The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien

Compiled by squire and Altaira for The One Ring.net, April 2005
No. FAQ No. month year Recipient Pages Topic Question from FAQ site http://users.telerama.com/~taliesen/tolkien/lettersfaq.html Category from FAQ Site
            1914-1916 Early Letters    
1   Oct 1914 Edith <1 writing a story    
2   Nov 1914 Edith <1 read "Earendel"    
3   Nov 1915 Edith <1 "Kortirion"    
4   Mar 1916 Edith <1 fairy language    
5   Aug 1916 G.B. Smith 2 death of Rob Gilson    
            1923-1925 early University years    
6   Feb 1923 Mrs Wright <1 Sir Gawain    
7   Jun 1925 Oxford U 2 job application to Oxford    
8   Jul 1925 Leeds U <1 resignation from Leeds    
            1937 Publishing The Hobbit    
  9 Jan 1937 A&U <1 maps for Hobbit When did Tolkien submit the typescript of The Hobbit to Allen & Unwin?    #9  I. Publication issues
10   Jan 1937 A&U 1 drawings for Hobbit    
11   Feb 1937 A&U <1 proofing the drawings    
  12 April 1937 A&U <1 proofs of text and cover What is the translation of the runes on The Hobbit dust jacket?    #12  II. The Hobbit 
13   May 1937 A&U <1 color illustrations for US edition    
14   May 1937 A&U 1 publication date    
  15 Aug 1937 A&U 3 color illustrations for frontispiece; jacket flap comments What were Tolkien's comments on the jacket-flap for The Hobbit?   #15 ; Which pictures were included in the early editions of The Hobbit?     #15  I. Publication issues; II. The Hobbit 
16   Oct 1937 Michael T. <1 JRRT's tongue injury    
  17 Oct 1937 A&U 3 reviews; possible sequel What was Tolkien's first response to the idea of "more about hobbits"?    #17  III.  Origins of LotR 
            1937-1938 Reception of The Hobbit; Beginning a Sequel    
18   Oct 1937 A&U <1 will start on something    
  19 Dec 1937 A&U 1.5 comments on Silmarillion review How did Tolkien react to the comments of Allen & Unwin's reader on The Silmarillion and "Beren & Luthien"?  #19, #294 (p.374) ;  Was Tom Bombadil ever considered as the hero of a possible "new story"?    #19  I. Publication issues;  III.  Origins of LotR 
  20 Dec 1937 A&U <1 Long expected party begun When did Tolkien first mention the first chapter of a "new story"?    #20  III.  Origins of LotR 
21   Feb 1938 A&U <1 first chapter done    
22   Feb 1938 A&U <1 encloses first chapter    
23   Feb 1938 A&U <1 stalled    
24   Feb 1938 A&U <1 Rayner Unwin likes first chapter    
  25 Feb 1938 The Observer 3 Extensive commentary on The Hobbit What is the origin of the name 'Smaug'?  #25  XVI.  Nomenclature 
26   Mar 1938 A&U 3 comments on Out of the Silent Planet    
  27 Apr 1938 Houghton Mifflin <1 description of hobbits for illustration Are there any further physical descriptions of hobbits? #27  XII.  People/Races of Middle-Earth 
28   Jun 1938 A&U 1 too much hobbit-talk in chaps 2&3    
            1938 No progress    
  29 Jul 1938 A&U <1 German inquiry to his 'race' Is race/racism an element in Tolkien's works?   #29, #30  XII.  People/Races of Middle-Earth 
  30 Jul 1938 Ruetten & Loening <1 discourse on his 'race' Is race/racism an element in Tolkien's works?   #29, #30  XII.  People/Races of Middle-Earth 
31   Jul 1938 A&U 1 sequel dried up; Farmer Giles?    
32   Jul 1938 John Masefield <1 down with Chaucer    
            1938-1939 Growth of the Sequel    
33   Aug 1938 A&U 1 sequel begun again    
  34 Oct 1938 A&U <1 sequel getting out of hand Is The Lord of the Rings an allegory?  #34, #109, #131 (p. 144, 145), #144, #186, #203  VIII.  LOTR – Meaning 
  35 Feb 1939 A&U 1.5 LotR getting quite grown up indeed Was there supposed to be a dragon or giant in LOTR? #35  XIII.  Creatures in Middle-Earth 
