Tolkien Society Seminar 2020: abstract

The Tolkien Society has a tradition of hosting a short summer seminar to gather together researchers and non-academics on a specific topic. It is held most years since 1986 and has covered a wide range of subjects which you can browse here.

This year, although the world situation means that the event has to happen online rather than in person, the seminar is still taking place, on Saturday 4th July (many thanks to the Tolkien Society for their ongoing work!). The selected theme is “Adapting Tolkien”, which could hardly have been more fitting for me, so I applied and had the pleasure and honour of being chosen as one of the speakers. You can find my abstract below.

The other illustrated Silmarillion :
Francis Mosley for the Folio Society

In 1998, Ted Nasmith published his first illustrated Silmarillion, which became very popular among Tolkien fans, so much so that a new, augmented edition was published in 2004 with additional illustrations. What is less known is that the year before, The Folio Society had released another Silmarillion, illustrated by Francis Mosley. These two “Silmarillions” offer very different interpretations of the same text, partly because of the artists themselves, but also because of the space devoted to the pictures. This talk focuses on the 29 illustrations for the Folio Society 1997 Silmarillion. It is based on an exclusive written interview with the artist who agreed to answer questions regarding his work. The questions will cover the artist’s reading of the text, his inspirations and sources, and the challenges he had to face while creating these artworks, as well as the interaction of his corpus with Eric Fraser and Ingahild Grathmer’s illustrations for The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings.


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