Tolkien Collector's Guide

Want to support us? Use our affiliate links for buying books:

Abebooks.com
Amazon.com
Amazon.co.uk
Blackwell's
ebay.com
ebay.co.uk

-
Winner of the 2019 Tolkien Society award for Best Website

[Guide Home :: Books :: This page]  

Letters From Father Christmas

Editions tabulated here:

  • The Father Christmas Letters, George Allen & Unwin, 1976.
  • Pages are not numbered in this volume. I counted page 1 as the verso of the title page (facing the "Introduction").
  • Father Christmas Letters, HarperCollins, 1994.
  • Three miniature books. Format of page references is A/B where "A" is the volume, and "B" is the page - again, pages are not numbered, so I counted page 1 as the verso of the title page (the first page with content). "FC" is the front cover, "RC" is the rear cover. "Title" is the title page, FP/RP are the front and rear pastedowns, respectively.
  • Letters from Father Christmas, Collins, 1995.
  • Edition with removable facsimile letters in envelopes. Pages again are not numbered in this edition. Page 1 is the "Introduction" page as the verso of the title page just has the copyright information on it. For the removable letters the numbering scheme is "L#" (letter number) and "L#v" (the verso of the letter) counting letters from the front of the book. Some minor art elements are not called out if they are duplicates of artwork that appear elsewhere in the book.
  • Letters from Father Christmas, HarperCollins, 1999.
  • This edition has many, many art elements and textual fragments reproduced all over the place as decorations, even behind the printed text. I have not documented those.
  • Letters from Father Christmas, HarperCollins, 2004.
  • I do not have this edition and have only documented art elements that appear in other references (especially The Tolkien Collector). Help in obtaining the edition or in documenting the page references would be lovely.
  • Letters from Father Christmas, HarperCollins, 2009.
  • I do not have this edition and have only documented art elements that appear in other references (especially The Tolkien Collector). Help in obtaining the edition or in documenting the page references would be lovely.
  • Letters from Father Christmas, HarperCollins, 2012.
  • I do not have this edition and have only documented art elements that appear in other references (especially The Tolkien Collector). Help in obtaining the edition or in documenting the page references would be lovely.
  • Letters from Father Christmas, HarperCollins, 2019.
  • I have documented the deluxe edition, but assume the trade edition has the same pagination.

  • FT Facing Title

Each edition was reprinted (sometimes in paperback format, or by Houghton Mifflin in the USA, etc.) but each went out of print when the next edition came out. I have not tabulated those here as it should be straight-forward to match the reprints with the first editions thus they match with.

