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article imageTolkien letter discovered in book sold for over £1,500

By Duncan Hall     Feb 1, 2012 in Entertainment
A letter written by Lord of the Rings author J.R.R. Tolkien, found unexpectedly in a book, has been sold for £1,700 to an internet bidder, at an auctioneers in Lichfield, Staffordshire, UK.
A bit of a mystery surrounds the discovery of a handwritten letter by the celebrated British author, J.R.R. Tolkien. The letter fell out of a book (not a book by Tolkien himself). The letter was addressed to a couple that Tolkien had met on holiday, but the discoverers of the letter are aware of no connection between the couple and themselves.
The letter (accompanied by a Christmas card) complained of a "rather disgusting and costly holiday" that was made memorable and pleasurable by the company.
When the auctioneers valued the letter (that experts verified as genuine) it was estimated that it should fetch in the region of three to four hundred pounds. The final amount caught everybody by surprise, last Thursday, when the sale was conducted.
Tolkien fan site theonering.net reported the news, leading to an extensive discussion (mostly about the original article spelling Tolkien's name incorrectly!). Fans suggest that the holiday referred to was probably in Bournmouth and that it was referred to in biographies of the author, because he suffered from bronchitis. None were able to suggest a solution to the mystery of how the letter should have been tucked away in this book.
Of course, J.R.R. Tolkien wrote many letters (just some of which were collected and published by Humphrey Carpenter in a book) so perhaps we should all be looking through old books on our shelves in case any more treasure has been left uncovered, used as a bookmark for 50 years!
More about Tolkien, Lord of the rings, Letter, United Kingdom
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