Tolkien Gateway

Letter 332

The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien
Letter 332
RecipientMichael Tolkien
Date24 January 1972
Subject(s)Moving to Merton, Bereavement

Letter 332 is a letter written by J.R.R. Tolkien and published in The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien. }

[edit] Summary

Tolkien reported to his son that Merton College had provided him with a flat large enough to hold his surviving library. The arrangement included a merely nominal rent, free furniture, free domestic service, free lunch and dinner all year when in residence, free telephone service, gas and electricity at reduced rates, and the use of two beautiful common-rooms with free writing paper, free newspapers, and mid-morning coffee. It all depended upon his apparent good health, which did not make him feel very secure since he had just been sick from October through December.

His feeling of insecurity, said Tolkien, was due to the maiming effect of bereavement.[note 1] When he thought, "I must tell Edith about this" he suddenly felt like a castaway on a barren island under a heedless sky after the loss of a great ship. He had felt this way when his mother had died and again after the death of Father Francis, but those griefs came when he was young.

Tolkien called his wife the Lúthien Tinúviel of his own personal "romance". But now she was gone before Beren and there was no Dor Gyrth i chuinar in this Fallen Kingdom of Arda.

[edit] Notes

  1. Tolkien’s wife Edith had died on 29 November 1971.