|Illustrator||J. R. R. Tolkien|
|Published||1 June 2018|
|Publisher||The Bodleian Library|
|Media type||Print (hardback)|
Tolkien: Maker of Middle-earth is a 2018 art book exploring images of the artwork, illustrations, maps, letters and manuscripts of J. R. R. Tolkien. The book was written by Catherine McIlwaine, Tolkien archivist at the Bodleian Library. It was timed to coincide with an exhibition of the same name, also curated by McIlwaine.
The book documents Tolkien's creative processes behind his Middle-earth books with essays by Tolkien scholars and a catalogue of his artworks, each image accompanied by a descriptive and historical text. With some 300 illustrations, mainly in double-page spreads of image and text, the book draws on the collection at the Bodleian Library, Marquette University, and private collections. The book and exhibition have been widely admired by commentators.
The philologist and author J. R. R. Tolkien prepared illustrations for his Middle-earth fantasy books, facsimile artefacts, more or less "picturesque" maps, calligraphy, and sketches and paintings from life. Some of his artworks combined several of these elements to support his fiction. From an early age, his artwork was a key element of his creativity.
Catherine McIlwaine has worked as the Tolkien archivist at the Bodleian Library in Oxford since 2003.
The 416-page book was written by McIlwaine. It was published in a large format, 23.5 cm × 25.4 cm (9+1⁄4 in × 10 in) hardcover by the Bodleian in 2018, and in a smaller paperback format later the same year. A hardcover German edition was published by Stuttgart Hobbit Presse Klett-Cotta, also in 2018.
The book's appearance was timed to coincide with an exhibition of the same name, also curated by McIlwaine. The exhibition ran from 1 June 2018 (the publication date of the book) to 28 October 2018. It presented some 200 of the book's images of Tolkien's life and work.The exhibition visited the Morgan Library & Museum in New York in 2019.
The book is divided into two parts. The first part is a series of essays on key aspects of Tolkien's Middle-earth oeuvre . There is a brief biography of Tolkien by McIlwaine, and a chapter by John Garth on how the Inklings, a literary group that included C. S. Lewis, influenced Tolkien. Verlyn Flieger describes Tolkien's concept of faerie, referencing works such as On Fairy-Stories and Smith of Wootton Major as well as his Middle-earth books. Carl F. Hostetter introduces Tolkien's invented Elvish languages, Quenya and Sindarin. Tom Shippey comments on Tolkien's creative use of Norse mythology, and the northern ethos of courage without hope of victory, citing Beowulf and the Poetic Edda 's Lay of Fafnir, to suit his own taste, faith, and knowledge of philology. Finally, Wayne Hammond and Christina Scull introduce Tolkien's visual art, arguing that his artwork was as thorough as his writing.
The second part is a catalogue of the exhibition, divided into chapters covering Tolkien's letters, his childhood, student days, inventiveness, his long effort on The Silmarillion myths, his work at home, The Hobbit , The Lord of the Rings , and his maps of Middle-earth.It provides some 300 illustrations, mainly in double-page spreads of image and text. Some are from the collection at the Bodleian Library; others are from the archive at Marquette University and from private collections.
The book has some 300 colour illustrations.Many illustrations occupy a full page, usually with a description facing it to form a double-page spread on a single item. Each image or group of similar images has an exhibition-like title and summary, stating the image's date, materials used, size, exhibition date and number, appearances in published literature (whether by Tolkien or others), and the manuscript number. There follows a description of the image in text.
Fafnir , the Nordic journal of science fiction and fantasy, wrote that McIlwaine is an authoritative editor who had assembled "an excellent textual and visual compendium". It noted some repetition between the essays and the catalogue, but admired McIlwaine's correlation of Tolkien's artwork with events in his life and his work on the three major Middle-earth books, The Hobbit , The Lord of the Rings , and The Silmarillion .
The British Fantasy Society found the book "incredibly impressive" and the level of detail "astounding".It stated that it surpassed earlier attempts at documenting Tolkien's creative process, with the inclusion of many unpublished personal photographs and private papers.
The National Review described the exhibition as "the most thorough collection in years of Tolkien's wide-ranging creative gifts".It notes the starting-point in 1914 where the 22-year-old Tolkien, about to go to the Western Front, spent his Christmas holiday writing the Kalevala -inspired The Story of Kullervo . The next year, one of his paintings depicted an Elvish city, Kor, and a poem next to the painting spoke of Valinor, the Undying Lands of The Silmarillion. The review praised McIlwaine for the exhibition's "tremendous vitality" achieved by putting Tolkien in "the full context of his life".
