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TCG Letter #1525

Sir Stanley Unwin
J.R.R. Tolkien
3 April 1950
Sir Stanley Unwin writes to Tolkien on the matter of how to publish the Lord of the Rings. He does not see a possibility of one volume and gives some figures of how even a two volume set would be an enormous undertaking.

Stanley has asked his son Rayner his opinion on the matter, and his reply is included, yet it is made obvious that this was not for Tolkien's eyes, although it is often believed to have been added to the letter with the intention for Tolkien to read it. Rayner says that the Lord of the Rings is a great book and believes it deserving of publication. He notes that he did not feel a "lack of a Silmarillion when reading it. He then suggests an editor incorporate texts from the Silmarillion into The Lord of the Rings. He says that Tolkien would not do this but that maybe someone he would trust could. Suggesting one of his sons? If Tolkien would not welcome this, then publish The Lord of the Rings "as a prestige book". He then says that after looking at The Silmarillion again, they should drop it.

This suggestion was included and whether it was intentional or a mistake, it resulted in Tolkien being furioussee Carpenter #127: Letter from J.R.R. Tolkien to Stanley Unwin • 14 April 1950 (#294)[1] and his response was to demand a yes or no, to which he received a no.
The J.R.R. Tolkien Companion and Guide - Chronology (2017), 380-2 (see entries for 3 April and 14 April)

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