Letters From Father Christmas by J.R.R. Tolkien


24/12/2022


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Most of what Tolkien wrote was for his children (The Hobbit, Lord of the Rings) but this book is the most personal. It is a collection of letters Father Christmas sent to Tolkien’s young children at the point of them learning to read to when they lose the faith. Names increase and then decrease as the family grows and develops. 

Father Christmas has a very busy life and things often go wrong. He moves house, the reindeer escape and the polar bear with whom he lives, gets into many scrapes. The bear adds comments and drawings to Father Christmas’s letters, as he too, is learning to write with his big paws. It is a charming world and each year the story continues. There is a bit of poetry and some history around the concept of Father Christmas and Saint Nicholas.

This edition, published in 2009, includes colour illustrations of the letters and the envelopes they arrived in, dated from 1920 to 1943. Father Christmas is very old and this is evident in his shaky handwriting, but sometimes his writing is the result of his overwork. Either way, the letters are flamboyant and colourful with intricate drawings of his home at the top of the world.

​Imaginative and enchanting, his children must have loved them. Well, any child would, no matter what their age. Absolutely brilliant.

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Published by Allen and Unwin on 2 September 1976 and titled The Father Christmas Letters. This edition published by Harper Collins on 1 October 2009.

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Published at Sat, 24 Dec 2022 00:00:00 +0000

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