Tolkien Gateway

Letter 134

The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien
Letter 134
RecipientRayner Unwin
Date29 August 1950
Subject(s)Delivering The Lord of the Rings, making tape-recordings

Letter 134 is a letter written by J.R.R. Tolkien and published in The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien.

[edit] Summary

Tolkien was anxious to publish The Lord of the Rings as soon as possible as he thought it a great but not flawless work. He only had one copy that he dared not post and planned to devote some days for final corrections. He would retire from the noise and stench of Holywell to his son's cottage[note 1] on Chilterntop to do the work. After returning on 10 September, Tolkien offered to call upon Rayner with his burden or, as Rayner had kindly suggested, Rayner could visit him.

Recently Tolkien had made some tape-recordings of parts of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. He had been much surprised at their effectiveness as recitations and his ability as a narrator, claiming he did a pretty Gollum and Treebeard. Could the BBC be interested?

Tolkien wished to come to London but was pressed for time. He was cutting the seventh International Congress of Linguists because of overdue professional work at Cambridge, the W.P. Ker lecture at Glasgow, Sir Gawain, and new lectures. Rayner's continued interest cheered him. Tolkien mentioned constant "fan-mail" which asked for more, often more about the Necromancer, which his new work certainly fulfilled.

[edit] Note

  1. The cottage belonged to Michael Tolkien.