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Letter 136

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Letter 136 is a letter written by J.R.R. Tolkien and published in The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien.


This letter, dated March 24, 1953, is written to Rayner Unwin. Following Allen & Unwin's decision to publish The Lord of the Rings, Tolkien writes that he can not make it to the agreed upon dead-line (March 25). Edith had been ill, and most of the Professor's time was spent on finding her a house of high, dry soil, and in the quiet. Tolkien then suggests that he can send the first book, and since he has some extra time in the following months, put the rest in order later.

In a post scriptum, he proposes two sets of names for the books. In the first set, the titles of the six book would be The Ring Sets out, The Ring Goes South, The Treason of Isengard, The Ring goes (sic) East, The War of the Ring and The End of the Third Age. In the second set, the titles are for the three volumes. They would be The Shadow Grows, The Ring in the Shadow, and for the third volume either The War of the Ring or The Return of the King. Some of these titles would be used for The History of Middle-earth.