New The Lord of the Rings Edition to Include Art of Tolkien

When The Lord of the Rings was first released back in 1954, the book included two illustrations by J.R.R. Tolkien: the Doors of Durin and the Inscription on Balin’s Tomb. Since then, the artwork of the legendary author has never graced the pages of the beloved fantasy classic… until now. Thanks to The Guardian, we learned that Harper Collins will be releasing a new edition of the book featuring the art of the legendary author himself.

Tolkien was always modest about his abilities as an artist: although a handful of his illustrations were featured in The Hobbit, the author described himself as “rather crushed” by comments from one critic that the images “show no reflection of his literary talent and imagination”, adding: “all the more so because I entirely agree with him” (CS Lewis reviewed the pictures and maps as “admirable”). In the middle of writing The Lord of the Rings, in 1939, he told his publisher that the work was “laborious”, and that “I should have no time or energy for illustration. I never could draw, and the half-baked intimations of it seem wholly to have left me. A map (very necessary) would be all I could do.”

Here’s the official description along with a few illustrations:

J.R.R. Tolkien’s grand masterwork in a new hardcover illustrated with the art created by Tolkien himself as he envisioned Middle-earth.

One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them, One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them.

In ancient times the Rings of Power were crafted by the Elven-smiths, and Sauron, the Dark Lord, forged the One Ring, filling it with his own power so that he could rule all others. But the One Ring was taken from him, and though he sought it throughout Middle-earth, it remained lost to him. After many ages it fell by chance into the hands of the hobbit Bilbo Baggins.

From Sauron’s fastness in the Dark Tower of Mordor, his power spread far and wide. Sauron gathered all the Great Rings to him, but always he searched for the One Ring that would complete his dominion.

When Bilbo reached his eleventy-first birthday he disappeared, bequeathing to his young cousin Frodo the Ruling Ring and a perilous quest: to journey across Middle-earth, deep into the shadow of the Dark Lord, and destroy the Ring by casting it into the Cracks of Doom.

The Lord of the Rings tells of the great quest undertaken by Frodo and the Fellowship of the Ring: Gandalf the Wizard; the hobbits Merry, Pippin, and Sam; Gimli the Dwarf; Legolas the Elf; Boromir of Gondor; and a tall, mysterious stranger called Strider.

This new edition is illustrated with J.R.R. Tolkien’s own artwork, created as he wrote the original text.

The Forest of Lothlórien in Spring by JRR Tolkien. Photograph: terencecaven/The Tolkien Estate/Harper Collins

Orthanc by JRR Tolkien. Photograph: terencecaven/Tolkien Estate/Harper Collins

PRE-ORDER: The Lord of the Rings Illustrated Edition

Via The Guardian.

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