J. R. R. TOLKIEN (1892-1973)
Typed letter signed ("J. R. R. Tolkien") to James Heaf at 6 Edgebrook Road, Sheffield, one page, 4°, 76 Sandfield Road, Headington, Oxford, 28 February 1964.
After answering a bibliographical query ("I do not think it was an Entwife which Hal saw on the North Moors. Perhaps it was a troll"), he recommends that Heaf read his forthcoming book The Silmarillion to learn more about the overthrow of Morgoth, and alludes to the invented languages in The Lord of the Rings.
In another autograph letter signed ("J. R. R. Tolkien") to Master Heaf in Sheffield, 3 pages, 8°, Oxford, 8 July 1964, Tolkien regrets that the Silmarillion may not be in print for some time ("I still have a professional task to clear away before I can return to the labour of putting the legends of the other world in order. I am under contract to publish my translations of two medieval poems by an unkown author: Sir Gawain and the Green Knights and Pearl"). Having made various suggestions for Heaf's reading, and drawn attention to the use of metre and rhyme in different works, he explains his cautious attitude to literary theories: "do not misunderstand my view of 'theorists.' I do not hate them, I am a theorist myself ... I am deeply interested in anthropology and its contrasting theories. But 'theories' may seem to a critic unacceptable, since they do not fit the evidence; or they may be applied to the wrong material. Also I am not in the least alarmed by 'anthroposophy.' I have a friend who is an anthroposophist -- a very old friend of my dear friend C. S. Lewis, who died last November. We have had many discussions."
Both letters with hole-punches to left-hand margin, some waterstaining. (2)
James Heaf, by direct descent.

Lot Essay

After Tolkien's retirement from his Oxford professorship in 1955, letter-writing became one of his favourite activities, and he responds here with obvious pleasure to a young fan's comments. The Lord of the Rings had been published in 1954-55, while The Silmarillion, based upon The Book of Lost Tales, though begun in 1917, remained incomplete at his death.

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