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1965 First Edition Barbara Remington Map of Tolkien's Middle Earth (Lord of the Rings)

Middle Earth. - Main View

1965 First Edition Barbara Remington Map of Tolkien's Middle Earth (Lord of the Rings)


First Edition 'BREM' map of Middle Earth!


Middle Earth.
  1965 (undated)     37.5 x 23.5 in (95.25 x 59.69 cm)


An example of one of the rarest and most iconic J. R. R. Tolkien 'Middle Earth' maps - the 1965 first edition poster-map issued to promote Ballentine's first American issue of the Lord of the Rings, featuring the illustrations of Barbara Remington.
An Unknown Land
When Ballentine commissioned Barbara Remington to produce cover illustrations for the American issue of Tolkien's Lord of the Rings, they were uncannily reluctant to supply pre-release copies of the novels - so Barbara had to complete the illustrations with only a tenuous knowledge of the trilogy. Upon seeing her illustrations, Tolkien was justly confused by the lions and 'pumpkins in trees'. Remington's cover work nonetheless was popular and became synonymous with Tolkien's novels - so popular in fact Ballentine hired Barbara again to incorporate Tolkien's map of Middle Earth into this large promotional poster utilizing some of her most memorable illustrations.
Publication History and Census
This poster was drawn by Barbara Remington and issued in 1965 by Ballentine Press in New York. Like all of Remington's work it is signed 'Brem'. The poster followed shortly on the release of the first American edition of the Lord of the Rings. We note two states. The first edition, as here, bears the Ballentine Copyright and is priced $1.49. Other examples are priced at $3.00, generally dating to 1969, suggesting that the popularity of the poster led to a fast price increase. Earlier examples also tend to be on slightly glossier paper, as here. All examples are scarce both in institutional collections and on the market.


Barbara Remington (1929 - January 23, 2020) was an American commercial artist and illustrator active in the second half of the 20th century. Remington was born in Minnesota. She is best known for her cover illustrations of the Ballantine Books first American edition of J. R. R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings. Remington famously could not get access to copies of the book before completing the illustrations, so some of the content does not strictly adhere to the Tolkien universe. Nonetheless, they proved popular with readers and remain iconic. In 1969, Remington's cover illustrations were combined with Tolkien's famous map of Middle Earth as a large promotional poster. Remington did eventually read Tolkien's work and became a lifelong fan. Her work was not limited to illustrations for Ballentine. Friend James Penedos notes she 'lives and breathes art.' She lived in the East Village, New York City, where she became a fixture in the Beatnik scene, until retiring to a remote property in Susquehanna County, Pennsylvania. Remington died in 2020 in her country home. More by this mapmaker...


Very good. Laid down on archival tissue. Glossy paper. some wrinkling and surface abrasion.