The Letters of J. R. R. Tolkien

The Letters of J R R Tolkien This collection will entertain all who appreciate the art of masterful letter writing The Letters of J R R Tolkien sheds much light on Tolkien s creative genius and grand design for the creation of a

  • Title: The Letters of J. R. R. Tolkien
  • Author: J.R.R. Tolkien Humphrey Carpenter Christopher Tolkien
  • ISBN: 9780395315552
  • Page: 411
  • Format: Hardcover
  • This collection will entertain all who appreciate the art of masterful letter writing The Letters of J.R.R Tolkien sheds much light on Tolkien s creative genius and grand design for the creation of a whole new world Middle earth Featuring a radically expanded index, this volume provides a valuable research tool for all fans wishing to trace the evolution of THE HOBBIT aThis collection will entertain all who appreciate the art of masterful letter writing The Letters of J.R.R Tolkien sheds much light on Tolkien s creative genius and grand design for the creation of a whole new world Middle earth Featuring a radically expanded index, this volume provides a valuable research tool for all fans wishing to trace the evolution of THE HOBBIT and THE LORD OF THE RINGS.

    One thought on “The Letters of J. R. R. Tolkien”

    1. I discovered The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien back in '96 when I moved to an LA suburb and was searching through the library for something interesting to read while I took advantage of their free A/C during the blistering summer heat. This was definitely something interesting, but only because I was a Tolkien fanboy. Who else would find joy in pouring over mostly mundane letters to friends, family and publishers? Me, I pored over over them, so happy to read even the most minuscule detail of the man [...]

    2. Dear Unwin,the Hobbit will be ready tomorrow, honest.Yours faithfully,Tolkien.Dear Unwin,I've been swamped by illness, work, exams, more work, more exams, lectures, more work and more exams. I can't possibly get it ready this decade.Yours faithfully,Tolkien.Dear Unwin,did you like it?Yours faithfully,Tolkien.Dear Unwin,glad you liked it. The illustrations will be ready tomorrow.Yours faithfully,Tolkienis decade, etc.Dear Unwin,I may have no taste but the American cover art is appalling and did t [...]

    3. Tolkien, as popular as he is, is too often misunderstood. His works and world are wrongly interpreted and crazy assumptions are made about the man himself. Worst is when people use The Lord of the Rings to make a point that Tolkien himself would have disagreed with. For instance, after Obama was elected one political commentator happily declared, "The shadows are lifting from Mordor" — being apparently completely unaware that Tolkien was politically against big government and that Obama's mora [...]

    4. What better way to enter the mind of a mentor you'll never get to meet than to read his letters? There are so many facets I gleaned about the man by reading these letters--his humor, sadness, fear & humility.

    5. An excerpt from a letter to Walter Hooper, 20 February 1968:"I remember Jack [C.S. Lewis:] telling me a story of Brightman, the distinguished ecclesiastical scholar, who used to sit quietly in Common Room saying nothing except on rare occasions. Jack said that there was a discussion on dragons one night and at the end Brightman's voice was heard to say, 'I have seen a dragon.' Silence. 'Where was that?' he was asked. 'On the Mount of Olives,' he said. He relapsed into silence and never before hi [...]

    6. One of my favorite rereads.Not only does one catch a glimpse of Tolkien's personality, life, and times, but deep in this book are buried letter-essays that provide the kernels of his ideas "On Fairy Stories" and the poem Mythopoeisis.

    7. “It is a curse having an epic temperament in an overcrowded age [1944] devoted to sappy bits!”A treasure trove of insightful material into the life and writings of Tolkien, but not for everyone. Readers uninterested in Tolkien’s writings need not waste their time.Where to start? With the negatives, since they’re so few. Tolkien is opinionated, peevish and pedantic. He hated the appellation “professor.”Among these letters covering most of his adult life, we learn how he viewed his wor [...]

    8. Review originally posted 4 January 2013 on Falling Letters.I thought I would breeze through this book and finish it in two days maximum. Not because it would be an 'easy' read, but because I had lots of time to read and I am highly interested in the subject matter. Not so! The book contains 430 pages of letters so dense and filled with so much that it took me much longer to read. This is not at all a complaint. I was absolutely delighted to have so much to sink my teeth into.I don't read books a [...]

