Tolkien Gateway

Letter 90

The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien
Letter 90
RecipientChristopher Tolkien
Date24 November 1944
Subject(s)Oxford pub night for the Inklings

Letter 90 is a letter written by J.R.R. Tolkien and published in The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien.

[edit] Summary

Tolkien and his wife had been amused by Christopher Tolkien's account of the Wings Ceremony. He wonder how his son had seen and remembered a quotation from the Exeter Book Gnomics. Seeing Anglo-Saxon that Christopher had written had cheered him.

An evening Inklings event had taken place. He had reached the Mitre at 8, joined C.W. and the Red Admiral, drank a bit, then joined C.S.L and Owen Barfield. C.S.L. was highly flown, all were in good fettle, and O.B. was the only one who could tackle C.S.L. A most contentious evening that an outsider might have thought a meeting of fell enemies hurling deadly insults before drawing guns. The audience had refused to hear C.S.L. discourse and define "Chance". He had said, "If you die tonight you’ll be cut off knowing less about Chance than you might have." Warnie rejoined, "Every cloud has its silver lining." Barfield did a short play on Jason and Medea, two excellent sonnets were read, "ghosts" were discussed, and the special nature of Hymns had been talked out. Tolkien had stayed until 12:30.