I have no ancestors of that gifted people

In 1938, some months after the initial publication of The Hobbit, J. R. R. Tolkien and his British publisher, Stanley Unwin, opened talks with Rütten & Loening, a Berlin-based publishing house who were keen to translate the novel for the German market. All was going well until, in July, they wrote to Tolkien and asked for proof of

North Polar Bear’s leg got broken

In December of 1920, J. R. R. Tolkien secretly began what would become an annual event in his household for the next 20 years: in the guise of a shaky-handed Father Christmas, he lovingly handwrote a letter to his 3-year-old son, John, placed it in an envelope along with an illustration of his home near

Your own name is a delightful one

Due to his obvious love of language, it’s unsurprising to me that J. R. R. Tolkien was an avid letter writer – almost as unsurprising as the moment I saw his artistic, near-calligraphic handwriting for the first time – but reading the following missive shines a light on something I wasn’t aware of: his reported