36   Feb 1939 A&U <1 want more on Farmer Giles?    
37   Dec 1939 A&U 1 wife was sick, but sequel still in progress    
38   Mar 1940 A&U 1.5 encloses late foreword to Beowulf edition    
            1940-1941 Letters to Michael Tolkien    
39   Sep 1940 M Tolkien <1 evacuees staying with T.s    
40   Oct 1940 M Tolkien <1 army life    
41   Jan 1941 M Tolkien <1 starting story again    
42   Jan 1941 M Tolkien 1 WW II politics    
43   Mar 1941 M Tolkien 6 marriage and sex    
44   Mar 1941 M Tolkien <1 T's maternal ancestry    
45   Jun 1941 M Tolkien 2 Germany's perversion of the northern spirit    
            1941-1943 Middle war years    
46   Nov 1941 RW Chapman 2 memoirs of Prof Gordon at Leeds    
47   Dec 1942 A&U 1 sequel nearing its end    
48   Apr 1943 C.S. Lewis <1 get well soon    
49     1943 C.S. Lewis 3 commentary on Christian marriage    
            1943-1944 Letters to Christopher Tolkien    
50   Oct 1943 C. Tolkien <1 the trees are beautiful    
51   Oct 1943 C. Tolkien <1 meeting with C.E.M. Joad    
52   Nov 1943 C. Tolkien 1.5 UK wartime politics    
53   Dec 1943 C. Tolkien 1.5 grumping on the U.S.A.    
54   Jan 1944 C. Tolkien <1 how to pray    
55   Jan 1944 C. Tolkien 1 news from home in Old English    
56   Mar 1944 C. Tolkien <1 new from home on C.S. Lewis    
57   Mar 1944 C. Tolkien <1 pressure from Lewis to finish the sequel    
            1944-1945 Letters to Christopher Tolkien, as sequel starts up again    
58   Apr 1944 C. Tolkien 1.5 impression of an American; sequel started up again    
59   Apr 1944 C. Tolkien <1 starting story again with Sam and Frodo    
60   Apr 1944 C. Tolkien 1 progress on writing    
61   Apr 1944 C. Tolkien 2 sympathy for war service conditions; reading chapters to Inklings    
62   Apr 1944 C. Tolkien <1 reading was well received    
63   Apr 1944 C. Tolkien 1.5 home notes; thoughts on sermons    
64   Apr 1944 C. Tolkien 2.5 Ithilien adventures    
65   May 1944 C. Tolkien <1 on to next chapter    
66   May 1944 C. Tolkien 1.5 WW II is like using Ring against Sauron; arrival of Faramir    
67   May 1944 C. Tolkien <1 progress on writing    
68   May 1944 C. Tolkien <1 progress on writing    
69   May 1944 C. Tolkien 1 rewriting to solve moon problems; thoughts on a new story    
70   May 1944 C. Tolkien <1 Frodo in Cirith Ungol    
71   May 1944 C. Tolkien 1 draining to write this; who are the real orcs?    
72   May 1944 C. Tolkien 1.5 Choices of Samw. moves CS Lewis to tears    
73   Jun 1944 C. Tolkien 1.5 why I write fantasy    
74   Jun 1944 A&U 1 Hobbit sequel is nearly finished    
75   Jul 1944 C Tolkien 2 Kalevala as source of Silmarillion; world going to hell    
76   Jul 1944 C Tolkien <1 Sam Gamgee's name; impressions of Shakespeare    
77   Jul 1944 C Tolkien 1 decline of civilization, esp in USA; sequel too epic for the times    
78   Aug 1944 C Tolkien 1.5 English orcs; love of barren spaces; sequel ideas dried up    
79   Aug 1944 C Tolkien 1 a marvellous sunset    
80   Sep 1944 C Tolkien <1 comments on G.K. Chesterton    
81   Sep 1944 C Tolkien 2 will send the new chapters. Grumping on the war.    
82   Sep 1944 C Tolkien <1 Ring is getting typed    
83   Oct 1944 C Tolkien 2.5 meeting with soldier of fortune Roy Campbell    
84   Oct 1944 C Tolkien <1 Book 5 begun; Leaf by Niggle sent to Dublin Review    
85   Oct 1944 C Tolkien <1 solving chronology in Ring    
86   Oct 1944 C Tolkien <1 God's anger at this war    
87   Oct 1944 C Tolkien <1 enclosing more chapters    
88   Oct 1944 C Tolkien <1 depression    
89   Nov 1944 C Tolkien 3.5 Christian musings on the origin of the eucatastrophe concept    
90   Nov 1944 C Tolkien 1 funny Inklings evening    
91   Nov 1944 C Tolkien 1.5 more chapters; precis of the end of the story    
92   Dec 1944 C Tolkien <1 thinking of writing that time travel story    
93   Dec 1944 C Tolkien 1 comments on Sam as hero; origins of word foxglove    
94   Dec 1944 C Tolkien 1.5 value of Story; a winter wonderland day    
95   Jan 1945 C Tolkien <1 English ancestry of T. family    
96   Jan 1945 C Tolkien 3.5 C.S. Lewis and the Christian story; moment of Gollum's repentance    
97   Feb 1945 C Tolkien <1 lashing out at etymological boob    
            1945 Struggle to Finish: book and war    
98   Mar 1945 A&U 2.5 Ready to look at Ring? Or do you like Niggle?    
99   May 1945 Mrs Williams <1 condolences for Charles Williams    
100   May 1945 C Tolkien <1 hatred of the Air War    
101   Jun 1945 C Tolkien <1 persevere despite the War    
102   Aug 1945 C Tolkien <1 horror of the A-bomb    
103   Oct 1945 C Tolkien <1 first day at Merton College    
104   Oct 1945 C Tolkien <1 dinner at high table at Merton    
            1946-1947 Postwar negotiations with the publisher on Hobbit, Giles, and the "Sequel"    
