TOLKIEN, John Ronald Reuel, letters, autographs, documents, manuscripts

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'My unfortunate notoriety'

TOLKIEN, John Ronald Reuel (1892-1973). Author of The Lord of the Rings.
Fine Autograph Letter Signed ('Ronald Tolkien') to fellow Oxford don [Jonathan] Wordworth, 2 pages 8vo, on writing-paper of George Allen & Unwin publishers. 16 November 1968. Offering to resign from The Society, the dining club of which Wordsworth was secretary, because he has left Oxford, had a crippling accident and has repaired to a remote spot to protect his privacy and time.
The Society was an exclusive Oxford dining club whose membership included, besides Tolkein, C S Lewis, David Cecil, Nevill Coghill and other Oxford luminaries. Dinners took place under the aegis of members in their respective colleges.
 He explains the use of his publisher's address thus:
'... I have departed to a secluded spot, and I am endeavouring for the protection of my privacy and time, the invasion of which had become intolerable (owing to my unfortunate notoriety) to conceal my address and telephone number. I have removed both as far as possible from all reference books, lists or directories. ... I have to face the fact that, being 100 miles from Oxford, disabled though possibly more or less mendable, and of an age (nigh 77) when driving no longer agrees with me very well, I am rather a waste of a secretary's time. Alas!'
There are a few smudged ink spots, not affecting the text.
 The three volumes of The Lord of the Rings were published in England in 1954 and 1955, and when in 1965 an unauthorised American edition appeared there began a 'campus cult'.
[No: 19941]

The image is of the second page only.

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