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Re: New Letter from Tolkien found between books

Subject: Re: New Letter from Tolkien found between books
by Jlong on 2010/2/12 20:34:27

I think that certainly settles the matter.

However, I have one point I'd like to add. I was reading through the transcriptions of the uncollected and unpublished letters I have of Tolkien and I found this part of a letter to Baronne A. Baeyens dated 16 December 1963 particularly relevant to this thread:

"I enclose a merely secretarial letter. I am obliged to leave a large part of the letters to a part-time secretary; but I always re-read them before sending any reply, and I felt that your charming and interesting letter deserved a personal note, though it must be briefer than it should be."

He continues for 4 handwritten pages, so much for brevity. :)

Also, Tolkien once sent a secretarial letter unsigned to a Mr. E. Rasdall. In a letter dated 28 August 1964, he apologized for this mix-up.

I think overall Tolkien was extremely gracious with his time in writing letters to fans and admirers (most of them complete strangers); however, he was only human. I don't think its dishonest at all that a secretary assisted him in this overwhelming task. After all, even C. S. Lewis relied heavily on his brother Warren's assistance in his correspondence.

Well, those are my thoughts.