1920 A
76
B
94
C
95
D
99
E
04
F
09
G
12
H
19
Letter, "I heard you ask Daddy what I was like...", 1 page 3 1/3 L1 8 7 8 ? 12
Transcription 1/6 L1v 8 ? ? ? 13
Art - "Me" and "My House" 3 1/5 4 9 7 7 ? 11
Envelope "Mrs. Tolkien / & / Master John..." 3 6 RC 9 ? 13
Stamp - red, "2" upper left, "Kisses" upper right, "North Pole Postage" on bottom 4 1/16 3 2 FT ? ? 13
1921 - No letter
1922 - No letter
1923 A
76
B
94
C
95
D
99
E
04
F
09
G
12
H
19
Letter, 2 pages 13
15
9 12
13
? 16
Transcription 12
14
? ? ? 15
Envelope "DEC. 23 / 1923 / Master John Francis Tolkien... Leeds" 19 10 10 10 ? 14
Stamp - blue border, north pole with red sun behind and second line of white mountains, "NORTH*POLE" top, "*POST*" bottom 4 3/2 19 2 FT 10 ? 14
1924 A
76
B
94
C
95
D
99
E
04
F
09
G
12
H
19
Letter - "John Francis with love from Father Christmas", 1 page 16 10 17 ? 23
Transcription 16 ? ? ? 22
Postscript from Great (Polar) Bear, "my stars" / "Inside you will find a magic wishing cracker...", 1 page ? 24
Transcription of Polar Bear postscript ? 25
Envelope to John 11 22
Stamp to John - purple, rainbow flame sun behind north pole, "N" "1924 X" "P" across bottom 4 11 ? 22
Letter to Michael from Father Christmas, 1 page 16 10 14 ? 18
Transcription 16 ? ? ? 19
Postscript from Great (Polar) Bear "Fr Christmas was in great hurry...", 1 page
NOTE: until the 2019 edition, this postscript was assumed to be with the 1925 letter.
8 22 14 22 ? 21
Transcription of Polar Bear postscript 20-
22
? ? ? 20
Envelope to Michael 15 17 11 15 ? 19
Envelope to Michael verso with commercial Father Christmas seal RC 1
Stamp to Michael - Light purple, red and yellow sun behind north pole, "North 1924 Pole" 1 15 3 11 15 ? 19
1925 A
76
B
94
C
95
D
99
E
04
F
09
G
12
H
19
Letter "My Dear Boys" Cliff House Xmas 1925, 1 page L2 21 13 ? ? 26
Transcription 5 1/8-
1/14
L2v 20 ? ? ? 27
Art - North Pole snapped, Father Christmas fishing? 6 1/11
1/15
5
9
23 15 20 ? 29
verso of art - "To John and Michael Tolkien" ? 28
Envelope (with holly twig lower left) 5 39 18 RC 19 ? 30
Stamp - "North 2 Pole" on bottom, red sun white star crescent moon above north pole 5 1/7 39 3 Title 19 ? 30
1926 A
76
B
94
C
95
D
99
E
04
F
09
G
12
H
19
Letter, 2 pages L3 27
28
17
18
25
26
? 33
37
Transcription 8 1/16-
1/22
L3v 26-
28
? ? ? 32
Art - Northern Lights (Auroro Borealis) / Sleigh crash / "1926" in stars 7
8
1/17-
1/18
1/19
10
16
29 19 29 ? 34
Art verso - Love from Father Christmas 1926 ? 35
Envelope - black with white ink "by Southern Post" 31 24 RC 27 ? 36
Stamp - Santa looking right, moon on left, tree on right "2 North-Pole 2" on bottom 1 1/4 31 2 FT ? ? 36
1927 A
76
B
94
C
95
D
99
E
04
F
09
G
12
H
19
Letter, 2 pages 35 23 33 ? 40
43
Transcription 9 1/23-
1/28
32-
34
? ? ? 39
Art - white on black North Pole, shooting star, house on hill 10 1/25-
1/26
13 32 20 34 ? 45
Envelope front - black with white ink, "Reindeer Post" 30 RC 31 ? 39
Envelope back - black with white ink, "Very Sorry" note 30 44
Stamp A - black with white ink, reindeer and two stars, "R" upper left, "P" upper right 9 30 RC 31 ? 39
Stamp B - black with white ink, north pole with big dipper to left 9 2 FT 31 ? 39
1928 A
76
B
94
C
95
D
99
E
04
F
09
G
12
H
19
Letter - "Another Christmas and I am another year older...", 2 pages 11 2/1 L4 39 27 37 ? 48
51
Transcription 11 2/2-
2/6
L4v 36-
40
? ? ? 47
Art - Polar Bear falls down the stairs / smiling moon over north pole 12 2/3
2/4-
2/5
14
17
41 29 38 ? 52
Envelope ? 47
Boxing Day Note 43 42 ? 54
Transcription of Boxing Day note 42 ? ? ? 55
1929 A
76
B
94
C
95
D
99
E
04
F
09
G
12
H
19
Letter - "Nov 1929" from Polar Bear, 2 pages 47 31 45 ? 56
58
Transcription "Nov 1929" 13 46 ? ? ? 56
Envelope "BOYS AT 22 NORTHMOOR RD" from Polar Bear ? 57
Letter - "Xmas 1929", "It is a light Christmas again...", 3 pages ? 60
65
64
Transcription "Xmas 1929" 13 2/8-
2/13
48-
51
? ? ? 59
