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Letter 172

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The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien
Letter 172
RecipientAllen and Unwin
Date12 October 1955
Subject(s)Plea for The Return of the King publication date on 20 October 1955

Letter 172 is a letter written by J.R.R. Tolkien and published in The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien.

[edit] Summary

Allen and Unwin proposed 20 October 1955 as the publication date for The Return of the King. Tolkien beseeched them not to fail; it was the last possible day since on the next day he had to deliver his first (overdue) O’Donnell Lecture. He was hoping that a large part of the audience would sit up late reading the night before and thus not notice his grave lack of equipment as a lecturer on a Celtic subject. He also wanted to allude to the book because his lecture talked about "Celticness" and its linguistic pattern.