Tolkien Gateway

Letter 110

The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien
Letter 110
RecipientAllen and Unwin
Date20 September 1947
Subject(s)Tolkien asserting his authorship of the riddles in The Hobbit

Letter 110 is a letter written by J.R.R. Tolkien and published in The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien.

[edit] Summary

The Houghton Mifflin Co. asked Allen and Unwin for permission to use several riddles from The Hobbit in a poetry anthology. Allen and Unwin suggested to Tolkien that the riddles were common folk lore and not invented by him.

Tolkien responded that all of the riddles were his own work except for "Thirty White Horses" and "No-legs". The remainder had no models that he knew, save only the egg-riddle which was his reduction of a longer literary riddle. He would not consent to their use without a fee. He also pointed out that "Sun on the Daisies" was not in verse (neither was "No-legs").