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Tolkien: Maker of Middle-Earth

Catherine McIlwaine



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Bodleian Library
15 July 2018
Exhibition catalogues & specific collections; Illustration; Literary studies: from c 1900 -; Literary studies: fiction, novelists & prose writers; Epic Fantasy; High Fantasy; Mythological Creatures, People & Places; Elves; Essays; Fantasy Reference
The range of J. R. R. Tolkien’s talents is remarkable. Not only was he an accomplished linguist and philologist, as well as a scholar of Anglo-Saxon and medieval literature and Norse folklore, but also a skillful illustrator and storyteller. Drawing on these talents, he created a universe which is for many readers as real as the physical world they inhabit daily.

Tolkien: Maker of Middle-earth explores the huge creative endeavor behind Tolkien’s enduring popularity. Lavishly illustrated with three hundred 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, many of which have never been seen before in print.

Six essays introduce the reader to the person of J. R. R. Tolkien and to main themes in his life and work, including the influence of northern languages and legends on the creation of his own legendarium; his concept of “Faërie” as an enchanted literary realm; 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 his close friend C. S. Lewis and their literary group the Inklings.

The book brings together the largest collection of original Tolkien material ever assembled in a single volume. Drawing on the extensive archives of the Tolkien collections at the Bodleian Libraries, Oxford, which stretch to more than five hundred boxes, and Marquette University, Milwaukee, as well as private collections, this hugely ambitious and exquisitely produced book 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.

This landmark publication, produced on the occasion of a major exhibition at the Bodleian Libraries in Oxford in 2018 and at the Morgan Library in New York in 2019, is set to become a standard work in the literature on J. R. R. Tolkien.
By:   Catherine McIlwaine
Imprint:   Bodleian Library
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Dimensions:   Height: 259mm,  Width: 237mm, 
ISBN:   9781851244850
ISBN 10:   1851244859
Series:   Tolkien
Pages:   416
Publication Date:   15 July 2018
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Hardback
Publisher's Status:   Unspecified
Contents Foreword Note to the Reader 1. J.R.R. Tolkien: A Biographical Sketch, by Catherine McIlwaine 2. Tolkien and the Inklings, by John Garth 3. Faerie: Tolkien's Perilous Land, by Verlyn Flieger 4. Inventing Elvish, by Carl F. Hostetter 5. Tolkien and `that noble northern spirit', by Tom Shippey 6. Tolkien's Visual Art, by Wayne Hammond and Christina Scull CATALOGUE Reading Tolkien: `to England; to my country' Childhood: `the undarkened heart and mind' Student Days: `Friendship to the Nth power' Sheer Invention: 'new patterns of old colours' The Silmarillion: `myth-woven and elf-patterned' The Professor at Home: `from time already mortgaged' The Hobbit: `In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit' The Lord of the Rings: `lightning from a clear sky' Mapping Middle-earth: `Not all those who wander are lost' Further Reading Acknowledgements Contributors Picture credits Index

Catherine McIlwaine is the Tolkien Archivist at the Bodleian Library, University of Oxford.

Reviews for Tolkien: Maker of Middle-Earth

'The excellent catalogue is well worth its GBP40' - The Times 'I can honestly say it is not just a beautiful and important art book, but a critical biographical publication for study and research too. Well done! ... A wonderful, and important, book. Don't wait to get one if you are on the fence!' - @TolkienGuide 'Better than the show itself, with all the things she wanted to include in the show but couldn't.' - Melanie McDonagh, The Spectator 'This is a near-perfect collection and an utter delight for those who love Middle-earth.' - Starburst Magazine 'J.R.R. Tolkien fans needs to know about Tolkien: Maker of Middle-earth ... Incredible ... A hefty book packed full of gorgeous, fascinating images.' - io9 'A compelling and extraordinarily rich account of J.R.R. Tolkien's life and literary history interspersed between three hundred images ... Really, you should just go and get this ... awesome and lore-packed book. 'Tolkien: Maker of Middle-earth' is the book beyond the exhibit, which endures even as the other diminishes and sails into the West. It's sure to enrich any fan's appreciation for Tolkien the mortal Man.' - ' Tolkien: Maker of Middle-earth is a pure delight, one that I'll return to many times in the years to come. ... I have many more books about Tolkien than I do ones he has written, and this is the best of those about him so far.' - Fantasy & Science Fiction Magazine

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