105   Jul 1946 A&U 1.5 working hard to get him something to publish    
106   Sep 1946 A&U <1 would rather finish Hobbit sequel than write more Farmer Giles stories    
107   Dec 1946 A&U <1 on German illustrations of Hobbit. Sequel to be done by Jan.    
108   Jul 1947 A&U <1 corrections to Farmer Giles    
  109 Jul 1947 A&U 3 response to Rayner's reading of LotR: how to link to Hobbit? Who will read it? Is The Lord of the Rings an allegory?  #34, #109, #131 (p. 144, 145), #144, #186, #203  VIII.  LOTR – Meaning 
110   Sep 1947 A&U <1 T. wrote most of the Hobbit riddles    
111   Sep 1947 A&U <1 Hobbit, and Ring, revisions    
112   Nov 1947 K. Farrer <1 reply to a fan in Hobbit-runes    
113   early 1948 C.S. Lewis 3.5 T's theory of criticism    
114   Apr 1948 Hugh Brogan <1 to a schoolboy, describing "Hobbit" sequel still to come    
115   Jun 1948 K. Farrer <1 the state of the Silmarillion    
116   Aug 1948 A&U 1 comments on some proposed illustrations for Farmer Giles    
            1948-1949 Completion of LotR, and Farmer Giles is published    
  117 Oct 1948 Hugh Brogan <1 the LotR is finished What did Tolkien say about inconsistencies and mistakes in the mythology/stories?    #117  X.  The Legendarium 
118   Dec 1948 Hugh Brogan <1 Xmas greeting in dwarf and elf scripts    
119   Feb 1949 A&U <1 labor of typing up the LotR    
  120 Mar 1949 A&U <1 loves Baynes' Farmer Giles illustrations Did Tolkien like Pauline Baynes' artwork?  #120, #231, #233, #235, #260  XVII.  Tolkien's Opinions 
121   Jul 1949 A&U <1 poss. sequel to Giles    
122   Dec 1949 A&U 1 anachronisms in, and comments on, Giles    
            1950-1951 Negotiating the joint publication of LotR and Silmarillion    
  123 Feb 1950 Milton Waldman 1 T. ready to leave Allen & Unwin for Collins What were Tolkien's initial efforts in getting The Lord of the Rings and The Silmarillion published? #123, #124, #125, #126, #131 (p. 160-161) I. Publication issues
  124 Feb 1950 A&U 2.5 Insists on publishing Silmarillion and Ring together What were Tolkien's initial efforts in getting The Lord of the Rings and The Silmarillion published? #123, #124, #125, #126, #131 (p. 160-161); How is LOTR 'tied' to The Silmarillion? #124, #131 (incl. commentary), #144 (par. 4), #191  I. Publication issues; X.  The Legendarium 
  125 Mar 1950 A&U 1 The books cannot be published in parts What were Tolkien's initial efforts in getting The Lord of the Rings and The Silmarillion published? #123, #124, #125, #126, #131 (p. 160-161); Did Tolkien have an overall name or title for the entire legendarium?    #125, #227  I. Publication issues; X.  The Legendarium 
  126 Mar 1950 Milton Waldman 1 Unwin is not hopeful about publishing the two books What were Tolkien's initial efforts in getting The Lord of the Rings and The Silmarillion published? #123, #124, #125, #126, #131 (p. 160-161) I. Publication issues
127   Apr 1950 A&U <1 T notes that R Unwin advises publishing LotR first w/o Sil    
  128 Aug 1950 A&U <1 Surprise that the revisions to the Hobbit had been executed before LotR was published What are the circumstances of the 2nd edition of The Hobbit?    #128, #129  II. The Hobbit 
  129 Sep 1950 A&U <1 Thoughts on what note might explain the two different Hobbit texts What are the circumstances of the 2nd edition of The Hobbit?    #128, #129  II. The Hobbit 
130   Sep 1950 A&U <1 decides to make a point of the two versions (ie, Bilbo's lie)    
  131 late  1951 Milton Waldman 19 Sketch summary of the Entire Legendarium for a prospective new publisher How is LOTR 'tied' to The Silmarillion? What is the nature of magic in Tolkien's mythology? page notes: How did language relate to Tolkien's stories?(p. 143); Is The Lord of the Rings an allegory? (p. 144-5); What is the significance of the story of "Beren & Luthien"?(p. 149); Why aren't there more stories of the 2nd Age? Are Orcs and goblins the same thing? (p. 150-151 - 2nd footnote on 159); Did the Elven rings confer invisibility upon the wearers? What properties did the Rings of Power have? (p. 152); Is Sauron 'the Necromancer' of The Hobbit? (p. 152, 157-158, 1st footnote on p. 158); What was the effect on Sauron of not having the One Ring? What would happen to Sauron if someone else found and possessed the One Ring? What happened to Sauron when the One Ring was destroyed? (p. 153); What is the nature of hobbits? (2nd footnote on 158); What was the culture of Gondor in the 3rd Age? (p. 157-158); Are Tolkien's wizards more like sorcerers or angels? (1st footnote on p. 159); What were Tolkien's initial efforts in getting The Lord of the Rings and The Silmarillion published? Who was the real hero of LOTR? Which is older, Ents, or Tom Bombadil?  (p. 160-161)  I. Publication issues; V.  LOTR – Story Elements; VI.  LOTR – The Rings; VII.  LOTR – Sauron/The One Ring; VIII.  LOTR – Meaning; IX.  The Silmarillion; X.  The Legendarium; XI.  The Mythology; XII.  People/Races of Middle-Earth; XIII.  Creatures in Middle-Earth; XIV.  Culture/Society; XV.  Language  
            1952 Return to Allen & Unwin: just publish LotR    
132   Feb 1952 J. Tolkien <1 an Inklings dinner    
  133 Jun 1952 A&U 2 "Errantry" history of poem; Begs them to publish LotR alone if necessary What is unique about the poem Errantry? #133; Why didn't Collins publish LOTR and/or The Silmarillion?   #133  I. Publication issues; XVIII.  Miscellaneous
134   Aug 1952 A&U 1 Patching up relations with Unwin    
  135 Oct 1952 A&U 1 Immense cost of publishing the Ring What are some of the details of the publishing of LOTR? #135, #137, #145, #146; What was the original selling price of LOTR? #135, #136   I. Publication issues; IV.  LotR – The Books and the Titles 
