Rarely Seen Paintings by J.R.R. Tolkien

Portray a Lush ‘Lord of the Rings’ Landscape

Audiences can now view a selection of Tolkien’s

rarely seen Lord of the Rings artworks for free via the Tolkien Estate’s newly updated website,

The portal, which debuted last month, also allows viewers to explore documents, images and audio clips related to Tolkien’s personal life and his lesser-known pursuits as a mapmaker, calligrapher and artist.

The site features 12 previously unpublished items

Including Tolkien’s paintings of flowers and exotic birds, a draft manuscript of The Homecoming of Beorhtnoth Beorhthelm’s Son (1953), and photographs of the author and his family.

Born John Ronald Reuel Tolkien in 1892, the writer was orphaned at a young

He fought in the trenches during World War I after graduating from the University of Oxford.

He later returned to Oxford as a professor, earning fame as a linguist and publishing a translation of the Old English epic poem Beowulf.

Tolkien began working on the manuscript that became the Hobbit

in the early 1930s.

That book was so successful upon its 1937 publication that Tolkien’s publishers encouraged him to write more stories about hobbits, whom he describes as short, gentle people who live in holes underground.

These subsequent tales became the Lord of the Rings

Which was published in three volumes between July 1954 and October 1955

and quickly became one of the most famous English-language fantasy series in modern history.

More than 150 million copies of the trilogy, which has been translated into dozens of languages, have been sold to date.

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