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Letter 242

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Letter 242 is a letter written by J.R.R. Tolkien and published in The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien.


This fragment of a letter, dated November 28, 1962, was addressed to Stanley Unwin. It involves the publishing of The Adventures of Tom Bombadil, six days earlier. At the time, two reviews had been published: one by The Times Literary Supplement, and one in The Listener. Both were positive, but Tolkien thinks both reviewers started out not wanting to be amused. He remains puzzled as to why "if a 'professor' shows any knowledge of his professional techniques it must be 'waggery', but if a writer shows, say, knowledge of law or law-courts it is held interesting and creditable."