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10th February 2010

Bodleian marks World Book Day with rare Tolkien exhibition

On 4 March, the Bodleian took part in World Book Day 2010 by exhibiting a selection of J.R.R. Tolkien’s original artwork used to illustrate The Hobbit, as well as a unique set of Hobbit doodles and a rare first edition of the book.

The Hobbit was first published in 1937 and has gone on to be translated into nearly 40 languages, and become one of the world’s best-selling works of fiction. Dr Chris Fletcher, Head of Western Manuscripts at the Bodleian Library said: “Tolkien’s abilities as an artist are perhaps less well known than his great talent as a writer. However, as our display shows, his splendid watercolours and drawings – generously given to the Bodleian by the Tolkien trustees in 1979 – formed an essential part of his creative conception of The Hobbitand The Lord of the Rings. We are delighted to celebrate this artist and writer in the Library he regularly used as a scholar.”

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