Thursday, December 3, 2015

On the Second day of Christmas.... Letters from Father Christmas by J.R.R. Tolkien

When I was reading The Fellowship, The Literary Lives of the Inklings, I read about the letters that J.R.R. Tolkien would write to his children from Father Christmas each year. I found out that they had been published into a book called Letters from Father Christmas. I really wanted to read them!
I went onto Amazon and a few other websites but I just didn't know which version to buy. There were some cool ones that had pull out letters but then the reviews said that the letters weren't complete. I wanted to make sure I had the version that would have the complete letters. 
I have also wanted to try out the Book Depository so I went on there to see what they had. 
They had the one I wanted!
I bought it right then!

This book does not take long to read. It is just under two hundred pages and it is possible to read the whole thing in a couple of hours or over a couple of days. 
The letters start in 1920 and end in 1943. 
Each letter is in response to letters from his children and it is interesting to see how they change as they get older. 
The letters are accompanied by drawings that he did as well. And they are amazing. 

Tokien wrote each letter in a really shaky handwriting and all I could think as I looked at each one was how much time it must have taken him to write out the longer letters. This was one devoted father. 
The letters are so funny. 
He tells stories of antics of his Polar Bear, having to move house when the first house is ruined, floods, fireworks going off, goblin wars, and so much more. 
They are magical.
Really magical. 
I actually laughed out loud on multiple occasions at parts of the letters and at the pictures. 

My photos can't do it justice because this book is a treasure. 

There are copies of each letter he wrote so that you can read them and see the handwriting, additions made by the Polar bear and by elves, and see how he decorated the pages. 
But then it also has each letter typed out so that it is easier to read. 
I love that it gave us the letters in type but also allowed us to see the original work. 

In short, this is now one of my very favorite Christmas books and I will treasure it!


Donna said...

It looks like a beautiful book. His kids were lucky to have such a talented, imaginative, creative father.

cheryl said...

Yes. They were. Last night I read a few of the funnier letters out loud to Abigail and she was so into them. She was begging for more!

The Kings said...

I am going to buy that book! I think it is interesting that you read a few stories to the girls and they told me they wanted to hear more stories about Santa and the Polar Bear!

cheryl said...

Yes. They still want me to read more but I have to finish the one we are reading together first!