since 2002]

VI.2 (p217): elven > elvin [Wrong since 1978. How embarrassing to make a new "correction" when you criticize another printer "corrected" Tolkien's elven to elfin! ]

VI.3 (p223): [W. H. Auden>]W. A. Auden [Wrong since 1978]


Moreover, in II.3, the last word of the Nevbosh verse is given as "gyroc", but it is "gyróc" in A Secret Vice.
2 Dec, 2023
2023-12-2 2:14:21 PM UTC
A list of errors in Unfinished Tales 1st US edition. They are corrected in 2 paperback editions I checked.

p12: would provide > would also provide
p158: have a care, Adenedhel > have a care, Adanedhel
p231: she longed > she yearned
p256: sun through > sun shining through
p256: Vilya, the mightiest > Vilya, mightiest
p318: Eynd > Enyd
p352: Halflngs > Halflings
p383: values of the White Mountains > vales of the White Mountains
p391: unwearingly > unwearyingly
p391: by force or fear > by force and fear
p400: became obsolete > become obsolete
10 April
2024-4-10 4:32:51 PM UTC
吾荐 reminds me of a horrible typo in The Hobbit that has lingered 58 years...
image.webp
The 1966 author's note actually reads "three day walk abreast" and "knokks". The second typo was corrected in the 1970s but Annotated Hobbit used the 1966 reading. The first typo appears to exist in all editions since 1966.
25 May (edited)
2024-5-25 11:35:17 AM UTC
Tales from the Perilous Realm (2008)

I compared the text with earlier publications: Dublin Review, Farmer Giles of Ham (1949), The Smith of Wootton Major (1967), The Adventures of Tom Bombadil (1962), Tree and Leaf, Tolkien Reader, Poems and Stories, and found this book full of typos, most of which appear to be introduced when the text was digitalized. Some of them are even inherited to later books, such as Scull & Hammond's edition of Tom. I hope these typos could be corrected in the upcoming Farmer, Tom, and Collected Poems this year.

⚫ "Farmer Giles of Ham"
and one or two [>other] persons of importance
He did [>not] forget to mention that his master was not scared in the least.
The song[>songs] and tales of his deeds
let that drafted[>dratted] dog in
he was able to take [>the] credit of them
The work took them all the rest of the[>that] day
I only want to be shot[>shut] of you
It circled flashing [>in] the air
Now you’re[>you] talking, but not good enough
The victuals and drinks[>drink] had run out
Bit by bit she dropped back in [>the] line
till he lay down tame in the village street[>high-street]
Just at that moment the dragon got up from [>under] the bridge.
He[>His] wife made a queen of great size and majesty
for Thame with an h is [>a] folly without warrant.

The latter forms are used in most other books containing this story.

And we shall all be in our graves before them[>then]
The incorrect "them" is used in most other books containing this story, but Tales from the Perilous Realm is correct just this once. Note the earlier version in Scull & Hammond's 1999 edition also used "then".

⚫ "The Adventures of Tom Bombadil and Other Verses"
"Bombadil Goes Boating"
their old[>own] shadows shunning.

"Errantry"
cardamon[>cardamom]

"The Man in the Moon Came Down Too Soon"
and he[>] tapped at a window-pane

"The Hoard"
The swords of his thanes were dull with rust...
This stanza belongs to the previous one. This is clear in the 1962 volume and Tolkien Reader, but Poems and Stories (1992) put the line at the beginning of a page, thus causing the confusion.

"The Last Ship"
reed and willow quivers /as[>at] morn and eve

These errors also appear in Scull & Hammond's 2014 edition, only one is listed in its official errata.

⚫"The Smith of Wootton Major"
his time has not yet come[>come yet]

⚫"Leaf By Niggle" (see details here)
a distant friend felt[>fell] ill;
and a[>the] summons to a King’s feast
Suddenly parish[>Parish] looked up:
You mean you’d have made him start on the[>his] journey before his time?
None for this[>his] old-fashioned stuff.
Later he left it to the Town Museum, and for a long time[>] while ‘Leaf: by Niggle’ hung there in a recess, and was noticed by a few eyes.
It is splendid for convalescence; and not only [>for] that, for many it is the best introduction to the Mountains.
I think we shall have to give the [>new] region a name.
25 May
2024-5-25 12:20:40 PM UTC

zionius wrote:

⚫"Leaf By Niggle" (see details here)
a distant friend felt[>fell] ill;
and a[>the] summons to a King’s feast
Suddenly parish[>Parish] looked up:
You mean you’d have made him start on the[>his] journey before his time?
None for this[>his] old-fashioned stuff.
Later he left it to the Town Museum, and for a long time[>] while ‘Leaf: by Niggle’ hung there in a recess, and was noticed by a few eyes.
It is splendid for convalescence; and not only [>for] that, for many it is the best introduction to the Mountains.
I think we shall have to give the [>new] region a name.

Corrections to Leaf by Niggle were made in the 2021 edition of Tales from the Perilous Realm

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27 May
2024-5-27 5:11:36 AM UTC
"On Fairy-Stories"
This essay can be found in manuscripts (MS B in Tolkien On Fairy-Stories, MS C from private communication with Anderson), Essays presented to Charles Williams (EPCW, 1947), Tree and Leaf (T&L, 1964), The Tolkien Reader (TR, 1966), The Monsters and the Critics, and Other Essays (MC, 1984), Tales from the Perilous Realm (TPR, 2008), Tolkien On Fairy-Stories (TFS, 2008) etc., and each version is unique. Here is a list of the differences. Major revisions in T&L are already listed in TFS p146-55, so they are not included here. I also overlooked regularizations such as realize/realise.

But the speech of beasts in the beast-fable (EPCW, MC, TPR, TFS) > But the speech of beasts in a beast-fable (T&L, TR)
that can be studied without tackling this main question (MS B, EPCW, T&L, TR, MC) > that such can be studied without tackling this main question (TPR, TFS)
the essential quality and aptitudes of a given language in a living moment (MS B, EPCW, MC, TPR, TFS) > the essential quality and aptitudes of a given language in a living monument (T&L, TR)
the due of worship (MS B, EPCW, T&L, TR, MC) > the due worship (TPR, TFS)
I had no special childish ‘wish to believe’ (EPCW, MC, TPR)> I had no special ‘wish to believe’ (T&L, TR, TFS)
and for some eye this very year may be the embodiment (EPCW, TPR) > and for some this very year may be the embodiment (T&L, TR, MC, TFS)
In what the misusers of Escape are fond of calling Real Life (EPCW, MC, TPR)> In what the misusers are fond of calling Real Life (T&L, TR, TFS)
Because this story is supreme (MS B, EPCW, MC, TPR) > But this story is supreme (T&L, TR, TFS)
their nations, their banners, their monies; (MS C, EPCW) > their notions, their banners, their monies; (T&L, TR, MC, TPR, TFS)
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