This is an illustrated tale of the untried university graduate who brought new life to JRR Tolkien’s previous creations. Here lies a tale about a young rookie who was plucked from the wilderness to deliver an almighty task despite lacking in heavyweight stature.
Art student Jemima Catlin, an avid JRR Tolkien obsessive, was just 23 when her work fell into the lap of literary giants Harper Collins – and little did she know that she would go on to illustrate none other than her beloved epic, The Hobbit.
Long after she first read Tolkien’s classic novel, Jemima decided to illustrate one of the author’s short stories, Roverandom [ed note: in the original article it’s misspelled as Rover Random], as part of a university project.
“I only had three months to complete the university project, so I’d decided to illustrate Rover Random, a short story Tolkien wrote about a little dog who became a toy dog,” the 26-year-old told The Big Issue.
“The dog upsets a wizard and ends up going to lots of different places – like the moon and the sea. It’s a really interesting story.
“I decided I would bind it all together in a book with the illustrations between the text and that I would contact Harper Collins to send them a sample of the illustrations.
“David Brawn, their estate’s publisher, invited me up to see him. He really liked the work and sent it off to the Tolkien Estate.”
However, typical of a Tolkien tale, the journey wasn’t a fairytale from start to finish. What happened next was disappointing – but it didn’t knock the Dorchester-based student off her fiery journey.
If you like what we do, and would like to see your Tolkien community keep growing and growing, consider making a contribution to our Pledge Drive. Every bit helps defray our costs!