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Letter 308

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The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien
Letter 308
RecipientChristopher Tolkien
DateJanuary 2, 1969
Subject(s)New Years, Joseph Wright, arthritis

Letter 308 is a letter written by J.R.R. Tolkien and published in The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien.

Summary

Tolkien wished his son good fortune in 1969. He reported that his library was in order after the move[note 1] and that nearly all things thought lost (some even from before the move) had turned up.

One book that remained lost was Joe Wright’s Gothic Grammar. The accidental acquisition of this work had opened Tolkien's eyes to "Germanic philology". It had contributed to his poor performance in his regular studies but had led him to old Joe in person, who had become a good friend and adviser. Joe Wright had grounded Tolkien in Greek and Latin philology. Tolkien said that an "angelic examiner" had given him an α+ in Greek Philology that saved his bacon, eventually allowing him to transfer to "English" when he had no liking at all for English.

Tolkien mentioned having horrible arthritis in his left hand, which did not excuse his scrawled writing since his right had not been affected.

Note

  1. The move was to 19 Lakeside Road, BH13 6 in Poole.