1952 tape recording

From Tolkien Gateway

The 1952 tape recording refers to a private audio recording by George Sayer of J.R.R. Tolkien in late August 1952.

Tolkien was visiting his friends (George Sayer and his wife) when the recording of Tolkien singing and reading excerpts from The Hobbit and the then unpublished manuscript of The Lord of the Rings was performed.[1]

When issuing selections from the recording in 1975, Caedmon included the statement: "Also included is a never-published poem, 'The Mirror of Galadriel,' originally intended for inclusion in the trilogy, yet edited out". This note was a mistake, but has been reprinted on subsequent releases from Caedmon.[2] Wayne G. Hammond and Douglas A. Anderson have given the following account regarding the mistaken note:

Sleeve notes by Ward Botsford and George Sayer. Botsford incorrectly identifies side B, band 16 as an unpublished poem for LR, book 2, ch.7... in fact the verse (In Dwimordene, in Lorien...) was published in LR, bk.3, ch.6

According to George Sayer, selections which were not issued include Tolkien reading the Lord's Prayer in Gothic (and perhaps also in English): he had never seen a tape recorded before "and said whimsically that he ought to cast out any devil that might be in it by recording a prayer, the Lord’s Prayer in Gothic". Caedmon also cut out "conversation which occurred in between his readings from his works". It is unknown if the original tapes are still extant.[1]