Tolkien’s original illustrations to be showcased in a NY library

By January 7, 2019 Arty, Authors

Tolkien is best known for his high fantasy novels The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings which feature original drawings by the author himself. The fact he created his own maps and illustrations for the fictional world comes as no surprise; Middle Earth was created by Tolkien with its own history, languages, and a clear sense of what the world looked like.

According to the library’s director, Colin B. Bailey, “The Morgan exhibition is your only opportunity in America to see the largest collection ever assembled of J.R.R. Tolkien’s original drawings, manuscripts, and maps. ”

Visitors to the Morgan Library in NY will get the chance to see book manuscripts, hand-drawn maps, original illustrations of Smaug, Sauron’s Dark Tower of Barad-dûr, and much more. Additional to the original artworks, photographs of JRR Tolkien during his childhood will also be available.

Alongside the gorgeous maps and illustrations will be manuscripts that will give us a unique look at Tolkien’s process as a writer and world-creator. His journey into creating the Middle-Earth started as a young man when he allowed himself to become lost in the countryside around him, created a whole new language (that ended up being the extensive mother tongue of the Elves), and envisaging battles and hardships fought by people and creatures with their own rich histories.

If you cannot make it to the exhibition there is a hardback book full of Tolkien’s work and manuscripts- showcasing his inspirations of medieval and mythical stories, his rich and detailed maps, and more.

A Look at William Styron’s Works Through His Quotes

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William Styron (11th June, 1925 – 1st November, 2006) was an American novelist and essayist who won many major literary awards for his work. Best known for Sophie’s Choice, Styron also received literary acclaim for novels such as Lie Down in the Darkness, The Confessions of Nat Turner, and his memoir, Darkness Visible.

Styron was born in Hilton Village, Virginia, grew up in the South and was steeped in its history. His birthplace was just one hundred miles from the site of Nat Turner’s slave rebellion, no doubt offering inspiration for The Confessions of Nat Turner. Read More

Sayyida Salme: the rebel princess who became a writer

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Sayyida Salme was born the youngest of 36 children born to a Circassian concubine and the Sultan of Zanzibar and Oman. Growing up in a palace may seem like luxury but Salme’s childhood was far from peaceful. In a time when women were not permitted to read and write, a young Salme used a bleached camel shoulder blade bone to copy and secretly practice her letters and numbers. Her brothers taught her to ride and shoot, and soon she could compete with any of her siblings.

After her father’s death in 1856, Salme’s older brother, Majid, inherited the throne but after a revolution broke out between Majid and her other brother, Barghash, Salme had to make a choice.

Convinced by her favourite sister to help support their brother Barghash, Salme soon became his general secretary. It became clear that Barghash’s insurrection was fleeting and it ended sooner than expected, prompting Salme to surrender to the new sultan, her rebel brother, losing the support of the majority of her 36 siblings.

These complicated circumstances motivated Salme to move away from her family to a town where she eventually met her German lover, Rudolph Heinrich Ruete, a merchant.

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Elizabeth A. Lynn and the Importance of Representation

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Elizabeth A. Lynn is an American writer who was born on 8th June 1946. She is known for writing fantasy fiction, and to lesser extent science fiction novels, however, she is best-known for being one of the first writers to introduce gay and lesbian characters into these genres. As an openly lesbian woman herself, representation was clearly an important matter to Elizabeth A. Lynn.

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Lynne Truss: Much More Than Just a Grammarian

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When talking about the “mountains of stuff” she has produced over the years, Lynne Truss apologises and says “I do sometimes stop writing, have a cup of tea and re-organise the dog treats or something.”

Lynne Truss, journalist, author, radio broadcaster and dramatist, was born on the 31st May 1955 in Kingston upon Thames.

Truss attended University College London, where she studied English Language and Literature and attained a First Class Honours Degree.
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The Novels of Billie Letts (30th May 1938 – 2nd August 2014)

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Billie Letts (30th May 1938 – 2nd August 2014) was an American novelist and professor at Southeastern Oklahoma State University. Born Billie Dean Gipson in Tulsa Oklahoma not much is known of her early life.

In 1958 she married Dennis Letts, professor and actor and the couple went on to have three children. After working for years as a professor, she released her first published novel in 1995. Where the Heart Is was Letts’ debut novel and it was a commercial success, adapted into a 2000 movie starring Natalie Portman and Ashley Judd.

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