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An Illustrated Tolkien Bibliography The Early Years

Warwick Goble's illustration for 'Goblin Feet'Prior to the publication of The Hobbit, J.R.R. Tolkien was largely unknown outside of his chosen field of Philology.  During this period he produced the academic works on which his reputation was founded - his edition of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight and his landmark lecture: Beowulf: The Monsters and the Critics.

Tolkien was also writing and publishing poetry - some of which was published in school, university and small press publications.  Middle-earth sprang into being during the First World War, and quickly flourished - many of the tales that would after his death be published as The Silmarillion were first written during or soon after the War. 


Sir Gawain and the Green Knight


Beowulf: The Monsters & the Critics

The illustration opposite is "And the padding feet of many gnomes a-coming!" by Warwick Goble, taken from The Book of Fairy Poetry edited by Dora Owen. This represents the first time Tolkien's published writings were illustrated.

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