The Letters of J. R. R. Tolkien

Revised and Expanded Edition

J R R Tolkien author Humphrey Carpenter author Christopher Tolkien author Humphrey Carpenter editor Christopher Tolkien editor


Publisher:HarperCollins Publishers

Published:9th Nov '23


Available for immediate dispatch.

This hardback is available in another edition too:

The Letters of J. R. R. Tolkien cover

The comprehensive collection of letters spanning the adult life of one of the world’s greatest storytellers, now revised and expanded to include more than 150 previously unseen letters, with revealing new insights into The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings and The Silmarillion.

J.R.R. Tolkien, creator of the languages and history of Middle-earth as recorded in The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings and The Silmarillion, was one of the most prolific letter-writers of this century. Over the years he wrote a mass of letters – to his publishers, to members of his family, to friends, and to 'fans' of his books – which often reveal the inner workings of his mind, and which record the history of composition of his works and his reaction to subsequent events.

A selection from Tolkien's correspondence, collected and edited by Tolkien's official biographer, Humphrey Carpenter, and assisted by Christopher Tolkien, was published in 1981. It presented, in Tolkien's own words, a highly detailed portrait of the man in his many aspects: storyteller, scholar, Catholic, parent, friend, and observer of the world around him.

In this revised and expanded edition of The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien, it has been possible to go back to the editors’ original typescripts and notes, restoring more than 150 letters that were excised purely to achieve what was then deemed a ‘publishable length’, and present the book as originally intended.

Enthusiasts for his writings will find much that is new, for the letters not only include fresh information about Middle-earth, such as Tolkien’s own plot summary of the entirety of The Lord of the Rings and a vision for publishing his ‘Tales of the Three Ages’, but also many insights into the man and his world. In addition, this new selection will entertain anyone who appreciates the art of letter-writing, of which J.R.R. Tolkien was a master.

‘The closest we can get to an actual autobiography … reveals new insights into the mind of one of England’s greatest storytellers’ Telegraph

‘These revised and amplified letters are an absolute treat’ Sunday Times

‘This is a terrific book … the letters simply glow with warmth, interest and enthusiasm’ Private Eye

‘These letters provide an intriguing new glimpse into Tolkien’s life and work, allowing us to hear from one of the world’s best-loved authors in his own voice’ The National Archives

ISBN: 9780008628765

Dimensions: 228mm x 149mm x 53mm

Weight: 970g

720 pages