Tolkien Gateway

Letter to Peter Alford (1956-58)

Sometime between 14 January 1956 and 2 April 1958, J.R.R. Tolkien wrote a letter to Peter Alford.[1]

  • Notes: While Tolkien's other three known letters to Mr Alford can be dated,[2] the date of this fourth letter has not been revealed.[3] 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-."[4]
  • Publication: Excerpts were published in Sotheby's Valuable Printed Books and Manuscripts 13 December 2001.

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References

  1. "Tolkien, J.R.R. Fine group of four autograph letters signed to Peter Alford" dated 31 December 2001, Sotheby's (accessed 16 April 2017)
  2. Wayne G. Hammond and Christina Scull (2006), The J.R.R. Tolkien Companion and Guide: I. Chronology, pp. 484, 485, 523
  3. "Valuable Printed Books and Manuscripts. 2001", TolkienBooks.net (accessed 26 May 2014)
  4. Elfling, message from Beregond, Anders Stenström. R.D. (no longer available online)