With Ariel mermaiding about again, and Rings of Power by Amazon (ugh, it’s like Mordor doing a doc on the Shire) out, folks are talking about diversity, and representation, and lack thereof.
So, lest anyone wonder if Tolkien had a bigoted bone in his pipe and tweed suit, let us remember…
If I am to understand…
…that you are enquiring whether I am of Jewish origin, I can only reply that I regret that I appear to have no ancestors of that gifted people.
My great-great-grandfather came to England in the eighteenth century from Germany: the main part of my descent is therefore purely English, and I am an English subject—which should be sufficient.
I have been accustomed, nonetheless, to regard my German name with pride, and continued to do so throughout the period of the late regrettable war, in which I served in the English army.
I cannot, however, forbear to comment that if impertinent and irrelevant inquiries of this sort are to become the rule in matters of literature, then the time is not far distant when a German name will no longer be a source of pride.
Equality bonus round: