For my birthday this year my boyfriend and I went to Oxford to visit the Tolkien Exhibition in the Bodliean Library. Oxford is the city I was born in, the home to a very prestigious university, many academic sites and just a beautiful place to visit. If you like London, but the hustle and bustle gets to you, then Oxford is a more tamer and cleaner version. We weren’t just in the city to visit the exhibition, so we took a little wander too and discovered what the city had to offer.
I love how many twists and turns there are in this city, we ended up coming across a film set, where a TV show called Endeavour (a young Inspector Morse show). It was really cool to see something like that just taking place down a side street. We were in Oxford on the day of the World Cup Final and there were a lot of French people about, so it was also quite fun to watch them cheer and shout when they scored a goal. I am a strong people watcher, I looking at the different types of people around me and in a city like this, there are so many more interesting people to look at.
So, the exhibition, the reason for our visit. We’re both huge Lord of the Rings fans and I can certainly say that this exhibition did not disappoint! I learnt so much about Tolkien’s process in creating Middle Earth and all that inhabits it, he is such an inspiring man who makes me want to write more and craft a world for my readers. We were able to see some of his early artwork, his writings and get a real insight into the man behind the elves, hobbits, orcs, ents etc.
I found out new things about the story that I didn’t know and I was able to see the thought and detail Tolkien put into everything he did. My boyfriend and I left feeling as though we should probably achieve a lot more, Tolkien worked a full time job as well as having a family and he still managed to write this humungous tome.
My love for the world of Lord of the Rings has been around since my childhood, when I first saw the films I was obsessed with them. That passion has never gone away, I now have a section of my bookshelves dedicated to this wonderful man and his stories. It seems a little weak to call them stories, after everything I’ve learnt, Tolkien very much lived and breathed his writing. Did you know the he came up with the Elven language before he actually wrote the book?
If you’re at all a Lord of the Rings fan and you have a chance to visit this exhibition then I urge you to go. It was free to enter, with a £1 online booking fee, I would advise booking online as when we went they were turning people away for no tickets. This is the first exhibition I’ve been to where I have read every single plaque and item on display, it truly captured my heart. Made all the better for being hosted in Oxford, a city that was very close to Tolkien’s heart.