Wednesday, March 19, 2003

Well, I think it's funny...
Back in March of 1956, the Professor got a letter ...from a gentleman whose name was... Sam Gamgee ! It seems Mr. Gamgee had heard that his name was, ahem, mentioned in The Lord of the Rings, though he had not read the book. On March 18th, the Professor replied with a letter which ran, in part :
"Dear Mr. Gamgee,

It was very kind of you to write. You can imagine my astonishment when I saw your signature ! I can only say, for your comfort, I hope, that the 'Sam Gamgee' of my story is a most heroic character, now widely beloved by many readers, even though his origins are rustic. So that perhaps you will not be displeased at the coincidence of the name of this imaginary character of supposedly many centuries ago being the same as yours."

The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien, ed. Humphrey Carpenter

He proceeded to send Mr. Gamgee signed copies of all three volumes of the book. However, this entire incident did start a bit of a worry, as recorded in his biography.
"For some time I lived in fear of receiving a letter signed 'S. Gollum'. That would have been more difficult to deal with. "

Tolkien: A Biography by Humphrey Carpenter


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