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Scholars and fans of the great mythologist will find a rich vein of information in Humphrey Carpenter's The 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 to invent (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 recollection of any previous thought: just as it is now. And then I saw that, of course, it had not happened to Frodo at all.
This new edition of letters has an extensive index, and Carpenter has included a brief blurb at the beginning of each letter to explain who the correspondent was and what was being discussed. Still, we strongly recommend buying the companion volume, J.R.R. Tolkien: A Biography, in order to better understand the place these correspondents had in Tolkien's life and get a better context for the letters. --Perry M. Atterberry --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
The old fellow's letters to friends, family, and fans offer insight into his life and writings. Fun but not essential.
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
This book is excellent for dedicated fans of Tolkien. you will find everything you want to know, and maybe more, about the Lord of the Rings, and other writings, as well as... Read morePublished on Sept. 2 2009 by Joan Smith
I believe that no set of books is complete without this plainly marvelous book.If you are going to read other books written by him,or have read them,why not get to know more about... Read morePublished on Feb. 9 2002
If you love Tolkien's novels, you should enjoy reading his letters as well.Published on Feb. 6 2002 by Al T.
Chugging through this book over the last few months has been a wonderful experience for me. What better way to get right inside the mind of Tolkien himself than through these... Read morePublished on July 14 2001 by Micah Newman
. . .with this collection of correspondence from the pen of the Master of Middle-Earth, Professor JRR Tolkien. Read morePublished on July 6 2001 by Drogo Moss
This collection of letters written by J.R.R. Tolkien himself include tons of insight into the man behind the stories. He was really a great, down-to-earth, friendly man. Read morePublished on April 18 2001 by Robert T.
In The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien, I discovered not only a treasure-trove of information on his complex fantasy world, but also his reflections on life in this world. Read morePublished on Feb. 1 2001 by Dominik Rabiej
. . .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. Read morePublished on Jan. 17 2001 by David Zampino