Unseen photographs and paintings of JRR Tolkien, the author of The Lord of the Rings fantasy books, have been released by the writer’s estate, along with draft manuscripts and letters.
Much to the delight of aficionados and fans, Tolkien's website has been relaunched with lots of new material, including sections on Tolkien’s calligraphy and a timeline of his life. Audio recordings and video clips featuring both Tolkien, who died in 1973, and his son Christopher, who died in 2020, are also included.
Such as the image above, Christopher Tolkien drew many of the original maps detailing the world of Middle-earth for his father’s The Lord of the Rings when the series was first published between 1954 and 1955.
The relaunch date of 26 February was selected as it's so significant in Tolkien lore. 26 February 3019 was the date in the Third Age when the Fellowship of the Ring was broken at Amon Hen and Frodo and Sam set out on their lonely and terrifying journey to Mordor. But, of course, you already knew that.
John Ronald Reuel Tolkien spent most of his life teaching at Oxford University where he was a distinguished academic in the fields of Old and Middle English and Old Norse. In his spare time he wrote fantasy works and poetry, stories for children, painted, and invented languages and alphabets.
The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, his most famous works, were set in the imaginary world of Middle-earth.
The Lord of the Rings is one of the bestselling books of all time, with more than 100 million copies sold, and has been translated into dozens of languages. If you haven't read the books, you've almost certainly seen some or all of the films.