Hannah Reynolds says:
‘It was a great privilege to be asked by the Tolkien Society to design an image for this year’s Christmas card. This year marks the 100th anniversary of The Battle of The Somme and of Tolkien’ s stay in Great Haywood, whilst he was recovering from the horrors of war. I felt honoured that I was able to illustrate how his experiences of the Great War and his time in Staffordshire during The Great War years influenced his early writing.’
The new picture depicts J.R.R. Tolkien over the Christmas of 1916-1917, when he was staying in the Staffordshire village of Great Haywood with his wife Edith. He had been sent home from France to recover from trench fever; an illness he had contracted while at The Battle of the Somme. It was in Great Haywood at this time that Tolkien wrote the first two stories of The Book of Lost Tales, The Fall of Gondolin and The Cottage of Lost Play, in part inspired by Staffordshire landscapes and experiences.
The picture can be seen at Lichfield Library during the current leg of the tour until 7th January. It will then move onto Stafford Library and a series of other venues are planned throughout 2017.
Please visit www.staffordshiregreatwar.com
for further details about the J.R.R. Tolkien in Staffordshire Exhibition.