Tolkien Gateway

Letter 14

The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien
Letter 14
RecipientAllen & Unwin
Date28 May 1937
Subject(s)The Hobbit

Letter 14 is a letter written by J.R.R. Tolkien and published in The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien.

[edit] Summary

Tolkien discussed the publication of The Hobbit – he agreed with Allen & Unwin's October 1937 date but felt they're mistaken in reasoning that this will take advantage of interest in Oxford. In any case he wished to avoid further delay as he was worried it would appear as if he spent his previous year's research leave on the book, and because his friend "Mr Lewis of Magdalen" was eager to review it for the Times Literary Supplement. In the end the publication was brought slightly forward, to 21 September 1937.

Allen & Unwin had also informed Tolkien that they had forwarded Letter 13, concerning illustrations in a possible American publication of The Hobbit, to Houghton Mifflin. He regretted this as "it was not intended for American consumption unedited: I should have expressed myself rather differently". Nevertheless he enclosed some pictures for the purpose, once again making apologies for his perceived lack of skill and wishing to assure Houghton Mifflin that they can be rejected "at once and without offence" if the standard is too low.