I received a very nice care package yesterday, and I am just now having a chance to start going through it. A handful of old Tolkien Journal issues, and a bunch of NIEKAS fanzines with Tolkien related articles. It will take a bit of time to read them all in depth, but here are the highlights I have already noticed and am looking forward to spending more time with.

NIEKAS #11 (March 1965) contains a letter from R. S. Unwin apologizing for the lack of a publishable Silmarillion for years to come, but that some scholarly works (Sir Gawain and Pearl) should be forthcoming by the end of the year. The bemused tone of aggrievance with the Professor comes through quite clearly.

NIEKAS #18 (late spring 1967) contains, along with the first printing of some of Robert Foster's Guide to Middle-earth, a removable replacement dustjacket for the Ballantine paperback The Hobbit (it wasn't just Tolkien who thought Lions and Emus weren't very appropriate) and the transcript of a half hour interview with Tolkien himself that covers a wide range of interesting topics. More on that later.

NIEKAS #19 contains an edited transcript of the December 1966 TSA meeting, where Clyde S. Kilby talks at length of his time with Tolkien and work on The Silmarillion. Also, Dick Plotz states that Tolkien happened to discover Mordor while on a cruise in the Mediterranean. He sailed past Stromboli while it was erupting at night, and according to Dick "he'd never seen anything that looked so much like Emyn Anar."

The Tolkien Journal Vol. 2 No. 1 (afteryule 1966) contains (according to Dick Plotz) the first translation ever published of "A Elbereth Gilthoniel", as sent by Professor Tolkien. It is a rough, literal translation of the Sindarin original, and there is a contest for TSA members to submit poetic versions of the translations. The winner will get $5, and the contest is supposed to be judged by W. H. Auden.