  136 Mar 1953 A&U 1.5 Issues of publishing volume by volume; names of volumes How did Tolkien feel about dividing LOTR into 3 volumes?    #136, #139; Were there titles for the individual "books" (1 through 6)? #136, #136 (note #1) IV.  LotR – The Books and the Titles 
  137 Apr 1953 A&U 2 First volume complete; issues of illustrations and maps What are some of the details of the publishing of LOTR? #135, #137, #145, #146  I. Publication issues
138   Aug 1953 C Tolkien <1 correcting proofs; "elves", "dwarves", etc    
  139 Aug 1953 A&U <1 Problem of titles for the 3 volumes How did Tolkien feel about dividing LOTR into 3 volumes?    #136, #139; Were there titles for the individual "books" (1 through 6)? #136, #136 (note #1), #139, #140, #143 IV.  LotR – The Books and the Titles 
  140 Aug 1953 A&U <1 Final titles for the 3 volumes Were there titles for the individual "books" (1 through 6)? #136, #136 (note #1), #139, #140, #143; Which towers are referred to in the title The Two Towers?   #140 (incl. note 1),  #143   IV.  LotR – The Books and the Titles 
141   Oct 1953 A&U <1 Problem of publishable maps that are readable    
            1953-1954 Responses to early readers of LotR    
  142 Dec 1953 R Murray, SJ 1.5 Place of Catholicism in LotR Why is there no religion in LOTR?  #142, #153 (footnote on p. 193), #156, #165, #211  XIV.  Culture/Society 
  143 Jan 1954 A&U <1 Problem of The Two Towers: no connection between Bk 3 & 4 Were there titles for the individual "books" (1 through 6)? #136, #136 (note #1), #139, #140, #143; Which towers are referred to in the title The Two Towers?   #140 (incl. note 1),  #143   IV.  LotR – The Books and the Titles 
  144 Apr 1954 N Mitchison 7.5 Answering many questions from a reader of Vols. 1 & 2 in proof Is The Lord of the Rings an allegory? How is LOTR 'tied' to The Silmarillion? (par. 4); Page notes: Who or what is Tom Bombadil? (p. 174, 178-179); How did language relate to Tolkien's stories? (p. 174-176); What are the effects on the other rings of the destruction of the One? (p. 176); What happened to the dragons? (p. 177); What is the origin of Orcs? (p. 177-178); What was Beorn? Was Beorn still around during LOTR? Are Orcs and goblins the same thing? (p. 178); What happened to the Entwives? (p. 179); What are Balrogs? Was Shelob a minion of Sauron? (p. 180) VII.  LOTR – Sauron/The One Ring; VIII.  LOTR – Meaning; X.  The Legendarium; XII.  People/Races of Middle-Earth; XIII.  Creatures in Middle-Earth; XV.  Language
            1954 Final details of publication    
  145 May 1954 A&U 1.5 T anxious for publication in time for summer What are some of the details of the publishing of LOTR? #135, #137, #145, #146  I. Publication issues
  146 Jun 1954 A&U <1 Hates the dust jacket design What are some of the details of the publishing of LOTR? #135, #137, #145, #146  I. Publication issues
147   Jun 1954 A&U <1 Much better dust jacket!    
148   Aug 1954 K. Farrer <1 Comments on details of spelling; and work on Appendices    
            1954 Fellowship is published; comments to readers    
  149 Sep 1954 A&U 1 Reviewing the reviews Is The Lord of the Rings a trilogy?  #149, #165, #252  IV.  LotR – The Books and the Titles 
150   Sep 1954 A&U <1 Still working on appendices for Vol. III    
151   Sep 1954 Hugh Brogan 1.5 Answering questions about Vol. I from schoolboy (as promised in #117)    
152   Sep 1954 R Heppenstall <1 comments on English dialect in the Dark Ages - for radio play    
  153 Sep 1954 P Hastings 8 Comments on the metaphysics and theology of sub-creation in FotR What is the nature of Elves and their immortality? (p. 189, 192-193); What is the origin of Orcs? (p. 190, 195); If evil cannot create, why did Treebeard say Sauron made trolls and orcs? (p. 190-191); Who or what is Tom Bombadil? (p. 191-192); Why is there no religion in LOTR? (footnote on p. 193) XI.  The Mythology; XII.  People/Races of Middle-Earth; XIII. Creatures in Middle-Earth; XIV.  Culture/Society 
  154 Sep 1954 N Mitchison 3.5 Relationship of Middle-earth and its races to our reality Were the Valar gods?; Are the elves all good and enlightened? XI.  The Mythology; XII.  People/Races of Middle-Earth 
  155 Sep 1954 N Mitchison 1 Meaning of "magic" in the tale What is the nature of magic in Tolkien's mythology? #131, #155  XI.  The Mythology 
  156 Nov 1954 R Murray, SJ 7 Wizards as angels; Story and meaning of Numenor What was Gandalf's role in the story of LOTR? Did Gandalf have foreknowledge of what was going to happen? How did Gandalf return from death?   Are Tolkien's wizards more like sorcerers or angels?  Why is there no religion in LOTR?   V.  LOTR – Story Elements; XII.  People/Races of Middle-Earth; XIV.  Culture/Society 
            1954 Two Towers is published    
157   Nov 1954 K. Farrer 1 Comments on early reviews    
158   Dec 1954 A&U <1 Hates American dust jacket blurb    
159   Mar 1955 D Marshall <1 On the labor of writing LotR; and on Charles Williams    
160   Mar 1955 A&U <1 On limiting the Appendices in size and scope: "a vast game"    
161   Apr 1955 A&U <1 The Gondor detail map showing up all the story errors    
162   Apr 1955 A&U <1 Gondor detail map completed    
163   Jun 1955 W.H. Auden 6.5 Explanation of how T came to write LotR: a literary autobiography    
164   Jun 1955 N Mitchison <1 Poss publication of Silmarillion after Vol. III is done    
  165 Jun 1955 Houghton Mifflin 4 Self-description, and origins of LotR: for use by American publisher to be sent to enquirers (w 1966 addendum) Did Tolkien regret having written The Hobbit "for children"?      #165, #215, #234 Is The Lord of the Rings a trilogy?  #149, #165, #252 Why is there no religion in LOTR?  #142, #153 (footnote on p. 193), #156, #165, #211  II. The Hobbit IV.  LotR – The Books and the Titles XIV.  Culture/Society 
