Sunday, July 10, 2011

Tolkien letter pages 1 - 3

Page 1
note the letterhead at the top - 20 Northmoor Road - from where he wrote The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings

more from Wikipedia

Probably the most famous resident of Northmoor Road was the Oxford academic and author J. R. R. Tolkien. He lived at both No. 22 and then a larger house at No. 20 from 1930 to 1937. Tolkien wrote The Hobbit and most of The Lord of the Rings while living at At 20 Northmoor Road. There is now a blue plaque on the house.
Another resident was Sir Martin Wood, who set up his company, Oxford Instruments, in his garden shed at his house in Northmoor Road. Oxford Instruments went on to become a leading company in medical technology. Later, in the 1980s, Wood founded the Northmoor Trust, aimed at promoting nature conservation at Little Wittenham and Wittenham Clumps in the Oxfordshire countryside south of Oxford.

Pages 2 and 3

Sunday, July 1, 2007

letter from J R R Tolkien 'Lord of the Rings'

Here it is, a letter from Tolkien to a friend in 1945
in his characteristic handwriting that would become famous as the recognised script for the maps in 'Lord of the Rings'.

Take a look at the sample here of page 4 - click to enlarge it

Below are a few choice quotes from the letter - written to a friend giving some writing tips on manuscripts he had submitted to Tolkien - of course, this was way before 'Lord of the Rings!

9 June 1945

I ought to have acknowledged your packet at once; but I thought you'd like to have it back soon, with some comment. However, things have been pretty shaky all through May, with an endless series of small extra jobs, exam work, and also death. Especially the sudden death of my very dear friend Charles Williams, the author, which has thrown all our little circle into deep mourning.

Professors, too, seem dying or retiring everywhere, and as I am now (as a survivor) or adviser in half a dozen places, I have had a hell of a lot of letters to write.

I don,t know that I can do or say a lot that would be helpful, as I am not a professional critic, merely an occasional writer and that sort of man is apt simply to feel what he (with his own mode and habit) would have done in such and such a place: not always a good thing in some one else's work.

And in any case, you say you don,t want to publish merely to amuse yourself (and friends). Well, in order to say anything, I have to imagine these things as offered for publication and anonymous. On those conditions: I should say that the ideas, general and particular, are good...

Tolkien then proceeds to critique his friend's stories, and finishes:

I am afraid little of this will be legible but I've had to scribble a great speed. Anyway here's to you, and I hope you'll accept it as a token of friendship. Here's to our next shared pints.