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Tolkien : Maker of Middle-earth - Catherine McIlwaine


Maker of Middle-earth


Published: 1st June 2018
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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. 

About the Author

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

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


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 Î"that noble northern spiritÎ"-, by Tom Shippey
6. TolkienÎ"-s Visual Art, by Wayne Hammond and Christina Scull

Reading Tolkien: Î"to England; to my countryÎ"-
Childhood: Î"the undarkened heart and mindÎ"-
Student Days: Î"Friendship to the Nth power'
Sheer Invention: 'new patterns of old coloursÎ"-
The Silmarillion: Î"myth-woven and elf-patternedÎ"-
The Professor at Home: Î"from time already mortgagedÎ"-
The Hobbit: Î"In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbitÎ"-
The Lord of the Rings: Î"lightning from a clear skyÎ"-
Mapping Middle-earth: Î"Not all those who wander are lostÎ"-

Further Reading
Picture credits

ISBN: 9781851244850
ISBN-10: 1851244859
Audience: General
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 416
Published: 1st June 2018
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 26.6 x 24.3  x 3.8
Weight (kg): 1.91
Edition Number: 1