TOLKIEN (J.R.R.) Autograph and partly typed letter signed ("J.R.R. Tolkien"),  Sandfield Road, Headington, 17 January 1964
Lot 277
TOLKIEN (J.R.R.)
Autograph and partly typed letter signed ("J.R.R. Tolkien"), Sandfield Road, Headington, 17 January 1964
Sold for £2,500 (US$ 3,883) inc. premium

Lot Details
TOLKIEN (J.R.R.)
Autograph and partly typed letter signed ("J.R.R. Tolkien"), to Mrs A. Mountfield of Eltham Green School, thanking her for sending the letter by one of her class children which gave him great pleasure ("...The Hobbit seems to have gone down well at school; I have had several letters telling me of class activities arising from interest in it. Not all as well penned as this...") but adding that he hopes "it will turn out not to be the only gift to you from Oxford"; adding in his own hand: "for you to hand on" and observing: "All teaching is exhausting, and depressing and one is seldom comforted by knowing when one has had some effect. I wish I could now tell some of mine (of long ago) how I remember them and things they said, though I was (only, as it appeared) looking out of the window or giggling at my neighbour", 1 page, printed heading, small cup-rim stain at foot, 4to, Sandfield Road, Headington, 17 January 1964

Footnotes

  • 'THE HOBBIT SEEMS TO HAVE GONE DOWN WELL' – TOLKIEN ON THE HOBBIT AND HIS LIFE AS A TEACHER: it was, famously, while toiling away at the "exhausting, and depressing" job of schoolmastering that the idea of the Hobbit had first come to him, as he explained in a letter to W.H. Auden: 'All I remember about the start of the The Hobbit is sitting correcting School Certificate papers in the everlasting weariness of that annual task forced on impecunious academics with children. On the blank leaf I scrawled: "In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit." I did not and do not know why' (The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien, edited by Humphrey Carpenter, 1981, p. 215). Our letter is not published by Carpenter. See illustration on preceding page.
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