Christopher JR Tolkien has died. This is a sad moment, but as we say in Italy, «no wedding without tears, no funeral without laughter.»

And I found myself thinking, as a joke: look at the difference between university magnateship (or, as we say in Italy, baronage) between Italy and the UK.

What does a university baron in Italy do to ensure that their offspring inherits their position? They play all kind of dirty tricks. They coopt their group into adding the offspring's name as co-author of their research papers. They pull in favors to ensure that the commissions for calls and exams evaluate their offspring more favorably.

What does a univeristy baron in the UK do to ensure that their offspring inherits their position? They gather all the mythos of the literature of lore, create a fantasy world, publish several novels on it, and leave around enough material to guarantee a prosperous legacy for the offsprings, as curator of the material and with enough arguments for literaly criticism that the offspring can build their own career on top of it.