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Art of The Hobbit Published

November 6, 2011

Art of The Hobbit title-pageOur new book was published by HarperCollins U.K. on 27 October. Its title-page is pictured at right. David Brawn tells us that the feedback HarperCollins have had about The Art of The Hobbit has been uniformly positive, and we ourselves have received some nice compliments about it directly. The only criticism so far has come from readers who find the four gatefolds hard to see and to manipulate.

An article about our book appeared in The Bookseller for 17 October. Another article was in The Independent on 23 October, and two were in The Guardian on 24 October, a general treatment of the book and a slide show of images. After these, word about the book spread rapidly, such as this piece on the BBC News website.

Most of these pieces of course feed upon each other, and therefore make the same errors – first and foremost, failing to include the title of our book and to mention the names of its authors! We sent a comment (no longer accessible) to The Independent in reply to Paul Bignell’s article, pointing out that the Hobbit art was not ‘lost’, nor only ‘recently discovered by researchers’ in Oxford’s Bodleian Library. We knew about them, and published some of them, in J.R.R. Tolkien: Artist and Illustrator (1995). Nor do ‘experts say that when producing illustrations for The Hobbit, Tolkien borrowed heavily from those of an earlier book, Roverandom’: adapting elements from only one Roverandom picture (of the White Dragon chasing Roverandom and the Moondog) does not ‘heavy borrowing’ make.

Meanwhile, we’ve done an interview with Michael Martinez as the second in a series of interview with Tolkien scholars, in which The Art of The Hobbit is mentioned prominently, and are waiting to see the results of another interview, with a blogger from CNN.

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