You are reading issue one
Festival Journal - the Tolkien magazine

Daphne Castell: An early fan who had a momentous interview with
J.R.R. Tolkien

Daphne Castell studied under Professor Tolkien at Oxford University in the 1950s and established herself as an important new voice in British science fiction writing. She was one of the first new female contributors to New Worlds, a leading edge science fiction magazine edited by the prominent fantasy author Michael Moorcock. We explore her life, the factors which led to her milestone interview with J.R.R. Tolkien, and her contribution to science-fiction writing.


A Primary school think-tank for all things J.R.R. Tolkien

An exclusive report on a Primary school in Derbyshire, England,which is at the centre of an unusual educational project. The children involved are at present from years five to seven (ages approximately from nine to eleven). The project, which is based at Ironville and Codnor Park Primary School, is called the Myth & Magic Tolkien Reading and Language Fellowship.


The Realms of Tolkien
Daphne Castell
(Illustrations by James Cawthorn)

Daphne Castell’s rare and unmatched interview with J.R.R. Tolkien is reproduced here! It was originally published in the November 1966 issue of New Worlds magazine,at the cultural moment when The Lord of the Rings was discovered by a wider readership and its popularity exploded.


A lifetime’s study of J.R.R. Tolkien: An interview with Jane Chance

Jane Chance is a leading literary scholar who helped to pioneer serious study of J. R. R. Tolkien. Jane holds the Andrew W. Mellon Distinguished Chair in English at Rice University, USA. She is also an established poet. Jane has taught medieval literature since 1971. She specializes in the reception of myth and medievalism, and has published twenty-one books, many on J. R. R. Tolkien, and nearly a hundred articles and reviews, and delivered invited lectures all over the world.


An interview with Jef Murray

“This was what The Lord of the Rings became for me: a portal into those older realms, and into a deeper understanding of who I was as a young soon-to-be man. Once discovered, this portal remained a tremendously powerful lodestone for me, and continues to be so to this day.”

We interview Jef Murray, an internationally known artist and illustrator of J.R.R. Tolkien and fantasy. His paintings and sketches appear regularly in publications devoted to Tolkien and the Inklings.


E D I T O R I A L Issue one

From the Editor – Colin Duriez

Welcome to the launch issue of the online magazine of the Festival in the Shire. Like the Festival itself, we (those of us working on it behind the scenes) wish the magazine to both reflect and nourish the wide interests of those who find inspiration from the works of J.R.R. Tolkien—the full range of his fiction and his scholarship. We are planning to add further sections to the magazine, so please feed in your suggestions for what we should include.

To remind us of the person who lies behind all that we are trying to do, this issue presents a landmark 1966 interview with J.R.R. Tolkien by a former pupil of his and fan, the late Daphne Castell. This interview has not been easy to obtain for many years and so we are delighted to republish it. Because of their friendship, the Professor was relaxed and avuncular with Daphne Castell, opening up what was for him still very much a private world, based on languages that he made up, a process which, decades earlier, he had described as a “secret vice”. Also, we have a first-ever feature on Daphne Castell herself – an outstanding science-fiction author with a love for fantasy – prepared with the help of her family.

Pioneering scholar Jane Chance, artist Jef Murray (who recently illustrated stories by Hilary Tolkien, brother of J.R.R. Tolkien), and musicians Arjan Kiel and Martin Romberg, have been interviewed especially for the magazine. We also feature a unique reading and language group of primary school children. Each represents part of the conversation that is going on throughout the world among those whom J.R.R. Tolkien has brought together by the richness of his invented world, and the vision behind it, which never fails to reveal depths upon depths. In future issues we plan to interview a range of outstanding scholars, artists, and others who have a unique take on his work. There is much to inspire and discuss, so participate in the conversation by taking the opportunity to comment on particular pieces, and to blog on the forum elsewhere on the Festival site.



Publisher: Mark Faith on behalf of Festival Art and Books

Editor: Colin Duriez

Design and Production: Paul Girling

Views and comments expressed by individuals in the magazine do not necessarily represent those of the publishers and no legal responsibility can be accepted for the results of the use of readers of information or advice of whatever kind given in this publication, either in editorial or advertisements.
No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form by any means without the prior permission of Festival in the Shire.

Thispublication is not affiliated with Tolkien Enterprises, New Line Cinema Corporation, the estate or heirs of J.R.R.Tolkien, Harper Collins Publishers Ltd., or any of their respective licensees.

Festival in the Shire Journal - the magazine discussing all things Tolkien. News, interviews, music and art relating to Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit and other J.R.R. Tolkien stories

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