Tolkien Gateway

Letter 146

The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien
Letter 146
RecipientAllen and Unwin
Date3 June 1954
Subject(s)Dislike of the Lord of the Rings dust-jacket design

Letter 146 is a letter written by J.R.R. Tolkien and published in The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien.

[edit] Summary

The Production Department had asked Tolkien to approve the design of the dust-jacket for The Lord of the Rings. Tolkien said he wished he could approve of the jacket proofs but he could not, calling them very ugly indeed. He wished he had been given the opportunity earlier to provide effective criticism.

Tolkien thought his opinion of the jacket was of much less importance than issuing the book as soon as possible. If he had nothing to do with it he would not mind, but the Ring-motif was his so the few who concerned him might suspect him of having planned it. Since he was asked he called the jacket tasteless and depressing, but thought that the asking was just a formality. He would rather have things as they are rather than more delay, but if changes could be made without delay he would like a different type for the title-lettering.