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TCG Letter #39 / Carpenter Letter #35
2 February 1939
Tolkien reported that the new story, The Lord of the Rings, had reached Chapter 12 and over 300 pages of manuscript. He foresaw at least 200 more pages needed to finish it and asked when was the latest date that the completed manuscript ought to reach Allen and Unwin. Tolkien said that The Lord of the Rings was a good deal better than The Hobbit but might not prove a very fit sequel. It was a more grown up story, partly because readers had clamored for “more about the Necromancer” and he was not child’s play. He wondered if his publishers should see it as it was for if they did not want it there wouldn’t be the desperate pressure to complete it. The writing was taking a long time because he was considering every word and felt that the story had some significance.