Since 1973, The Tolkien Society have hosted a gathering to celebrate the life and works of J.R.R. Tolkien, and this weekend they’re doing it again – for the 50th time. This coincides with the 50th anniversary of the Professor’s death, on September 2nd. Fans are gathering in Oxford from around the world for this special event; here’s what the society’s press release tells us:
350 Tolkien fans from around 25 different countries are meeting in Oxford next weekend to celebrate the life and works of J.R.R. Tolkien.
The event, taking place at St Anne’s College, Oxford from Thursday 31st August to Sunday 3rd September, has sold out due to the increasing popularity of Tolkien’s works. The event follows the recent publication of The Fall of Númenor and the release of the Amazon TV-series The Rings of Power set in the Second Age of Middle-earth.
The event itself will include talks from leading Tolkien scholars – including Brian Sibley, editor of The Fall of Númenor, screenwriter of The Lord of the Rings radio series and biographer of Peter Jackson – quizzes, workshops, an art exhibition, a masquerade, a Hobbit bake-off, a party and even theatrical performances. The weekend concludes, as always, with Enyalie, a ceremony of remembrance at Tolkien’s grave in Wolvercote Cemetery on Sunday afternoon. With attendees from 25 different countries, this year’s Oxonmoot takes place following the publication of the Sunday Times bestseller, The Fall of Númenor, proving the continuing popularity of J.R.R. Tolkien as author relevant in the 21st Century. Tolkien’s best-known work was The Lord of the Rings, which has been translated into over 50 languages and estimates put sales at over 150 million copies worldwide.
Founded in 1969 by Vera Chapman, The Tolkien Society is an educational charity and literary society with the aim of promoting the life and works with J.R.R. Tolkien. Tolkien himself supported the organisation and gave it his seal of approval by agreeing to become The Tolkien Society’s President. On Tolkien’s death the family recommended he stay as President, so, to this day, he remains The Tolkien Society’s Honorary President in perpetuo. The Society has 4,000 members and hosts events up and down the country every week.
Shaun Gunner, Chair of The Tolkien Society, said: “Tolkien is as popular as ever as we’ve packed out St Anne’s College to have a celebratory weekend like no other! Not only will we be joined by Brian Sibley, but Bear McCreary – composer of the score of The Rings of Power – and other Tolkien scholars are joining us. People are coming over from 5 continents to share their love for Tolkien and their passion for his works. Oxonmoot has been going for 50 years and provides an excellent opportunity for hundreds of fans from around the world to come together for a weekend of fun and fellowship in Oxford, a location so important to Tolkien.” He added, “This year’s Oxonmoot is particularly special: the world’s longest-running Tolkien event reaches its 50th anniversary, which coincides with the 50th anniversary of Tolkien’s death.“