The world is soon going to learn a little more about the man who wrote The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit. The Bodleian Library of Oxford University is publishing a biography of Tolkien called Tolkien: The Maker of Middle Earth as well as holding a major exhibit on the man in 2018.
The book is being written by Catherine McIlwaine, the official Tolkien Archivist at the Bodleian. (And I do love that “Tolkien Archivist” is an official title.) In addition to telling readers about Tolkien’s history, the book highlights his manuscript drafts, illustrations, and paintings as well as letters that were sent to him. Since Tolkien was a professor at Oxford for 35 years and donated his personal archives to the Bodleian, McIlwaine has a lot of material to work with.
The most visually impressive items from that collection will appear in the Bodleian’s Tolkien exhibit as well. The exhibit will run June through October 2018 in the Weston Library. It will include photos from Tolkien’s childhood, maps of Middle Earth, drafts of The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, and The Silmarillion, and dozens of other related materials.
If you are interested in learning more about both the book and the exhibit, the Bodleian recently put up a webpage that describes them in more detail. Now all that lovers of Middle Earth have to do is find their way to Oxford in summer of 2018.
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Image Attribution: The Hobbit dust jacket, MS. Tolkien Drawings 32, © The Tolkien Estate Limited, 1937.