TOLKIEN John Ronald Reuel (1892-1973)

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TOLKIEN John Ronald Reuel (1892-1973)

5 L.A.S. and 1 L.S. "Ronald Tolkien", "Toller" or "JRRT", Oxford 1953- 1966, to George SAYER; 13 pages in-8 at his address 76 Sandfield Road,
Hedington, Oxford, 2 headings Professor J.R.R. Tolkien; in English.
Interesting letters to his former pupil and friend about the edition of The Lord of the Rings.
George SAYER (1914-2005) was head of the English Department at Malvern College. In August 1952 Tolkien visited his friend in Malvern, and
Sayer recorded Tolkien reading excerpts from The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, whose typescript he had lent to Sayer; the trilogy The Lord of the
Rings was published in London, by George Allen and Unwin, in 1954 and 1955]. April 28, 1953. He was late in thanking Sayer, but he was in a pitiful state, having sent the first two books on April 11, 17 days late in relation to the contract, which left him few days to prepare for his conference in Glasgow . He did, however, send Sayer's essay to Allen and Unwin, with some additional notes; they replied that their advertising department would make use of it. What use, he does not know. He is deeply grateful to him, and blushes: it was a lot to ask of him, a hard job... June 24, 1953. He's typing with a typewriter, and his hand hurts. He has been very busy with administrative and academic duties, including visiting the farms belonging to Merton College, and he cannot yet choose dates for a stay in Malvern... He would like information about his recording device; if they had the same, or a compatible model, he could send him a reel to criticize from time to time, or for his use... April 25, 1957. They would be delighted to have lunch with Sayer, whom he has not seen for ages... April 6, 1962. He is sorry, especially for disappointing him, and after all the trouble the headmaster has taken to find suitable dates for him. He has many disappointments these days, but this one is due to the bad luck of his wife's fall; he cannot leave her alone after this new shock.
He has received the transcripts of his readings, and points out some rare typographical errors... March 11, 1966. He feels remorse: George has never received any expression of gratitude for the kindness, support and help he received in the L.R. affair. Lord of the Rings case in its darkest days. He was about to ask his publishers to send him the deluxe box set illustrated by Pauline Boynes, when there was talk of a new edition with the additions and corrections designed for the authorized American paperback edition, with an index added. With regard to the so-called pirate editions, although perfectly legal, since the English government supports Drake, Ace Books capitulated under public pressure and offered Tolkien an amicable agreement, with a reprint, which he accepted. He talks about the volume of blends presented to Charles Williams, where the Oxford University Press behaved extraordinarily: Tolkien summarizes his efforts to regain his rights to his contribution [On Fairy Stories], while the O.U.P. negotiated for the reprint of the essay or the entire volume!
He invites Sayer to Merton College, for the celebration of his golden wedding anniversary with Edith: Donald Swann, who will come, has offered to accompany
William Elvin in the interpretation of the song cycle of The Lord of the Rings, of his composition... March 21, 1966. Explanations on the revision of the new edition: establishment of the copyright, correction of errors, consideration of a retrospective link to the Silmarillion; but he doubts that George will find the differences without comparing the two editions, side by side... And to protest: George has done a lot! He made the recordings, got quotes for printing, and was extremely kind to him, while Tolkien was at his lowest ebb... And Tolkien believed in his praise more than in anyone else's!...
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