HOW IT ALL BEGAN
It all came about New Year’s Eve of 2002. I had arranged to go to the movies with a group of friends without asking what movie we were seeing. The movie was The Fellowship of the Ring. It was a movie I would never have chosen to see, however I went along not wanting to cause a stir, and somehow Peter Jackson’s movie captivated me. It led me to reading (and then re-reading many times) Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings (LOTR).
Only once previously had a book so enthralled me, and that was James Joyce’s Ulysses. Although existing in totally different realms, for me, in their own way, they formed two of the great watersheds in English literature.
Tolkien’s LOTR and Jackson’s LOTR films started me on a remarkable journey, which led me to experiences hitherto unimagined.
Two new life paths
I took up collecting. At first, I was very disciplined with a narrow focus: first print copies of single volume UK publications of LOTR, and special editions of Ulysses. This was then broadened to ‘matched’ editions of Tolkien’s Hobbit, Silmarillion, then books on Jackson’s LOTR movies, then LOTR artwork (including books, sketch cards and larger artworks). Along the way, I picked up two treasures: a Tolkien signed The Two Towers and a letter written by Tolkien to a student (both with impeccable provenance). The passion of collecting and the wonderful experiences I have shared with collecting comrades, added a new dimension and horizon to my life.
However, even more astonishing considering the person I thought I was, I started writing a fantasy. With the glorious gift of inspiration for LOTR, Ulysses and Jackson’s films, The Ring of Light (TROL) was born. The magical madness of this is described on this website in Insights: Lore.
Midway in TROL’s evolution, I became aware that the Tolkien Estate had placed an embargo on publishing any LOTR sequel for ‘commercial exploitation’. This did not interfere with the writing, for it was never about ‘exploitation’, and the decision was made to ‘publish’ TROL as a fan-fiction on the internet for the free enjoyment of Tolkien fans. Due to TROL’s length and innovative style, for in the spirit of Ulysses it ventures into experimental literary forms, it could not be posted on a fan-fiction site, so it was decided to establish a website specifically designed to promulgate it.
With TROL completed, and another book in final editorial stage, the theringoflight and LOTR Arts websites were designed to showcase TROL and the collection.
Welcome – and enjoy! Any comments/messages would be very much appreciated.