Unseen photographs and paintings of JRR Tolkien, the author of The Lord of the Rings fantasy books, have been released by the writer’s estate, along with draft manuscripts and letters.
Its website has been relaunched with new material, including sections on Tolkien’s calligraphy and a timeline of his life.
Audio recordings and video clips featuring both Tolkien, who died in 1973, and his son Christopher, who died in 2020, are among the new material.
The relaunch date of 26 February is significant in Tolkien lore because 26 February 3019 was the date in the Third Age when the Fellowship of the Ring was broken at Amon Hen and Frodo and Sam set out on their lonely and terrifying journey to Mordor.
John Ronald Reuel Tolkien was a distinguished academic at Oxford University who in his spare time wrote stories and poetry, painted, and invented languages and alphabets.
The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, his most famous works, were set in the imaginary world of Middle-earth. The Lord of the Rings is one of the bestselling books of all time, with more than 100 million copies sold, and has been translated into dozens of languages.
It was also adapted into an acclaimed and extremely lucrative film trilogy directed by Peter Jackson.
A new Lord of the Rings series, made by Amazon at an estimated cost of more than $1bn and to be launched in September, has caused accusations of “wokery” by casting actors of colour as elves and dwarves.
Christopher Tolkien drew many of the original maps detailing the world of Middle-earth for his father’s The Lord of the Rings when the series was first published between 1954 and 1955.
Two decades after JRR Tolkien’s death, he published The Silmarillion, Unfinished Tales, Beren And Lúthien and The History of Middle-earth, which fleshed out the complex world of elves and dwarves created by his father. (Guardian)