An extraordinary pairing of an ALS and calligraphic AQS by J. R. R. Tolkien, both incorporating his iconic quote: "The Road goes ever on and on." The ALS is signed "J. R. R. Tolkien," one page both sides, 5.25 x 7, personal Merton College letterhead, no date but circa 1973. The author writes to Mr. Hodgson, opening with apologies for the delay in responding, due to illness. He goes on: "With regard to the copy of the verses: I expect that it is only the first version L.R. I 44,82, and not also the final version III 266 that you wish for. Do you wish for a copy in my normal hand in a more careful form (as here) or something more 'calligraphic' in intention? But I warn you that neither will be very beautiful. My ageing hands are now losing their steadiness, and such moderate skill as they ever had." The author then proceeds to practice the verse in question beneath his signature, in a more calligraphic hand: "The Road goes ever on and on," then, "The Road goes ever on and on down from the door where it began."
The complete AQS, neatly accomplished in calligraphy by Tolkien on an off-white 6.5 x 5.5 sheet, in full: "The Road goes ever on and on / down from the door where it began. / Now far away the Road has gone / and I must follow if I can, / Pursuing it with eager feet, / until it finds some larger way / Where many paths and errands meet. / And whether then? I cannot say." Neatly double-matted and framed with an identification card to an overall size of 11 x 13.5. In overall fine condition.
Tolkien’s "The Road Goes Ever On" first appears in chapter 19 of The Hobbit, where it is recited by Bilbo Baggins. It then appears three times (and in three different versions) in The Lord of the Rings. Extremely rare and desirable in this format.
Terms and abbreviations used in our descriptions.