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Tolkien: Maker of Middle-earth

by Catherine McIlwaine Bodleian Library
Pub Date:
Hbk 416 pages
AU$106.99 NZ$109.56
Product Status: In Stock Now
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This richly illustrated book explores the huge creative endeavour behind Tolkien’s enduring popularity. Lavishly illustrated with over 300 images of his manuscripts, drawings, maps and letters, the book traces the creative process behind his most famous literary works – The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings and The Silmarillion and reproduces personal photographs and private papers (some of which have never been seen before in print).

Tolkien drew on his deep knowledge of medieval literature and language to inform his literary imagination. Six introductory essays cover some of the main themes in Tolkien’s life and work including the influence of northern languages and legends on the creation of his own legendarium; his concept of ‘Faërie’ as a literary construct; the central importance of his invented languages in his fantasy writing; his visual imagination and its emergence in his artwork; and the encouragement he derived from the literary group known as the Inklings.

This book brings together the largest collection of original Tolkien material ever assembled in a single volume. Drawing on the archives of the Tolkien collections at the Bodleian Libraries, Oxford, and Marquette University, Milwaukee, as well as private collections, this exquisitely produced catalogue draws together the worlds of J.R.R. Tolkien – scholarly, literary, creative and domestic – offering a rich and detailed understanding and appreciation of this extraordinary author.


Note to the Reader

1. J.R.R. Tolkien: A Biographical Sketch, by Catherine McIlwaine
2. Tolkien and the Inklings, by John Garth
3. Fa+½rie: Tolkien's Perilous Land, by Verlyn Flieger
4. Inventing Elvish, by Carl F. Hostetter
5. Tolkien and GÇÿthat noble northern spiritGÇÖ, by Tom Shippey
6. TolkienGÇÖs Visual Art, by Wayne Hammond and Christina Scull

Reading Tolkien: GÇÿto England; to my countryGÇÖ
Childhood: GÇÿthe undarkened heart and mindGÇÖ
Student Days: GÇÿFriendship to the Nth power'
Sheer Invention: 'new patterns of old coloursGÇÖ
The Silmarillion: GÇÿmyth-woven and elf-patternedGÇÖ
The Professor at Home: GÇÿfrom time already mortgagedGÇÖ
The Hobbit: GÇÿIn a hole in the ground there lived a hobbitGÇÖ
The Lord of the Rings: GÇÿlightning from a clear skyGÇÖ
Mapping Middle-earth: GÇÿNot all those who wander are lostGÇÖ

Further Reading
Picture credits

"Catherine McIlwaine's large, lavishly illustrated catalog of her recent exhibition of the Bodleian Library's J.R.R. Tolkien holdings is well organized, well written. . . and introduced by six short essays by experts on different aspects of the author's life and work. It opens a window onto Tolkien's imagination and the way it worked, with particular emphasis on the visual element. For any Tolkien scholar, McIlwaine's book will become indispensable."
Catherine McIlwaine is the Tolkien Archivist at The Bodleian Libraries, University of Oxford.