Tolkien illustrator Roger Garland died yesterday after a three-year battle with motor neurone disease. He was 67.
Announcing the sad news, his wife Linda said: “This killer disease came into his life like a thief and systematically and mercilessly robbed him of all the things he loved doing. My heart is broken.”
Born in 1950, Roger grew up in Somerset and attended the Plymouth Art School and the Wolverhampton College of Art and Design. He taught art at Poltair School in Cornwall for ten years and established a career as an illustrator. In 1989, he co-founded Lakeside Gallery, which features a permanent exhibition of Roger’s Tolkien-related paintings and drawings.
Roger received his first commission from Tolkien’s publishers in 1981 and continued to work on the Tolkien titles throughout the 1980s and early 1990s.
He provided the cover illustrations for The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, The Silmarillion, Unfinished Tales, and most of The History of Middle-earth series. In addition, he illustrated The Adventures of Tom Bombadil, Farmer Giles of Ham, and Smith of Wootton Major. His artwork was also featured in the 1984 and 1989 official Tolkien calendars.
Roger was bestowed honorary membership of The Tolkien Society in April 1994 and was the 2007 guest of honour at the Annual Dinner in Plymouth. The Society sends its condolences to Linda and all of Roger’s family and friends.