By Eifion Rees -In 1936, ten-year-old Rayner Unwin was asked by his father, the publisher Sir Stanley Unwin, to read the manuscript of a new children’s book and provide him with a written report, for the princely sum of one shilling.
‘This book, with the help of maps, does not need any illustrations and should appeal to all children between the ages of five and nine,’ the boy reviewer noted. JRR Tolkien’s The Hobbit was published by George Allen & Unwin the next year and has since sold an estimated 100 million copies.
Rayner followed his father into the family firm and eventually became its chairman, during which time he published Tolkien’s The Lord Of The Rings and later Roald Dahl’s Charlie And The Chocolate Factory and James And The Giant Peach.
The path leading up to the front door of this Grade II-listed 17th Century property is lined with lush borders.
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