Adventures of Tom Bombadil - Signed by J.R.R. Tolkien
London, England: Geoge Allen & Unwin Ltd. (1962). The Adventures of Tom Bombadil by J.R.R. Tolkien. Hard cover. First Edition.
Signed "J.R.R. Tolkien" on title page.
Illustrations by Pauline Baynes, original pictorial boards, un-clipped dust-jacket with correct 13s 6d net price. Comes complete with collectors green morocco-backed solander tray case by Chelsea Bindery, with spine gilt in compartments.
Head of spine bumped with minor wear to extremities, neat 35mm split to joint at foot of spine, boards lightly creased, extremities of dust-jacket slightly frayed with short lateral split on spine.
Also included is an autographed letter signed ("J.R.R. Tolkien") to E. Rasdall sending this signed copy of Tom Bombadil and noting work and correspondence ("... I should prefer to answer (most of) my appreciative letters personally. But this is proving more and more impossible. Correspondence in fact has become (after other work of a different kind which I have not yet cleared up) the chief delayer of The Silmarrillion"), 2 pages, 4to, 76 Sandfield Road, Oxford, 28th August 1964.
Jane Neave (née Suffield)
Jane Suffield was one of Mabel’s younger sisters, born in June, 1872, and she used to carry love letters to New Street Station for Mabel to give to Arthur Tolkien.
She met Mabel and the boys at Southampton when they returned to England in 1895, and she took them back to her parents’ house – where Jane was still living. In 1904, she became one of the first women in the UK to gain a science degree, and worked as a school teacher when she was married to Edwin Neave.
Ronald and his aunt must have established an early close relationship for, in April 1904, Tolkien was to stay briefly with his aunt when his mother's illness prevented her from caring for her two children (Tolkien's brother Hilary, in contrast, stayed with grandparents). Mabel Tolkien passed away on November 14, 1904. Jane’s marriage to Edwin was short lived, as in 1911, she was widowed. In the same year she went to Switzerland with the Brookes-Smiths.
In 1914, she started running a farm in Nottinghamshire (Phoenix Farm, Gedling) with the Brookes-Smithses and Hilary Tolkien (Ronald’s younger brother). By 1923, she had left Nottinghamshire and moved to a farm at Dormston in Worcestershire. It was at the end of a lane that led no further and the local people sometimes called it “Bag End”. From then to 1930, she had her father living with her for much of the time.
In 1961, Jane was 89, and asked Tolkien if he would write a small book featuring Tom Bombadil. He complied, and “The Adventures of Tom Bombadil” was the result. His aunt died only a few months after its publication, in 1963. Tolkien was then to say that he considered his aunt a most remarkable woman.
Jane passed away on February 22, 1963 at the age of 91.