Tolkien Gateway

Letter 254

The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien
Letter 254
RecipientRev. Denis Tyndall
Date9 January 1964
Subject(s)Reminiscences of schooldays

Letter 254 is a letter written by J.R.R. Tolkien and published in The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien.

[edit] Summary

Tyndall had gone to King Edward's in Birmingham with Tolkien and had written about their time there together. Tolkien was delighted to hear from him.

Tolkien recalled their old IVth class room and Dickie, an uninspiring form-master who made Greek and Roman history boring (yet he was interesting as a person and Tolkien kept him as a friend). Tolkien said that he had misbehaved, as had Christopher Wiseman, a later model of rectitude and headmasterly seriousness.

Claiming a pictorial memory that was fuzzy on dates, Tolkien believed that Tyndall was senior to him and left school first. Tolkien had stayed at King Edward's until he was nearly 20 and by then his friends were all a year or two junior. He recalled at trip to Oxford in that novelty, a car, driven by Dickie in 1911.

Tolkien mentioned that he had turned 72 on January 3, six days earlier, and that his eldest grandchild would be coming of age on Saturday next, but he was still ticking over.