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  • Last few days to view Oxford's Tolkien exhibition

    Visitors have just a fortnight left to view the Bodleian Libraries' once-in-a-generation exhibition, Tolkien: Maker of Middle-earth, which closes on Sunday 28th October. So far the exhibition has welcomed more than 100,000 visitors from around the world, making it the Bodleian's most popular exhibition ever.

    The unmissable exhibition presents the most extensive collection of materials related to J.R.R. Tolkien known to have been gathered together for public display, with more than 200 items including never-before-seen illustrations, letters, draft manuscripts, fan mail and personal objects. Tolkien: Maker of Middle-earth examines the full breadth of Tolkien's unique literary imagination, from his creation of Middle-earth - the imagined world where his best-known works The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit are set - to his life and work as an artist, poet, medievalist and scholar of languages.

    The free exhibition has received high praise from both members of the public and the press. Visitors have called the exhibition 'a truly remarkable experience', 'an adventure through Middle-earth' and 'a magical experience that really brings the books to life'. Tolkien fans old and new, from the UK and overseas, have visited the exhibition, leaving drawings and messages in Elvish in the visitor book.

    Richard Ovenden, the Bodleian's Librarian, says, "We are delighted at the incredible response to our Tolkien exhibition. We encourage visitors to make the most of the next couple of weeks to come and enjoy the unparalleled selection of Tolkien materials on show and discover more about this creative and literary genius."

    In addition to the exhibition, a range of Tolkien-related talks and lectures continue at the Weston Library throughout the remainder of October. There's also plenty of time to use the Bodleian's online trail to take a self-guided walking tour exploring Tolkien's Oxford. For more information, visit

    J.R.R. Tolkien spent most of his adult life in Oxford. He came to Oxford University in 1911, aged nineteen, to study Greats (Classics) at Exeter College, but switched to English part-way through. After serving in France during World War One, he returned to Oxford to work on the New English Dictionary (later the Oxford English Dictionary) whilst also tutoring in English for various colleges. After five years in Leeds, he returned to Oxford in 1925 and remained there for the rest of his working ife. He is buried with his wife, Edith, in Wolvercote Cemetary in Oxford.

    Entrance to the Tolkien exhibtion is free but ticketed and can be booked via the web address above.

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