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Tolkien Approved Artists

Tolkien R.R.J
The Shire

Feb 13 2018, 10:29pm

Post #1 of 3 (1598 views)
Tolkien Approved Artists Can't Post

I am looking for a illustrated copy of Lord of the Rings and am leaning towards Alan Lee's version


I am specifically looking for a version that will present middle earth in a realistic non cartoon/fantacy manner. Tolkien viewed middle earth as real history and did not like the normal fantasy/Disney portrayal of "fantasy" books. So i am also looking for any version by artists he generally approved of. Any ideas or suggestions would help, thanks.

“In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit, eventually I thought I’d better find out what hobbits were like. But that’s only the beginning”
- J.R.R Tolkien

“If you really want to know what middle earth is based on, it’s my wonder and delight in the earth as is, particularity the natural earth”
-J.R.R Tolkien

“If literature teaches us anything at all, it is this that we have in us an eternal element.”
-J.R.R Tolkien


Feb 14 2018, 1:50am

Post #2 of 3 (1578 views)
Pauline Baynes, Cor Blok, and Mary Fairbairn? [In reply to] Can't Post

Here is a fun article reviewing the question of who Tolkien "approved of" as illustrators.

Generally speaking, the Tolkien illustration biz has exploded since the late Prof sailed West. He never expressed an opinion of most of the illustrators who've graced the calendars, flooded the internet, or conceptualized the films. I too like Alan Lee, by the way.

squire online:
RR Discussions: The Valaquenta, A Shortcut to Mushrooms, and Of Herbs and Stewed Rabbit
Lights! Action! Discuss on the Movie board!: 'A Journey in the Dark'. and 'Designing The Two Towers'.
Archive: All the TORn Reading Room Book Discussions (including the 1st BotR Discussion!) and Footerama: "Tolkien would have LOVED it!"
Dr. Squire introduces the J.R.R. Tolkien Encyclopedia: A Reader's Diary

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Feb 14 2018, 3:29pm

Post #3 of 3 (1518 views)
Here are some of my favourites [In reply to] Can't Post

While this first one is a bit more animated, it is the first authorized version used for paperbacks. These 3 covers together also became a very popular LARGE poster (which I have on my wall ;)

1965 Ballantine paperback - cover by Barbara Remington (first authorized edition)

This is my all-time favourite cover

1973 Ballantine paperback – cover by J.R.R. Tolkien

1999 Ballantine/Del Rey paperback – cover by Ted Nasmith. This is a really great set of pics. Nasmith is a prolific Tolkien artist.

1999 Houghton Mifflin paperback – cover by Alan Lee. Anything you get by Alan Lee is top knotch. Even the 1-volume editions.

You can find any of these as singles or set on ebay as well as Amazon, Abe Books, Barnes & Noble, etc.

Your best best is to do a Google search on Lord of the Rings books, click on images at the top of the page, and scroll through ALL the variations. It's really very fun :D HAPPY HUNTING!


We have been there and back again.

TIME Google Calendar

6th draft of TH:AUJ Geeky Observations List - November 28, 2013
4th draft of TH:DOS Geeky Observations List - May 15, 2014

5th draft of TH:BotFA Geeky Observations List - January 30, 2015

TORn's Geeky Observations Lists for LotR and The Hobbit

(This post was edited by grammaboodawg on Feb 14 2018, 3:44pm)


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