In 1958, author J.R.R. Tolkien attended a "Hobbit Dinner" in the Netherlands. Tolkien's Dutch publisher set up the event, and 200 hardcore fans attended to hear their favorite author talk about The Lord of the Rings and reveal the real meaning behind the story. He even recited a poem in Elvish.
Tolkien's speech was recorded, but until recently it was thought to have been lost. The recording was discovered in a basement in Rotterdam. The man who found it kept this important reel-to-reel tape hidden away. Until recently, only he had heard the recording.
According to the Huffington Post, the reel-to-reel tape "was discovered in 1993 by a Dutchman named René van Rossenberg, a Tolkien expert who owns a shop in the Netherlands devoted to all things Middle-earth." When asked why he didn't share it with anyone until now. Rossenberg said, "Like Smaug I am guarding my treasure, hissing at any collector who comes near." He then added, "I am looking forward to sharing with all Tolkien aficionados the great joy I felt when I first played the tape and heard Tolkien give his great speech."
Legendarium.me co-founder Jay Johnstone somehow found out that the recording existed and convinced van Rossenberg to let the world hear Tolkien's speech. The recording is in the process of being remastered, but you can listen to excerpt from it below.
It's really awesome to listen to Tolkien speak. This is the first time I've ever heard a recording of him, and I can't wait to hear the whole thing! Make sure to click here so that you can sign up to be kept up-to-date on the recording's release. Thanks to io9 for the tip!