A Question

wkofang
Posts: 2

A Question

Post#1 » Tue Dec 18, 2012 12:23 am

Greetings and salutations. A few years back I read all of the Tolkien that I could get my hands on. I recall coming upon a writing (a letter?) written by a very young Christopher Tolkien in which he critiqued his father's book The Hobbit, naming it an enjoyable adventure story for children (he was just a child himself at the time). Leafing through my volumes, I was unable to find this particular text. I cannot recall if it was in the preface to an edition of The Hobbit, one of the Lord of the Rings novels, The Silmarillion, or in one of the many supplemental volumes of early or unfinished drafts of J.R.R Tolkien's stories. Does anyone here recall where this text may be published?

Thank you very much.

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arwen undómiel
Posts: 510

A Question

Post#2 » Tue Dec 18, 2012 1:43 am

Welcome Wkafang:) I can't answer your question but maybe Galin or Brego can help you. ;) Good luck with searching.
''Loyalty is the only moral instinct that can exist on the same plane as truth itself. They may clash, but one can never overcome the other without cost.''

Semper Fi ⚓ ∞

Namárië

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galin
Posts: 1369

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Post#3 » Tue Dec 18, 2012 6:05 am


Hmm, maybe you're thinking of Rayner Unwin, the son of Tolkien's publisher at the time. As a child Rayner reviewed The Hobbit, and wrote:




"Bilbo Baggins was a Hobbit who lived in his Hobbit hole and never went for adventures, at last Gandalf the wizard and his Dwarves persuaded him to go. He had a very exciting time fighting goblins and wargs. At last they get to the lonely mountain; Smaug, the dragon who guards it is killed and after a terrific battle with the goblins he returned home — rich!

 



This book, with the help of maps, does not need any illustrations it is good and should appeal to all children between the ages of 5 and 9."




This was published in Tolkien's authorized biography by Humphrey Carpenter, for example. Or maybe you mean something else, but at the moment that's all I can recall.



beredras
Posts: 145

A Question

Post#4 » Tue Dec 18, 2012 6:53 am

Greetings, Wkofang. Have a great time here at PT. Sadly I don't know the answer to your question as Arwen said Brego or Galin might know.

beredras
Posts: 145

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Post#5 » Tue Dec 18, 2012 6:55 am

Greetings, Wkofang. Have a great time here at PT. Sadly I don't know the answer to your question as Arwen said Brego or Galin might know.

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galin
Posts: 1369

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Post#6 » Tue Dec 18, 2012 9:46 am


There is this from a 13 year old Christopher Tolkien [writing to Father Christmas in 1937].




'Daddy wrote it ages ago, and read it to John, Michael, and me in our winter 'reads' after tea in the evening; but the ending chapters were roughly done, and not typed out at all; he finished it about a year ago'




That much was noted in Carpenter's biography as well. I remember letter 22 where Tolkien notes he paid Christopher to find errors in The Hobbit.



I do not have Christopher Tolkien's foreword to The Hobbit however, as my copies are too old, nor does the foreword appear in my 50th anniversary edition.



wkofang
Posts: 2

A Question

Post#7 » Tue Dec 18, 2012 10:01 am


Thank you to everyone, for the warm welcome. It is appreciated. 



The passage that Galin has provided sounds very much like what I remember reading. It is likely that I've confused the publisher's son with Tolkien's son, as he indicates. I love the idea of this child critic giving the metaphorical green light to The Hobbit. For some reason that really delights and resonates with me. 



I will definitely look at the books you mention, Galin, and thank you very much for your help.



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galin
Posts: 1369

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Post#8 » Tue Dec 18, 2012 12:00 pm


And thank you too Wkofang...



... as now I think I might get [yet another] edition of The Hobbit, or at least read Christopher Tolkien's foreword again while in the bookstore... I mean I think I read it already! but maybe my thinking so has kept me from actually reading it!





I hear the new pocket edition might have a version of the foreword, and I don't have a pocket edition! Yet.



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