The Claremont Review of Books stated that, seeing the English countryside after visiting the exhibition, "the significance of the most easily overlooked part of the Bodleian exhibition becomes clear: the family and personal mementos of a life lived in an England that was even then disappearing before Tolkien's eyes".In its view, the book "demonstrated in glorious detail" many items of Tolkien's art not shown the exhibition, along with essays "that will become new standards, rich in detail while elegant in economy of prose".
The Guardian 's Samantha Shannon reported McIlwaine as saying she wanted exhibition visitors "to leave with the impression of the whole man and his work – not just Tolkien as the maker of Middle-earth, but as a scholar, a young professor, a father of four children". Shannon wrote that McIlwaine had succeeded in this: "I am comforted to have glimpsed the man behind the myth, and I am more inspired than ever by the scope of his creation."
The Daily Telegraph called the exhibition "tremendous ... an immersive experience". It noted that the Bodleian had assembled materials from the Marquette University collection as well as its own larger body of Tolkien papers.
Christianity Today reported that the exhibition was "nearly comprehensive" but had one "glaring omission": "any mention of the author's devout, lifelong Christian faith".It mentions Michael Ward's comment that Tolkien's faith is not obvious in Middle-earth, unlike his friend C. S. Lewis's Narnia, and concludes that "Only if we recognize Tolkien's deep Christian faith can we hope to understand the life and work of the 'Maker of Middle-earth'".
The Norwegian American stated that the exhibition had record-breaking ticket sales on its visit to New York's Morgan Library & Museum. This contributed to a "Tolkien mania" in the city, coinciding with the arrival of the 2019 biographical film Tolkien .
John Ronald Reuel Tolkien was an English writer and philologist. He was the author of the high fantasy works The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings.
Fingolfin is a character in J. R. R. Tolkien's legendarium, appearing in The Silmarillion. He was the son of Finwë, High King of the Noldor. He was threatened by his half-brother Fëanor, who held him in contempt for not being a pure-bred Noldor. Even so, when Fëanor stole ships and left Aman, Fingolfin chose to follow him back to Middle-earth, taking the dangerous route over the ice of the Helcaraxë. On arrival, he challenged the Dark Lord Morgoth at the gates of his fortress, Angband, but Morgoth stayed inside. When his son Fingon rescued Maedhros, son of Fëanor, Maedhros gratefully renounced his claim to kingship, and Fingolfin became High King of the Noldor. He was victorious at the battle of Dagor Aglareb, and there was peace for some 400 years until Morgoth broke out and destroyed Beleriand in the Dagor Bragollach. Fingolfin, receiving false news, rode alone to Angband and challenged Morgoth to single combat. He wounded Morgoth several times, but grew weary and was killed by the immortal Vala.
The History of Middle-earth is a 12-volume series of books published between 1983 and 1996 that collect and analyse much of Tolkien's legendarium, compiled and edited by his son, Christopher Tolkien. The series shows the development over time of Tolkien's conception of Middle-earth as a fictional place with its own peoples, languages, and history, from his earliest notions of a "mythology for England" through to the development of the stories that make up The Silmarillion and The Lord of the Rings. It is not a "history of Middle-earth" in the sense of being a chronicle of events in Middle-earth written from an in-universe perspective; it is instead an out-of-universe history of Tolkien's creative process. In 2000, the twelve volumes were republished in three limited edition omnibus volumes. Non-deluxe editions of the three volumes were published in 2002.
Unfinished Tales of Númenor and Middle-earth is a collection of stories and essays by J. R. R. Tolkien that were never completed during his lifetime, but were edited by his son Christopher Tolkien and published in 1980. Many of the tales within are retold in The Silmarillion, albeit in modified forms; the work also contains a summary of the events of The Lord of the Rings told from a less personal perspective.
J. R. R. Tolkien: Artist and Illustrator is a collection of paintings and drawings by J. R. R. Tolkien for his stories, published posthumously in 1995. The book was edited by Wayne G. Hammond and Christina Scull. It won the 1996 Mythopoeic Scholarship Award for Inklings Studies. The nature and importance of Tolkien's artwork is discussed.
The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to the real-world history and notable fictional elements of J. R. R. Tolkien's fantasy universe. It covers materials created by Tolkien; the works on his unpublished manuscripts, by his son Christopher Tolkien; and films, games and other media created by other people.
The works of J. R. R. Tolkien have served as the inspiration to painters, musicians, film-makers and writers, to such an extent that he is sometimes seen as the "father" of the entire genre of high fantasy.
Do not laugh! But once upon a time I had a mind to make a body of more or less connected legend, ranging from the large and cosmogonic to the level of romantic fairy-story... The cycles should be linked to a majestic whole, and yet leave scope for other minds and hands, wielding paint and music and drama. Absurd.
