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Letter 290

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Letter 290 is a letter written by J.R.R. Tolkien and published in The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien.

Summary

This fragment of a letter, dated October 28, 1966, was written to Michael George Tolkien, Tolkien's grandson. Michael George was a graduate student in English literature at the University of Oxford, and had apparently written to his grandfather to discuss his work. The young Tolkien had shown a growing view of "research" as applied to modern literature. The elder Tolkien states that he dislikes the growing influence of Science on Literature, or Arts in general, just to make it look better.

J.R.R. Tolkien then tells of a talk he was supposed to give the preceding wednesday. It was not much of a talk, instead, Tolkien read Smith of Wootton Major to a crowd of about 800 people.