Tom Loback (1949–2015) was a well-known illustrator, linguist, and artist of Tolkien’s writings. In the 1990s his illustrations were popular in Beyond Bree (whose logo he designed), Vinyar Tengwar, Little Gwaihir, Mythlore, and Parma Eldalamberon. As an Elvish linguist, Tom often incorporated Sindarin and Quenya script written in cirth and tengwar into his art. His depiction of Fingolfin in full battle glory recently appeared as the cover art on The Hobbit and Tolkien’s Mythology: Essays on Revisions and Influences (McFarland, 2014). In the last two years, Tom was able to complete two large triptychs of Tolkien art, one on Fëanor and the creation of the Silmarils, and the other on the War of Wrath at the end of the First Age; he was working on a triptych of the Dagor Dagorath (Battle of Battles) before his untimely death. Tom was also well known in the New York area as an off-Broadway play producer, model soldier designer and painter, and maker of impromptu driftwood structures along the Hudson River often featured in the New York Times and other media. Much of his artwork can be viewed through online galleries, notably one at http://www.elvish.org/gwaith/tom_loback.htm.
Stratford Caldecott, who died in Oxford, England, on July 17, 2014, aged 60, was a Catholic cultural thinker dedicated to literature, theology, and the “second spring” of Catholicism, and an ardent supporter of the works of J.R.R. Tolkien. He was born in 1953, and was for many years director of The Center for Faith and Culture in Oxford. He was on the editorial board of The Chesterton Review, and was coeditor of that journal’s special issue, J.R.R. Tolkien: Mythos and Modernity in Middle-earth (vol. 28, no. 1–2, 2002). The issue was republished in book form as A Hidden Presence: The Catholic Imagination of J.R.R. Tolkien (Chesterton, 2003). He wrote numerous articles on Tolkien, and one full-length monograph, Secret Fire: The Spiritual Vision of J.R.R. Tolkien (Darton, Longman & Todd, 2003), which was revised and expanded for a U.S. edition as The Power of the Ring: The Spiritual Vision behind The Lord of the Rings (Crossroad, 2005, rev. 2012). In 2006, he organized a conference on Tolkien at Exeter College, Oxford. Papers from this conference were later published as Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings: Sources of Inspiration (Walking Tree, 2008), which he coedited with Thomas Honegger. [End Page vii]