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The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien

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The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien
Tolkien Letters Cover.jpg
AuthorHumphrey Carpenter and Christopher Tolkien
PublisherAllen and Unwin, Houghton Mifflin

The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien is a selection of J.R.R. Tolkien's letters published in 1981, edited by his son Christopher Tolkien and the biographer Humphrey Carpenter. The index was made by Wayne G. Hammond and Christina Scull.


The selection contains 354 letters, dating between October 1914, when Tolkien was an undergraduate at the University of Oxford, and August 29, 1973, four days before his death.

The letters can be roughly divided in four categories:

  1. Personal letters to Edith Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien and his other children,
  2. Letters about Tolkien's career as a professor of Anglo-Saxon
  3. Letters to his publishers at Allen and Unwin explaining his failing to meet the deadline and related topics
  4. Letters about Middle-earth

The last category is especially of interest to Tolkien fans, as it provides a lot of information about Middle-earth which cannot be found anywhere in the works published by Tolkien himself.

See also