Monday, March 28, 2011

The illustrated Hobbit

Classic books do get new illustrations over time. I, for one, believe that the Tenniel drawings are inextricably linked to the Alice books, but there's plenty of other visuals from Walt Disney on competing for the imaginations of the modern young reader. The idea of Maurice Sendak illustrating The Hobbit is especially intriguing. 'As Sendak noted passages for possible illustration and sketched in the margins of his copy of the book, the publisher prepared the art samples for Tolkien’s approval. The editor mislabeled the samples, however, identifying the wood-elves as “hobbits,” as Sendak recalled to Maguire. This blunder nettled Tolkien. His reply was that Sendak had not read the book closely and did not know what a hobbit was. Consequently, Tolkien did not approve the drawings. Sendak was furious.' More...

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