Simon Tolkin and the literary estate

On the radio this evening I heard an interview with Simon Tolkin, a grandson of the author of the LOTR. He said a few things about his grandfather, including some indication that his experience in the trenches in WWI may be reflected in the trilogy. The remarkable thing though was his comment that his father had absolutely excluded him from any participation in the family company that manages the Tolkin literary estate. Does any one have any idea what this is all about?

Simon Tolkien (NOTE THE SPELLING) decided to serve as a consultant for the Peter Jackson movies. His father Christopher was opposed to this because he felt that it was impossible to persuade Jackson or anybody else to produce a good movie version. When Simon went ahead and offered his services to Jackson, Christopher cut him out from any control of the Tolkien estate. Do a Google search on “Simon Tolkien” and “Tolkien estate” and you’ll find lots of articles about the subject.

Is Christopher Tolkien still alive? He must be ancient by now.


While ST has been generally supportive of the movies, I don’t think he was a consultant.

CT was born in 1924. His elder brother John (b 1917) died recently.


And if the reports are correct, I truly hope that John Tolkien’s death was quite prolonged and painful.

Ya know, I ahve tried to type a response to that four times now. Nothing seems right. I am reduced to saying that is just appalling. Jeez.

And I think Christopher has some control issues. But that’s just me.

There’s a few problems with that article that Sampiro links to. I had heard the story before that someone was claiming that Father John Tolkien had molested him. I had also heard claims that the story was an obvious crock, merely someone trying to blackmail him for some money from the Tolkien estate. This article, though, says that there are some other victims of his molestation that are willing to come forth. It sounds like this Christopher Carrie has gotten acknowledgement from both the police and from Father Tolkien’s bishop that they had reason to believe his claim.

However, note that the article claims at one point that there may be been dozens of victims of Father Tolkien. This seems to be an unjustified jump from the known facts, since there only seem to have been a few other men who claim the molestation. Carrie says that he thinks that hundreds of other boys were molested, although it appears that he doesn’t actually know of more than a few of them.

There’s also a few inaccuracies about J. R. R. Tolkien’s life in the article. Tolkien had four children, not three, and the claim that Tolkien was inspired by “such places at Moseley Bog, Sarehole Mill, Hall Green, and Perrott’s Folly and the Waterworks Tower in Edgbaston” is, at best, just a offhand guess. In general, I’m reluctant to trust an article containing such over-the-top sentences as “But the owlish, bespectacled priest hid another secret, far more dreadful and black as night.” This is not a sterling example of investigative journalism. These charges may very well be true, but I hope that there’s going to be a really thorough investigation.

It is pretty purple prose, isn’t it? Is that typical of Brit journalism or is it just this paper?

I certainly hope it’s not true. The best things to refute it are the fact that Carrie’s trying to promote a book and that the authorities waited until after Tolkien’s death to say anything. Personally, I could unmask an 85 year old man with dementia as a former child molestor and not have any trouble sleeping, just as I wouldn’t have trouble extraditing a 90 year old Nazi war criminal to Israel. I’d think that most law enforcement officials are the same way.

Can priests inherit wealth?

But, so what of Fr. John Tolkien? It doesn’t seem to have much to do with the central issue of the OP, which is Christopher* T’s exclusion of his own son from the literary estate.

But I think Peter Jackson has proven him wrong.