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Signed, handwritten letter auction - Bonham's, Nov 4 2008

31 Oct, 2008
2008-10-31 5:47:37 AM UTC

An interesting article on this letter in the West Sussex Gazette.

Bonham's auction link for this item

Lot No: 430
Autograph letter signed ("JRRTolkien"), to [John] Roberts, apologising for the long delay in publishing the third volume of The Lord of the Rings ("...I am very sorry indeed that Vol.III has been so long delayed; but as soon as publication began I became involved in many other tasks, and had often to put the proofs of the Lord of the Rings aside./ The story was indeed long in the writing, but it was finished a long while ago. The compression of a selection of matter not included in the main narrative, but apparently desired by readers, was mainly responsible for the hold up. It took a great deal of time and concentration..."); he goes on to describe the third volume ("...You will get about 416 pages in Vol.III. Of which about 100 will be occupied with subsidiary matter, and annals... There will be another larger-scale map of Gondor and Mordor./ Except for names of districts (countries, or areas) such as Enedwaith there are not supposed to be any names in the maps (other than those of the Shire) which do not appear somewhere..."), laments his failure to provide an index ("...The attempt to make one took a lot of fruitless effort: it would have been too large and too costly to print..."), looks forward to putting in order "the legends of the First and Second Ages" [i.e. Simarillion] ("...but these turn West rather than East..."), and expresses himself delighted that Roberts has enjoyed the book so far ("...I am very pleased that you like the Ents..."), while explaining his thinking in creating Gollum, 2 pages, 8vo, small paper-clip stain and minor creasing, Headington, 22 August 1955

Estimate: £2,000 - 3,000
1 Nov, 2008
2008-11-1 5:44:04 PM UTC
Here's an image of one page of the letter

251_490c955cc8d17.jpg 470X600 px
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