Free Shipping on Orders of $40 or More
Tolkien: Maker of Middle-earth

Tolkien: Maker of Middle-earth

by Catherine McIlwaine (Editor)
Tolkien: Maker of Middle-earth

Tolkien: Maker of Middle-earth

by Catherine McIlwaine (Editor)


Choose Expedited Shipping at checkout for delivery by Monday, February 6


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. 

Related collections and offers

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781851244850
Publisher: Bodleian Library, University of Oxford
Publication date: 07/25/2018
Pages: 416
Sales rank: 236,129
Product dimensions: 9.40(w) x 10.40(h) x 1.50(d)

About the Author

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

Table of Contents


J.R.R. Tolkien: A Biographical Sketch - Catherine McIlwaine
Tolkien and the Inklings - John Garth
Faërie: Tolkien’s Perilous Land - Verlyn Flieger
Inventing Elvish - Carl F. Hostetter
Tolkien and ‘that noble northern spirit’ - Tom Shippey
Tolkien’s Visual Art - Wayne G. Hammond and Christina Scull

Reading Tolkien: ‘to England; to my country’
Childhood: ‘born with a talent for language’
Student Days: ‘the beginning of the legendarium’
Sheer Invention: ‘new patterns of old colours’
The Silmarillion: ‘the Silmarils are in my heart’
The Professor’s Study: ‘from time already mortgaged’
The Hobbit: ‘In a hold in the ground there lived a hobbit’
The Lord of the Rings: ‘it is written in my life-blood’
Mapping The Lord of the Rings: ‘I wisely started with a map and made the story fit’

Select Bibliography
Picture Credits
Exhibition Items


Customer Reviews