This is the catalogue for a magnificent exhibition on J.R.R. Tolkien's written and visual artistry currently being held at the Bodleian Library in Oxford. As is only fitting, this is a work of consummate beauty and scholarship. Whether you are a lover of Middle-earth or not, you will find much within these pages to savor.
The catalogue is magnificently illustrated throughout with Tolkien's own artwork,including some from his youth and others, like rough maps and sketches he created while writing his stories to help him better envision his landscapes, which were subsequently replaced by more polished final products. He was a notably meticulous artist, and even doodles on newspaper created while he was working on crosswords are drawn in very fine detail. Calligraphy was another of Tolkien's interests, and there are numerous examples of his fine penmanship, many in the runes and other writing systems he created for his characters. Some of this art will be familiar to his readers because it has been used to illustrate his books and in calendars and other materials, but much of it is new, and all of it has been given fresh descriptions and analyses in this catalogue. There are also plenty of photographs of Tolkien and his family and friends, some of which have already been published but all given enhanced evaluations here. Letters from and to Tolkien, including some to his wife Edith written during World War I and others from friends who were to die in battle, are also included.
The value of this impressive catalogue is greatly increased by the scholarly essays, including a biographical sketch by its primary author. The essays examine aspects of Tolkien's life, writings and artwork and were written by some of the most pre-eminent of today's Middle-earth scholars.There is a selection of letters Tolkien received from various notable readers throughout his life, including C.S. Lewis, W.H. Auden, Arthur Ransome, Terry Pratchett, Iris Murdoch, the future Queen Margrethe, and Lynda Johnson Robb (on White House stationery). And there is a selection of the fan mail Tolkien received, some written in his own runic scripts and other languages and all of it charming in the love it expresses for his writing. Perhaps the most amusing of these letters is a famous one Tolkien received from a Mr. Sam Gamgee! I remember writing him a fan letter or two back in my own childhood, but they didn't make it into this collection.
This catalogue is one to be savored and kept close at hand for long perusal. Even if you do not manage to make a trip to the Bodleian the catalogue will provide an unparalleled view of Tolkien's rich artistic vision.
- Hardcover: 416 pages
- Publisher: The Bodleian Library; 1 edition (1 June 2018)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1851244859
- ISBN-13: 978-1851244850
- Product Dimensions: 23.5 x 4.8 x 25.4 cm
- Boxed-product Weight: 1.8 Kg
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- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 7,914 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)