I joined the Mythsoc list last year when my former working partner in Mnemosynides, Alexei Kondratiev, unexpectedly passed away. Alexei introduced to me to the wonders of Tolkien. I spent many hours chatting with him on the subject and had the pleasure of enjoying his entertaining commentary on the Jackson movies.
Since January 2011, a few of us decided to form a Meetup Group called âNYC Area Friends of JRR Tolkien & Fantasyâ to share our interest in Tolkienâs work as well as other fantasy. The group hosted Tolkien Reading Day in 2010 and has been meeting consistently since then. We arenât scholars, but we are real enthusiasts.
My reason for submitting this post is that I was contacted by Lydia Raw, the daughter of artist Stephen Raw who was commissioned by publisher HarperCollins to redraw The Lord of the Rings maps. She asked me to pass on this information to anyone who might be interested in acquiring a set of the maps.
Ms. Raw has also submitted an article to OneRing.Net entitled, âThe Lord of the Rings Maps: The Real Historyâ. Be sure to look for that. She said it was sent in as a response to a posting from September of 2010, 'Why are there no 'towers of a distant city' by Ringer Squire.
A strictly limited edition of the maps for the new edition of the book âThe Lord of the Ringsâ have been printed with the kind permission of the J R R Tolkien Estate and are available to purchase for $550 plus P&P. Please visit www.tolkienmaps.com for more information or contact tolkienmaps@... to order a set.
Below is the text of the message sent to me for our Meet up Group.
Carole Linda Gonzalez
Ms. Raw writes:
"As I know you are aware, J.R.R. Tolkien's son, Christopher Tolkien was the original cartographer of the maps printed at the end of all editions of the Lord of the Rings. Although they spread over a couple of pages, they illustrate The West of Middle Earth, The Shire and Gondor, guiding many readers through the story. My father was commissioned to redraw the maps in the early 1990's in order to increase their legibility when reproduced at the size of a modern paperback - something neither J.R.R. Tolkien or his son had to take into consideration when working on the first editions! In order to ensure that the original âfeelâ was maintained, Stephen Raw worked under the personal tutelage of Christopher Tolkien over a couple of years. There even exists an archive of the hand-written correspondence between Christopher Tolkien and Stephen Raw which has recently been valued by the John Rylands Library.
Since they were approved in 1994, all English editions of the Lord of the Rings have included Raw's maps. Christopher Tolkien wrote âA Note on the Mapsâ (page 1140 of the one-volume edition) in which he gives an explanation of the Raw's involvement and praises the final artwork.
There is a website with a short DVD you can view for more information: http://www.tolkienmap...
If you would like to know more about my father as an artist, his website is: http://www.stephenraw... . He has recently designed an engraved stone in Westminster Abby and is currently working on a commission for the Olympic Games in 2012."