Tolkien Gateway

Tolkien Gateway is 10 years old. Sign up today to edit TG and help us grow for years to come.

Letter to unknown recipient (1956)

Revision as of 23:03, 21 June 2011 by KingAragorn Bot (Talk | contribs)

? 1956 is a letter from J.R.R. Tolkien to an unknown fan (the aunt of the finder of the letter) in North East England, probably written sometime in 1956.[1]

  • Description: Hand-written letter, explaining some of the thinking behind The Lord of the Rings.
  • Contents: The letter from the unknown woman was likely written as The Lord of the Rings was published, asking why there could not have been a different ending. Tolkien wrote in reply, talking about the core of his tale, but added: "I could not explain how the story grew in anything less than an autobiography."
  • Authenticity: Medium.[note 1]
  • Publication: None.


  1. The hand writing was recognised by expert Liz Merryis.


  1. Vince Gledhill, "Tolkien letter's a treasure" (dated 3 September 2004; The Evening Chronicle) at Chronicle Live (accessed 21 May 2011)