Auctions | November 10, 2014

Unseen Tolkien Poem at Bloomsbury Auctions

London—A poem written by Tolkien on a personalised postcard that appears to be unpublished will go under the hammer this month in a sale of Important Books & Works on Paper at Bloomsbury Auctions on Thursday 13th November 2014 in London.

The poem which begins, “Aredhel went forth in blossom white” is written on Tolkien’s Merton College personalised postcard and is accompanied by a stream of relatively innocuous notes that provide a remarkable insight into Tolkien’s life, “Tobacco, Matches, See John…Ask Edith about Wordswoth.”

Tolkien was Merton professor of English Literature and Language from 1945 until his retirement in 1959.

There is no reference to this poem in Scull & Hammond’s biography of poetry by J.R.R. Tolkien, either by title or first line, leading the auctioneer to believe that this is an unpublished poem. 

An in-depth examination of the notes as well as their potential significance and a full transcription of the poem are both available on request [Lot 445].

The sale of Important Books and Works on Paper will be held at Dreweatts & Bloomsbury Auctions' saleroom in London’s Mayfair on Thursday 13th November. The full catalogue is available to view and download at