Tolkien, one of his generation's most respected linguists, was ''earmarked'' to crack Nazi codes in the event that Germany declared war. Intelligence chiefs singled him and a 'cadre' of other intellectuals to work at Bletchley Park, the codebreaking centre in Buckinghamshire. This saved Britain from German conquest by allowing the Navy to intercept and destroy Hitler's U-Boats. According to previously unseen records, Tolkien trained with the top-secret Government Code and Cypher School (GCCS). He spent three days at their London HQ in March 1939 - six months before the outbreak of the Second World War and just 18 months after the publication of his first book, The Hobbit. But although he was ''keen'', Tolkien - a professor of English literature at Oxford University - declined a £500-a-year offer to become a full-time recruit. The reasons behind his decision are not known.
Жаль, что Нил Стивенсон этого не знал, жаль (особенно в свете того, что Рэнди Уотерхауз всех встречных классифицировал по толкинским расам - очень хорошо бы легло и появление самого Дж.Р.Р.).