The map is the territory (of the author, at least)
The Guardian is reporting that among the items being readied for sale from the late artist Pauline Baynes’s estate is an annotated map of J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle-earth, bearing the author’s notes for use by Ms. Baynes as she prepared to create her own version of the iconic fantasy landscape in 1969 for Allen & Unwin, along with her own comments.
Ms. Baynes worked closely with Prof. Tolkien, though not cheerfully, at least at first – “he very uncooperative”, one of her diary entries records. But, eventually, things smoothed out: “in great form – first names and kissing all around – and pleased with map”, she later writes of a lunch meeting with Tolkien.
Blackwell’s Rare Books, which is handling the sale of the Baynes items, is exhibiting the annotated map in Oxford and is asking £60,000 for what they describe as “the finest piece of Tolkien ephemera to emerge in the last 20 years, at least”. No word if a visit from noted Tolkien enthusiast Stephen Colbert will be included with delivery.