Robert Blackham, a former power station engineer from Birmingham, has become an expert on the Oxford connections of JRR Tolkien, author of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. He is the author of The Roots of Tolkien’s Middle Earth, published in 2006, and Tolkien’s Oxford (2008), which focused on Tolkien’s life and the places he visited, not his books.

Now he has brought out The Pitkin Guide to Tolkien (£4.99), a slim volume which — strangely for a Brummie author — has more to say about Oxford than about Tolkien’s rural upbringing in the Midlands hamlet of Sarehole, believed by some to be the landscape of Middle Earth’s Shire.

The Pitkin Guide concentrates on Tolkien’s career as an academic, when he lived at 20 Northmoor Road, Oxford, and his visits to White Horse Hill, Wayland Smithy and the Rollright Stones. Blackham quotes from The Lord of the Rings which seem to have been inspired by this landscape.

The book is highly illustrated, with colour photos and a list of places to visit in Oxford, plus a mention of The Tolkien Society, whose meeting in Oxford each September includes a visit to Tolkien’s grave in Wolvercote Cemetery.