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Letters from Father Christmas

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The name Letters refers to more than one character, item or concept. For a list of other meanings, see Letters (disambiguation).
Letters from Father Christmas
Letters from Father Christmas.jpg
AuthorJ.R.R. Tolkien; Baillie Tolkien (ed.)
PublisherGeorge Allen and Unwin (UK)
Houghton Mifflin (US)
Released2 September 1976 (UK)
19 October 1976 (US)
ISBN0-04-823130-4

Letters from Father Christmas, known in earlier editions as The Father Christmas Letters, is a a collection of letters written and illustrated by J.R.R. Tolkien between 1920 and 1942 for his children, from "Father Christmas". They tell of the adventures and misadventures of Father Christmas and his helpers, including the North Polar Bear and his two sidekick cubs, Paksu and Valkotukka. The book was first published on September 2nd, 1976, edited by Baillie Tolkien.

Editions

  • 1976: The Father Christmas Letters. London: George Allen & Unwin; Boston: Houghton Miflin. [48 pages long, omits the letters from 1920-1924 and from 1939-1942]
  • 1995: Letters from Father Christmas. London: CollinsChildren'sBooks; Boston: Houghton Mifflin. [Facsimiles of letters with envelopes, with three previously unpublished pictures]
  • 1999: Letters from Father Christmas. London: HarperCollins; Boston: Houghton Mifflin. [Revised and enlarged edition]
  • 2004: Letters from Father Christmas. London: HarperCollins; Boston: Houghton Mifflin. [Revised and enlarged edition]

Relation to the Legendarium

While the Letters from Father Christmas do not relate to the Middle-earth of Tolkien's legendarium, some parts of the content can be noted:

  • the goblin attack on the Santa's cellar (presage of the Goblin-Elf wars?)
  • Santa's elf-secretary Ilbereth (progenitor of Elbereth?)
  • glimpses of elvish writing and the goblin alphabet

From the Publisher

For more than twenty years, the children of J.R.R. Tolkien received letters from the North Pole -- from Father Christmas himself! They told wonderful stories of mischief and disaster, adventures and battles: how the reindeer got loose and scattered presents all over the place, how the accident-prone Polar Bear climbed the North Pole and fell through the roof of Father Christmas's house, and many others. Now, for the first time, these letters are brought to life with specially arranged holiday music.