Art - Father Christmas in sleigh above sea and clouds 51 35 50 ? 67
Art - Father Christmas and Polar Bear in office / bonfire and fireworks / window opening 14 2/9
2/12
2/13
18
20
49 33 49 ? 62
Envelope "J.&M.&C.&P. Tolkien" 6 44 RC 46 ? 59
Stamp A - "2" in diamond with holly in corners 13 6 2 Title? 46 ? 59
Stamp B - "sun and tree" in holly border 13 2/7 6 2 FT? 46 ? 59
1930 A
76
B
94
C
95
D
99
E
04
F
09
G
12
H
19
Letter "Nov 28th 1930" "Fr. Christmas has got all your letters!", 1 page 54 36 52 ? 68
Transcription "Nov 28th" Letter 54 ? ? ? 69
Nov Letter verso - "J. & M. & C. Tolkien By messenger" with wax seal 52 52 ? 68
Letter "20 and 24 December" "I have enjoyed all your letters...", 2 pages L5 ? 71
74
Transcription 15-
16
2/13-
2/25
L5v 56-
57
? ? ? 70
Art - PB recovery party / FC and PB in snow & PB bath / cracker pull "PB recovers!" 16 2/19-
2/24
21 55 37 55 ? 72
1931 A
76
B
94
C
95
D
99
E
04
F
09
G
12
H
19
Letter "October 31" "Already have I got some letters from you!", 2 pages 61
63
41 58
60
? 76
78
Transcription 601
62
? ? ? 77
Envelope 31 Oct with wax seal ? 77
Letter "23 December" "I hope you will like the little things I have sent you", 2 pages L6 65
67
43
45
63
64
? 83
84
Transcription 18-
20
L6v 64
66
? ? ? 80
Art - Father Christmas "My latest portrait" 17 3/FC Title 60 40 62 ? 82
Art - Pencil sketch of FC in sleigh 62 70 ? 89
Art - Polar Bear self-portrait "1931-1932" / Love from Karhv / "this is all drawn by..." 19
20
24 68 46 67 ? 87
Art - "cracker accident" / Father Christmas making a pastry 18 22
25
69 47 68 ? 88
Envelope 23 December - "I am so / sorry I for / got to post..." upper right 58 61 ? 80
1932 A
76
B
94
C
95
D
99
E
04
F
09
G
12
H
19
Letter - "30 November" "Thank you for your nice letters", 1 page 73 49 72 ? 91
Transcription 72 ? ? ? 90
Envelope - November "M. C & P Tolkien" "CHIM / NEY / POST" ("rather plain")
NOTE: Until the 2019 edition, this envelope was assumed to be from circa 1937
121 87 94
149
Letter - "23 December" "There is a lot to tell you", 5 pages 4 ? 95
97
101
105
109
Transcription 22-
25
74-
83
? ? ? 93
Art - "1932", FC over Oxford, polar landscape, caves, party, "A Merry Christmas" 4
21
2/25-
2/26
2
26
41
75 51 77 ? 98
Art - Cave paintings 24 77 53 81 ? 102
Art - Goblin alphabet letter 44 80 56 84 ? 110
Envelope - December - "by gnome carrier" - small wax seal 25 70 RC 71 ? 92
1933 A
76
B
94
C
95
D
99
E
04
F
09
G
12
H
19
Letter "2 December" "Very cold here at last", 2 pages ? 112
Transcription "2 December" 86 ? ? ? 113
Envelope - "By hand" "M.&Ch.&P. Tolkien" ? 113
Letter - "Another Christmas! and I almost thought...", 3 pages 1
28
L7 ? 117
119
120
Transcription 27-
28
L7v 87-
88
? ? ? 115
Art - Red "F.C" banner / Polar bear fighting goblins / color polar landscape / FC in bed / "Christmas 1933" 26
27
28
2/RC 28
29
30
89 63 92 ? 123
verso of Polar bear fighting goblins etc. "Love from Fr. Christmas 1933" ? 122
Art - Night sky with earth, moon and planets RP 156 111 159 ? 208
Envelope "Dec 22" "To The Tolkiens" 2 35 84 89 ? 115
Stamp - blue/white - north pole with star in upper right, "1933 X" at bottom 2 35 2 FT 89 ? 115
1934 A
76
B
94
C
95
D
99
E
04
F
09
G
12
H
19
September letter to Christopher - "Thank you! I am awake...", 2 pages ? 125
Transcription 92 ? ? ? 124
Notecard from Polar Bear - "Many Happy Returns of the Day", Nov 20 1934, 1 page ? 124
Xmas letter to Christopher - "Thank you very much for your many letters...", 2 pages ? 128
132
Transcription of Christopher letter 29 93-
94
? ? ? 127
Letter to Priscilla - "Thank you for nice letters", 1 page ? 135
Transcription of Priscilla Christmas Eve letter ? 134
Art - Christmas tree in ice pool 30 3/1 L8 95 67 96 ? 130
Envelope to Christopher - "on sleigh" handmark, 1934 in circle 90 95 ? 127
1935 A
76
B
94
C
95
D
99
E
04
F
09
G
12
H
19
Letter - "Here we are again...", 4 pages 99
101
103
105
69
71
73
75
102
103
105
106
? 138
139
141
142
