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The One We’ve All Been Waiting For

The One We’ve All Been Waiting For

On Saturday 7th November, we are doing quite a bit of literary travelling throughout the day. In the morning, we’ll be in Syria, Uganda and Burma; and in the afternoon, we’re starting off in North Africa. Then, to complete the day’s sessions, we’re going all the way to New Zealand and thence to The Shire, Rivendell and Mordor. And since we first started planning this year’s programme, back in the summer of 2020, there’s been a real buzz around this session.

Twenty years ago, The Fellowship of the Ring, the first of the Lord of the Rings movie trilogy, was released. And  those of us who grew up reading about Frodo, Aragorn and Gandalf breathed a huge sigh of relief when we realised the new film more than did justice to the original books. In this fascinating session, conceptual designer, Alan Lee, and Jane Johnson, JRR Tolkien’s editor at Harper Collins and author of the film’s Companion series, chat about their time in New Zealand on the set of this iconic film.

Alan Lee is an Oscar-winning conceptual artist. His illustrations in Tolkien’s books led to a long trip to New Zealand where he worked on the Lord of the Rings trilogy. He was commissioned by Jane Johnson to create the centenary illustrated edition of The Lord of the Rings which was to prove so influential on Peter Jackson’s vision for his movie trilogy.

Jane Johnson is from Cornwall and has worked in the book industry for over 30 years as a bookseller, publisher and writer. For many years she was responsible for publishing the works of JRR Tolkien. She spent many months in New Zealand with the cast and crew and wrote the official visual companions to the films. The authors she publishes include George RR Martin (creator of A Game of Thrones), Dean Koontz, Robin Hobb, Stuart MacBride, Mark Lawrence, Raymond E Feist and SK Tremayne.

Please note: One of our speakers is the carer for a clinically vulnerable person and has requested that all attendees wear masks during this session. Should you be unable to do this, you will be politely requested to sit towards the rear of the room.