Literary detective Dr. Paul Tankard

Updated at 10:19 am on 3 December 2014

Long before Peter Jackson created his vision of Middle Earth on film, artist Mary Fairburn created her own pen and ink illustrations of Middle Earth. JRR Tolkien, who had always been against an illustrated version of his trilogy, was impressed by Mary's work. He wrote to her in 1968 and said he was beginning to think that an illustrated edition might be a good thing. But Tolkien was hospitalised with an injury, his family shifted, and the illustrations were forgotten. Now, thanks so some literary detective work by Dr. Paul Tankard, the world now knows about Mary's work and the pictures she produced.

From Jesse Mulligan, 1–4pm

This story was broadcast on Tuesday 18 September 2012

Recent stories from Jesse Mulligan, 1–4pm