The Fall of Arthur manuscript goes on display to celebrate its publication (21.05.13 by Pieter Collier) - Comments

This is an exciting week! Not only do we see the publication of Tolkien's Fall of Arthur, we also have a chance to go and see the original manuscript in an exhibition at the Bodleian Library.

Magical Books: from the Middle Ages to Middle-earth at Bodleian Library in Oxford, England, will be open to the public from May 23 to October 27 2013.

At this exhibition the manuscript of The Fall of Arthur is on display for the first time, showing the poem which was one of several halted by his death. Its first publication will coincide with the exhibition’s opening day.

The Bodleian's summer exhibition takes as its theme the work of some of the foremost modern exponents of children's fantasy literature, members of the group of writers informally known as the 'Oxford School': C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, Susan Cooper, Alan Garner and Philip Pullman.

From its unique holdings of these authors' papers, the Library will display a selection of Tolkien's original artwork for The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings; C.S. Lewis’s 'Lefay notebook' and his map of Narnia, and manuscripts of novels and poems by Alan Garner, Philip Pullman and Susan Cooper. Also featured in the exhibition will be some of the books and manuscripts that contain the myths, legends, and magical practices on which these Oxford-educated authors freely drew for inspiration. This historic material is housed in the Bodleian where the Library scenes in the Harry Potter films were shot.
Fall of Arthur by J.R.R. Tolkien


CS Lewis, JRR Tolkien, Susan Cooper, Alan Garner and Philip Pullman have more than their standings as celebrated authors in common.

In a writing group informally known as the Oxford School, all five were Oxford-educated. The Bodleian is the home of the books which fuelled their myths and dreams. So the witches of the first folio of Macbeth and the alchemists of the philosophers’ stone-pursuing Ripley Rolls, for example, begin paths which can be traced all the way to the words of these towering writers.

An alethiometer, conjured by Pullman as a truth-telling sphere, accompanies one of Garner’s “owl service” plates in a line-up of magical materials within a space with a decidedly enchanted atmosphere of its own.

And the Duke Humfrey’s Library was the place where Garner consulted demonic spellbooks, Harry Potter films were shot (as well as in the Bodleian’s Divinity School) and Lewis and Tolkien pored over dusty manuscripts and rare books.

Co-curators Sarah Wheale and Dr Judith Priestman say their task, which has seen them work with Pullman, Garner and Cooper, has been a “real privilege” and represents a “fabulous opportunity” for guests to eye up 900 years of literary heritage.

Title: The Fall of Arthur
Author:
J. R. R. Tolkien
Editor: Christopher Tolkien

Publisher:
HarperCollins
Publication Date:
23 May 2013

Type:
hardcover, 240 pages
ISBN-10: 0007489943
ISBN-13: 978-0007489947
Title: The Fall of Arthur
Author:
J. R. R. Tolkien
Editor: Christopher Tolkien

Publisher:
HarperCollins
Publication Date:
23 May 2013

Type:
deluxe edition, 240 pages
ISBN-10: 0007489897
ISBN-13: 978-0007489893

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