Sunday, February 26, 2012

Brushing Elbows With Tolkien And C.S. Lewis...

... sort of.   This weekend my family and I went to visit my parents, they live in the northern suburbs of Chicago.  And as part of our weekend we went to Wheaton College to visit the Marion E. Wade Center Museum which features historical items related to several authors, J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, G.K. Chesterton, and Dorothy L. Sayers. 

Of course I went mainly for the Tolkien and Lewis exibits and I've was on seventh heaven.  I think I was geeking out more than my kids were.   

First we got to see C.S. Lewis' wardrobe which was handmade by his grandfather and also inspired the wardrobe in the book "The Lion The Witch And The Wardrobe".  My kids really wanted to step inside and go to Narnia for the day, but they had to settle for just looking inside and touching the fur coats.  There was also one of Lewis' desks that he had donated, which was neat to see.

Next we looked at some of the memorabilia from the Narnial films, like a Telmarine helmet, a sword and the arrest warrant for Mr. Tumnus.  All courtesy of Weta Workshop.

Then I got to touch the desk that J.R.R. Tolkien wrote and illustrated The Hobbit.  I can't tell you the feeling I got just seeing and being near it.  It was truly a great historical item to see!  Also on the desk was a handwritten letter from Tolkien explaining the donation of the desk and it's history.  Due to copyright I couldn't take a picture of it, but I absolutely love his handwriting.

Also in the exhibit was the original painting by Pauline Baynes that was on the Puffin Library edition of The Hobbit.  She's also the original artist who illustrated the covers and interior artwork in the Chronicles of Narnia.  What a beautiful cover and the original painting is more vibrant and beautiful in person that it is on the cover.

The whole place seemed magical, it was a great little museum and wonderful to see all of these great items.  If you are ever in the Northern Illinois are I highly recommend going for a visit.

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