    9. This book is simply a must-read if you're a Tolkien fan. Most of the letters in this book are really interesting and they certainly changed the way I see Tolkien. The letters contain fascinating information on the absolutely huge creation process of LoTR and the whole mythology, which was probably the most interesting part of this book. But even more important, they shed light on the mind and thoughts of this great man.After reading this, I feel like I know Tolkien a lot better than I did from j [...]

    10. Reading Tolkien's letters has to be fascinating for anyone interested in the man and/or his works. He reflects on what he wrote, gives advice to his sons, reports on the progress of his work, and sends irritated letters to Germans who have asked if he's of Jewish descent. It's a pretty exhaustive collection, with an index and little bits of context to go with each letter. Worth reading!

    11. This could be described as "the glory of Germanic culture without Naziism." Tolkien saw a number of items that are either not noticed in the world, or not harmonized: 1) Germanic literature has an austere cultural beauty about it; 2) Modernism has no beauty; 2) Hitler rightly reacted to the decadence of democracies; 3) Hitler's actions would destroy the beauty of Germanic culture; 4) There would be no winners in WW2.Besides brilliant commentary and background on the LotR, we gain insight into JR [...]

    12. What a ride! I really enjoyed this. This book is for ppl really interested in Tolkien and his masterpieces chiefly those on Middle Earth.I came to know a lot more about the man behind the books and also about Middle Earth and it's myths. There are answers for very interesting matters, like hobbits, ents and the Elvish tongues.It was such a pity that he couldn't publish the Silmarillion during his life time as I can feel that through out his letters this was in his mind all the time and he did wo [...]

    13. Reading for the Tolkien Society of Kansas City as follows: January 2018: Letters 1 through 50February 2018: Letters 51 through 89March 2018: Letters 90 through 130

    14. Tijdens het lezen bekroop mij de vraag wat Tolkien zelf van boek zou vinden. Meermalen geeft hij aan geen nut te zien in het analyseren van een schrijver om boeken beter te begrijpen. "Mijn verhalen zijn bedoeld om van te genieten als avonturen. Ik zie niet in hoe de persoonlijke details van mijn leven daaraan bij kunnen dragen." Als hij een brief ontvangt van een lezer die wetenschappelijke onderzoek naar zijn werken en leven wil doen, reageert hij kort en afwijzend: "Het spijt mij als deze bri [...]

    15. Tolkien speaks often in these letters about his distaste for the over-analysis of literature. He says that trying to learn more about the author and his life and trying to fit the literature into that outside environment is unwise, and basically, annoying. So, as I read these letters of Tolkien I tried not to let what I learned about him, his life, and his views color the stories, particularly those, of course, of the Legendarium. As I am apt to over-analyze things, especially those for which I [...]

    16. I don't think I can relay just how much I loved reading this. A lot of information about the characters, themes, and linguistic elements in his writing, as well as a nice glimpse into his role as father, husband, and professor. As a more-than-casual fan of Tolkien, I found this book to be extremely insightful, and can't believe it took me this long to finally read it.

    17. Where does one begin to review this collection of letters?It is first and foremost a must read for anyone who desires to "study" Tolkien's work. The main recurring insights throughout the numerous letters on Tolkien's Middle-earth is that 1) it IS NOT (intentionally) ALLEGORICAL 2) The Silmarillion (despite being published posthumously and edited by his son) is vital to understanding LOTR fully 3) Death and immortality are the main themes of "The Jewels and Ring" 4) Almost every criticism since [...]

    18. A fascinating insight, albeit only a small one, into the life and thoughts of an author I so strongly admire. Aside from the very interesting parts about his life, the sort of kick in the stomach at the first letters after the death of his wife, the fact that there's so much thought and story about Middle-Earth and all his other works, was an absolute pleasure to read. If I'm going to write about Lord of the Rings for my thesis, who better to explain the vast universe than Tolkien himself? Absol [...]

