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Guide to Tolkien's Letters
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Guide to Tolkien's Letters


The Silmarillion

(113 letters match)


14 January 1956
J.R.R. Tolkien to Mr. Thompson
 Carpenter #180

Tolkien expresses gratitude for a reader's encouraging letter. He writes that his work began during World War I and evolved into the invention of legend...
?Late January 1956
J.R.R. Tolkien to Notes on W. H. Auden’s review of The Return of the King
 Carpenter #183

These are Tolkien's notes based on a review by W.H. Auden. He argues that his story is not an allegory of his personal experiences but a depiction of hu...
8 March 1956
J.R.R. Tolkien to William Galbraith

Among many subjects Tolkien discusses the unfinished index for The Lord of the Rings and The Silmarillion. Numenor, echoes of past tales. 'Tunes' for po...
16 April 1956
J.R.R. Tolkien to H [Humphrey]. Cotton Minchin

As with Tolkien's draft of this letter, this letter opens with Tolkien's ackowledgment of Minchin's suggestions and his note that he is now more than ev...
16 April 1956
J.R.R. Tolkien to H [Humphrey]. Cotton Minchin
 Carpenter #187

Tolkien describes himself as a philologist, and sometime calligrapher. An index of Elvish names was intended to be produced, noting that his 'specialist...
?Late June or July 1956
J.R.R. Tolkien to Houghton Mifflin Co.
 Carpenter #182

Tolkien hoped that he would be able to publish parts of The Silmarillion After the success of The Lord of the Rings he hoped it may be reconsidered.
5 November 1956
J.R.R. Tolkien to Mr Britten

Tolkien answers some questions, on The Silmarillion and on Elvish sleep among more general queries. It is plainly suggested that Elves do ‘sleep’, b...
8 December 1956
J.R.R. Tolkien to Mr. [Anthony] Roberts

Tolkien replies to a fan letter with pleasure that Mr. Roberts is enjoying The Lord of the Rings. He makes a brief mention of his First and Second Age s...


Between 1960 and 1973
J.R.R. Tolkien to Dorothy Wood

Tolkien wrote a series of letters to his cousin Dorothy Wood and Sotheby's auction house quoted from many. Among those that no date could be determined ...
13 January 1960
Tolkien's Secretary to Elizabeth Jones

The letter contains a printed statement about The Lord of the Rings and a typed paragraph stating that he is "working on a new book which I hope will te...
9 February 1960
J.R.R. Tolkien to Rayner Unwin
 Carpenter #222a

Tolkien informs Rayner that by way of looking at the "Scunthorpe lists" This letter is held at the 'Tolkien–George Allen & Unwin archive, HarperCollins'.
12 February 1960
J.R.R. Tolkien to Rayner Unwin
 Carpenter #222b

Tolkien tells Rayner that he is getting to his work on the translations of Sir Gawain and Pearl, in addition to The Silmarillion, however the arrival of...
29 February 1960
J.R.R. Tolkien to Rayner Unwin
 Carpenter #222c

Tolkien asks Rayner's thoughts on publishing small or minor bits having to do with the Ring Cycle. He says that he is being asked for these, and that th...
4 April 1960
J.R.R. Tolkien to Jane Neave
 Carpenter #222e

Tolkien tells Jane Neave that he will send her "a long instalment" for reference.
31 July 1960
J.R.R. Tolkien to Rayner Unwin
 Carpenter #223

Tolkien's publishing commitments are catching up with him. Chronology reproduced a slightly longer selection of the letter than what appears in Letters....
30 August 1960
J.R.R. Tolkien to George Lewis Hersh

Letter concerns various points in The Lord of the Rings and The Silmarillion.


