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Letter to Peter Alford (1956-58)

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Sometime between 14 January 1956 and 2 April 1958, J.R.R. Tolkien wrote a letter to Peter Alford.

  • Notes: While Tolkien's other three known letters to Mr Alford can be dated,[1] the date of this fourth letter has not been revealed.[2] Beregond, Anders Stenström noted an Elvish passage in one of the letters in this group (and none of the other letters appear to fit the description): "Another letter [among Sotheby's 14 actual Tolkien items to be auctioned by on December 13] (to Peter Alford, from the years 1956-58) provides a lengthy discussion of the Elvish greeting: Elen síla lúmenn' ómentielmo. One thing attracts our attention: Tolkien explains the pronominal possessive suffix -lma as a variety of -lme 'we' which in fact means: 'you and I/we'. The Quenya verb sil- 'shine white' is derived - according to this letter - from the stem ÞIL-."[3]
  • Publication: Excerpts were published in Sotheby's Valuable Printed Books and Manuscripts 13 December 2001.

See also


  1. Wayne G. Hammond and Christina Scull (2006), The J.R.R. Tolkien Companion and Guide: I. Chronology, pp. 484, 485, 523
  2. "Valuable Printed Books and Manuscripts. 2001", (accessed 26 May 2014)
  3. Elfling, message from Beregond, Anders Stenström. R.D. (no longer available online)