166   Jul 1955 A&U 1 Correcting proofs of Vol. III    
167   Aug 1955 C Tolkien <1 On visit to Italy    
168   Sep 1955 R Jeffrey <1 Comments on uses of language in the LotR    
169   Sep 1955 Hugh Brogan <1 On C.S. Lewis' use of Numenor; and the unreality of Middle-earth's geography    
170   Sep 1955 A&U <1 What is the delay with Vol III?    
171   Sep 1955 Hugh Brogan 2 T's use of archaisms in his dialog and writing    
172   Oct 1955 A&U <1 On the final publication date for Vol. III    
            1955 Return of the King published    
173   Oct 1955 K. Farrer <1 Regret at leaving out the postscript with Sam and Elanor    
174   Nov 1955 Lord Halsbury <1 Responding to interest in publishing The Silmarillion    
175   Nov 1955 M. Waldron <1 Hated the BBC dramatization of LotR    
176   Dec 1955 N Mitchison <1 Comments on BBC broadcasts; The Dwarves as "Jews"    
177   Dec 1955 A&U <1 Comments on Auden and Muir's critiques of LotR    
178   Dec 1955 A&U <1 Where in England the Shire is    
179   Dec 1955 Hugh Brogan <1 Welcomes informed criticism    
180   Jan 1956 Mr. Thompson 1.5 LotR comes from the Silmarillion, and may be the more important work    
  181 Jan 1956 M Straight 5.5 Notes on the structure and meaning of LotR and some of its key elements How did Gandalf return from death?   #156, #181 What is the reason for Frodo's "moral failure" at the climax of the story?    #181, #191, #192, #246 Why did the Elves want to make the Three Rings? #181 What is the relationship of (or difference between) Elves and Men regarding the creation?    #181 11. Was Gollum evil?    #181 V.  LOTR – Story Elements VI.  LOTR – The Rings XI.  The Mythology XII.  People/Races of Middle-Earth 
182   - 1956 A Barrett, Houghton Mifflin <1 Differences between the Silmarillion and LotR    
  183 - 1956 - 6 Comments on WH Auden's NY Times review: Tolkien's worldview of politics in literature Were any of the characters in LOTR politically motivated?    #183 What is the nature Sauron's evil (i.e. his "fall")?  #183 V.  LOTR – Story Elements VII.  LOTR – Sauron/The One Ring 
  184 Mar 1956 Sam Gamgee 1 Amused ramblings on the name's origins Was there a real Sam Gamgee?    #184  XVIII.  Miscellaneous 
185   Mar 1956 C Tolkien <1 Crowing that he heard from a real Sam Gamgee    
  186 Apr 1956 Joanna de Bortadano 1.5 The themes of LotR Is The Lord of the Rings an allegory?  #34, #109, #131 (p. 144, 145), #144, #186, #203  VIII.  LOTR – Meaning 
187   Apr 1956 H Cotton Minchin 1.5 How hard T worked on the accessory apparatuses, like maps, illustrations, words, etc.    
  188 Apr 1956 A&U <1 Concerned that foreign translations of LotR be well done How did Tolkien deal with translations of his works? #188, #190, #204, #217, #228, #229, #239, #352  I. Publication issues
189   Apr 1956 Mrs M Wilson <1 T likes the "first reading" of a book    
  190 Jul 1956 A&U 2 Negative comments on the Dutch translation How did Tolkien deal with translations of his works? #188, #190, #204, #217, #228, #229, #239, #352  I. Publication issues
  191 Jul 1956 Miss J Burn 1 Frodo's failure, not success, at Mt Doom What is the reason for Frodo's "moral failure" at the climax of the story?    #181, #191, #192, #246 How is LOTR 'tied' to The Silmarillion? #124, #131 (incl. commentary), #144 (par. 4), #191  V.  LOTR – Story Elements X.  The Legendarium 
  192 Jul 1956 Amy Ronald 1 More on Frodo's failure What is the reason for Frodo's "moral failure" at the climax of the story?    #181, #191, #192, #246  V.  LOTR – Story Elements 
  193 Nov 1956 T Tiller 1 Thoughts on accents for the next BBC productions How did Tolkien feel about the use of accents in acted performances of LOTR?    #193  XVII.  Tolkien's Opinions 
  194 Nov 1956 T Tiller 1 A dramatic presentation of LotR must necessarily fail What were Tolkien's comments on dramatic performances of LOTR?    #194, #198, #201, #207, #210  XVII.  Tolkien's Opinions 
195   Dec 1956 Amy Ronald <1 On Frodo's pacifism    
196   Mar 1957 K. Farrer <1 Sympathy for C.S. Lewis    
197   May 1957 A&U <1 Crowing over a large royalty check; progress on The Silmarillion    
            1957 Hollywood comes calling    
  198 Jun 1957 A&U <1 Might prefer a vulgar Hollywood animation to the BBC's silly radio play What were Tolkien's comments on dramatic performances of LOTR?    #194, #198, #201, #207, #210  XVII.  Tolkien's Opinions 
199   Jun 1957 Caroline Everett 2.5 Some stories on T's background, and the writing of LotR    
  200 Jun 1957 R Bowen 2 The nature of the Valar, Maiar, Elves, and Men: "pompose" explanation of the underlying mythology Did Gandalf have foreknowledge of what was going to happen?    #156, #200 What happened to Sauron when the One Ring was destroyed? #131 (p. 153), #200 What happened to Sauron each time he was vanquished?  #200 What was the nature of Sauron and other Maiar? #200  V.  LOTR – Story Elements VII.  LOTR – Sauron/The One Ring XI.  The Mythology 
  201 Sep 1957 A&U <1 Hollywood script seems compressed rather than abridged What were Tolkien's comments on dramatic performances of LOTR?    #194, #198, #201, #207, #210  XVII.  Tolkien's Opinions 
202   Sep 1957 C Tolkien <1 Wins SF award; film project looks bad, but money is good    
  203 Nov 1957 H Schiro <1 Applicability, not allegory; Story is basically about Death Is The Lord of the Rings an allegory?  #34, #109, #131 (p. 144, 145), #144, #186, #203  VIII.  LOTR – Meaning 
  204 Dec 1957 A&U 2 Process in dealing with The Silmarillion; bumptious Swedish translator How did Tolkien deal with translations of his works? #188, #190, #204, #217, #228, #229, #239, #352  I. Publication issues
