Teaser Tuesday - Tolkien's Letters
'Teaser Tuesday' is a weekly feature now at Books and a Beat. If you want to join in, here's the rules:
a) open your current read to a random page and share two teaser sentences.
b) let us know the title and author and...
c) link back to the host blog and leave your link in the comments. Also, keep it spoiler free!
I haven't done a Teaser Tuesday in a while, and to be honest, that's partly because I'm still slogging through War and Peace ('book one' was great, but I'm struggling with 'book two' - I really don't care about battle tactics.) But that doesn't mean I can't glance through other things, right?
Anyway. I recently ordered a couple of biographical Tolkien books for uni research (I'm considering writing a kind of romantic bio-pic as my final project) and The Letters of J.R.R Tolkien was the first to arrive. I was all geared up to get started, but then I read the introduction and it turns out the editor, Humphrey Carpenter, has left out all but about three of the letters between Tolkien and his wife, favouring instead the author's letters to fans, to his sons, to his publishers and a couple to C.S Lewis. Well, I was gutted, but I dipped into the book anyway - and it's actually a really good read.
"A new character has come on the scene (I am sure I did not invent him, I did not even want him, though I like him, but there he came walking into the woods of Ithilin): Faramir the brother of Boromir - and he is holding up the 'catastrophe' by a lot of stuff about the history of Gondor and Rohan [...] but if he goes on much more, a lot of him will have to be removed to the appendices."
- From a letter to Christopher Tolkien, 6 May 1944
The letters, as far as I can tell, have been cherry picked to tell us as much as they can about Tolkien's famous books, whether he's asking his son for feedback on the latest Lord of the Rings chapters, answering fan letters or voicing his opinions on what critics have been saying about him on the radio. You get a real sense of Tolkien as a man, and I liked him. He's a bit 'of his time' and takes his languages very seriously, but otherwise he seems like fun - and you can see just how much he loves his family. Anyway, it's all interesting and it's made me laugh a few times. I'd recommend to any big Tolkien fans.