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Letter 184

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The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien
Letter 184
RecipientSam Gamgee
DateMarch 18, 1956
Subject(s)Sam Gamgee

Letter 184 is a letter written by J.R.R. Tolkien and published in The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien.


Following the 1955 radio series of The Lord of the Rings, a Tooting resident named "Sam Gamgee" wrote to Tolkien on March 13, 1956. On March 18, Tolkien replied. He explains his own origin of the name Gamgee, and mentions the Gamgee family of Birmingham. In his letter, Gamgee had already shown awareness of his family's name fame in the medical profession. Tolkien then asks for more information about the name, and offers a signed copy of The Lord of the Rings.


  • In an editorial note, further correspondence is mentioned. Gamgee wrote back with family information, and accepted the gift kindly.
  • In J.R.R. Tolkien: A Biography, pages 224-225, this episode is also mentioned. It is followed by: "[l]ater he said: 'For some time I lived in fear of receiving a letter signed S. Gollum. That would have been more difficult to deal with." It is likely that this passage is from the fragment known as Letter 185.