The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien: Revised and Expanded Edition
The comprehensive collection of letters spanning the adult life of one of the world’s greatest storytellers, now revised and expanded to include more than 150 previously unseen letters, with revealing new insights into The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, and The Silmarillion.
J.R.R. Tolkien, creator of the languages and history of Middle-earth as recorded in The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings and The Silmarillion, was one of the most prolific letter-writers of the last century. Over the years he wrote a mass of letters—to his publishers, to members of his family, to friends, and to “fans” of his books—which often reveal the inner workings of his mind, and which record the history of composition of his works and his reaction to subsequent events.
A selection from Tolkien’s correspondence, collected and edited by Tolkien’s official biographer, Humphrey Carpenter, and assisted by Christopher Tolkien, was published in 1981. It presented, in Tolkien’s own words, a highly detailed portrait of the man in his many aspects: storyteller, scholar, Catholic, parent, friend, and observer of the world around him.
In this revised and expanded edition of The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien, it has been possible to go back to the editors’ original typescripts and notes, restoring more than 150 letters that were excised purely to achieve what was then deemed a “publishable length,” and present the book as originally intended.
Enthusiasts for his writings will find much that is new, for the letters not only include fresh information about Middle-earth, such as Tolkien’s own plot summary of the entirety of The Lord of the Rings and a vision for publishing his “Tales of the Three Ages,” but also many insights into the man and his world. In addition, this new selection will entertain anyone who appreciates the art of letter-writing, of which J.R.R. Tolkien was a master.
About the Author
J.R.R. Tolkien (1892–1973) was a distinguished academic, though he is best known for writing The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, and The Silmarillion, plus other stories and essays. His books have been translated into over sixty languages and have sold many millions of copies worldwide.