Sunday, December 2, 2012

How Tolkien imagined the landscape of Middle Earth

In the upcoming of The Hobbit, I'm reading at that Tolkien was an artist himself, and this is how he imagined the Middle Earth.

Tolkien imagined his otherworld of hobbits, elves and wizards in pictures, as well as words. The Hobbit was first published in 1937. As he wrote it, in the 30s, he made beguiling pictures and designs that map and depict the landscapes through which Bilbo Baggins was to journey.
Tolkien designed the cover for that first edition of The Hobbit. It immediately promises a rich and strange world within: layers of trees in green, white and purple fold over one another towards stylized mountain peaks and the great disc of the sun. Runes are inscribed along the edges of the design. Runic writing is the script of the elves in Middle Earth – but Tolkien did not invent it. Runes were used by the Vikings to inscribe memorials and spells. The Viking connection is telling, for Tolkien's art has a Scandinavian quality. The dreamlike elegance of The Hobbit's original cover is reminiscent of modern northern European art as well as ancient Viking designs." 
Read the article in full:

First edition of The Hobbit. Cover book

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