Tolkien Archive Visit

Discussion in 'Books' started by Galenas, Jan 18, 2004.

  1. Galenas

    Galenas New Member

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    Just passing along an experience from this weekend. I visited Marquette University in Milwaukee, WI and spent about an hour with some original Tolkien manuscripts. The archivist was very gracious and explained the history behind each. Here's some examples of what I got to see:

    *Three handwritten, and two typed versions of "The Long Expected Party".
    Bilbo started out at 71 years and ended up 111 by the time JRRT finished fussing with this chapter.
    *Many notes scribbled on the backs of 'to do' lists, dinner menus from Oxford, WWII sky watcher logs (apparently he had to spend some time watching for LuftWaffe).
    *Original water colors on manuscript. Archivist said he used to draw and paint when he got stuck to get those creative juices flowing.
    *THE MOST AMAZING time-line of events mapped out for each character for purpose of keeping track of where each one was in the story. He even kept track of how long it would take Sam and Frodo to walk from one point to another at a rate of so many kilometers per day....same with Gandalf on horseback. No computers then, so it was page after page in his own fountain pen.
    *His handwriting was about as small as the type you are looking at....soooo small. The coolest thing was that it is in that very cool "Tolkien" font. Yes, that is his actual unique handwriting.

    These items were sold to MU for $100,000 back in the late 1950's to supplement his retirement.

    One more fact before I bore you to tears.....JRRT is the most widely published and sold author IN THE HISTORY OF THE PLANET. This one man has sold over 300,000,000 copies of his books. And this hasn't changed that much since the movie. He has held the record for many, many years.

    If anybody is ever interested in making a trip to Milwaukee to check out the archives (only about 8 folders of stuff) please feel free to pm me and I'll give you the name and addy of the archivist.
     
  2. Turin

    Turin Valar Morghulis

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    wow, 300,000,000 thats a bunch. I am surprise you were allowed to handle any of that stuff! It has to be worth a fortune.
     
  3. asap

    asap New Member

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    Now how did I manage to miss this thread? :confused:

    That's fascinating, Galenas! Must have been quite an experience.

    Thanks for sharing :)

    I suppose that's why he keeps mentioning in TTT if the moon is full or waxing, to make the timeline easier to follow to the readers.