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TCG Letter #526 / Carpenter Letter #177

J.R.R. Tolkien
Rayner Unwin
8 December 1955
Tolkien expresses his agreement with critics' negative views on the radio adaptation of "The Lord of the Rings." He is annoyed that the critics, who admitted to not reading the book, speculated about his religion. Tolkien criticizes W. H. Auden's reading of verse, stating Auden cannot read verse well and disapproving of Auden making the book a test of literary taste. Tolkien anticipates negative responses to the criticism and broadcasts. He mentions increased correspondence from upset readers. Tolkien plans to begin surveying the Silmarillion during the vacation but laments the imposition of a doctorate thesis. He expresses frustration with Edwin Muir and considers him old enough to know better, suggesting that Muir's views on women may not be well-received, particularly by women.

Portions of this letter appear in Carpenter's Letters, with some additional material quoted in Chronology. The original letter is in the Tolkien-George Allen & Unwin archive, HarperCollins.

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