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Faith Tolkien and the books of C.S. Lewis

Faith Tolkien and the books of C.S. Lewis

Jun 24

A few years ago, I bought about 120 books from an Oxford bookstore. About 80 books are Tolkien books in English and translations in different languages ​​and countries (Brazil, Argentina, Hungary, Italy, Holland, France etc.). All first editions. The peculiarity is the origin of the books: they were owned by members of the Tolkien family.
Many are signed by Michael and John Tolkien. In the group of books, also a book belonging to Owen Barfield and given to Tolkien; some books by Charles Williams and twenty books (first edition) by C.S. Lewis. Among these there are some signed "F. Tolkien" with several underlinings. Initially I thought it was the signature of "[John] Francis Tolkien", Tolkien's eldest son, but today Catherine McIlwaine confirmed to me that this is the signature of Faith Tolkien, first wife of Christopher Tolkien. One in particular, contains several underscores and annotations which apparently do not belong to Faith: the book is "A Preface to Paradise Lost".
The underlinings are in Lewis passages concerning subjects such as Chaucer, Mith, Beowulf, Elves, Epic Poetry, Primary Epic, (eg: "Epic, from the beginning, is solemne. You are to expect pomp. You are to 'assist', as the French say, at a great festal action. "). I don't know Faith's interest in these topics, nor whether they were Tolkien's books? Excuse me if I venture this thesis, but this excites me a lot. I show you some photos. What do you think?

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Jun 24
Very interesting. Why do you think the marginalia is not Faith's?
Jun 24
The unusual "E" makes me think the marginalia are by the same person that signed them.
Jun 25
^ My first thoughts exactly.
Jun 26
I agree with you, the "E" is the same as the signature. Mine was just a suggestion / hypothesis born not from hand-written notes, but from the many underlines (pen and pencil) to Lewis's concepts that I imagine Tolkien would have chosen. However, these remain beautiful pieces.
Jun 26

Tolkieniano wrote:
I agree with you, the "E" is the same as the signature. Mine was just a suggestion / hypothesis born not from hand-written notes, but from the many underlines (pen and pencil) to Lewis's concepts that I imagine Tolkien would have chosen. However, these remain beautiful pieces.


I think upon testing the hypothesis just doesn't meet the available evidence. Not to say it isn't right (as of course, it could be -- it is all educated guesswork when it comes down to who wrote an underline, but given the same pen has been used as to the handwriting, we can have a solid guess), but I personally don't think it likely. For me, the simplest explanation seems to fit the best.
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