A newly discovered map, annotated by J.R.R. Tolkien himself, is offering insights into the captivating world of Middle Earth and the “Lord of the Rings” series.
The map was tucked inside a copy of “The Lord of the Rings” belonging to famed illustrator Pauline Baynes, The Guardian reports. Baynes, who is known for her work on “The Chronicles of Narnia” covers, worked closely with Tolkien to create the map of Middle Earth that is known around the world today.
Here’s a look at the annotated map. The green ink and pencil shading are the additions from Tolkien, while the blue markings are from Baynes.
“The map shows how completely obsessed he [Tolkien] was with the details,” Sian Wainwright of Blackwell’s told The Guardian.
And here’s a closer look at some of those details.
Hobbiton, the quaint hillside town inhabited by Bilbo Baggins and the other hobbits, is located on the same latitude as Oxford, England, according to Tolkien’s annotated map.
Tolkien was a professor at Oxford College, the Guardian also notes.
Tolkien’s notes also offer insight into a real-life location that might have inspired the Minas Tirith, the castle that serves as the capital of Gondor.
Here’s a look at Minas Tirith from the film series.
And here’s a look at Ravenna, Italy, which Tolkien’s references in his notes. He also mentions Belgrade, Cyprus, and Jerusalem in his notes on the map of Middle Earth.
The map is currently for sale at Blackwell’s Rare Books in England for £60,000, roughly $US92,000. It’s part of a larger collection of Baynes’ work, which also includes illustration for C.S. Lewis and “Thr Chronicles of Narnia.”
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