Oxford, 2018. 1st edition. Hardback. Signed. Limited to 675 numbered copies.*
The collector’s edition of Tolkien: Maker of Middle-earth is a unique keepsake of the Bodleian Library’s landmark exhibition on the life and work of J.R.R. Tolkien.
Bound in cloth and hand-finished, the cover reproduces a vignette of the main exhibition image of Bilbo's arrival at huts of the Raft-elves, exquisitely recreated using a silkscreen process. The book is printed with special endpapers reproducing Tolkien’s drawing of Mirkwood.
The collector’s edition contains five unique facsimiles of J.R.R. Tolkien’s work printed on fine Italian paper, including Tolkien’s painting of the dustjacket for The Hobbit, complete with his marginal notes and the original publisher’s comments; two sides of a manuscript page from the Lord of the Rings, one with the drawing of Shelob’s Lair; the Tower of Orthanc, drawn on the back of a student’s exam paper on Chaucer (never before printed showing both sides); the 1936 Father Christmas Letter and Envelope bearing North Pole stamp (one of a series created over twenty-three years for his children), complete with a Christmas Card depicting Polar Bear’s bath which overspills, wetting the children’s gifts on the floor below; and the newly discovered map drawn by Christopher Tolkien, with J.R.R. Tolkien's annotations, from which Pauline Baynes painted her Poster map of Middle-earth.
The facsimiles are all produced to a very high standard, faithfully reproducing every detail of the originals kept in an underground safe in the Bodleian Library. They are presented in a custom-made envelope, bearing the author’s initials, matching the box and the outer carton, which also bear Tolkien’s initials. A six-page leaflet describes and interprets each facsimile item.
Priscilla Tolkien has signed the hand-numbered limitation page, guaranteeing authenticity and making this a truly unique edition for collectors. The edition is strictly limited to 675 copies and is expected to be in high demand.
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.