A new book called The Art of the Hobbit is being released which features Tolkien's own pictures of scenes and landscapes from the story. There's something about the simplicity of these line drawings that I find absolutely enchanting. For some reason they remind me of when I first encountered the book, back in the late 70s, when my father read his copy to me - it was the best bedtime story I could ever imagine. Perhaps these pictures resonate so much because they are so childlike and have such a dreamscape quality. Whatever the reason, they sum up the very first emotions that I felt when encountering high fantasy.
|Smaug flies round the Lonely Mountain|