TOLKIEN, John Ronald Reuel (1892-1973). Autograph letter signed ('J.R.R. Tolkien') to Pauline Baynes, Merton College, Oxford, 4 June 1949, 2 pages, 8vo (fold touching script on verso).
'A LONG ROMANCE IN SEQUEL TO "THE HOBBIT" IS FINISHED AFTER SOME YEARS OF WORK'. Tolkien writes to Pauline Diana Baynes, his chosen illustrator, telling her of his delight in her illustrations to his work, Farmer Giles of Ham (London: George Allen & Unwin, 1949), which 'had reduced the text to a commentary on the pictures.' He is, however, frustated by the restrictions of the publishing process; having seen the proof for Farmer Giles, he is 'distressed' that although many of the original illustrations are included, they are reduced in size, 'I fear it has done small justice to your beautiful line and pattern ... even so, what little value this rather slender 'squib' has is much enhanced by your work'. In anticipation of a more lavish publication, of The Lord of the Rings, Tolkien hopes that Baynes will consider illustrating it, 'I am hoping soon to get some larger works published, and in a more ample fashion; and if so, I hope you might be interested ... One, a long romance in sequel to "The Hobbit", is finished after some years of work, and is being typed.'