Tolkien Gateway

Letter to Ronald Ashton

Ronald Ashton 12 March 1927.jpg

On 12 March 1927, J.R.R. Tolkien wrote a letter to Ronald Ashton (a former student at the University of Leeds).[1]


[First page (in part):]

Neither of us were ever under the delusion that Oxford = Paradise: we know it too well. There are still lingering vestiges of civilisation in Oxford of course, a civilization [sic] that for historical reasons did not reach the North before it was overwhelmed by the new barbarism - but it is still part of modern England (and a centre of the motor industry: that fantastic lunacy).

[Second page:]

As for myself I find much that makes me regret Leeds very much. I doubt very much whether I should ever have torn myself away if I had been a single man, and able to disregard small differences in salary. The English School here is a battle-ground and there is small peace and little sense in it.
I hope when you have dreed your unhappy weird in the Ed. Dept. — glorious product of half-baked pseudo-science — that you will get a job of a tolerable sort. Your qualifications are good enough anyhow. I hope you are [?well] and [?flourishing]. Please remember me kindly ??? ??? Mr. Ashton.


JRR Tolkien

See also


  1. Wayne G. Hammond and Christina Scull, "Addenda and Corrigenda to The J.R.R. Tolkien Companion and Guide (2006) Vol. 1: Chronology" at (accessed 20 May 2012)