In 1949, a well-respected but fairly unknown professor of Old and Middle English at the University of Oxford released the third and final book of a fantasy trilogy which, to his own delight and his publisher’s great surprise, would become one of the best selling novels ever written. The Lord of the Rings trilogy is the tip of the iceberg of J.R.R. Tolkien’s mythological and legendary storytelling. Within its many pages he found the pinnacle of his novels, short stories, essays and the languages, places, and people that influenced them. His interest in traditional folktales led to a wide range of historic contexts for his stories. Not only did he employ words to paint his masterpieces but he also was equipped to use drawing…