wtorek, 31 marca 2020

Tolkien and Mroczkowski

Prof. Przemysław Mroczkowski
(from the private collection)
On 19 February 2020 I was to Kraków in Poland to meet two nice and gentle daughters of late Prof. Przemysław Mroczkowski, a friend of J. R. R. Tolkien. Both ladies are professors of Philology.  And they remind me High Elves. We call Professor Mroczkowski a 'Polish Inkling'.

During my visit I could see and I received as my birthday gift (Eglerio!) the copies of Tolkien's letters to Mroczkowski. I cannot publish them, of course.

Prof. Mroczkowski created the English Faculty after the 2WW among the dangers and deadly shadows of Communism and Ateist Dictatorship in the 1940s and 1950s. He knew Tolkien and Lewis and he took part in their meetings in Oxford.

The letters were sold few years ago. They are now probably in the possession of the Tolkien family. I have only their copies. The letters are as follows (I provide you with general description of this collection; the letters have been already quoted and described in the articles in archival issues of Tygodnik Powszechny and at Tolkien Gateway):
  • 1. Written on 2 August 1946 (I don't have its copy, but you can read it here)
  • 2. Written on 9-10 November 1957. Commentary on Mroczkowski’s essay about Chaucer („A Lusty Plain Abudant of Vitaille. The New Robinson Chaucer”) 
  • 3. Written on 17 November 1957. Greetings, apologies, Tolkien’s plans to visit America, „We are quite unimportant people”, „And I do hope that as I have been bold enough to address you as a colleague without title you will please do the same to me.” 
  • 4. Sent on 1 (?) March 1958 from Hotel Miramar, Bournemouth. Tolkien offers help to Mroczkowski. Dr Świeczkowski from Krakow mentioned 
  • 5. Written on 11 March 1958 from Hotel Miramar, Bournemouth. Tolkien glad that he could help his friend Mroczkowski. Tolkien writes about God’s answer to the prayer. Professor P. Mroczkowski stayed at 62A Iffley Road, Oxford 
  • 6. Written in December 1959. Apologies and description of domestical problems. 
  • 7. Written on 22 November 1960. „I feel very guilty in never acknowledging for magnificent reprint of Pan Tadeusz which you (without any merit of mine) sent to me, and which arrived safely.” „I wonder if it would be possible it for you to thank Mrs. Irena Janicka for and let her know that I gratefully and safely received a copy of the paper „The Comic Elements in the English Mystery Plays” (No. 2 of Communications of Poznań Society of Friends of Science).” 
  • 8. Written on 28 December 1961
  • 9. Written on 20-26 January 1964. "But 1963 was for me a dreadful year of loss and frustration, and 1964 has begun as evilly", "The loss reached for me its climax on Nov. 22nd, not for me the day Kennedy was murdered, but the day C.S. Lewis died. I attended what was supposed to be his death-bed in June, 1 but he recovered, and the relapse and end come suddenly and (I think even to his doctor and dear friend of us both) unexpectedly", "A shadow, only guessed by us, has been falling on my son Christopher and his wife for some time, and soon after Christmas disaster came on them and us. His wife walked out, and left him. I do not understand the matter fully, and anyway, you would not wish me to discuss it." Tolkien also discusses the nature of his opus and the nature of Tom Bombadil. More on this long letter can be found here.
  • 10. Tolkien's letter to Mrs. Mroczkowska written on 10 April 1969. Answer to her letter from 4 April, complaints because of poor health and explains how to help in scientific matters to Mrs. Mroczkowska's daughter, Maria Anuncjata Mroczkowska.

5 komentarzy:

  1. Hello

    Do you have any more information (even a copy) of the 1964 letter?

  2. The original letter is now probably in the posession of the Tolkien family. Which part of the letter is of interest to you?

  3. These are really great things to know about the relationship between profs Tolkien & Mroczkowski. Many thanks. However, as a gentle hint, in the best possible terms, your English is rather clumsy and grammatically somewhat flawed.

    1. Thank you very much and I am so sorry. I am not native and I am aware of my poor English

    2. And maybe you could help me to polish my English post?