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Tolkien - Typed Letter Signed - RR Auction #381

  • RR Auction #381
  • January 2012
  • Final price including buyer's premium: $4,784.40
TLS signed “J.R.R. Tolkien,” one page, 8 x 10, November 14, 1962. Letter to H. Cotton Minchin. In full: “It was nice to hear from you again and I was most interested in your letter. What you say about America is very illuminating. I am afraid you may be disappointed in the new book, which is only a collection of verses with illustrations. I have still in hand the further matter of the ‘Lord of the Rings’ world, but I have been perforce engaged on other things for some time. Do not worry too much about Philip Toynbee. Few good reviews can have done me so much commercial benefit. So many people rose up to slay him that the noise was nearly as good as a new book. I am very puzzled by your reference to an ‘organization’–similar to the Reprint Society–which had taken on the ‘Lord of the Rings.’ It is news to me; there is no need of any such thing. The original edition continues to sell as well as it ever did.” Tolkien adds a brief closing sentiment. In fine condition, with central horizontal and vertical fold, vertical fold passing through a single initial, a couple vertical creases to left side, and two rusty paperclip marks to top edge. In this letter to H. Cotton Minchin, editor of The Legion Book (1929), Tolkein dismissed The Observer’s Toynbee's panning of the Lord of the Rings trilogy. The famed British literary critic had written off the series in 1961 as “dull, ill-written, whimsical and childish” and continued by announcing that “those books have passed into merciful oblivion.” The comments prior to the 1962 release of the paperback publication in the United States could have devastated sales in America, but the author was wise enough to know his fans when he wrote “Few good reviews can have done me so much commercial benefit.” Millions of copies sold upon its release. Today, Lord of the Rings ranks as the third-best selling novel ever written with over 150 million copies sold.
Last modified: 10/21/18 by Urulókë
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