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Re: Letters to/from Tolkien

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  • Jason Fisher
    Thanks very much for the detailed info, David. Jason ... From: David Bratman To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com Sent: Wednesday, January 17,
    Message 1 of 7 , Jan 18, 2007
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      Thanks very much for the detailed info, David.

      Jason

      ----- Original Message ----
      From: David Bratman <dbratman@...>
      To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
      Sent: Wednesday, January 17, 2007 3:41:09 PM
      Subject: Re: [mythsoc] Letters to/from Tolkien

      At 12:24 PM 1/17/2007 -0800, Jason Fisher wrote:
      >Are there many/any letters in any of the volumes that Lewis sent to Tolkien?

      Tolkien says somewhere that he and Lewis saw each other so often,
      especially in the 1930s and 40s, that they had no occasion to send letters.
      There are five letters from Lewis to Tolkien in the new volume, all fairly
      brief, but since there was only one such letter in the previous two
      volumes, that's a marked increase. One of these five is quoted by
      Carpenter, but I think the others are all newly published.

      13 Nov 1952 - Lewis congratulates Tolkien on having LOTR accepted for
      publication. Some interesting comments on the effects of the passage of
      time on their friendship and on Tolkien's mood.

      28 Oct 1958 - Lewis asks Tolkien, who is about to retire, for his views on
      the succession to his professorship. Regrets not seeing him at Monday
      morning Inklings.

      10 Nov 1958 - chatty newsy letter on various subjects. Remembering
      Tolkien's enjoyment of Eddison, it's interesting that Lewis here passes on
      the news of the posthumous publication of _The Mezentian Gate_.

      20 Nov 1962 - Lewis declines, for health reasons, attending a dinner
      honoring Tolkien. Quoted by Carpenter in _The Inklings_.

      24 Dec 1962 - also responding to a letter of Tolkien's. Has a juicy
      reference to LOTR and a very Lewisian Christmas greetings (he loathed the
      commercialization of the holiday).

      David Bratman
    • Jason Fisher
      Thanks for the reply, Wayne, and it s good to know the suggestion is still being run up the flagpole. Please don t give up, and do let us know if there s
      Message 2 of 7 , Jan 18, 2007
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        Thanks for the reply, Wayne, and it's good to know the suggestion is still being run up the flagpole. Please don't give up, and do let us know if there's anything any of us can do to help (e.g., perhaps if enough of us contacted the Estate or the publisher to echo our support for the idea, with the promise to buy it once it comes out, that might help). I'm very curious about the sales of the Lewis letters, too. If they do well, this could be another argument for an expanded edition of Tolkien's; OTOH, if they do poorly, this might be the final nail in the coffin. Then again, the first two volumes of Lewis have gone to softcover, and the appearance of a third in hardcover would also seem to suggest they're doing well.

        Jason Fisher

        --- Wayne G. Hammond wrote:
        Christina and I would love to produce a second, enlarged edition. Many more
        letters do exist, though Humphrey and Christopher tried to include, within
        a limited number of pages, most of those concerned with Tolkien's fiction,
        or pertinent extracts, on the grounds that those would be of most interest
        to the greatest number of readers. A lot of correspondence between Tolkien
        and his publishers, for instance, and about Tolkien's academic career, was
        omitted: Christina and I have quoted from many of these letters in our
        books. But one would have to convince those who make decisions about what
        Tolkien books to publish that there are enough good letters to warrant a
        new edition, and also that such a book would sell well enough to recoup the
        investment. Tolkien's _Letters_ has never been a big seller (it's said that
        92% of the first American printing was remaindered) , though it seems to
        make respectable money as a backlist title, in paperback. I wonder how well
        the Lewis letters have been selling?

        Anyway, we've suggested a new edition to HarperCollins from time to time,
        and will continue to do so. Our new index (in 2000) seems to have helped it
        along also.
      • William Cloud Hicklin
        It appears also that over the ensuing quarter-century a fair number of JRRT s letters to readers have come to light at Sothbys and eBay and whatnot; many of
        Message 3 of 7 , Jan 18, 2007
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          It appears also that over the ensuing quarter-century a fair
          number of JRRT's letters to readers have come to light at
          Sothbys and eBay and whatnot; many of those I would expect to be
          of the sort of "answers to inquiries" that are in the existing
          volume, and some at least of the current owners might agree to
          contribute copies to a new edition.


          --- In mythsoc@yahoogroups.com, Jason Fisher <visualweasel@...>
          wrote:
          >
          > Thanks for the reply, Wayne, and it's good to know the
          suggestion is still being run up the flagpole. Please don't give
          up, and do let us know if there's anything any of us can do to
          help (e.g., perhaps if enough of us contacted the Estate or the
          publisher to echo our support for the idea, with the promise to
          buy it once it comes out, that might help). I'm very curious
          about the sales of the Lewis letters, too. If they do well, this
          could be another argument for an expanded edition of Tolkien's;
          OTOH, if they do poorly, this might be the final nail in the
          coffin. Then again, the first two volumes of Lewis have gone to
          softcover, and the appearance of a third in hardcover would also
          seem to suggest they're doing well.
          >
          > Jason Fisher
          >
          > --- Wayne G. Hammond wrote:
          > Christina and I would love to produce a second, enlarged
          edition. Many more
          > letters do exist, though Humphrey and Christopher tried to
          include, within
          > a limited number of pages, most of those concerned with
          Tolkien's fiction,
          > or pertinent extracts, on the grounds that those would be of
          most interest
          > to the greatest number of readers. A lot of correspondence
          between Tolkien
          > and his publishers, for instance, and about Tolkien's academic
          career, was
          > omitted: Christina and I have quoted from many of these
          letters in our
          > books. But one would have to convince those who make decisions
          about what
          > Tolkien books to publish that there are enough good letters to
          warrant a
          > new edition, and also that such a book would sell well enough
          to recoup the
          > investment. Tolkien's _Letters_ has never been a big seller
          (it's said that
          > 92% of the first American printing was remaindered) , though
          it seems to
          > make respectable money as a backlist title, in paperback. I
          wonder how well
          > the Lewis letters have been selling?
          >
          > Anyway, we've suggested a new edition to HarperCollins from
          time to time,
          > and will continue to do so. Our new index (in 2000) seems to
          have helped it
          > along also.
          >
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