Auctions | October 6, 2015

Tolkien Letter to Fan Revealing Creation of <i>Lord of the Rings</i> Character Up for Auction


LONDON Maddox Street—A letter signed by Tolkien’s secretary revealing the identity of Estella Bolger, the wife of one of Frodo’s principal companions Merry Brandybuck, is to be auctioned in London by Bloomsbury Auctions on Thursday 22nd October.

The letter, written in response to an inquisitive fan, initially writes that “unfortunately the answer is not recorded.” Tolkien however later went back to the letter to add in his own hand; “I believe he married a sister of Fredegar (Fatty) Bolger, but I will look into the matter. I have some records of the family of the Bolgers of Budgeford, whose lands were not far from Buckland but they were for lack of space not included.”

Max Hasler, Twentieth Century Literature Specialist at Bloomsbury Auctions commented; “Any letter from Tolkien is always interesting but to have one in which he materially adds to the Lord of Rings universe is almost unique.”

In a note of The People of Middle Earth, a work edited by Christopher Tolkien from the unpublished manuscripts of his father J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien writes “On one of his copies of the First Edition he added to the genealogy of the Tooks… ‘Estella’ as the sister of Fredegar and the birth-date 1385; and to the Brandybuck genealogy he added to Meridoc ‘=Estella Bolger 1385’, noting beside this that he told a correspondent in 1965 that ‘I believe he married a sister of Fredegar Bolger of the Bolgers of Budgeford.”

This letter, [Lot 106], in Bloomsbury Auctions’ 20th Century Books & Works on Paper sale is estimated to achieve £1,500-2,000 when it goes under the hammer on 22nd October 2015 at their Maddox Street saleroom.

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