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Letter 14

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The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien
Letter 14
RecipientAllen & Unwin
DateMay 28, 1937
Subject(s)The Hobbit

Letter 14 is a letter written by J.R.R. Tolkien and published in The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien.


Tolkien discusses the publication of The Hobbit – he agrees with Allen & Unwin's October 1937 date but feels they're mistaken in reasoning that this will take advantage of interest in Oxford. In any case he wishes to avoid further delay as he is worried it will appear as if he spent his previous year's research leave on the book, and because his friend "Mr Lewis of Magdalen" is eager to review it for the Times Literary Supplement. In the end the publication was brought slightly forward, to 21 September 1937.

Allen & Unwin have also informed Tolkien that they have forwarded Letter 13, concerning illustrations in a possible American publication of The Hobbit, to Houghton Mifflin. He regrets this as "it was not intended for American consumption unedited: I should have expressed myself rather differently". Nevertheless he encloses some pictures for the purpose, once again making apologies for his perceived lack of skill and wishing to assure Houghton Mifflin that they can be rejected "at once and without offence" if the standard is too low.