Letter to E. Rasdall

From Tolkien Gateway

On 21 March 1956, J.R.R. Tolkien wrote a letter to E. Rasdall.[1][2]

'It's a bit of a puzzle as to who [Rasdall] is and how the letter got into the book,' Ms. Kinniff [Gelman Library staff member] said. The book is inscribed with a name and date on the inside cover—Christine Cusnich, August 1954—but nothing is known about Ms. Cusnich, and little is known about Mr. Rasdall, aside from the fact that he was most likely a book collector.


I am so sorry! Your parcel arrived safely, but it arrived at a crowded time, and I was also unwell. In fact, I had to go away to recuperate, and only returned yesterday. It was on my conscience that I had gone off without either returning your books or letting you know. I will send them off, I hope on Friday. Why not at once? Well, because tomorrow my wife and I celebrate our 40th or ruby wedding anniversary, and are preparing for the gathering of our children and children-in-law, which has not occurred complete for many years. I fear it will be a ceremony by Shire standards ‘brief, moderate, simple, and jejune’ but there may be a speech!

Yours truly, J. R. R. Tolkien

P.S. I have just had a letter from a real Sam Gamgee (of Tooting)!


  1. 1.0 1.1 Laura Donnelly-Smith, "A Ticket to Middle-earth" dated 8 January 2013, George Washington Today (accessed 27 March 2013)
  2. "“All that is gold does not glitter …”", George Washington University Libraries (accessed 27 March 2013)