300 fans of J.R.R. Tolkien will meet in Oxford this weekend to celebrate the renowned author’s life and writings.
The event, celebrating the former Oxford student and academic, is taking place at St Antony’s College, and began yesterday. It will finish on Sunday.
The news that the weekend-long event has already sold out reflects the increasing popularity of Tolkien’s works, and coincides with the Tolkien: Maker of Middle-earth exhibition at the Bodleian Library.
It also follows last month’s publication of The Fall of Gondolin, originally written by Tolkien in 1917.
The annual event, known as ‘Oxonmoot’, is being hosted by The Tolkien Society, an educational charity and literary society aimed at promoting the life and works of Tolkien. On the recommendation of his family, Tolkien remains the Honorary President of the society, which has over 1,600 members and regularly hosts events across the country.
During the weekend, Tolkien fans will be able to participate in quizzes, workshops, a Hobbit bake-off, and a visit to the exhibition at the Bodleian Library. There will also be talks from leading Tolkien scholars, including writer John Garth.
The weekend will conclude with a ceremony of remembrance at the grave of Tolkien, located in Wolvercote Cemetery in North Oxford.
Shaun Gunner, Chair of The Tolkien Society, said: “This is the largest ever Oxonmoot, and this is testament to the growing popularity of Tolkien and his works, and ever-increasing numbers shows that people want to share their passion for Tolkien with others.
“Oxonmoot has been going for over 40 years and provides an excellent opportunity for hundreds of fans from around the world to come together for a weekend of fun and fellowship in Oxford, a location so important to Tolkien.”
He added: “Oxonmoot always takes place in September to coincide with the birthdays of Bilbo and Frodo, but this year we have a record number of attendees coming to St Antony’s College to enjoy the longest-running Tolkien event in the world.”