Tolkien's Middle-earth
Tolkien's Middle-earth
A Lunch community for J.R.R. Tolkien fans.

Large and varied compilation of corrispondance

  • Jan 31, 2009
This is a large and quite diverse collection of correspondence. In it one sees Tolkien's views on both world wars, minute details of the publication process, answers to LOTR fans, as well as language, religion, and life in general. It is an astounding collection which helps show the intelligence, wisdom, and humanity of a literary (and scholarly) genius.

I found his discussions on LOTR material some of the less fascinating portions of this book, actually. A lot of this was correspondence over publication details, proofs, and the like. What there was about the series seemed more interesting from a process perspective than from a content one.

However, the works about fiction, discussing the nature of Middle Earth, etc. were quite another matter. These letters were quite interesting and provided a great insight into Tolkein's mind.

Another area I found interesting views was in the more general thoughts (mostly the letters to his relatives offering advice or thoughts about life in general). These I found to be filled with an immense wisdom as uncommon today as it was in Tolkein's time.

Highly recommended. Though if some correspondence bores you, skip that sort of correspondence.

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More The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien reviews
review by . January 17, 2001
. . .into the life and writing of JRR Tolkien. These letters, edited by his official biographer, Humphrey Carpenter, provide glimpses into every area of Professor Tolkien's life. We see:* his early years in the war (where his mythology all began* his relationship with his wife (a true love story)* his early interaction with those who later became "The Inklings"* the development of his spirituality and theology* words of wisdom to his children on love, marriage, God, the Church, etc.* and, of course, …
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Scholars and fans of the great mythologist will find a rich vein of information in Humphrey Carpenter'sThe Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien. Tolkien was a prodigious letter writer all his life; the sheer mass of his correspondence would give pause to even the most stalwart archivist (one shudders to think what he would have done with e-mail). But with the able assistance of Tolkien's son Christopher and a healthy dose of determination, Carpenter manages find the cream of the crop--the letters that shed light on Tolkien's thoughts about his academic and literary work, as well as those that show his more private side, revealing a loving husband, a playful friend, and a doting father. The most fascinating letters are, of course, those in which he discusses Middle-Earth, and Carpenter offers plenty of those to choose from. Tolkien discussed the minutia of his legend--sometimes at great length--with friends, publishers, and even fans who wrote to him with questions. These letters offer significant insights into how he went about creating the peoples and languages of Middle-Earth.

I have long ceased toinvent(though even patronizing or sneering critics on the side praise my 'inventions'): I wait till I seem to know what really happened. Or till it writes itself. Thus, though I knew for years that Frodo would run into a tree-adventure somewhere far down the Great River, I had no recollection of inventing Ents. I came at last to the point, and wrote the 'Treebeard' chapter without any ...
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ISBN-10: 0618056998
ISBN-13: 978-0618056996
Author: J. R. R. Tolkien
Genre: Science Fiction & Fantasy
Publisher: Mariner Books
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