Tolkien Gateway

Letter 33

The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien
Letter 33
RecipientC.A. Furth of Allen and Unwin
Date31 August 1938
Subject(s)Health, Farmer Giles of Ham, Lord of the Rings

Letter 33 is a letter written by J.R.R. Tolkien and published in The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien.

[edit] Summary

Unspecified troubles led to the edge of a breakdown for Tolkien and he had been ordered by a doctor to rest. When he wrote this letter he had already done nothing for a week or two and was beginning to feel better. On 1 September he was going away for a fortnight’s holiday (which he had not planned and could not afford) for his and his youngest son’s health.

He had gotten Farmer Giles of Ham typed and now submitted it to Allen and Unwin for their consideration, although he admitted it was not long enough for stand-alone publication. Tolkien stated that he had planned out a sequel and that he had another unfinished story called The King of the Green Dozen; he offered to finish them off to accompany Farmer Giles if desired.[note 1]

Tolkien said that he had begun again on the sequel to The HobbitThe Lord of the Ring[note 2]. It was flowing along and had gotten quite out of hand. Tolkien had reached about Chapter VII and it was progressing towards quite unforeseen goals. He felt that it was better than its predecessor and mentioned that C.S. Lewis professed himself more than pleased. However, he warned Allen and Unwin, “it is no bed-time story”.

[edit] Notes

  1. Neither story, the sequel to Farmer Giles of Ham nor The King of the Green Dozen, were ever completed.
  2. In this letter the word “Ring” was not yet plural.