Tolkien Gateway

Letter 173

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The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien
Letter 173
RecipientKatherine Farrer
DateOctober 24, 1955
Subject(s)The Return of the King, publication

Letter 173 is a letter written by J.R.R. Tolkien and published in The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien.


Tolkien tells of the publishing of The Return of the King on October 20 and the O'Donnell lecture on October 21. Tolkien is well pleased with the reception, but does not think it will cause a new trend in literature.[1] He is pleased with the published The Return of the King, but feels it incomplete if there was nothing on Samwise and Elanor.[2]


  1. We can now safely say he did...
  2. He is probably referring to The Epilogue, as published in Sauron Defeated. It was going to be included, but was considered too anti-climactic.