A comprehensive collection of letters spanning the adult life (1914-1973) of one of the world’s most famous storytellers.
‘It is not possible even at great length to "pot" The Lord of the Rings in a paragraph or two. It was begun in 1936, and every part has been written many times… the labour has been colossal; and it must stand or fall, practically as it is.’
J.R.R. Tolkien was one of the most prolific letter writers of this century. Over the years he wrote to his publishers, his family, to friends (including C.S. Lewis, W.H. Auden and Naomi Mitchison) and to fans of his books. The letters present a fascinating and highly detailed portrait of the man in many of his aspects: as storyteller, scholar, Catholic, parent and observer of the world around him. They also shed much light on his creative genius and grand design for the creation of a whole new world – Middle-earth.
This collection will appeal not only to the legions of Tolkien fans, but will entertain anyone who appreciates the art of letter-writing, of which Tolkien was a master.
‘I am nearly always written to as Tolkein (not by you): I do not know why, since it is pronounced by me always -keen.’
‘So rich, it reads like an autobiography’
About the author
Humphrey Carpenter was born in Oxford in 1946 and spent most of his life in that city. He read English Language and Literature at Keble College, Oxford, and met Professor J.R.R. Tolkien on a number of occasions. For some years he worked for the BBC as a radio producer and broadcaster and won acclaim as a top biographer, including the recent and controversial biography of Robert Runcie. He died in 2005.