It’s Tolkien Week this week, and it’s Hobbit Day on Saturday, September 22. Isn’t it but fitting to hear about previously undiscovered illustrations for the Lord of the Rings?
Fans of Tolkien and his work can thank Dr. Paul Tankard, a senior lecturer and researcher at the University of Otago English Department for dusting the cobwebs off. He has apparently been acting like Sherlock – more or less – and his efforts have paid off.
Tolkien enthusiasts will know that the author didn’t really think much of illustrations for his stories. While that may be a bone of contention for readers, the author’s stand didn’t give us much in terms of eye candy. Except for whatever scenarios we had in our mind’s eye.
With Dr. Tankard’s discovery, though, we are given the chance to glimpse what may have been. With his detective work, he interacted with painter Mary Fairburn, who has proof of correspondence with Tolkien. These letters point to the “fact” that if Tolkien had gone the illustrated book route, Fairburn’s drawings would have been part of the published material.
Here’s to hoping that we will be treated to Mary Fairburns renditions of scenes from the Lord of the Rings very soon.