The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien

The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien

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by Humphrey Carpenter, J. R. R. Tolkien
     
 

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'...If you wanted to go on from the end of The Hobbit I think the ring would be your inevitable choice as the link. If then you wanted a large tale, the Ring would at once acquire a capital letter; and the Dark Lord would immediately appear. As he did, unasked, on the hearth at Bag End as soon as I came to that point. So the essential Quest started at once. But I

Overview


'...If you wanted to go on from the end of The Hobbit I think the ring would be your inevitable choice as the link. If then you wanted a large tale, the Ring would at once acquire a capital letter; and the Dark Lord would immediately appear. As he did, unasked, on the hearth at Bag End as soon as I came to that point. So the essential Quest started at once. But I met a lot of things along the way that astonished me. Tom Bombadil I knew already; but I had never been to Bree. Strider sitting in the corner of the inn was a shock, and I had no more idea who he was than Frodo did. The Mines of Moria had been a mere name; and of Lothlorien no word had reached my mortal ears till I came there.' -- J.R.R. Tolkien to W.H. Auden, June 7, 1955

J.R.R. Tolkien, cherished author of The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, and The Silmarillion, was one of the twentieth century's most prolific letter writers. Over the years he wrote a mass of letters -- to his publishers, his family, to friends, and to fans of his books -- which record the history and composition of his works and his reaction to subsequent events.

By turns thoughtful, impish, scholarly, impassioned, playful, vigorous, and gentle, Tolkien poured his heart and mind into a great stream of correspondence to intimate friends and unknown admirers all over the world. From this collection one sees a mind of immense complexity and many layers -- artistic, religious, charmingly eccentric, sentimental, and ultimately brilliant.

Now newly expanded with a detailed index, this collection provides an invaluable record that sheds much light on Tolkien's creative genius, his thoughts and feelings about his own work, and the evolution of his grand design for the creation of a whole new world -- Middle-earth.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
The old fellow's letters to friends, family, and fans offer insight into his life and writings. Fun but not essential. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780618056996
Publisher:
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date:
06/28/2000
Pages:
512
Sales rank:
189,953
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.25(h) x 1.17(d)

Meet the Author


Humphrey Carpenter, the author of THE BRIDESHEAD GENERATION and THE INKLINGS, among other books, was given unrestricted access to all of Tolkien's papers for his biography of Tolkien, J.R.R. TOLKIEN: A BIOGRAPHY.

J.R.R. TOLKIEN (1892–1973) is the creator of Middle-earth and author of such classic and extraordinary works of fiction as The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, and The Silmarillion. His books have been translated into more than fifty languages and have sold many millions of copies worldwide.

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The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 10 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a wonderful compilation of letters written by Tolkien to various people (friends, fans, media, etc.) that includes Tolkien thoughts on questions and criticisms of his work. Subjects such as the basis for Middle-earth, the untreated subject of the entwives, and many, many more are discussed by the man who knew them best - Tolkien himself. Entertaining to read and humorous more often than not, I highly recommend this book for fans of all types and ages.
KChap19 More than 1 year ago
As a student that has been in more English courses than are good for an individual, I know only too well that we often know what the author "intended" or "really meant" by a specific word, situation, or person more than the actual author! Too often writers assume that objects or characters or plot lines symbolize something far from what the author had in fact intended to symbolize. "Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien" details the purpose behind everything Tolkien every wrote. The book is a collection of letters actually written by Tolkien to various correspondents including his son Christopher, publishers Allen & Unwin, and Unwin's son Rayner. This book is a must for any and every Tolkien fan! If you want to learn more about the origins of Hobbits or need a simplified explanation of "On Fairy Stories" this is the place to get it!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Letters of J. R. R. Tolkien presents a look into the evolution of Tolkien's legendarium, as well as a glimpse into Tolkien's personal life. A worthy addition to the library of any Tolkien reader.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The reader is given an overview of Tolkien's life and relationships through excerpts from his letters, the letters spanning his adult life. A brief bit of context is given at the start of each letter, footnotes are also used to add important information. The bulk of the collection covers the role that Tolkien's writing, as well as his efforts to have his works published, played in his life. Of special interest are several lengthy letters giving an overview of The Lord of the Rings, stressing the main points, as Tolkien saw them. The book is recommended for those wanting to know more about Tolkien. By the way, the review editor seems to have an odd dislike for certain punctuation items, notably semicolons and parens.
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