Concerning ... 'The Hoard'

From Tolkien Gateway
Scan from the 16 July 2022 auction

Concerning ... 'The Hoard' is the title of a manuscript by J.R.R. Tolkien, enclosed by him in a 1964 letter to Eileen Elgar (together with Kinship of the Half-elven).

The manuscript, consisting of nine pages, gives an outline of 'The Silmarillion' by relating his poem The Hoard to this still unpublished work. An extract from the manuscript appeared in Sotheby's English Literature and English History 6-7 December 1984, and was reproduced in Beyond Bree May 1985.[1][2][3]

Writing about the manuscript, Wayne G. Hammond and Christina Scull have commented that:

Christina examined the manuscript on one of the pre-auction viewing days at Sotheby's, and found that it gives some indication of Tolkien's then-current thoughts on some parts of The Silmarillion. She had just read The Book of Lost Tales, Part Two (published 16 August 1984) and had reviewed it for Beyond Bree, so that text was fresh in her mind; and in relation to it, she noted developments by Tolkien since the Lost Tales as well as differences from the published Silmarillion. With regard to the ruin of Doriath, the story told in the 1964 manuscript is closer to the Quenta Noldorinwa (not published until 1986) than to The Nauglafring in The Book of Lost Tales, but differs in some respects from any published version — for instance, before beginning work on the treasure, the dwarves agree to accept a payment of a tenth of the unwrought metals. Thingol, however, is still killed outside Menegroth, with Tolkien giving two possible reasons why the dwarves were able to pass the Girdle of Melian.

Presumably Tolkien made no file copy of this manuscript, and otherwise left no record in his papers to assist Christopher in his work on The Silmarillion. A few years ago, Christina sent Christopher a copy of the notes she made at Sotheby's ..., which he found very interesting. The manuscript and covering letter sold for £2,000 to 'Sawyer', presumably a bookseller acting for a buyer, and we have seen no sign of it in later years, in public or private collections or in the marketplace.[3][4]

In 16 July 2022, the manuscript was sold in auction along with the manuscript "Kinship of the Half-elven" and the letter to Eileen Elgar.[5]


... The "War of the Rings" is, as it were, a breaking out again of the "Wars of the Jewels", though in a different mode. The Silmarils were made by Feänor, greatest of the Elves, and chief of all craftsmen, originally with no motive but the making of beauty. But after the disaster, when Morgoth contrived to destroy the Two Trees of Valinor (which illuminated that land) they acquired a special value — since Feänor had imprisoned in them the light of the Trees before Morgoth poisoned them. That Light unsullied was preserved in them only. From this proceeded the tragedy of the fall and rebellion of the High Elves ...[6]

External links


  1. This link leads to a Tolkien-related forum thread wherein a person provided a link to a translated article that discusses the history of the manuscript of Concerning ... 'The Hoard' and related manuscripts before it was made known due to the transcription of it.