Tolkien Gateway

Letter 127

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The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien
Letter 127
RecipientStanley Unwin
DateApril 14, 1950
Subject(s)The Lord of the Rings, publication

Letter 127 is a letter written by J.R.R. Tolkien and published in The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien.

Summary

Stanley Unwin had asked his son Rayner for advice about publishing The Lord of the Rings and The Silmarillion. Rayner proposed publishing the former and dropping the latter.

Tolkien becomes angry by the corporate thinking of Unwin and his son, and demands an immediate "yes" or "no" about publishing both books.

Note

This letter marked the beginning of a feud Tolkien had with Allen & Unwin, and several letters later prompted him to write the "Milton Waldman Letter". For more on this episode, see Humphrey Carpenter's J.R.R. Tolkien: A Biography, part VI 1949-1966: Success, chapter 1, "Slamming the Gates".