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The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien

The name Letters refers to more than one character, item or concept. For a list of other meanings, see Letters (disambiguation).
The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien
Tolkien Letters Cover.jpg
AuthorEdited by Humphrey Carpenter and Christopher Tolkien
PublisherGeorge Allen and Unwin (UK)
Houghton Mifflin (US)
Released20 August 1981

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. For the 1999 edition of the book, an index was created by Wayne G. Hammond and Christina Scull.

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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.

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