Tolkien Society Seminar 2021: abstract

It is my great pleasure to take part in the first Tolkien Society Seminar of 2021, held online on Saturday 13th February. The theme chosen being “Twenty-first Century Receptions of Tolkien”, I took it as an opportunity to explore one of the more contemporary aspects of Tolkien-inspired art, stepping a little away from my usual area of study (interior illustrations). For the first time, registration for the Seminar is free. More information can be found on the Tolkien Society website (click). Below is my abstract.

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Highlights from the 40th anniversary illustrated edition of Unfinished Tales of Númenor and Middle-earth

As you may or may not know, my research is focused on illustrated editions of J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle-earth texts in English. It means a corpus of around 18 volumes with interior illustrations. So far, only one had been illustrated by a duo of artists: the Folio Society 1977 The Lord of the Rings, illustrated by Ingahild Grathmer and Eric Fraser (see my talk on the topic in the upcoming proceedings of Tolkien2019).

In 2020, HarperCollins celebrated the 40th anniversary of the publication of Unfinished Tales of Númenor and Middle-earth with a new, illustrated edition. To make it even more special, they commissioned not only Alan Lee, who had worked on the Three Great Tales, but also Ted Nasmith (who illustrated the 1998 and 2004 Silmarillion, a new edition of which is announced for 2021) and John Howe (who has created numerous covers and calendars, as well as a pop-up Hobbit).

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