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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Reading Room:
a delightful memoir by George Sayer

a.s.
Valinor


Mar 21 2007, 11:41pm


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a delightful memoir by George Sayer Can't Post

Well, many of you are more well-read on the subject of Tolkien than am I, so some will have already read this memoir. However, I stumbled on a "sample copy" of a 2002 edition of The Chesterton Review that is dedicated to Tolkien. Here's the TOC (the JRRT specific articles only):

IAN BOYD, CSB . . . . . . . . . . . . . Introduction 1
STRATFORD CALDECOTT . . . . . . . The Horns of Hope: J.R. Tolkien and the Heroism of Hobbits 29
OWEN DUDLEY EDWARDS . . . . . Gollum, Frodo and the Catholic Novel 57
C.S. LEWIS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings 73
CLIVE TOLLEY . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Tolkien’s “Essay on Man”: a look at Mythopoeia 79
VERLYN FLIEGER . . . . . . . . . . . . A Cautionary Tale 97
DWIGHT LONGENECKER . . . . . . . The Little Way Through Middle Earth 105
LÉONIE CALDECOTT . . . . . . . . . . Film Review 113
PETER MILWARD, SJ . . . . . . . . . Tolkien, the Ring and I 119
OWEN LEE, CSB . . . . . . . . . . . . Wise Words for University Graduands 131
Reviews . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 135
News and Comments . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 173
Letters . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 291


Clearly, you can see this is a periodical devoted to the Catholic viewpoint (as was Chesterton). And some of the JRRT-related content was excerpted and/or published elsewhere. I haven't read Stratford Caldecott's book, so don't know what was included in it.

But there is a lovely memoir here among other memoirs and miscellany in the "News and Comments" section by George Sayer (also published in Tolkien: A Celebration, edited by Joseph Pearce and published in London by HarperCollins in 1999). For those of you (like me) who haven't read that, here are some entertaining excerpts:

Well before the month was up, I turned up with it at Tolkien’s house, then in Holywell. I found him obviously unhappy and dishevelled. He explained that his wife had gone to Bournemouth and that all his friends were out of Oxford. He eagerly accepted my invitation to come to Malvern for a few days. “But what shall I do with the other book? I can’t leave it here.” So I drove Tolkien to Malvern with the typescripts of The Lord of the Rings and The Silmarillion on the back seat. What a precious cargo!

While with us he asked if he could do something to help in the house or garden. He was quite domesticated, not at all an impractical academic. We thought, in the garden, for our garden has never been a tidy or weedfree one. He chose an area of about two square yards, part flower border and part lawn and cultivated it perfectly: the border meticulously weeded and the soil made level and exceedingly fine; the grass cut with scissors closely and evenly. It took him quite a long time to do the job, but it was beautifully done. He was in all things a perfectionist. I think his training in domesticity, in housework, gardening, and looking after chickens and other creatures gave to his writing a homely and earthy quality.

In the pew in front of us there were two or three children who were trying to follow the service in a simple picture-book missal. He seemed to be more interested in them than in events at the altar. He lent over and helped them. When we came out of the church we found that he was not with us. I went back and found him kneeling in front of the Lady Altar with the young children and their mother, talking happily and I think telling stories about Our Lady. I knew the mother and found out later that they were enthralled. This again was typical; he loved children and had the gift of getting on well with them. “Mummy, can we always go to church with that nice man?” The story also illustrates one of the most important things about him, his great devotion to Our Lady. He wrote to me years later a letter in which he stated that he attributed anything that was good or beautiful in his writing to the influence of Our Lady, “the greatest influence in my life”. He meant it.


He was overwhelmed by his fan mail and would-be visitors. It was wonderful to have at long last plenty of money, more than he knew what to do with. He once began a meeting with me by saying: “I’ve been a poor man all my life, but now for the first time I’ve a lot of money. Would you like some?”

The sample copy can be found at www.isi.org/journals/content/chesterton_sample_2-02.pdf

I've saved a copy on my computer, for future reading!!

a.s.



"an seileachan"

Some say once you're gone, you're gone forever, and some say you're gonna come back.
Some say you rest in the arms of the Savior if sinful ways you lack.
Some say that they're coming back in a garden, bunch of carrots and little sweet peas.
I think I'll just let the mystery be.
~~~~Iris DeMent

Subject User Time
a delightful memoir by George Sayer a.s. Send a private message to a.s. Mar 21 2007, 11:41pm
    Love that guy! dernwyn Send a private message to dernwyn Mar 22 2007, 2:24am
        four separate excerpts a.s. Send a private message to a.s. Mar 22 2007, 10:12am
    Brought tears to my eyes. Many thanks for these lovely anecdotes of a lovely man. [nt] hobbitlove Send a private message to hobbitlove Mar 22 2007, 4:28am
    Nice find! Wynnie Send a private message to Wynnie Mar 22 2007, 12:50pm
    oh, thank you *so* much! / Luthien Rising Send a private message to Luthien Rising Mar 22 2007, 1:22pm
    What lovely insights FarFromHome Send a private message to FarFromHome Mar 22 2007, 4:29pm
    Delightful indeed. Thanks, a s. / Kimi Send a private message to Kimi Mar 22 2007, 8:15pm
    Thanks for the link drogo Send a private message to drogo Mar 22 2007, 9:14pm

 
 
 

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