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L. Sprague de Camp

L. Sprague de Camp.png

Lyon Sprague de Camp (November 27, 1907November 6, 2000) was an American author of science fiction and fantasy books, non-fiction and biography.


[edit] de Camp and Tolkien

In July 1964, de Camp sent J.R.R. Tolkien a copy of his anthology Swords & Sorcery.[1] Tolkien sent a letter to de Camp in August 1964, expressing his opinion about the stories.[2] In February 1967, de Camp and Alan E. Nourse visited Tolkien for an interview:[3][4]

"[Tolkien] said he found [the anthology] interesting but did not much like the stories in it [...] We sat in the garage for a couple of hours, smoking pipes, drinking beer, and talking about a variety of things. Practically anything in English literature, from Beowulf down, Tolkien had read and could talk intelligently about. He indicated that he 'rather liked' Howard's Conan stories."
Literary Swordsmen and Sorcerers, pp. 243-4

A 1983 letter from de Camp to John Rateliff implies that de Camp would not have been prepared to stand by his earlier suggestion of Tolkien having read multiple Conan stories. Rateliff quotes de Camp:

"During our conversation, I said something casual to Tolkien about my involvement with Howard's Conan stories, and he said he 'rather liked them'. That was all: we went on to other subjects. I know he had read Swords and Sorcery because I had sent him a copy. I don't know if he had read any other Conan besides 'Shadows in the Moonlight', but I rather doubt it. "
J.R.R. Tolkien Encyclopedia: Scholarship and Critical Assessment, pp. 287

[edit] Bibliography, selected

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  1. "Swords & Sorcery (Seller ID 000971)", Tolkien Bookshelf (accessed 9 January 2012)
  2. Wayne G. Hammond and Christina Scull (2006), The J.R.R. Tolkien Companion and Guide: I. Chronology, p. 622
  3. Dale Nelson, "Howard, Robert E. (1906-36)", in J.R.R. Tolkien Encyclopedia (Michael D.C. Drout, ed.), p.287
  4. Wayne G. Hammond and Christina Scull (2006), The J.R.R. Tolkien Companion and Guide: I. Chronology, p. 688