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.
'The excellent catalogue is well worth its Pds. 40.' - The Times 'The single best, and best value, one-stop-shop for the visual material associated with JRR Tolkien.' - The Notion Club Papers - an Inklings Blog '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.' - Tor.com '"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
Catherine McIlwaine is the Tolkien Archivist at The Bodleian Libraries, University of Oxford.