Magic of Middle-earth at The Novium: A must-see for Tolkien fans of all ages

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A new exhibition of all-things Middle-earth is set to open at The Novium Museum tomorrow — we got a sneak preview of what’s in store for fans of Britain’s favourite writer.

Open from tomorrow (April 1) until September 24, fans of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings have ample to time to visit the exhibit to see a rare first-edition copy of The Hobbit from 1937, an array of incredible artworks and impressions from artists from mid-century to today, a dramatic diorama depicting The Battle of Helms Deep and, of course, The One Ring.

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Set to a backdrop of Middle-earth inspired music from the iconic Howard Shore 2001 film score, to Led Zeppelin’s ‘IV’ this exhibition walks you through numerous aspects of the mythical and historical story of Middle-earth, its beginning and the works it went on to inspire — a guaranteed delight for Tolkien fans of any age.

Reporters FroJoe Stack and Connor Gormley-the-Grey dress for the occasionReporters FroJoe Stack and Connor Gormley-the-Grey dress for the occasion
Reporters FroJoe Stack and Connor Gormley-the-Grey dress for the occasion

The items in the exhibition are the personal collection of Matt Fox, who said it feels ‘brilliant’ to be able to share his Tolkienien assortment with Chichester.

He said: "I have been a life-long collector and there is an old saying that collecting is a sickness and that sharing is the only cure, so that’s what I’m doing here. We are a nation of collectors, one in three British people admit to collecting something — this is mine.

"If you’re a fan of Middle-earth in any way shape or form this is a chance to do a deep-dive back into Middle-earth to maybe find out some things that you don’t know and to see lots of cool things.”

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On his personal favourite item on show at The Novium, Matt said: “We begin with The Hobbit. ‘In a hole in the ground lived a hobbit’, wrote J R R Tolkien and this was published in 1937. This copy here is actually a first edition, first impression, one of the very first batch of 1,500 copies that were printed of this book and really it is a book that went on to change the world.”

The bright minds at Kim’s Bookshop in South Street estimate that the book is worth north of £15,000.

'The Magic of Middle-earth' will have you ogling sculptures, picking up bits of Elvish and learning your Hobbit name. With such a vast array on show there really is no excuse not to pop-in.

Visitors are advised to book ahead.

Tickets to the exhibition cost £4 for adults, £2.50 for a child and £12 for a family of up to five (maximum two adults).

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Relaxed SEN (Special Educational Needs) sessions are available, please see The Novium Museum's website for details. Advance booking is essential. For more information, and to book visit The Novium's Magic of Middle Earth webpage(Opens in a new window) . Entry to the rest of the museum remains free, with donations gratefully accepted.