Tolkien also explains that he wrote the "trilogy" as a whole, but that "the publishers, for practical purposes rightly, insisted on the division into three parts, and for sales reasons demanded titles other than parts i, ii, iii. The 'break' is at least clean between books Two and Three. The 'departure of Boromir' could as well (or better) belong to Book Two, and at one time did. Its transference lightened Vol i and strengthened Vol ii." He is skeptical of the need for the synopses since he doesn't believe "they really make any one vol. readable without the others. The work was planned and carried out as a whole ... a symphony in movements to which the 'books' on the whole correspond."
Being a philologist, Tolkien had planned a "special volume" that would have been largely linguistic, focusing on the Elvish tongues he had invented. (He constructed the grammar and vocabulary of at least fifteen Elvish languages and dialects). Language invention had always been tightly connected to the mythology Tolkien developed. From his point of view, language was inextricably tied to the history of the people who spoke it. His plan was to have indexed "names, with references, & with explanations and etymologies that would have provided quite a large Elvish vocabulary. I worked at it for weeks, and indexed Vol. i and most of ii. It was the chief cause of the delay of Vol. iii," he admits. "But it eventually became plain that the size and cost would sink the boat."
Readers were demanding a great deal more information about the complicated universe of The Lord of the Rings. Tolkien confides that he will provide "a large volume" but that he wants to first organize The Silmarillion "with associated legends of the Beginning and the First and Second Ages. All of these were written first; and it was my wish to issue the corpus chronologically (I would have lightened parts of The Lord of the Rings). But it was only as a sequel to The Hobbit that publication proved possible. The 'Little People' floated the whole unwieldy ship, bless them." The Silmarillion was published posthumously in 1977 by Tolkien's son Christopher.
Tolkien concludes the letter with musings on the etymology of Minchin's surname as well as his own. He then pursues a lengthy digression on the connection between Minchin's given name and the name of the Hobbit Samwise Gamgee. In a postscript, Tolkien admits that his "'Samwise' is indeed (as you note) largely a reflexion of the English soldier—grafted on the village boys of early days, the memory of the privates and my batmen that I knew in the 1914 War, and recognized as so far superior to myself ... I fear you may now feel that you have gotten an answer longer than you could wish. Though you may have guessed that an author so long-winded would either say nothing or a lot."
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