Transcription 31
32
98-
104
? ? ? 136
Art (from letter) 31
32
32
33
99
101
103
105
69
71
73
75
102
103
105
106
? 138
139
141
142
Envelope - "Master C & Miss P. Tolkien", N 36 P cancel. 23 96 RC 101 ? 137
Stamp - North pole with four layers of mountains behind, aurora above semicircle in sky, no text 23 96 101 ? 137
1936 A
76
B
94
C
95
D
99
E
04
F
09
G
12
H
19
Letter Dec 23rd - "I am sorry I cannot send you a long letter...", 2 pages RC 109 77 108 ? 144
146
Transcription - Dec 23rd Letter 33 108-
110
? ? ? 145
Letter - "I have found it" from Polar Bear, 1 page 112 80 113 ? 150
Transcription - Polar Bear letter 112 ? ? ? 149
Letter - Father Christmas wishlist (crossed out) and note from Polar Bear Nov 2 1936 ? 152
Transcription - Father Christmas List and note Nov 2 1936 ? 153
Art - polar landscape / Polar Bear in bath / water leak on FC / PB teaching class / "A Merry Christmas" 34 L9
36
37
111 79 111 ? 147
Art - Goblin Alphabet key 43 113 81 115 ? 151
Envelope Dec 23rd - "Christopher and Priscilla", "By Elf Messenger", "Haste" in circle at top 27 106 110 ? 144
Envelope Nov 2nd ? 152
Art - "By Elf Messenger" (drawn on Dec 23rd envelope) 1 3/3 27 1 110 ? 144
1937 A
76
B
94
C
95
D
99
E
04
F
09
G
12
H
19
Letter - "My dear Christopher and Priscilla, and other old friends...", 3 pages L10
RC
123 ? 155
156
161
Transcription 35-
37
3/4-
3/27
L10v 116-
120
? ? ? 154
Art - 9 square panels by Ilbereth 36 3/6-
3/26
38
40
117 83 119 ? 159
Envelope - "NORTH *** POLE / XT ***** MAS / 1937" - with wax seal 37 3/28 114 TP 116 ? 157
1938 A
76
B
94
C
95
D
99
E
04
F
09
G
12
H
19
Letter, "My dear Priscilla and all others at you house...", 5 pages 38
39
40
127 91 126 ? 165
169
170
175
176
Transcription 38-
40
124-
131
? ? ? 164
Letter to Priscilla - "This is the last Beatrix Potter painting book...", 1 page ? 179
Transcription of Priscilla Letter ? 178
Art (on verso of first page of letter) - "Setting Out" 40 1/RC FP 125 89 130 ? 171
Envelope - "Late Messenger" on left, with wax seal 122 RC 125 ? 166
1939 A
76
B
94
C
95
D
99
E
04
F
09
G
12
H
19
Letter - "I am glad you managed to send me two letters..." ? 181
183
Transcription 134 ? ? ? 180
Art - Father Christmas on the path to the sleigh-sheds 135 97 137 ? 184
Envelope - "Priscilla Tolkien" "By hand with presents" upper right, wax seal lower right 132 ? 135 182
1940 A
76
B
94
C
95
D
99
E
04
F
09
G
12
H
19
Note - "2 am. Dec 13th" "Fr. Christ / Mas. Says / O.K. / yrs P.B.", 1 page 139 98 141 ? 163
verso of note - "C.&P. Tolkien / Nos..." goes with Dec 13th note - wax seal 138 99 141 ? 163
Letter from Polar Bear to Priscilla - 23 December, 1 page ? 186
Verso of Polar Bear letter - "MISS P.M.R.TOLKIEN" - two wax seals ? 186
Transcription of letter from Polar Bear - 23 December 138 ? ? ? 187
Letter from Father Christmas - Christmas Eve "Just a short letter to wish you a very Happy Christmas", 2 pages ? 189
191
Transcription of letter from Father Christmas 140 ? ? ? 188
Art - Polar Bear dancing with penguins 12 141 101 142 ? 191
Envelope - "Xmas 1940 / N.P." / "To Priscilla Mary R. Tolkien" 136 138 ? 188
"Xmas 1940" Envelope verso - wax seal 140
1941 A
76
B
94
C
95
D
99
E
04
F
09
G
12
H
19
Letter - "I am so glad you did not forget to write to me...", 3 pages 142 145
146
149
? 193
194
197
Transcription 41-
42
142-
145
? ? ? 192
Note to Billy Bear, 1 page ? 199
Transcription of note to BB 151 ? ? ? 199
1942 A
76
B
94
C
95
D
99
E
04
F
09
G
12
H
19
Letter - Christmas Eve 1942 - "P.B. Tells me that he cannot find my letter from you...", 2 pages 39 149
150
107
108
152
155
? 201
202
Transcription 41-
42
148
150
? ? ? 200
Envelope "XMAS 1942" in upper left, "Miss PMR Tolkien." centered 146 151 ? 202
Envelope verso with seal 151 155 ? 202
1943 A
76
B
94
C
95
D
99
E
04
F
09
G
12
H
19
Letter - "A very happy Christmas!", 2 pages ? 204
207
Transcription 41-
42
154 ? ? ?
Last modified: 03/12/20 by Urulókë
Jump to Last