Tolkien Gateway

Letter to James A.H. Murray

James A.H. Murray 5 June 1973 (1).jpg

On 5 June 1973, J.R.R. Tolkien wrote a letter to James A.H. Murray (grandson of Sir James A.H. Murray of the Oxford English Dictionary).[1]

  • Description: 2 pages, Merton College Oxford (on headed paper of 19 Lakeside Road, Dorset), headed "Private and confidential".[2]
  • Publication: Sotheby's English Literature, History, Private Press & Children's Books 12 December 2002 (p. 239).[1]


James A.H. Murray 5 June 1973 (2).jpg

"if you would like to visit me in my guarded rooms in 21 Merton Street... I should love to see you" and notes "...I could show you some pictures & a tapestry associated with 'The Lord of the Rings' and some other things which might interest you...". Tolkien explains that his rooms in Merton Street are guarded since " was arranged that my living there was not to be known; but since it became known, I have been assailed by hosts of people, and, worse, have been invaded by criminals, so that I live behind locked doors, and under the eye of the local C.I.D. Which all sounds romantic, but is in fact an infernal nuisance. But I should of course arrange for you to pass the barrier ... the college to protect me!"[2]


  1. 1.0 1.1 Wayne G. Hammond and Christina Scull (2006), The J.R.R. Tolkien Companion and Guide: I. Chronology, p. 772
  2. 2.0 2.1 Tolkien Library Store - Rare Tolkien Items at (accessed 22 March 2011)