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J.R.R. Tolkien

12 of 50 portraits matching these criteria:

- set matching 'Photographs by Lord Snowdon'

© Armstrong Jones

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J.R.R. Tolkien

by Lord Snowdon
vintage bromide print, 1972
10 3/4 in. x 10 5/8 in. (273 mm x 270 mm)
Purchased, 2000
Primary Collection
NPG P843

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Events of 1972back to top

Current affairs

Britain joins the European Community. After two attempts both vetoed by President Charles De Gaulle of France, Britain is finally accepted into the EC under the pro-European leadership of Edward Heath.
British soldiers shoot 14 unarmed protesters in the Bloody Sunday massacre. The men were part of a march through Londonderry, protesting about the policy of internment without trial.

Art and science

David Bowie releases The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars; a classic glam-rock concept album with the themes of space aliens, gender ambiguity and rock 'n' roll superstardom.


The arrest of five men who were caught trying to bug the headquarters of the Democratic National Committee marks the beginning of the 'Watergate Scandal'. The scandal centred on attempts to spy on the Democratic opposition in order to help President Nixon's re-election, and finally led to Nixon's resignation two years later.
Black September Palestinian terrorists murder 11 Israeli athletes at the Olympic Games in Munich.

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Steve Kitchen

09 January 2021, 18:23

I'm going through a lot of my old vinyl records and came across the coloured print of this within the sleeve of a LP by Swedish musician Bo Hansson with his musical take inspired by Tolkien's The Lord of The Rings. The sleeve offers the simple credit 'Snowden' for the picture. The record is dated 1972.

John Ralph

11 December 2020, 00:04

This portrait of J R R Tolkein was taken in 1972 by Lord Snowdon. The Middle Earth-like setting chosen as the location for the photograph was on the steep wooded slopes of Branksome Chine, just a very short distance from the author’s own home at the time -‘Woodridings’in Lakeside Rd on the Poole/Bournemouth border. The image was taken not long after the death of the author’s beloved wife Edith in 1971, and shortly before Tolkien’s own death in 1973. Colour versions of this image were also taken by Lord Snowdon at the time, with one being used as the book- jacket cover image for the 1977 Humphrey Carpenter biography of Tolkein. The location is now more heavily wooded by younger saplings, but can still be recognised by comparison with the original image, and some patient exploration.

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