TOLKIEN (J.R.R.) Typed letter signed ("J.R.R. Tolkien"), to Mrs Gilmore, explaining why there cannot be a sequel to The Lord of the Rings, Sandfield Road, Oxford, 3 July 1961

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Lot 252
TOLKIEN (J.R.R.)
Typed letter signed ("J.R.R. Tolkien"), to Mrs Gilmore, explaining why there cannot be a sequel to The Lord of the Rings, Sandfield Road, Oxford, 3 July 1961

Sold for £ 6,062 (US$ 8,563) inc. premium
TOLKIEN (J.R.R.)
Typed letter signed ("J.R.R. Tolkien"), to Mrs Gilmore, explaining why there cannot be a sequel to The Lord of the Rings ("...No story has any end. But one has to put one's small vision into a frame, because you cannot see anything clearly unless you concentrate on it. I shall not write a sequel to The Lord of the Rings because, as is really clearly stated in the course of the story, it is the end of the kind of world about which I write: the twilight in which mythology and history are blended. After that there is only history..."); explaining however that he is writing a sequel in the sense that it will be published after The Lord of the Rings, although these stories "will be about the time before, in the First and Second Ages"; typed envelope, 1 page, signature slightly faded but still clearly legible, 4to, Sandfield Road, Oxford, 3 July 1961

Footnotes

  • 'THE LORD OF THE RINGS... IS THE END OF THE KIND OF WORLD ABOUT WHICH I WRITE: THE TWILIGHT IN WHICH MYTHOLOGY AND HISTORY ARE BLENDED. AFTER THAT THERE IS ONLY HISTORY' – Tolkien, then at work upon the Silmarillion, explains why there cannot be a sequel to The Lord of the Rings. This letter appears to have been unknown to Carpenter, Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien (1981). In his correspondence, Tolkien frequently refers to The Lord of the Rings as being a sequel to The Hobbit, but as far as we can ascertain, this is the only time he states categorically that, for the reasons outlined here, there cannot be a sequel to that sequel. (That did not however prevent fans suggesting that they undertake the task themselves, one proposal being put by a 'young ass' five years later, another being a proposal 'couched in the most obsequious terms, from a young woman, and when I replied in the negative, I received a most vituperative letter' (see the letter to his secretary Joy Hill, 12 December 1960, published by Carpenter). Our letter was given to the present owner, a professor of chemistry, by the recipient, a longstanding colleague.

    Provenance: Sold to benefit Dorothy House Hospice, Bradford on Avon.

Saleroom notices

  • Recipient is Mr Gilmore, not Mrs.
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