Tolkien Gateway

Letter to David Masson (12 December 1955)

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Revision as of 17:52, 26 May 2014

David Masson 12 December 1955 is a letter from J.R.R. Tolkien to Mr David I. Masson (librarian at the University of Leeds[1]), written on 12 December 1955.[2]


Tolkien remarked that the reviewer should not have made such a fuss over giving quarters to orcs. 'Surely how often "quarter" is given is off the point in a book that breathes Mercy from start to finish: in which the central hero is at last divested of all arms, except his will? "Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive them that trespass against us. Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil", are words that occur to me, and of which the scene, in the Sammath Naur was meant to be a "fairy-story" exemplum ...'

See also


  1. J.R.R. Tolkien, "Words, Phrases and Passages in Various Tongues in The Lord of the Rings", in Parma Eldalamberon XVII (edited by Christopher Gilson), p. 40
  2. 2.0 2.1 Wayne G. Hammond and Christina Scull (2006), The J.R.R. Tolkien Companion and Guide: I. Chronology, p. 482
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Tom Shippey, The Road to Middle-earth (Grafton 2nd ed., p. 132n; HarperCollins 3rd ed., p. 164)