Maps by Strachey and Fonstad

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Jinniver Thynne 23/Nov/2006 at 11:08 AM
Messenger of Minas Tirith Points: 994 Posts: 424 Joined: 28/Jan/2006
I have a simple question maybe someone can answer...were the books of maps drawn by Barbara Strachey and Karen Wynn Fonstad ’approved’ in any way by the Tolkien estate?
geordie 23/Nov/2006 at 01:59 PM
Hugo Bracegirdle Points: 20570 Posts: 14087 Joined: 06/Mar/2005
Good question. I think these book sort of pre-date the whole ’approved by’ fetish that we have these days [leading to the notoriety-seeking ’unauthorised editions’ phase which followed].

Barbara Strachey’s book was first published by Unwin Books in 1981 - same year as I joined the Tolkien Society. I met Mrs Strachey once, at one of the London ’smials’. Nice lady - tho’ she didn’t take kindly to my pointing out that Tarlang’s Neck is in fact a ridge, and not a valley, as she had opted for. [for one thing, in my Rider Haggard books, a ’nek’ in South Africa is a ridge - but there you go].

So - I think we can say that Journeys of Frodo is approved. BTW - I think I’m right in saying that Mrs Strachey donated the original illustration [used for the front cover] to the Tolkien Society archives. Well worth a visit, the archives.    ]

As for Karen Wyn Fonstad’s book- Karen enjoyed access to unpublished papers at Marquette University for the latest edition of the Atlas. So, I’m guessing she also ahd the blessing of the Estate.

Both books are excellent, in their own ways. I recommend them both.
Jinniver Thynne 26/Nov/2006 at 01:47 PM
Messenger of Minas Tirith Points: 994 Posts: 424 Joined: 28/Jan/2006

Cheers Geordie!

I was trying to tell someone what was genrally ’approved’ by the Estate and what could generally be reagrded as ’dodgy’, and I was a bit stumped as to whether there was any official approval for both Atlases.

How do you get access to the TS archives then?

Kaos the Gold 28/Nov/2006 at 07:14 AM
Blacksmith of Erebor Points: 1279 Posts: 833 Joined: 21/Jun/2006
I’d just want to put my seal of approval on Karen Wynn Fonstad’s work, too, she’s been very faithful to the text and she even puts in quotes to show how she came to this conclusion of how it looked.  She also says of what soil the land was and how it was probably formed.  I think that all fans of Tolkien’s work should have this book.
Morgil 12/Dec/2006 at 01:17 AM
Minstrel of Lothlorien Points: 2614 Posts: 3542 Joined: 10/Dec/2008
I don’t know if there is an atlas officially recognized by the Tolkien estate, but I have had a copy of of karen Wynn Fonstad’s "The Atlas of Middle-earth" for decades now. It is a wonderful geographical reference for Tolkien’s works. As Neidr Wen pointed out, Fonstad gives numerous quotes and references to support her work. She is not only an accomplished cartographer, but a fan of the master.