Jul. 14th, 2012

inzilbeth: (h2h)
After several, at times frustrating, weeks dealing with the text editor, the final text of 'Hobbit to Hero' is at last set and heading to the printer on Monday. There have however been concerns all along that Ted's wonderful 'Thus Came Aragorn' made the book look too much like a children's story so there has been a last minute change of design.

The photo of Tolkien has never before been published which is rather cool. It was taken in his study at Merton College in July 1958 by Leslie Stanley [incorrectly named 'Lionel' by Scull and Hammond - p530 Chronology], a 'devoted fan and amateur photographer'. It is one of several taken at that time and the original negatives were later given to Tolkien himself. Importantly, they are the only non-copyright photos of Tolkien known to exist. Tolkien sent them to Rayner Unwin who declared on 10th February 1960 that they were 'excellent'. Tolkien believed they were still being in the possession of Allen and Unwin in July 1966 when he wrote to Joy Hill. However, according to S and H [p669]  on the 26th of that month Joy Hill wrote back stating that they have no photos by Leslie Stanley although, on 15th August, she again wrote to Tolkien to say that she had received a list of the photos, including the Merton ones, from Leslie Stanley. 

Then the trail goes cold until they turned up recently inside a book purchased by Andy Compton, my publisher at ADC Publications Ltd. [Estelcontar was present when this part of the story was told so perhaps she can remember the title of the book!]

I must admit that even though the fan girl in me would love to have Aragorn on the cover, I do prefer this version.

September 2012


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