[Originally posted on April 1st, 2015]
Professor Tolkien originally wrote all of his manuscripts for his stories by hand. Every tale from The Silmarillion, even the ones from the 1910s, were scattered on pieces and scraps in notebooks and on loose papers. He wrote the original drafts in pencil, erased those, and wrote over them in ink. Needless to say, his work that was published posthumously by his son was not the easiest thing to decipher. Many passages were struck through, blotted out, or had footnotes connecting them to separate information in the margins or on other scraps of paper. Below is a sample of one of the pages Christopher Tolkien had to sift through to complete his father’s work.