  205 Feb 1958 C Tolkien 1 The aesthetics of philology v. history How did language relate to Tolkien's stories? #131 (p. 143), #144 (p. 174-176), #205, #294, #297 (p. 374-375)  XV.  Language 
206   Apr 1958 A&U 1.5 Pleasure of being honored by Dutch fans    
  207 Apr 1958 A&U 1 Critique of Zimmerman's script adaptation What were Tolkien's comments on dramatic performances of LOTR?    #194, #198, #201, #207, #210  XVII.  Tolkien's Opinions 
  208 Apr 1958 C Ouboter <1 Theme of Death in LotR: different fate of Elves Is there a message in The Lord of the Rings? #208  VIII.  LOTR – Meaning 
209   May 1958 R Murray, SJ 3 Root-words for "holy"; general thoughts on philology with examples    
  210 Jun 1958 F Ackerman 7 Detailed critique of the film treatment of LotR Why didn't the Eagles come to the characters' rescue more often?    #210 What did Orcs look like?    #210 (comment #19)    What were Tolkien's comments on dramatic performances of LOTR?    #194, #198, #201, #207, #210  V.  LOTR – Story Elements   XIII.  Creatures in Middle-Earth  XVII.  Tolkien's Opinions 
  211 Oct 1958 R Beare 7 Numerous answers to a fan's detailed questions How could Sauron be defeated by Ar-Pharazτn when Sauron had the One Ring?  How was Sauron able to take the One Ring with him after being vanquished in the fall of Nϊmenor?  Who is greater and more powerful, Manwe or Melkor?  What "Age" are we in now (i.e. during Tolkien's lifetime?)  Are the Nazguls' winged steeds pterodactyls?   Why is there no religion in LOTR?   What was the culture of the Nϊmenσreans of Gondor?   What did the crown of Gondor look like? (illustration)   What was the culture of Rohan?  Why does Sam say "O Elbereth Gilthoniel" rather than "A Elbereth Gilthoniel" in "The Choices of Master Samwise"?   VII.  LOTR – Sauron/The One Ring  XI.  The Mythology XIII.  Creatures in Middle-Earth  XIV.  Culture/Society XV.  Language 
212   Oct 1958 R Beare 3.5 Unsent continuation of #211: largely comments on the Silmarillion    
213   Oct 1958 D Webster 1.5 Self-description; relation of an author's personal life to his works    
  214 late 1958 A. C. Nunn 7 In answer to question about Hobbit presents, an extended essay on Shire customs If hobbits gave presents to others on their own birthdays, why in the recounting of how Gollum acquired the Ring in "The Shadow of the Past" does it appear that Smeagol's people received presents on their birthdays?    #214   What were the hobbit gift-giving customs?  #214 What were the structure and customs of hobbit families, households, and heirs?    #214  XIV.  Culture/Society 
  215 Apr 1959 W Allen 2.5 Writing for children; relation between Hobbit and LotR Did Tolkien regret having written The Hobbit "for children"?      #165, #215, #234  II. The Hobbit 
216   Aug 1959 U. of Madras <1 Thanks but no thanks for an honor    
  217 Sep 1959 A&U <1 Notes on translating into Polish, and in general How did Tolkien deal with translations of his works? #188, #190, #204, #217, #228, #229, #239, #352  I. Publication issues
            1959 Retirement from Oxford    
218   Oct 1959 E Rogers <1 Point of English usage to a deluded enquirer    
219   Oct 1959 A&U <1 Cat fancier? Please go away    
220   Oct 1959 N Mitchison <1 Retirement, and the near-poverty it implies    
221   Nov 1959 Oxford U <1 Reply to official thanks of the University upon his retirement    
222   Dec 1959 A&U <1 Agrees to publish Gawain & Green Knight and Pearl in translation    
223   Jul 1960 A&U <1 Silmarillion delayed by work on Ancrene Riwle edition    
224   Sep 1960 C Tolkien <1 Critique of C.S. Lewis' latest work    
225   Dec 1960 A&U <1 Hates the idea of The Hobbit in paperback, except for the money    
  226 Dec 1960 L.W. Forster <1 Look of WWI landscape on LotR as only Wartime influence Did the World Wars have any influence on LOTR? #226  III.  Origins of LotR 
  227 Jan 1961 Mrs Drijver <1 Origins of "Numenor"; progess on Silmarillion and differences from LotR Did Tolkien have an overall name or title for the entire legendarium?    #125, #227  X.  The Legendarium 
  228 Jan 1961 A&U 1.5 Necessity of the appendices in foreign translations How did Tolkien deal with translations of his works? #188, #190, #204, #217, #228, #229, #239, #352  I. Publication issues
  229 Feb 1961 A&U 2 Objections to the Swedish edition's notes on T's life and influences How did Tolkien deal with translations of his works? #188, #190, #204, #217, #228, #229, #239, #352  I. Publication issues
230   Jun 1961 R Beare 1 Translations of various bits    
            1961 Begins work on published edition of Tom Bombadil    
  231 Oct 1961 Jane Neave <1 Would like to publish Tom Bombadil Did Tolkien like Pauline Baynes' artwork?  #120, #231, #233, #235, #260  XVII.  Tolkien's Opinions 
  232 Nov 1961 J Reeves <1 Reminiscing on Swiss hike that inspired Stone Giants scene in Hobbit Was the 'thunder-battle' in The Hobbit inspired by a real-life event?    #232, #306  II. The Hobbit 
  233 Nov 1961 A&U <1 Trying to collect enough poems to make a publishable collection Did Tolkien like Pauline Baynes' artwork?  #120, #231, #233, #235, #260  XVII.  Tolkien's Opinions 
  234 Nov 1961 Jane Neave 2.5 Will not stoop to write for children; nature of Fairy Stories Did Tolkien regret having written The Hobbit "for children"?      #165, #215, #234  II. The Hobbit 
  235 Dec 1961 Pauline Baynes <1 Comments on the poetry collection she is to illustrate Did Tolkien like Pauline Baynes' artwork?  #120, #231, #233, #235, #260  XVII.  Tolkien's Opinions 
