Highest Rated Comments

TolkienArchivist87 karma

I think I would be too over-awed to ask him anything! Someone came to see the exhibition last week and they told me that they had written to Tolkien in the 1960s to ask if the Ents ever found the Ent-wives. Tolkien wrote back and told him that they didn't and that it was a very sad tale. I think that is something I'd always wondered about.

TolkienArchivist68 karma

There is so much wisdom in The Lord of the Rings. I think Gandalf's words to Frodo are quite profound, 'All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us.' But there's lots of humour too and I especially like Bilbo's speech at his birthday party where the guests don't know whether they've been praised or insulted.

TolkienArchivist66 karma

There is still unpublished material in the Tolkien archive despite Christopher Tolkien's heroic efforts over the last 40 years to edit and publish his father's work. The wonderful thing about archives is that new material keeps on coming to light, such as the map of Middle-earth annotated by Tolkien and his illustrator Pauline Baynes, which was discovered in her archive in 2015. The Bodleian Library was fortunate enough to be able to purchase this unique map and it is now on display in the exhibition.

TolkienArchivist55 karma

I am a huge Tolkien fan which makes being the Tolkien Archivist my dream job! I first read The Lord of the Rings when I was about 14. I have two older brothers and I had sneaked into their bedroom (strictly off limits to me!) to see if they had any books to read. I spotted a well-worn single volume copy of LotR on their bookshelves. It had an eye-catching cover design by Pauline Baynes. I took it back to my own room and was immersed in Middle-earth for as long as it took to finish. My only complaint was that it was too short.

TolkienArchivist53 karma

The Bodleian Library holds the largest Tolkien archive in the world. We have over 500 boxes of manuscript material and over 300 volumes from Tolkien's working library.