To mark the 60th anniversary of The Lord of the Rings, HarperCollins have today published The Art of The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien edited by Wayne G. Hammond and Christina Scull.
It is described by the publishers as “a sumptuous full-colour art book containing the complete collection of almost 200 sketches, drawings, paintings and maps by J.R.R. Tolkien“.
According to the editors — who previously edited The Art of The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien — it has 240 pages and 192 pieces of art by Tolkien. Around 100 of these have not been previously published, and roughly half of the remaining items have never appeared in full-colour.
The American edition features a dust-jacket but no slipcase, and will be published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt next week on Tuesday 13th October. A Finnish edition has also been published by WSOY (also with a dust-jacket and no slipcase).
As he wrote The Lord of the Rings, J.R.R. Tolkien’s mental pictures often found expression in drawing, from rough sketches made within the manuscript to more finished illustrations. Only a few of these were meant for publication; most were aids to help Tolkien conceive his complex story and keep it consistent. Many do not illustrate the final text, but represent moments of creation, illuminating Tolkien’s process of writing and design. In addition to pictorial sketches, numerous maps follow the development of the Shire and the larger landscape of Middle-earth, while inscriptions in runes and Elvish script, and ‘facsimile’ leaves from the burned and blood-stained Book of Mazarbul, support Tolkien’s pose as an ‘editor’ or ‘translator’ of ancient records.
The Art of The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien collects these drawings, inscriptions, maps, and plans in one deluxe volume. More than 180 images are included, all of them printed in colour from high-quality scans and photographs, more than half not previously published. Wayne G. Hammond and Christina Scull, two of the world’s leading Tolkien scholars, have edited the book and provide an expert introduction and comments. Readers who have enjoyed The Art of The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien, with which the new book is uniform, will find much of interest also in The Art of The Lord of the Rings.