Exeter College has acquired a book that has links to two of its most famous alumni.

An alumnus of the college donated the book by textile designer William Morris that is signed by Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit author JRR Tolkien. It was bought for £3,500 from auctioneer Bonhams.

Tolkien was at the college from 1911-15, studying classics and English.

William Morris was at the college, where he met his fellow Pre-Raphaelite Edward Burne-Jones, from 1852 to 1855.

Tolkien said much of his literary work was inspired by reading Morris.

The book, which bears a gilt stamp of the college arms on its cover and Tolkien’s signature on the flyleaf, is called Some Hints on Pattern Designing. A Lecture delivered at the Working Men’s College, London, on December 10, 1881.