Tolkien’s friend Selby

— Douglas A. Anderson

21 December 2021 | Mallorn, Winter, 2021, 34

One of J.R.R. Tolkien’s most interesting early letters is not included in The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien (1981), but is definitely a significant one. It dates from 14 December 1937 and was written to a friend named Selby. Tolkien wrote, in part: I don’t much approve of The Hobbit myself, preferring my own mythology (which is just touched on) with its consistent nomenclature — Elrond, Gondolin, and Esgaroth have escaped out of it — and organized history, to this rabble of Eddaic-named dwarves out of Voluspa, newfangled hobbits and gollums (invented in an idle hour) and Anglo-Saxon runes.…”

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date recorded 📅2022-01-01
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