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Notion Club Papers: The Club

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So. Here are the members of the Notion Club, or at least the ones I've deemed important enough to illustrate. They are, from left to right:

FRONT ROW: Nicholas Guildford; Arundel Lowdhawm; Michael George Ramer; Wilfred Trewin Jeremy

BACK ROW: Alexander Cameron; Sir Alfred Raymond, Rufus Rupert Dolbear, Douglas MacPhee

I'm very proud of this picture, it took me a long time and it was a lot of fun. It was interesting thinking of different poses, expressions, and simple face types for all of them. Someone commented that all my faces look the same, so I tried to counter that here. Not sure if it worked, but it was fun to try.

WARNING! LONG DESCRIPTION COMING UP! Tolkien provides you with loads of information, but I doubt you're interested in all of it (i.e. Ramer belongs to Jesus College and is a professor of Fiino-Ugric Philiology), so I'll just tell you what I consider important about the lot of them.

Nicholas Guildford (Front, far left) is the Notion Club's secretary. He takes down all the notes, and the papers are written from his POV. He's in the earlier "Camera" pic here: [link]

Arundel Lowdhawm: (Front, middle left) You've seen this guy already. To the club, he's their resident comedian, rabble-rouser and such. He is also a philologist, interested in Anglo-Saxon and Icelandic, like Tolkien was. (He looks like Oscar Wilde, but that is simply my own device.)

Michael Ramer: (Front, Middle Right) He is the one who discovers and describes the notion of traveling in dreams. He's an image of Tolkien in the story (indeed, he has many of the same dreams), so I doubt Tolkien would have drawn him like this. Guy looks like a Nazi. But bald guys with sunglasses look cool.

Wilfred Jeremy: (Front, Far Right) This guy seems to be important, but the notes end just where he is starting to get visions. He seems to be a kind of seer, and sees many of the things Lowdhawm does.

Alexander Cameron: (Back, Far left) This guy barely shows up in the papers, and when he does he's a little annoying. I included him because I think Tolkien meant for him to be a bad guy. I drew him something like Charles Williams (who Tolkien was not very fond of), but it doesn't really show.

Sir Raymond: (Back, middle left) This man is actually NOT in the papers. I transplanted him into my version from George MacDonald's "Back of the North Wind", simply because that story had a similar dream-travel premise. He's intended to resemble George MacDonald.

Rufus Dolbear: (Back, Middle Right) Known as "Ruthless Rufus" This guy is always half-asleep, but every so often he says something that shows he knows a lot about what's going on in the club. I think Tolkien meant him to be a Lewis, so I drew him like one.

MacPhee: (Back, far right) If you guys don't know who this is, you should. He's not in Notion Club Papers either, he comes from "That Hideous Strength", where he plays the resident agnostic. I think Tolkien's Notion Club is linked with that story, so I stuck him in.
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pandemonium-213's avatar
I'm beyond thrilled to find illustrations of one of my favorite stories, albeit incomplete, by JRRT. All three posted here are wonderful, but I am especially taken with this portrait of the fellows. The care you took in the rendering is obvious. Very well done!