18 January 1964
J.R.R. Tolkien to Justin Arundale

Tolkien replies to Justin Arundale aged ten explaining that the Silmarillion will not be published for some time yet. He closes by asking him to tell hi...
28 February 1964
J.R.R. Tolkien to James Heaf

Tolkien answers a question about what Hal saw on the North Moors - Tolkien does not think it was an Entwife, but likely a troll. He also recommends Heaf...
5 March 1964
J.R.R. Tolkien to Eileen Elgar
 Carpenter #255

Eileen Elgar wrote to Tolkien asking for information about The Silmarillion. Included in his reply was a nine page manuscript, with genealogical tree il...
30 May 1964
J.R.R. Tolkien to Mr Peel

Tolkien apologizes for having trouble reading Mr Peel's signature and was pleased that he liked his work. He states that The Silmarillion will not be pu...
8 July 1964
J.R.R. Tolkien to James Heaf

In an earlier letter Tolkien had suggested that James Heaf read his forthcoming book The Silmarillion. He now regrets that The Silmarillion might not be...
16 July 1964
J.R.R. Tolkien to Christopher Bretherton
 Carpenter #257

Tolkien wrote that he usually typed letters because of his handwriting (which can be very difficult to read at times). He talks about the invention of h...
28 August 1964
J.R.R. Tolkien to E. Rasdall

Tolkien replies, thanking Mr. E. Rasdall for his interest in his writing and returns the copy of The Adventures of Tom Bombadil to be signed. Tolkien ex...


23 February 1966
J.R.R. Tolkien to W.H. Auden
 Carpenter #284

Auden told Tolkien that he had agreed to write a short book about him, in collaboration with Peter H. Salus, for a seres entitled Christian Perspectives...
21 March 1966
J.R.R. Tolkien to George Sayer

Tolkien sends a letter to his friend George Sayer firstly expressing his sorrow about Sayers wife Moira. She has been very ill of late. He had hoped tha...
8 April 1966
J.R.R. Tolkien to Roger Verhulst

Tolkien replies to Roger Verhulst's letter about the US paperback rights to Essays Presented to Charles Williams, and he reiterates his objections to a ...
27 April 1966
J.R.R. Tolkien to A. E. Couchman
 Carpenter #286

The following is one of many short replies that Tolkien wrote at this period of his life to readers who asked questions about his books. Its characteris...
1 June 1966
Tolkien's Secretary to Mr [Royston F.] Porthouse

Secretarial letter to Mr Porthouse wirth mention that Tolkien's next book will be The Silmarillion.
11 October 1966
J.R.R. Tolkien to Clyde S. Kilby
 Carpenter #289b

Mr. and Mrs. Tolkien's Mediterranean cruise. Work on books and manuscripts. Excerpts from the letter have been published in SEVEN, Volume 27 (p. 49). An...
28 November 1966
J.R.R. Tolkien to Clyde S. Kilby

Tolkien writes to Clyde S. Kilby making mention that he is pleased that Kilby has finally received the correct medication and says that he is yet to con...
8 December 1966
J.R.R. Tolkien to Mr. Marsh

Tolkien writes to James S. Marsh and sends him three copies of his autograph to stick in his books.


16 March 1971
J.R.R. Tolkien to Tony Davison

Tolkien is very busy working on the Silmarillion but is very glad that his books have brought Davison enjoyment.
18 March 1971
J.R.R. Tolkien to William Cater
 Carpenter #322

Tolkien writes about progress on the Silmarillion.
7 April 1971
J.R.R. Tolkien to Randy Trimmer

Tolkien replies to a letter from Mr. Trimmer to apologise for not being able to reply as he is working on The Silmarillion. This letter is reproduced in...
14 June 1971
J.R.R. Tolkien to Mr. Ballard

Tolkien apologises for not sending a personal reply and explains that he is to busy with the Silmarillion to answer personal questions.
1st July 1971
Joy Hill to Jan Bosmans

Joy Hill tries to dissuade a student from writing his thesis about The Lord of the Rings due to the immense amount of unpublished material he doesn't ha...
17 July 1971
J.R.R. Tolkien to A.I. Mackay

Tolkien thanks Mr Mackay for a chart and information that he sent him about Sir Gawain and the Green Knight.
17 July 1971
J.R.R. Tolkien to Roger Lancelyn Green
 Carpenter #325

Tolkien writes about Aman and what happens to mortals, such as Frodo, when they go there. In a portion published in the C.S. Lewis Biography by Green To...
8 November 1971
J.R.R. Tolkien to Michael Tolkien
 Carpenter #330a

Tolkien writes to Michael about how little time he has to work on The Silmarillion and about any prospects of feature films, he believes that no films w...
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