It was by chance, in 1948, that samples from the portfolio of the designer and illustrator Pauline Baynes, who has died aged 85, came to the attention of JRR Tolkien. At that time Tolkien was famous for just one book, his children’s novel, The Hobbit, which had been published to great acclaim 11 years earlier. The medieval style of some of Baynes’s drawings were ideally suited for Tolkien’s Farmer Giles of Ham, which he had also written before the second war, but which was only to be published in 1949. Baynes produced pen and ink drawings and three coloured plates, which Tolkien humorously maintained reduced his text to a “commentary”.
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