Edel-Silmarillion © Benjamin Harff

Edel-Silmarillion © Benjamin Harff

Pieter Collier of The Tolkien Library interviewed artist Benjamin Harff back in 2009 after discovering his Edel-Silmarillion, a 400 page hand-illuminated copy of J.R.R Tolkien’s The Silmarillion. Harff created the deluxe Silmarillion for his exam at the Academy of Arts.

All of the initials, calligraphic pages and illumination were drawn by hand using a steel pen and indian ink as well as brushes and watercolour. Harff also created the goat leather binding himself, with some help from a professional bookbinder. He would have liked to emboss the cover but ran out of time, and hopes to create another more intricate version one day.

The title page (pictured left) took between seventy and eighty hours, with the entire project taking six months.

If you have picked yourself up from your swoon, Tolkien fans, you can harass Harper Collins to commission Harff’s stunning manuscript. Because we all want to read our Silmarillion in style. Beg them on Twitter.


Do read the full-length interview here. With thanks to The Tolkien Library and Der Herr der Ringe for the images.





About The Author

Olga Hughes is currently pre-occupied with fairy tales, fantasy, misanthropy, medieval history and the long eighteenth century. She has a Bachelor of Fine Art from the Victorian College of the Arts and is currently majoring in Literature and History at Deakin. She has contributed to websites such as History behind Game of Thrones, The Anne Boleyn Files and The Tudor Society.

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