Notebook collection: Tolkien – Maker of Middle Earth

I wanted to share a few photos of this exhibition, currently on in the Weston Library, but photography isn’t allowed. That’s understandable so instead please enjoy these photos of the notebook and badges I bought at the library shop.

The exhibition itself isn’t big but it’s free and packed with artifacts from Tolkiens life and work.

There are letters he wrote to his children from “Father Christmas”, and the desk from his study that was never off limits to them.

You can see newspapers where he filled in the cryptic crosswords and doodled colourfully across the pages.

You’ll find fan letters from far and wide, including a 19-year-old Terry Pratchett. And of course lots of maps detailing the wonderful Middle Earth.

Tolkien not only invented languages, he was also a talented artist. It’s his work that can be found on the frontispiece of the original Lord of The Rings books. The notebook I have shows his drawing for ‘The Fellowship of the Ring’, and the badges depict a number of scenes from ‘The Hobbit’.

I learnt a lot about the dedication and planning Tolkien put into his books, including one page of a much larger group of pages, that showed what each group or character was doing at different points in the books. In fact my favourite thing was learning that he actually worked out how far the average hobbit could walk each day based on their toenails! So he never made them walk further than they “actually” could.

If you’re near to Oxford, I highly recommend you pop over and take a look. The exhibition is open until the 28 October 2018.

Related reads

Terry Pratchett: HisWorld, Salisbury Museum, UK
Puzzlewood: Walking through Middle Earth
The Bodleian Library Tour

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