Before the publication of 'The Hobbit'

Mr Lewis of Magdalen, who reviews for the Times Literary Supplement, tells me that he has already written urging a review and claiming the book as a specialist in fairy-stories; and he is now disgruntled because he will get 'juveniles' that he does not want, while the Hobbit will not reach him until the vacation is over, and will have to wait till December to be read & written up properly.  Also if the book had been available before the university disintegrates I could have got my friend the editor of the O.U. Magazine, who has been giving it a good dose of my dragon-lore recently, to allocate it and get a review at the beginning of the autumn term.  However, I say these things too late I expect.  In any case I do not suppose it makes in the long run a great deal of difference.  I have only one personal motive in regretting this delay: and that is that I was anxious that it should appear as soon as possible, because I am under research-contract since last October, and not supposed to be indulging in exams or in "frivolities'.  The further we advance into my contract time, the more difficulty I shall have (and I have already had some) in pretending that the work belongs wholly to the period before October 1936. I shall now find it very hard to make people believe that this is not the major fruits of 'research' 1936-7!

The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien

To Allen & Unwin
28 May 1937

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