When JRR Tolkien died in 1973, he had already accumulated a huge, diverse fan base. He was loved by academics, such as poet and author W. H. Auden, but also had a cult following that included many in the “hippie” culture who were sure that Longbottom Leaf was a reference to marijuana.
Such a diverse fan base spawned writings in publications ranging from critical review magazines to mimeographed private journals. The writings themselves took many forms, from academic essays to “fan fiction.” Artwork based on Middle-earth was often incorporated.
Enter The Tolkien Scrapbook, a rather strange conglomeration created for this assortment of Tolkien admirers.
The Scrapbook is divided into two parts. Part 1 consists of a short biography, and various critical essays about Tolkien’s Middle-earth, including the infamous derogatory 1956 article by Edmund Wilson, “Oo, Those Awful Orcs.” Part 2 reproduces a variety of fan-related material, with a couple articles about Tolkien fandom in general, fan fiction and parodies, and poetry (including a section of Haiku!). The book is also loaded with illustrations, including a rarely seen drawing of The Lonely Mountain by JRR Tolkien, full-color paintings by Tim Kirk (who illustrated the 1975 Tolkien calendar by Ballentine books), and line drawings by Michael Green.
If you are looking for a unique volume that captures the Tolkien phenomenon of the 1970s, The Tolkien Scrapbook might be just the ticket. Great for the collector or as a unusual gift for the devoted fan.
The Tolkien Scrapbook was first published in hardcover for Running Press by Grosset & Dunlap in 1978, and was reprinted in paperback by Running Press under the same title. The hardcover was reprinted as A Tolkien Treasury in 1989 by Courage Books, and by Running Press in 2000.