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Lot 172
Series of five typed and two autograph letters signed, to Francisco Porrúa, publisher of the work of J.R.R. Tolkien in Spanish, 11 January 1978 to 24 November 2000 (7)
1 December 2021, 12:00 GMT
London, Knightsbridge

Sold for £701.25 inc. premium

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Series of five typed and two autograph letters signed ("Christopher Tolkien") to Francisco Porrúa, publisher of the work of J.R.R. Tolkien in Spanish, discussing the translation of The Lord of the Rings, with a "vociferous condemnation" of the 1979 animated film version ("...I regard it with abhorrence, as a really unbelievable travesty of my father's work..."), explaining at length how volumes 10 and 11 fit into the 12 volume The History of Middle Earth (" account of my father's work on the Elder Days..."), and speculating on the effect of the films on his father's legacy ("...I heartily wish that the films of The Lord of the Rings were not being made, & I fear their advent – but even more, perhaps, the associated imbecilities of hideous toys & special breakfast-cereals... it seems impossible to guess what effect the films with ultimately have..."), 8 pages, creased, some corrections made with Tippex and typed over, 4to (298 x 213mm.) and 8vo (213 x 150mm.), Cogelin, Aix-en-Provence, Aups, 11 January 1978 to 24 November 2000 (7)


Christopher John Ruel Tolkien (1924-2020) acted as the literary executor of the Tolkien estate and edited and published an enormous body of writings left by his father, including The Silmarillion, Unfinished Tales and The History of Middle Earth in twelve volumes, all mentioned here: '...extending the world of Middle-earth created in The Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings... His father's imagination struck such a chord with him that Christopher once said he grew up in Middle-earth and found the cities of The Silmarillion "more real than Babylon"' (Guardian, obituary, 20 January 2020).

Francisco Porrúa (1922-2014), literary translator and publisher, also known as Paco, founded Ediciones Minotauro in Buenos Aires in 1955, and was one of the leading publishers of science fiction and fantasy in the Spanish language, instrumental for bringing the likes of Ballard, Bradbury, Tolkien and Le Guin to a wider audience. Porrúa moved the business to Spain in the mid 1970's. His obituary in the Buenos Aires Herald wrote of 'his undeniable gift as a translator and his keen eye for extraordinary, even if unknown or too daring, literary gems', and whilst at publisher Editorial Sudamericana, he is credited with discovering Gabriel Garcia Marquez's One Hundred Years of Solitude. See also the present sale.

Provenance: Francesco Porrúa; thence by descent to his son.

Saleroom notices

The animated version of the Lord of the Rings was released in 1978.

Additional information