anything that was good or beautiful in his writing

George Sayer, in his essay “Recollections of J.R.R. Tolkien” from the book “Tolkien: A Celebration” (edited by Joseph Pearce):

In the pew in front of us there were two or three children who were trying to follow the service in a simple picture-book missal. [Tolkien] seemed to be more interested in them than in events at the altar. He lent over and helped them. When we came out of the church we found he was not with us. I went back and found him kneeling in front of the Lady Altar with the young children and their mother, talking happily and I think telling stories about Our Lady. I knew the mother and found out later that the children were enthralled. This again was typical; he loved children and had the gift of getting on well with them. “Mummy, can we always go to church with that nice man?” The story also illustrates one of the most important things about him, his great devotion to Our Lady. He wrote me years later a letter in which he stated that he attributed anything that was good or beautiful in his writing to the influence of Our Lady, “the greatest influence in my life”. He meant it. An obvious example is the character of Galadriel.

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