Letter to Miss Stanley-Smith (22 November 1956)
- Subject: Tolkien accepts an invitation to give a speech at the opening of the new library (on 14 December).
Dear Miss Stanley-Smith,
Fortunately I think I can manage Friday 14
NoveDecember. I say ‘fortunately’, because though I dislike talking (in this sense), lecturing, or addressing a gathering, I should have been sorry to refuse your invitation: you sugar the central pill so attractively. I should be delighted to visit Deddington and have lunch with you; and I fear that the fee will be more than ample for the performance. Short? Ten minutes? A quarter of an hour?
I will consult you later, if I may, on the sort of thing likely to be most appropriate.
As for my own writings: beside the two you name there is Farmer Giles of Ham (Allen & Unwin), specially appropriate, since it is localized in Oxfordshire. Other poems and stories are, I fear, either scattered in periodicals or o.p.2 and await collection. Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (Clarendon Press), since it is an edition of a mediaeval poem, would, I imagine, be regarded as too technical, specially as I have not yet published the translation which has twice been broadcast.
It would be most kind if you could send a car, as I have none of my own now and have in consequence seldom visited Deddington, in post-war years, though I used often to do so.
P.S. I wonder if Mrs. Lionel Hitchens is the mother of Miss Phoebe Hitchens, whom I have met, since my daughter knew her. She was, I think, the cousin (?) of the woman novelist of the same name - (Noughts and Crosses …etc.).
- The Banbury Advertiser 19 December 1956
- Letter to Miss Stanley-Smith (19 December 1956)
- Oxford Mail 15 December 1956
- Christina Scull and Wayne G. Hammond (2006), The J.R.R. Tolkien Companion and Guide: I. Chronology, pp. 496-8
- "Deddington Library, opened by Tolkien in 1956, under threat from OCC", DeddingtonNews.co.uk (accessed 23 December 2011)
- Sam McGregor, "Tolkien letters return to rightful home" (dated 23 December 2011), OxfordMail.co.uk (accessed 23 December 2011)