    19. I love Tolkien's work. I haven't read every single thing he's written, and can't get through all of the The Silmarillion without stopping from information fatigue, and yet I still find something very appealing about the worlds that he created in his literature. I'm fascinated by his love for language, etymology, and story. This tome contains a wide selection of Tolkien's letters: to his children, to publishing companies, to fans, to colleagues. Some letters are short, with quick details about hi [...]

    20. Sick and tired of your pompous friends claiming they know and understand what Tolkien meant, only to shoot off at the mouth some bizarre, mid '90s goth kid trash about the real meanings of the metaphors used in Tolkien's work? Then buy this book and put them in their place. This book details Tolkien's real meanings in personal letters he wrote to the publishers and others. Everything from stating that Elves are close biological cousins to man, through to real issue Elves had with Men (in compari [...]

    21. Es imposible ser objetivo con el Profesor y todo lo relacionado a él pero intentaré aunque sea algo.Sin haber leído todavía la biografía de Carpenter este libro me ha dado una visión un poco más intimista de la vida en general de Tolkien, pero no es ahí donde destaca sino en los puntos de vista y perspectivas filosóficas, morales, críticas y creativas que el Profesor despliega en cartas formales e informales que -como toda correspondencia epistolar- presumen privacidad o al menos no ma [...]

    22. Look up CS Lewis in this book's index, as you were probably already thinking of doing. Tolkien's letters to his friend Lewis, as well as his incredibly frank remarks about Lewis in letters to others, are enough to make this collection very valuable. Tolkien states unequivocally that he detests volumes two and three of Lewis' Space Trilogy, and attributes the failure of "That Hideous Strength" in particular to Lewis' friendship with Charles Williams during its composition. (You will see also that [...]

    23. This book was fascinating, primarily because with about 60 years of fans and critics publishing their ideas on the work of J.R.R. Tolkien, it was interesting to read the ideas of the man himself. I have not read his biography, but I cannot imagine it could be nearly as detailed as the letters collected in this volume. Granted, this book should not be read by folks just interested in The Lord of the Rings, Hobbit, or Silmarillion. There is plenty of that (and it is FANTASTIC AND JUICY!), but the [...]

    24. One night my wife looked over at me sitting on the couch and asked, “are you seriously reading that book?” She could not understand why anyone would want to read hundreds of pages of someone’s personal letters. Admittedly, it is rather odd. This book is certainly not for everyone. But for those who have enjoyed Tolkien’s stories, this set of letters offers an intriguing and enlightening glimpse into his mind. I most enjoyed seeing Tolkien speak of his Catholic faith as well as getting th [...]

    25. Although not for the casual reader, The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien is a very interesting look into Tolkien's writing process, his opinions on matters ranging from Disney to the purpose of life, and the pre-internet publishing industry.I got the sense that Tolkien was a serial procrastinator when it came to writing, as he was constantly explaining to his editors why he hadn't been able to make any progress on his work, or apologizing to a friend/acquaintance for not answering their letter sooner. [...]

    26. Tolkien’s letters are at times tedious and repetitive – just as life can be – but for the most part compelling reading material. For a fan of Tolkien’s works, it is very interesting to read about the process of how they came to be written and published. Moreover, reading about his writing process itself is both inspiring and motivational to a writer, although Tolkien might be turning in his grave if he knew that people find his writing struggles either. Equally inspiring and thought-prov [...]

    27. Before starting this book, one needs to be aware of this quote from Tolkien himself (letter no. 329): [] an investigation of an author's biography [] is an entirely vain and false approach to his works - and especially to a work of narrative art, of which the object aimed at by the author was to be enjoyed as such: to be read with literary pleasure. Bearing that in mind and we can simply regard Tolkien as an old friend and follow through snippets of his life, from his his political insights to s [...]

    28. A far better way of understanding Tolkien's life, beliefs and motivations than any secondary biography. Here, you get the man in his own words, holding forth on topics as varied as the publishing industry, the economics of the automobile, and the Catholic view of the soul. The copious stacks of letters are arranged chronologically and span the majority of his life from the early 1910s to the 1970s, and I would highly recommend reading them all from start to finish so that you can glean a clear s [...]

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