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Guide to Tolkien's Letters
Winner of the 2019 Tolkien Society award for Best Website

2 Nov, 2023
2023-11-2 3:12:06 PM UTC

Handwritten: Remarkable People on the Page

'Like the fine manuscripts it explores, this book rewards all who read it. There is no better way to get closer to people from the past than reading over their shoulders, and through their handwriting we feel an even more intimate connection across time.' - Janina Ramirez

The less it is part of everyday life, the more the appeal of handwriting grows. This wonderful selection of treasures from the Bodleian Library introduces remarkable individuals through documents written by their own hands. From the second century BCE to the present, individual lives and relationships are illuminated through the writing that has been left behind. We see Elizabeth I attempting to win over her new stepmother, Alan Bennett working out the character of Mr Toad, Henry Moore advising soap and water for cleaning sculpture and Dorothy Crowfoot Hodgkin balancing childcare with discovering the structure of penicillin.

Here you will find letters, first drafts, autograph albums and hastily scribbled notes, fair copies, marked-up proofs and doodles. Divided into themed categories, the entries feature novelists Jane Austen, Charlotte Brontë, Arthur Conan Doyle and Raymond Chandler; scientists Isaac Newton, Charles Darwin and Albert Einstein; reformers Emmeline Pankhurst, Florence Nightingale and Mohandas Gandhi; and explorers Walter Ralegh, T.E. Lawrence and Patrick Leigh Fermor among many others. Each of these extraordinary people has passed on a manuscript or document with a fascinating story to tell.

Lesley Smith is Fellow and Tutor in Politics at Harris Manchester College, Oxford.

According to this review ... en-remarkable-people-page

Elsewhere there are the usual suspects such as J.R.R. Tolkien and Albert Einstein, letters, first drafts and marked-up proofs, autograph albums, and doodles.

  • Hardback
  • 320 pages, 245 x 190mm
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Bodleian Library, University of Oxford (2023-12-30)

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2 Nov, 2023
2023-11-2 3:14:39 PM UTC
I have bought a copy so will confirm if it does have a Tolkien contribution and what it is.
2 Nov, 2023
2023-11-2 3:52:22 PM UTC
Thank you. Would be interested to know.
2 Nov, 2023
2023-11-2 4:32:46 PM UTC

LanceFormation wrote:

For those interested, the US 1973 Collector’s Edition Hobbit in the green slipcase has been reissued with the Clarion Books imprint.

There really is not much different from the old Houghton Mifflin Company printing except the spine and title page now have Clarion Books and of course the copyright page has been updated.

Note they may have reset the printing number. If I read it correctly, the far left number might be for the year 2023 and the far right number could indicate the 32nd printing. However, Berelach’s site indicates there have been at least 40 printings for the HMCo imprint. So not sure…

Thanks for the tip on this. Ordered one and mine arrived yesterday. Very happy to add this one to the shelf. It looks and feels beautiful.
3 Nov, 2023
2023-11-3 5:22:35 AM UTC
Sewn signatures?
5 Nov, 2023
2023-11-5 6:35:04 AM UTC

remy wrote:

Thank you. Would be interested to know.

Received the book, very high quality consistent with Bodleian publications, looking forward to reading the whole book, and it includes lots of people that I am interested in, including J.R.R. Tolkien.

Tolkien is on two pages,

226 Thror's Map - map also reproduced in The Art of the Hobbit by Hammond & Scull (HarperCollins 2011) page 53
227 Brief biography of J.R.R. Tolkien
13 Nov, 2023 (edited)
2023-11-13 7:42:39 PM UTC
I am not quite sure whether this has already been added - searches did not turn out any results - so here we go.

J.R.R. Tolkien: Christian Maker of Middle-Earth by Jeremy W. Johnston.

“In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit.” So begins J.R.R. Tolkien’s marvellous tale of wizards, elves, dragons, and dwarves in the children’s book, The Hobbit. Since Bilbo Baggins entered the hearts and minds of readers in 1937, millions of people around the world have gone on to read, watch, and study Tolkien’s epic masterpieces The Lord of the Rings and The Silmarillion. Yet, in spite of the legacy and the world-wide fame of Tolkien’s Middle-earth, many people know more about hobbits, trolls, and magic rings than they do about the man behind it all. So who was J.R.R. Tolkien, the maker of Middle-earth? In his own words, he says, “I am a Christian” and plainly states that he wrote The Lord of the Rings “to be consonant with Christian thought and belief.” This is why Tolkien’s Christian faith is the linchpin for fully understanding and appreciating his voluminous writings. This biography is intended to show readers that Tolkien’s Christian faith was central to his life and work, personally, professionally, and—most importantly—creatively.


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2 Dec, 2023
2023-12-2 1:04:17 AM UTC
What is it with the crappy - possibly A.I. - Tolkiens recently that do not look like Tolkien? ... ues-de-su-viaje-a-valinor

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2 Dec, 2023
2023-12-2 7:44:03 AM UTC
Crappy, that's the word. Nobody reviews the covers and correct them ? On "Christian Maker of Middle-Earth", there is a hand with 6 fingers and in this last one, one ear that wields with the neck...
2 Dec, 2023 (edited)
2023-12-2 9:00:23 AM UTC
For me, crappy doesn't even begin to describe the illustration 'train crash' of these book covers.
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