Letter to Miss Turnbull (19 May 1955)

From Tolkien Gateway

On 19 May 1955, J.R.R. Tolkien wrote a letter to Miss Turnbull of Whitby, Yorkshire.[1]

  • Description: Octavo, two pages, on one leaf with printed letterhead (76 Sandfield Road, Headington, Oxford). With the original envelope addressed in his hand; folded once across the centre to fit the envelope.[2]
  • Publication: The letter was quoted in Sotheby's English Literature and History 18 July 1991.

Contents (from the bookseller)[edit | edit source]

Tolkien thanks Miss Turnbull for her 'munificent and magnificent gift' (apparently champagne), apologises profusely for the tardy response [the gift having arrived two days earlier!!!] and discusses what was presumably the cause for celebration - clearing his desk of 'The Return of the King'. 'Though sending off the last items [with a marginal comment 'and at last'] for Vol III might have seemed a suitable occasion for the withdrawing of at least one cork, I have so far refrained; but when I drink I shall remember with a gratitude at least as warm and deep as Old Rory felt for the bottles of Old Winyards. I can only hope Vol III will be up to it!' The literary and cinematic world certainly think it is ..[3][note 1]

See also[edit | edit source]


  1. The editors of AbeBooks had failed to include the full description of the letter (which ends abruptly with "a suitable occasion for the wi". However, a private correspondance with Michael Treloar Antiquarian revealed the full letter description, as presented above.