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The Letters of J. R. R. Tolkien Kindle Edition
A comprehensive collection of letters spanning the adult life (1914-1973) of one of the world’s most famous storytellers.
‘It is not possible even at great length to "pot" The Lord of the Rings in a paragraph or two. It was begun in 1936, and every part has been written many times… the labour has been colossal; and it must stand or fall, practically as it is.’
J.R.R. Tolkien was one of the most prolific letter writers of this century. Over the years he wrote to his publishers, his family, to friends (including C.S. Lewis, W.H. Auden and Naomi Mitchison) and to fans of his books. The letters present a fascinating and highly detailed portrait of the man in many of his aspects: as storyteller, scholar, Catholic, parent and observer of the world around him. They also shed much light on his creative genius and grand design for the creation of a whole new world – Middle-earth.
This collection will appeal not only to the legions of Tolkien fans, but will entertain anyone who appreciates the art of letter-writing, of which Tolkien was a master.
‘I am nearly always written to as Tolkein (not by you): I do not know why, since it is pronounced by me always -keen.’
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 the paperback edition.
About the Author
- ASIN : B008GOBR5E
- Publisher : HarperCollins (December 13, 2012)
- Publication date : December 13, 2012
- Language : English
- File size : 1494 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 512 pages
- Lending : Not Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #124,786 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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On the Kindle version, though, 1 star at best. Typos or scan errors, whichever they are, are everywhere, and egregious. It's obvious that this Kindle text was never proofed by a human editor. To find the word "orc" misspelled as "ore" four times on one page is proof enough that the publishers put very little care into preparing the text. There are many, many other errors just in the first twenty percent of the book. I am very tempted to return this Kindle version for refund and go for the hardcopy, instead.
Especially at this time, when publishers and authors are clamoring for higher prices and consideration for their electronic books, I find myself more than ever inclined to just go back to hard-copy reading. It may be that the paper version of "The Letters..." contains the same quantity of really inexcusable errors, but that doesn't justify the glaring lack of editorial care in this Kindle version. These firms are obviously paying much, much less to produce the books, and yet still demanding to be paid even more, unfortunately actualizing Tolkien's own vision of the "machine" and where it was headed in his day.
They are organized chronologically, and the editor's guiding factors for curation were 1) to include only letters that lent insight about his writing process, and 2) to exclude personal family insights as much as possible. So if you're looking for a tell-all reveal into his family life, you aren't getting that. But if you want to a crash-course on "the humanities, embodied" then you've come to the right place. Tolkien lives what he loves, and he loves culture and words and language and history and art and philosophy and faith. All of that is on display here, revealed in the context of his letters to friends and family and fans and publishers.
They're readable. Read one a day. They're short. You'll learn a lot of LOTR trivia, and you'll love it. Don't wait, read it now.
Top reviews from other countries
However...! The printed paper version is much easier to flip through. Most letters contain several added notes, which come at the rear of the book. So you are constantly keeping a finger bookmark at the rear whilst reading at the front and flipping back and forth between the two. This is not so easy in electronic format, but can be achieved by adding multiple electronic bookmarks.
It would be nicer if the notes in the letters acted as hyperlinks to the notes in the back of the book.
Since initial publication, as happened with Carpenter's biography, one has also become aware that some censorship may have been applied to the text. This doesn't seem necessary, as we are all human and full of foibles and JRRT was no exception.
However a companion volume of sorts already exists. The Father Xmas Letters, which complements this book nicely. Unfortunately, these too have been censored to remove many autobiographical elements. One can only hope that a full, unexpurgated version of these will eventually be released in the future.