Lot 264
  • 264

Tolkien, J.R.R.

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Description

  • Tolkien, J.R.R.
  • Autograph letter signed ("J.R.R. Tolkien") to Miss [Joyce] Biddell
  • Paper
Expressing pleasure that "my books should have cheered you… from your generous and saddening work" and expressing views on morality in his work ("…they are so 'moral', and are founded on Pity; on the triumph and the defeat of Pity. The Lord of the Rings is indeed an exemplary legend. But this sounds dreadfully priggish when said") and the Englishness of his books ("…they are (I think) so completely English. For one with a German name this may sound an odd thing… But 'surnames' are largely delusory… My name entered England 200 years ago anyway"); also expressing frustration on the delays in publication of the final volume of The Lord of the Rings ("…I can hardly bear with patience your patience – I am so anxious for my readers to come to the end! Vol iii will come out, at last… I must say that I should like to think of you reaching the grand conclusion (and its sadness: like all things human seen in Time), and perhaps re-reading it again…"), 2 pages, 8vo, embossed stationery of 76 Sandfield Road, Oxford, 24 October 1955, one fold, two cuts around signature

Catalogue Note

An insight into Tolkien's sense of morality and Englishness in his work, written before publication of the final volume of The Lord of the Rings. The recipient may be Joyce Biddell of Maidstone, Kent, who adapted the novel for the stage in 1960 (see Hammond and Anderson, p.98). It may be that the task of adaptation was Biddell’s "generous and saddening work".
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