Tolkien Gateway

Letter 152

The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien
Letter 152
RecipientRayner Heppenstall
Date22 September 1954
Subject(s)Dialect advice for The Homecoming of Beorhtnoth on the radio

Letter 152 is a letter written by J.R.R. Tolkien and published in The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien.

[edit] Summary

Heppenstall asked what dialect the speakers should adopt for the radio program The Homecoming of Beorhtnoth, Beorhthelm's Son. Tolkien replied that none was required, since there was no difference of social standing between the speakers. One should sound younger and one older and they had different tempers. The young minstrel should use an archaic style with his verse. At the time "dialect" would only mark place and not rank or function so it would be best to avoid modern rusticity. Modern East Anglian would be anachronistic (Danish and English had not yet fused). Essex of the East Saxons was a very different affair from Northfolk and Southfolk.

The letter (kept at the BBC Written Archives Centre) was only partially published in The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien.[1]

[edit] See also


  1. Christina Scull and Wayne G. Hammond (2006), The J.R.R. Tolkien Companion and Guide: I. Chronology, p. 440