The works of J. R. R. Tolkien have generated a body of research covering many aspects of his fantasy writings. These encompass The Lord of the Rings and The Silmarillion, along with his legendarium that remained unpublished until after his death, and the constructed languages that he invented, especially the Elvish languages Quenya and Sindarin. Scholars from different disciplines have examined the linguistic and literary origins of Middle-earth, and have explored many aspects of his writings from Christianity to feminism and race.
"Errantry" is a three-page poem by J.R.R. Tolkien, first published in The Oxford Magazine in 1933. It was included in revised and extended form in Tolkien's 1962 collection of short poems, The Adventures of Tom Bombadil. Donald Swann set the poem to music in his 1967 song cycle, The Road Goes Ever On.
Christina Scull is a British researcher and writer best known for her books about the works of J. R. R. Tolkien.
Tolkien's legendarium is the body of J. R. R. Tolkien's mythopoeic writing, unpublished in his lifetime, that forms the background to his The Lord of the Rings, and which his son Christopher summarized in his compilation of The Silmarillion and documented in his 12-volume series The History of Middle-earth. The legendarium's origins reach back to 1914, when Tolkien began writing poems and story sketches, drawing maps, and inventing languages and names as a private project to create a unique English mythology. The earliest story drafts are from 1916; he revised and rewrote these for most of his adult life.
The History of The Hobbit is a two-volume study of J. R. R. Tolkien's 1937 novel The Hobbit. It was published by HarperCollins in May and June 2007 in the United Kingdom, with both volumes released in the United States by Houghton Mifflin on 21 September 2007; a boxed set combining The Hobbit with The History of The Hobbit was released on 26 October 2007. A single-volume edition was released on 27 October 2011.
The Silmarillion is a collection of myths and stories in varying styles by the English writer J. R. R. Tolkien. It was edited and published posthumously by his son Christopher Tolkien in 1977, assisted by the fantasy author Guy Gavriel Kay. It tells of Eä, a fictional universe that includes the Blessed Realm of Valinor, the once-great region of Beleriand, the sunken island of Númenor, and the continent of Middle-earth, where Tolkien's most popular works—The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings—are set. After the success of The Hobbit, Tolkien's publisher Stanley Unwin requested a sequel, and Tolkien offered a draft of the writings that would later become The Silmarillion. Unwin rejected this proposal, calling the draft obscure and "too Celtic", so Tolkien began working on a new story that eventually became The Lord of the Rings.
"A Map of Middle-earth" is the name of two colour posters by different artists, Barbara Remington and Pauline Baynes. They depict the north-western region of the fictional continent of Middle-earth. They were published in 1965 and 1970 by the American and British publishers of J. R. R. Tolkien's book The Lord of the Rings. The poster map by Pauline Baynes has been described as "iconic".
The plants in Middle-earth, the fictional world devised by J. R. R. Tolkien, are a mixture of real plant species with fictional ones. Middle-earth was intended to represent the real world in an imagined past, and in many respects its natural history is realistic.
J. R. R. Tolkien's maps, depicting his fictional Middle-earth and other places in his legendarium, helped him with plot development, guides the reader through his often complex stories, and contributes to the impression of depth in his writings.
Tolkien's Middle-earth family trees contribute to the impression of depth and realism in the stories set in his fantasy world by showing that each character is rooted in history with a rich network of relationships. J. R. R. Tolkien included multiple family trees in both The Lord of the Rings and The Silmarillion; they are variously for Elves, Dwarves, Hobbits, and Men.
Tolkien's artwork was a key element of his creativity from the time when he began to write fiction. The philologist and author J. R. R. Tolkien prepared illustrations for his Middle-earth fantasy books, facsimile artefacts, more or less "picturesque" maps, calligraphy, and sketches and paintings from life. Some of his artworks combined several of these elements to support his fiction.
John Garth is a British journalist and author, known especially for writings about J. R. R. Tolkien including his biography Tolkien and the Great War and a book on the places that inspired Middle-earth, The Worlds of J. R. R. Tolkien. He won a 2004 Mythopoeic Award for Scholarship for his work on Tolkien. The biography influenced much Tolkien scholarship in the subsequent decades.
Splintered Light: Logos and Language in Tolkien's World is an 1983 book of literary criticism by the leading Tolkien scholar Verlyn Flieger, in which she argues that light is a central theme of Tolkien's Middle-earth mythology, in particular in The Silmarillion. It has been admired by other scholars to the extent that it has become a core element of Tolkien scholarship.