the ‘Hobbit Dinner’ speech


The following was part of a speech given by Tolkien in Holland, “organized by a Rottendam bookseller“, the spring of 1958;

Tolkien made a lively speech in English interspersed with Dutch and Elvish. It was in part a parody of Bilbo’s party speech at the beginning of The Lord of the Rings, and it concluded with Tolkien recalling ‘that it is now exactly twenty years since I began in earnest to complete the history of our revered hobbit-ancestors of the Third Age. I look East, West, North, South, and I do not see Sauron; but I see that Saruman has many descendants. We Hobbits have against them no magic weapons. Yet, my gentlehobbits, I give you this toast: To the Hobbits. May they outlast the Sarumans and see spring again in the trees.’

from: [ J.R.R Tolkien: A biography, Humphrey Carpenter, UNWIN PAPERBACKS, London, Boston, Sydney, c1977 ]

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