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Re: New Book Releases
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We've heard from West Virginia University Press that this year's Tolkien Studies (Vol. IX, 2012) "will not be ready until August or September for mailing".

Wayne & Christina

Posted on: 2012/3/3 6:01


Re: Question regarding the Pocket Hobbit
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Christopher Tolkien's preface in the "pocket edition" is a reprint of the text published in 2007, with a small change in pagination and the reproduction of Mirkwood. The 2007 text was revised and shortened, omitting the facsimile manuscript pages and the rest of the art printed earlier; presumably this was done because John Rateliff's History of The Hobbit was published that same year and included transcription from the earliest surviving manuscript as well as some comment on illustrations (for which one also could refer to our J.R.R. Tolkien: Artist and Illustrator).

Christopher's foreword (as it was first called) dates from the 50th anniversary Hobbit of 1987. It was revised and expanded in the deluxe edition of 2004, in which the manuscript facsimiles were printed in colour (they're in black and white in the 1987 edition). We reproduced Tolkien's illustrations in The Art of The Hobbit, but of the two pages of manuscript only the one with art on it (the early sketch of Thror's Map). John Rateliff also reproduced only the first of the two pages in his History.

A fuller comparison may be found in a new post on our blog.

The printing and binding of the "Pocket Hobbit" are perfectly good for an ordinary trade book, though of course the type (reduced from the standard edition) is somewhat small. Anyway, it doesn't include the full text of Christopher's foreword or the manuscript facsimiles.

Wayne & Christina

Posted on: 2012/2/18 16:00


Tolkien letter to David Hicks
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A typed letter signed by Tolkien, 12 January 1966, to David Hicks, London, is being offered for sale by University Archives for $3,900. 1 p., emboss-stamped as from 76 Sandfield Road, Oxford. The letter is reproduced on the dealer's website.

Wayne & Christina

Posted on: 2012/2/13 21:02


Re: Tolkien's letter to Shippey, April 1970
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Roots and Branches is well worth having. Shippey refers to the letter in his paper 'Tolkien and the West Midlands: The Roots of Romance'. There he doesn't give a date for it, other than to say that Tolkien wrote to him after Shippey had addressed a Tolkien conference in Birmingham 'in 1970' - except that the event occurred on 30 November 1969. The paper as it appears in Roots and Branches, however, gives the letter only a passing reference, as merely 'an encouraging letter' (p. 41), compared with the paper as it originally appeared (before being extensively revised for Roots and Branches) in Lembas Extra for 1995. The latter includes not only the words quoted from the letter in the second edition of The Road to Middle-earth, but also further text before and after. (The paper was originally an address at King Edward's School in 1992.)

Posted on: 2011/12/31 6:55


Re: Tolkien's letter to Shippey, April 1970
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Shippey also refers to the letter by date in 'Long Evolution: The History of Middle-earth and Its Merits', published in Arda, vol. 7 (1992 for 1987), p. 29. There he says: 'On April 13th 1970 I got a letter from Professor Tolkien.' This suggests that 13 April was the date of receipt, in contrast to 'the letter Professor Tolkien wrote to me on 13 April 1970' which implies a date of writing. Although it's possible that Tolkien wrote and posted the letter, and Tom received it, that same day, it's our sense that Royal Mail in 1970 probably would have taken more than a day to transport a letter from Poole to Birmingham. Hence, from all of this, our queried date ?12 April in Chronology.

Wayne & Christina

Posted on: 2011/12/30 21:12



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