236   Dec 1961 A&U 2 Corrections to paperback Hobbit; notes on "dwarves", "elves" etc.    
237   Apr 1962 A&U <1 Problems of integrating the poems into one volume    
238   Jul 1962 Jane Neave 2.5 Comments on difficult meters in the medieval works he is translating    
  239 Jul 1962 A&U <1 Difficulty in translating "gnomes" in Spanish ed. of Hobbit How did Tolkien deal with translations of his works? #188, #190, #204, #217, #228, #229, #239, #352  I. Publication issues
240   Aug 1962 Pauline Baynes 1 Tom Bombadil trivia from the poems    
241   Sep 1962 Jane Neave 2.5 Leaf by Niggle; and its relationship to Trees, and writing LotR    
            1962 Tom Bombadil collection is published    
242   Nov 1962 A&U <1 Critical reception of Tom Bombadil collection    
243   Dec 1962 M Tolkien <1 Progress and proceeds of various publications    
  244 - 1963 anonymous reader 1.5 Character and love of Eowyn and Faramir; govt of Gondor How could Eowyn switch from loving Aragorn to Faramir so quickly?    #244  Did Eowyn 'settle' for Faramir since she couldn't have Aragorn?    #244 V.  LOTR – Story Elements 
  245 Jun 1963 R Beare 1 Runes; Mortality of Elves What happened to Elves when they died in battle? #245  XI.  The Mythology 
  246 Sep 1963 E Elgar 7.5 Moral dilemma of Frodo; character of Sam; Gollum's choice; the showdown at the Sammath Naur What is the reason for Frodo's "moral failure" at the climax of the story?  How did Arwen arrange for Frodo to sail West? How clearly did Frodo understand what happened at Mt. Doom and what happened to himself?  Why do some readers like Sam while others dislike him? How did Sam's understanding (or lack of understanding) of things shape the events of the story?  What might have happened if Gollum had gained possession of  the Ring a little sooner?  Where were the Nine Rings at the end of the Third Age?  How would Sauron have reclaimed the Ring from Frodo or Gollum?  Would the Ring have given the possessor any power over the Ringwraiths?  What would happen in a direct confrontation between Sauron and a ringbearer?   What was Sauron's physical form at the time of LOTR?   How would Gandalf have acted if he had taken possession of the ring and become Ring-Lord?    V.  LOTR – Story Elements VI.  LOTR – The Rings VII.  LOTR – Sauron/The One Ring 
  247 Sep 1963 Col. Worskett 2 Story-theoretical difficulties in completing Silmarillion; Material left out of LotR; Nature of the Ents What is the origin of the Ents?    #247  XIII.  Creatures in Middle-Earth 
            1963 Work on Tree and Leaf for publication    
248   Oct 1963 A&U <1 Title of new collection to be Tree and Leaf    
249   Oct 1963 M G Tolkien <1 Besieged by needy old ladies    
250   Nov 1963 M Tolkien 5 Meditations on the exercise of religion and faith    
251   Nov 1963 P Tolkien <1 C.S. Lewis is dead    
  252 Nov 1963 M Tolkien <1 Memories of Lewis Is The Lord of the Rings a trilogy?  #149, #165, #252  IV.  LotR – The Books and the Titles 
253   Dec 1963 A&U <1 Thoughts on a cover illustration for Tree and Leaf    
254   Jan 1964 Rev D Tyndall <1 Reminiscing on school days at King Edwards    
255   Mar 1964 Mrs E Elgar <1 Commentary on Fastitocalon poem    
  256 May 1964 C Bailey <1 The failure of the LotR sequel as a mere "thriller" Why did Tolkien abandon "The New Shadow" (the potential sequel to LOTR)?    #256  X.  The Legendarium 
257   Jul 1964 C Bretherton 5 autobiographical answer to question about origin of LotR    
  258 Aug 1964 R Unwin <1 Annoyance at naming of a hydrofoil after Shadowfax How did Tolkien feel about people using names from his books for naming other things?    #258, #342, #345  XVI.  Nomenclature 
259   Aug 1964 A Barrett, Houghton Mifflin <1 Tree and Leaf not really connected; Beowulf essay, On Fairy-stories, and Beorhtnoth should be connected    
  260 Aug 1964 C Blyton <1 T's knowledge and use of music Did Tolkien like Pauline Baynes' artwork?  #120, #231, #233, #235, #260  XVII.  Tolkien's Opinions 
261   Aug 1964 A Barrett, Houghton Mifflin <1 Reflections on C.S. Lewis    
262   Sep 1964 M di Capua <1 Undertakes to write a preface to The Golden Key (which will become Smith of Wooton Major)    
263   Sep 1964 Houghton Mifflin <1 Hates the tree illustration for Tree and Leaf    
264   Sep 1964 A&U <1 Lets everyone know how much he hated the tree illustration for Tree and Lear    
265   Nov 1964 D. Kolb <1 Hated Narnia, just as Lewis disliked some of T's works    
266   Jan 1965 M.G. Tolkien <1 Translation of The Pearl is difficult    
267   Jan 1965 M. Tolkien 2 Some consequences of minor fame; and influences of his youthful Catholicism    
  268 Jan 1965 Miss A.P. Northey 1 Notes on the Mearas, and Shadowfax's fate Did Shadowfax go West with Gandalf?    #268  V.  LOTR – Story Elements 
            1965 2nd Edition of LotR commissioned to combat Ace Books' pirate paperback    
  269 May 1965 W.H. Auden <1 Keeping Orcs within Christian theology; beginning on second edition of FotR in response to American pirate edition 12. Is the notion of an entire race of irredeemably wicked beings (Orcs) heretical?    #269  XII.  People/Races of Middle-Earth 
270   May 1965 R. Unwin <1 Silmarillion delayed by work on LotR 2nd edition    
271   May 1965 R. Unwin <1 Difficulty of revising LotR    
272   Jul 1965 Z. Sherring 2 Book from old Book Fair is T's; some notes on Gothic    
273   Jul 1965 N.C. Scott <1 Thanks for help in defeating the pirate Ace paperback edition of LotR    
274   Jul 1965 Houghton Mifflin <1 Problems with the first ed. Map of the Shire    
275   Aug 1965 W.H. Auden <1 Alarm at the forming of "Tolkien Societies"    
  276 Sep 1965 D. Plotz 3 Notes on conduct of a Tolkien Society; progress of Silmarillion; meaning of Numenor What did Tolkien think of the Tolkien Society of America? #276   XVII.  Tolkien's Opinions
  277 Sep 1965 R. Unwin 1 Really hates US paperback cover of LotR What did Tolkien think of the cover art for the first Ballantine edition of The Hobbit?    #276 I. Publication issues 
278   Oct 1965 C. Kilby <1 Recent book on C.S. Lewis seems to miss capturing his personality    
279   Oct 1965 M.G. Tolkien <1 Retirement life, money from his extra-professional books, campaign against the Ace PB editions in USA    
