Tolkien's annotated map of Middle-Earth

A map of Middle-Earth annoted by Tolkien himself has been found tucked in an old copy of Lord of the Rings—and it reveals that Hobbiton is on the same Latitude as the professor's beloved Oxford, England.

It's on sale for £60,000, reports The Guardian.

It shows what Blackwell’s called “the exacting nature” of Tolkien’s creative vision: he corrects place names, provides extra ones, and gives Baynes a host of suggestions about the map’s various flora and fauna. Hobbiton, he notes, “ is assumed to be approx at latitude of Oxford”; Tolkien was a professor of Anglo-Saxon at Oxford University.

The novelist also uses Belgrade, Cyprus, and Jerusalem as other reference points, and according to Blackwell’s suggests that “the city of Ravenna is the inspiration behind Minas Tirith - a key location in the third book of the Lord of The Rings trilogy”.

“The map shows how completely obsessed he was with the details. Anyone else interfered at their peril,” said Sian Wainwright at Blackwell’s. “He was tricky to work with, but very rewarding in the end.”

Brace yourselves: new maps of Middle-Earth superimposed on Europe are coming.

Previously: See Tolkien's unpublished drawings of Middle-earth and his entire literary universe.

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