Tuesday, November 13, 2012

My Precious: 40 Years After Tolkien

A new exhibit has appeared in the hallowed halls of Samford Library, and for many it hearkens back to memories of childhood cartoons, fantasy reading, or maybe just 2003 Orlando Bloom.

Thanks to the generosity of Beeson Divinity student Rebecca Poe Hays and her father, Dr. Hal Poe of Union University, we can (temporarily) bring you the world of Middle Earth, as created by J.R.R. Tolkien. Tolkien was a member of The Inklings, a group of literary-minded friends including C.S. Lewis, Charles Williams, Nevill Coghill, H.V.D. Dyson, and later, Tolkien's son Christopher. 

Tolkien began with The Silmarillion while living in France during World War I, though it was not completed and published until after his death. This was the beginning of Middle Earth, which included the more famous The Hobbit, first published in 1937. A sequel, The Lord of the Rings, became so detailed and great, that it was unfinished until 1949 and was finally published in 1954-1955 in the three separate volumes we know today: The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers, and Return of the King.

The exhibit JRR Tolkien Forty Years On includes first editions in hardback and paperback (including pirated copies), movie posters, and other documentation related to Tolkien and his amazing world. There is also a photo slideshow, courtesy of Allan and Susan Hammack, from their visit to "The Shire" aka New Zealand, just prior to filming The Hobbit, to be released this December.

We hope you enjoy this flight of fantasy and history. It is our pleasure to maintain the display until January 2, 2013. 

Marliese Thomas, User Engagement Librarian

Reference: Notes of Dr. Hal Poe, Union University
Photos by Eric Allen

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