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  1. geordie's Avatar
    Hugo Bracegirdle
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    #1
    is one of my favourite individual copies of any of Tolkien's works -

    Look here

    It includes a letter from JRR to his friends, Dennis and Jocelyn Tolhurst -

    Contents: Tolkien notes an imminent gathering of his family "...to hear what the Govt. and their trustee lawyer are going to let them have to live on this year out of Dad's earnings..." He notes he is "feeling refreshed" and states "...the good domestic cooking of plain English style has restored my appetite."

    Discussing the weather Tolkien notes "...as far as we are concerned your 'Spring is a-coming in' is an unfulfilled prophecy with rustic accuracy and lack of 'delicacy', as a time when heorst sterteth, bulluc verteth ie 'hart leaps up, and bullock farts'... Tolkien ends with reference to what would be his final visit: "...I warn you that I shall be eager to accept any invitation to your lovely house at any time when you feel you can bear it..."

    This lot was previously sold at Sotheby's in July 2003. I have the catalogue here - no pictures alas! - so it's good to see some at last. The book 7 letter were valued at 600 - 800 GBP back then; and sold for £4,800. Humph!

    Edited by: geordie
    It's all in the books...

  2. Saranna's Avatar
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    #2
    Lovely geordie - I wondered what you were going to give me forChristmas!


    Remembering halfir by learning more each day

  3. Dorwiniondil's Avatar
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    #3
    Pedant strikes again.

    I don't think "heorst" can be correct. I suspect that Tolkien's handwriting has struck again, and it should be "heorot" (= stag). But I'm no sort of OE expert. LotR?
    "I am no longer young even in the reckoning of Men of the Ancient Houses."

  4. geordie's Avatar
    Hugo Bracegirdle
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    On the other hand - Look here

    This does seem like a lot of fuss - my copy of this book is signed on the bookplate by Christopher and by Alan Lee, and also by Christopher's son Adam (as well as being inscribed to me and mrs g. by Alan on the title page). The major difference being that Adam Tolkien was involved in the production of this book, whereas Bernard Hill was not. This is important - no-one has any business signing a book that they are not a part of. I recall some time ago, Rayner Unwin politely declining a request to sign a book on the grounds that he'd had nothing to do with it - a point which seems obvious to me!

    *Saranna, me dear - for Xmas you will receive the same gift from us as for every year - that is, our warmest good wishes!



    It's all in the books...

  5. geordie's Avatar
    Hugo Bracegirdle
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    #5
    Dorwiniondil - I think you're right - the word does look like 'heorot', not 'heorost'. As I said, there were no photos of the letter in the Sotheby's catalogue, so I took their word for it. Seems the present vendor has done the same.

    On the other hand, Tolkien does say 'hart leaps up', not 'stag'. LotR?

    Edited by: geordie
    It's all in the books...

  6. Dorwiniondil's Avatar
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    #6
    What's the difference between a hart and a stag? I don't really kow what a hart is, except that it panteth after the water brooks (Psalm 42). However, the Latin for that bit is "Sicut cervus desiderat ad fontes aquarum", and "cervus" is usually translated also as "stag". So....
    "I am no longer young even in the reckoning of Men of the Ancient Houses."

  7. geordie's Avatar
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    #7
    I don't know the difference between a stag and a hart, either - except that I dimly recall from my schooldays that a male red deer is a stag, and a male fallow deer is a hart. And a male roe deer is a buck - incidentally this page (here) has 'buck', not 'hart'.


    Summer is a-coming in Loudly sing cuckoo
    Groweth seed and bloweth mead
    and springs the wood anew
    Sing cuckoo!

    Ewe bleateth aft-er lamb,
    Calf loweth after cow,
    Bullock starteth, buck farteth,
    Merry sing cuckoo!
    Cuckoo, cuckoo!
    Well singest thou cuckoo,
    Nor cease thou never now!
    Sing cuckoo now, Sing cuckoo!

    Mind you - Tolkien does append what he calls a pedantic footnote to his letter about 'Sumer is icumen in', which unfortunately I can't decipher.

    Edited by: geordie
    It's all in the books...

  8. Dorwiniondil's Avatar
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    #8


    In the original : "Bulluc sterteş, bucke uerteş,"
    "I am no longer young even in the reckoning of Men of the Ancient Houses."

  9. Saranna's Avatar
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    #9
    geordie, that's allIask! And the same will be coming your way.


    Remembering halfir by learning more each day

  10. Beren Laerdir's Avatar
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    #10
    oh man, i really love that things front cover. it really gets across the egyptianesque side of the whole gondorian thing.



    it really is absolutely cool, that cover is
    obsessive blind guardian fan,
    <br />
    <br />i perpetually yearn for times past and places that never were. that yearning grows heavier in me every day...

  11. In the original : "Bulluc sterteş, bucke uerteş,"



    Yup - though Tolkien does seem to have written his own version of this here, which might be actually be heort(e) sterteth, bulluc uerteth. This would be fine Middle English (heortwould, as far as I can tell with my rather slender grasp of Middle English, be the form expected for the 'AB' dialect, which could be kind of interesting). If he actually wrote heorot, that would have to be a bit of Old English worming its way in.
    I wish it was just a little less blurry so we could make out that footnote better.
    It is hard indeed to believe that one of so great wisdom, and of power—for many wonderful things he did among us—could perish, and so much lore be taken from the world.

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