J. R. R. Tolkien's autograph rules for one of his word games. Black ink on a single sheet of 20 x 25 cm paper (the reverse of typed list of out of print books dated 3rd May 1968). Headed "Word-extraction" there follows 7 numbered rules of the game which include scoring and dispute resolution, several words underlined. The entire manuscript is in the hand of Tolkien. In very good condition, the paper with a single horizontal fold is a little spotted. Housed in a bespoke quarter black morocco solander case.

An extremely rare document pertaining to one of Tolkien's much enjoyed word games, dating from his and Edith's time living in Bournemouth. As has often been pointed out, and as Tolkien himself acknowledged, word-games and invented languages form the bedrock of his art. A key turning point of The Hobbit revolves around Bilbo and Gollum's riddle-game; this episode and the ring that Bilbo wins forms the source of the tale of The Lord of The Rings. In a 2003 interview published in The Mail on Sunday, Simon Tolkien, on his many trips to Bournemouth long after the publication of his grandfather's two masterpieces of fantasy fiction recalls "I don't remember my grandfather writing when I went to stay with him. He played endless word games with me and did the Telegraph crossword". Provenance: Collection of Denys Tolhurst, Tolkien's close friend and doctor.

Stock code: 16301


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