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Letter 258

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The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien
Letter 258
RecipientRayner Unwin
Date2 August 1964
Subject(s)Real-life usage of Tolkien's words

Letter 258 is a letter written by J.R.R. Tolkien and published in The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien.


A hydrofoil of "Aquastroll" had been named Shadowfax. Tolkien tells Rayner that he wishes copyright could protect names: devising good names cost him as much time, or even more, than writing lines of poetry. It was brought to his attention by several writers that a "monstrous" hydrofoil was named Shadowfax, without even a "by your leave", and Tolkien was not happy about it. He is getting used to all the Rivendells, Lóriens and Imladris used on houses, though not all are accompanied by a letter containing the words "by your leave".