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Fantastic circa 1969 promotional poster of Middle Earth, prepared by Barbara Remington for Ballantine Books' first American edition of J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings.

The colorful and somewhat abstract rendering of Middle Earth is redolent of the graphic design traditions of the late 1960s. Remington apparently was not allowed an advance copy of the trilogy by Ballantine, and so she had to complete her work with only a sketchy understanding of the books' content. As a result, Tolkien was confused by the lions and pumpkins in trees that appeared in some of the cover art. Indeed, on this poster, the illustrations are certainly evocative, but not necessarily of the content of the books themselves. Nonetheless, Remington's work represents a very important part of the history of LOTR design.

Interestingly, Barbara "Brem" Remington was also the illustrator for this map of Central City, Colorado. Remington was born in Minnesota in 1929, and she passed away on January 23, 2020. She was an American commercial artist and illustrator. In addition to this poster for Ballantine Books, she also did the cover art for the first American edition of Tolkien's Lord of the Rings.

There are a number of issues of this poster, the exact chronology of which seems to be uncertain. This example has the Ballantine number "00002-1-500" and a price of "$5.00". There are later examples with the price of $5.95 and an ISBN number. There might be earlier examples with lower prices as well, though we were not able to easily track any down.

Barbara Remington Biography

Barbara Remington is an American artist and illustrator. She is probably best known for her cover-art for Ballantine Books' first paperback editions of J. R. R. Tolkien's novels The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings and for her Tolkien-related poster A Map of Middle-earth.

The popularity of the artwork led to a large edition of the poster as well as work for similar genre fiction such as The Worm Ouroboros by Eric Rücker Eddison. She has also illustrated a number of children's books.

Barbara Remington also illustrated “Scuttle The Stowaway Mouse”. Written by Jean and Nancy Soule. Copyright for story and illustrations 1969. This is a great example of Remingtons ability to understand and transform the characters into her own. Her imagination and eye for every small detail is impeccable.

Remington illustrated the book “Boat” in 1975. It’s a story told in art (no words).