280   Nov 1965 R. Unwin <1 Getting bored with Sir Gawain and The Pearl editions    
281   Dec 1965 R. Unwin 1 Thoughts on the revised Hobbit    
282   Dec 1965 C. Kilby <1 Progress on The Silmarillion; could use some help.    
283   Jan 1966 B. Indick <1 Thank-you note    
284   Feb 1966 W.H. Auden 1 Please don't write about me    
285   Apr 1966 W.H. Auden <1 Your nasty remarks about my house dιcor were not appreciated    
  286 Apr 1966 A.E. Couchman <1 Who the Valar are; leave me alone so I can publish a full account Were the Valar gods?    #154, #286  XI.  The Mythology 
287   May 1966 J. Hill <1 How to handle unwelcome phone calls    
288   May 1966 N. Davis <1 Thank you for commissioning a portrait bust    
289   Jul 1966 M.G. Tolkien <1 Etymology of "Mirkwood"    
290   Oct 1966 M.G. Tolkien 1 Proper course of graduate study; Smith of Wooton Major completed    
291   Nov 1966 W. Hooper <1 Thank-you note    
  292 Dec 1966 J. Hill <1 Utterly repulsed and appalled by fan-fiction What did Tolkien think of "fan fiction" vis-ΰ-vis extensions of his own works?    #292  XVII.  Tolkien's Opinions 
  293 Dec 1966 W. Foster <1 Will no longer give interviews, to make time for the Silmarillion Did Tolkien enjoy giving interviews?   #293, #294 (p. 372-373)  XVIII.  Miscellaneous 
  294 Feb 1967 C. & D. Plimmer 7 Review comments on a draft article based on an interview How did Tolkien react to the comments of Allen & Unwin's reader on The Silmarillion and "Beren & Luthien"? (p.374) How does the map of Middle-Earth correspond to the map of the real world? (p. 376) How did language relate to Tolkien's stories? What were some of Tolkien's favorite passages in LOTR? (p. 376)  Did Tolkien enjoy giving interviews?  (p. 372-373)  I. Publication issues X.  The Legendarium  XV.  Language XVII.  Tolkien's Opinions XVIII.  Miscellaneous 
295   Mar 1967 W. H. Auden <1 Thanks for praise of Frodo's Dreme poem    
296   Jul 1967 R. Unwin <1 Thank you note    
  297 Aug 1967 Mr. Rang 8 Errors in guessing the origin of names and words in T's fiction; True facts given What are Wargs?    #297 How did language relate to Tolkien's stories? #131 (p. 143), #144 (p. 174-176), #205, #294, #297 (p. 374-375) How did Tolkien come up with some of his words and names?    #297, #324  XIII.  Creatures in Middle-Earth  XV.  Language XVI.  Nomenclature 
298   Oct 1967 L. White 1 History of the Inklings    
            1967 Smith of Wooton Major published    
299   Dec 1967 R. Green 1 Comments on Smith tale    
300   Feb 1968 W. Hooper <1 Who among us has actually seen a dragon?    
301   Feb 1968 D. Swann <1 Hateful appearance in a documentary; point of fireworks in LotR    
302   May 1968 Time-Life <1 Declining request to pose for photo    
303   May 1968 N. Thomas <1 Knows of Sarehole mill    
            1968 Leaves Oxford    
304   June 1968 C. Kilby <1 Leaving Oxford to live in the south & will no longer have a published address    
305   June 1968 R. Unwin <1 Explaining delay in his work due to taking a fall while preparing to move    
  306 Oct 1968 M. Tolkien 6 Detailed account of his Switzerland trip/musings on the Catholic church/musings on his career Was the 'thunder-battle' in The Hobbit inspired by a real-life event?    #232, #306  II. The Hobbit 
307   Nov 1968 A. Ronald <1 Thank-you note for housewarming gift    
308   Jan 1969 C. Tolkien <1 Library is now in order/brief musings on philology    
309   Jan 1969 A. Ronald 1 Origins of his name (i.e., J.R.R.)    
310   May 1969 C. Unwin 2 God and the purpose of life    
311   Jul 1969 C. Tolkien 1 His recent bout of illness    
312   Nov 1969 A. Ronald 2 Botany and his invented flowers    
  313 Nov 1969 M. Tolkien <1 Desire to produce elementary grammar  of elven langs. Did Tolkien plan to produce a grammar and vocabulary of Quenya and Sindarin? #313  XV.  Language 
314   Dec 1969