The Truth About J R R Tolkien
If you are a collector of LotRs material I may be about to cause you some disappointment, your collection may be less valuable; some of you may get the feeling we are laughing at you a little.
I cannot recall the name of the person who revealed this shocking news but I swear it is true. A friend Christine used to pass on her magazine to me – Oldie magazine! It was a real good read; lots of different articles from fascinating people.
There was a regular feature by a different person each month: My moment of fame. It was one of these articles to which I refer. As a young man the writer had worked for Tolkien’s publisher and as part of his work had cause to visit him at home. Now this article was twenty years ago and the author was getting on back then, so I doubt I could track him down but I remember well what he had to say.
They had published the thing in three parts as you know. It was such a weighty tome compared to The Hobbit that I don’t think they thought it would sell as a huge book, and maybe it wouldn’t have. The three parts were all a huge success, so it was decided to bring it out as one book. That’s all history.
Our writer of the article, lets give him a name, how about Timothy? Timothy was given the job of loading the first thousand copies of the all in one edition into his car and driving to go see J R R.
Signed copies are now worth well in excess of a thousand pounds.
Timothy was welcomed with open arms. He was invited in and offered a drink. “Shouldn’t I carry in the books for you to sign?” Timothy was reassured that there was plenty of time and that they should have a brandy. They proceeded to empty the bottle. Then Tolkien says, “Let’s go for a drink.”
The leapt in the car and hurtled off to a country pub. On the way they came to a cross roads and had to cross a busy road. Tolkien drove straight at it without slowing or looking. As they cross to the other side he turned and said, “I find if you drive straight at them they scatter like skittles.
After a few hour downing pints in the pub they got back in the car and Tolkien drove them back to his house.
Timothy suggested he had better get the books in from his car. “Don’t worry,” said Tolkien, “they are all signed and back in your car”. His wife had signed them all while they were out.