Tolkien Collector's Guide
Jan 22
2020/1/22 13:25:10 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
[I wrote this on Facebook, and Jeremy invited me to repost it here.]


I’ve received numerous requests these past few days to comment on Christopher Tolkien, in response to his passing.

I cannot possibly fulfill them all, and the fact is, I’m still too close to the event and its impact to do so adequately.

So I offer here these few, brief reflections instead. Feel free to quote me on them.

1. Christopher Tolkien was certainly the most intelligent, most insightful, most engaging, and wittiest person I have ever had the pleasure to meet and correspond with, and I bet the same is true for many others. A “letter from Christopher” was always a special occasion of anticipation and pleasure. I of course could never match him as a correspondent, not even close; but that didn’t matter to him: he nonetheless genuinely cared about and engaged my thoughts, questions, and concerns, because we shared so many goals and concerns in common. He was unfailingly generous with his time and assistance, and (as I had occasion to need) support and sympathy. My life would be and have been almost completely other were it not for him, his work, and his friendship.

2. I quote here from one of the last letters I received from Christopher: "As I see it, I have called myself a ‘literary archaeologist’. I have never been more than a discoverer, and interpreter of what I discovered. My chief underlying purpose, I incline to think, was to demonstrate the fulness and the richness of the narratives of the First Age, and to show that _The Silmarillion_ was essential to the Myth. ‘One long saga of the Jewels and the Rings’, my father said; ‘I was resolved to treat them as one story, however they might be issued.’”

3. Christopher has been widely quoted as saying: “As strange as it may seem, I grew up in the world he created. For me, the cities of _The Silmarillion_ are more real than Babylon.” This is no exaggeration; it is precisely true. And so we must note, and may duly mourn, the passing of the last inhabitant of Middle-earth.
Jan 26
2020/1/26 18:32:14 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
Nice photograph of Christopher I hadn't seen before: ... stopher-tolkien-dead.html

[Taken November 2019]

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Jan 26
2020/1/26 18:40:31 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
And another one clearly taken at the same time. Photographer is Josh Dolgin.

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Jan 31
2020/1/31 5:34:37 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
Remember the time difference. The early hours of Jan 16 in France would still be late Jan 15 in the USA.
Jan 31
2020/1/31 6:52:59 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
The February issue of the Tolkien magazine "Beyond Bree" will be dedicated to Christopher Tolkien. Contributions & comments welcome.

Nancy Martsch, Editor "Beyond Bree"
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