Tolkien Gateway

Letter 259

The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien
Letter 259
RecipientAnne Barrett, Houghton Mifflin Co.
Date7 August 1964
Subject(s)Charles Williams, blurb for Tree and Leaf, other stories to be reprinted together

Letter 259 is a letter written by J.R.R. Tolkien and published in The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien.

[edit] Summary

Tolkien called himself a man of limited sympathies and said that Charles Williams lay almost completely outside of them. They were in close contact from late 1939 to Williams’ death and Tolkien had been an "assistant mid-wife" for All Hallows Eve, although it was greatly changed due to C.S. Lewis. Tolkien enjoyed Williams' company but their minds were poles apart. Tolkien actively disliked Williams' Arthurian-Byzantine mythology and blamed him for spoiling the end of Lewis' trilogy.

Tolkien said a proposed blurb for Tree and Leaf juxtaposed two things that only touched at a corner, for which he was not responsible since it came up at a time of distractions for him. For some time he had thought of reprinting together Beowulf: The Monsters and the Critics, On Fairy-stories, and The Homecoming of Beorhtnoth because they were about the "heroic" in fairy-stories, the fairy-story, and "heroism and chivalry", respectively.