Two Valentines from “Tollers”


“Nearly all marriages, even happy ones, are mistakes:

in the sense that almost certainly

(in a more perfect world,

or even with a little more care in this very imperfect one)

both partners might be found more suitable mates.

But the real soul-mate is the one you are actually married to.”

~~J. R. R. Tolkein, “Tollers,”

from a letter to his son, Michael Tolkien, March 1941.


And here is an excerpt from a letter, written by J. R. R .Tolkien to his son, Christopher Tolkien.  In the letter, the father explains to the son why he wishes to include the name “Luthien” on the tombstone of his wife, Edith:

“She was (and knew she was) my Luthien.  I will say no more now.  

But I should like ere long to have a long talk with you.

For if, as seems probable, I shall never write any ordered biography — it is against my nature, which expresses itself about things deepest felt in the tales and myths — someone close in heart to me should know something  about things that records do not record:

The dreadful sufferings of our childhoods,  from which we rescued one another, but could not wholly heal wounds that later often proved disabling;  the sufferings that we endured after our love began — all of which (over and above personal weaknesses) might help to make pardonable, or understandable, the lapses and darknesses which at times marred our lives — and to explain how these never touched our depths nor dimmed the memories of our youthful love.

For ever (especially when alone) we still met in the woodland glade and went hand in hand many times to escape the shadow of imminent death before our last parting.”

John Ronald Reuel Tolkien,  [3 January 1892 — 2 September 1973]

He was an English writer, poet, philologist, and university professor, best known as the author of the classic high fantasy works The HobbitThe Lord of the Rings, and The Silmarillion.

P. S.

My son-in-law, Daniel, was born on Tolkien’s birth day, 01.03.1985.

My Professor and I were married on the exact day and year of Tolkien’s death:  09.02.1973.


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1 Comment

Filed under Valentine's Day

One response to “Two Valentines from “Tollers”

  1. Thank you for sharing this, Margot. It touches my heart in many places today.

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