Tolkien Library Store - Rare Tolkien Items
J.R.R. Tolkien autograph letter signed J.R.R. Tolkien to James A.H. Murray
We present a J.R.R. Tolkien autograph letter signed "J.R.R. Tolkien'' to James A.H. Murray
noting, in part, that "his rooms in Merton Street are guarded " and "he lives under the eye of the local C.I.D.''.
The recipient of this letter was James A.H. Murray, the great-great grandson of Sir James A.H. Murray (1837-1915), the founding editor of the Oxford English Dictionary
. In November 1918 Tolkien joined the staff as an assistant lexicographer and claimed that, during the time he worked on the dictionary, he "learned more... than in any other equal period of my life''.
He also met Rosfrith Murray (1884-1973) there who was the fourth daughter of Sir James A.H. Murray and the two became close personal friends. She spent much of her life working for her father on the Dictionary as an assistant.
A part of the letter:
"if you would like to visit me in my guarded rooms in 21 Merton Street... I should love to see you'' and notes "...I could show you some pictures & a tapestry associated with "The Lord of the Rings'' and some other things which might interest you...'' Tolkien explains that his rooms in Merton Street are guarded since "...it was arranged that my living there was not to be known; but since it became known, I have been assailed by hosts of people, and, worse, have been invaded by criminals, so that I live behind locked doors, and under the eye of the local C.I.D. Which all sounds romantic, but is in fact an infernal nuisance. But I should of course arrange for you to pass the barrier ... the college to protect me!''
This letter has some real charm if one knows about the writer and his good sense of humor.
Tolkien was near the end of his life
, he died less than three months later. It is one of the last letters he sent. He wouldn't have sent it with such an invitation if he didn't feel a special appreciation to Sir James A.H. Murray and Rosfrith Murray. Letters this late in his life are not usually available.
Digital photo's available, inquire if interested.
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