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"What's this?" "Keep your sticky paws off. It's not ready yet." "Ready for what?" "Reading.".

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Letter 14 is the fourteenth letter written by J.R.R. Tolkien and published in The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien.

Summary Edit

Tolkien discussed the publication of The Hobbit – he agreed with Allen & Unwin's October 1937 date but felt they're mistaken in reasoning that this will take advantage of interest in Oxford. In any case he wished to avoid further delay as he was worried it would appear as if he spent his previous year's research leave on the book, and because his friend "Mr Lewis of Magdalen" was eager to review it for the Times Literary Supplement. In the end the publication was brought slightly forward, to September 21 1937.

Allen & Unwin had also informed Tolkien that they had forwarded Letter 13, concerning illustrations in a possible American publication of The Hobbit, to Houghton Mifflin. He regreted this as "it was not intended for American consumption unedited: I should have expressed myself rather differently". Nevertheless he enclosed some pictures for the purpose, once again making apologies for his perceived lack of skill and wishing to assure Houghton Mifflin that they can be rejected "at once and without offence" if the standard is too low.

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