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Author of the century reaches out to online community

If you haven't heard about the Lord of the Rings film coming out in December then the £2m marketing campaign the film-makers will be unleashing in the UK will no doubt remedy that.

In a direct response to the ever-growing flow of e-enquiries concerning Tolkien and his works, HarperCollins (the official UK publisher) is launching a sophisticated, state-of-the-art website at, set to launch on 25th July 2001. Designed by a dedicated in-house team, the site will introduce Tolkien to readers new to his work as well as offering exclusive content to his established fan base.

The website's distinctive style is based on Tolkien's drawings for the original covers, which have also been reinstated on this years' new editions.

The site will feature rare archive interviews with Tolkien himself and many examples of his original artwork, as well as offering a comprehensive introduction to Tolkien the man and his key works. Over the months following the launch, the world of Middle-Earth will be unveiled via a selection of interactive maps. A series of online competitions will offer limited editions and associated promotional materials.

Enthusiasts will be able to sign up as members through which they will receive all the latest news on film tie-in - and other - titles as well as notification of a number of planned interviews with key members of the film crew.

About Tolkien

J.R.R. Tolkien was born on 3 January 1892. After serving in the First World War, he embarked upon a distinguished academic career and was recognised as one of the finest philologists in the world. He is best known as the creator of Middle-Earth and author of the classic works The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. His books are translated into over 40 languages and have sold many millions of copies world-wide. He was awarded a CBE, and an honorary Doctorate of Letters from Oxford University in 1972. He died in 1973 at the age of 81.

In 2000 Tolkien was chosen as Author of the Century, and in 1997 The Lord of the Rings was voted Book of the Century in a poll sponsored by Channel 4 TV and bookseller Waterstone's, amongst others.

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