'The Gardens of the Merking's palace', 1927
J.R.R. Tolkien

1927

By 1927 Tolkien's growing family of three young sons had sent his imagination in the direction of children's stories. A family holiday in Filey on the North Yorkshire coast was marred by the loss of Michael's toy dog on the beach. To calm the children during a particularly stormy night in their cliff-top lodgings, he told them the story of a real dog Rover, who was changed into a toy dog by a passing wizard. Rover had many subsequent adventures including a sojourn under the sea in the Merking's palace before being restored to his true form and to his loving family. The bedtime story told to his children was published posthumously in 1998, as Roverandom. MS. Tolkien Drawings 89, fol. 4. Reproduced with kind permission of The Tolkien Estate Limited for the Bodleian Libraries exhibition Tolkien: Maker of Middle-earth.

© The Tolkien Trust 1992

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