31 March 2016

You Sometimes Find Funny Things in the Index

In the index to Tolkien's Letters we find the following three entries back to back under 'Tolkien ... Works -- Principal Writings':
Tolkien required to give certificate of his racial origins for German translation [of The Hobbit] 37-38; German translation not to appear 44; copies burnt in Blitz 58....
Perhaps Allen and Unwin should have adopted the strategy of Bookseller William Foyle:
When Hitler started burning books in the 1930s, William had immediately telegrammed the Fuhrer to request that he be able to purchase them instead and would offer a good price; the response quickly came back that Germany had no books to sell and the burning would continue. Years later at the start of the Blitz Foyles filled sandbags with old books to protect the shop from damage and William announced that he was covering the roof with copies of Mein Kampf to ward off bombers. Then a near miss left a giant crater just outside the shop, destroying the front of the Sun Electric offices across the road. William treated the sappers to sandwiches and ginger beer while they worked and when the bridge was complete they happily let him name it the Foyle Bridge, complete with ribbon cutting ceremony!

Tolkien in the 1930s

No comments:

Post a Comment