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Totally Taken by Tolkien

I was growing up in the sixties and seventies and the first book I can remember being totally bowled over by was The Hobbit. This book was my initiation into Tolkien’s amazing universe and it wasn’t long before I had first laid my hand on The Fellowship of the Ring, in the school library. This was by far the most adult book I’d read up until then and I felt very grown-up taking it to the desk and getting it checked out. When I got home and started reading it I found myself completely entranced by the world of Middle Earth, the wonderful depth and detail of it. There’s an large area of hills and open woodland close to where I lived then and my equally Tolkien obsessed friends would roam these woods pretending to be elves or otherwise acting out scenes from the books. I was always a big reader but Lord of the Rings was the first book that really captured my imagination. In addition, it made me want to create worlds of my own and give names to all its features and places. My school exercise books used to contain, in the back pages, little sketch drawings of islands with rivers, mountains and cities. Geography was amongst my favourite lessons because I learned to places such features in a geographically convincing manner. Pictured is my prized Alan Lee illustrated edition which formed my visual interpretation of this world until the movies came out.

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