J. R. R. Tolkien: A Biography


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John faithfully waited until his 21st birthday, and on this date, he renewed his contact with Edith and successfully persuaded her to marry him. From an academic point of view, his separation from Edith seemed to do the trick, and a year later he won an exhibition at Exeter College, Oxford where he would study classics.

Childhood and Youth

John did not particularly shine in this subject and grew to enjoy the pleasures of University life, though his meagre income made it difficult to keep up with the spending habits of more affluent students. Uninspired by the classics, John was able to switch to his real love — English literature.

He was a competent scholar, but a lot of his time was spent researching other languages in the Bodleian library. It was here in Oxford that he became fascinated with Finnish, a language which would form the basis for Quenya; a language he would later give to his Elves. His love of languages remained with Tolkien throughout his life; in particular, he began developing his own languages, a remarkable undertaking.

In fact, he later commented that languages lied at the heart of his Middle Earth creations. Tolkien said the stories existed to provide an opportunity to use the languages. Devotees of the book may not agree, but it does illustrate the profound importance he attached to the use of language. At the outbreak of the First World War, J. Tolkien decided to finish off his degree before enlisting in Joining the Lancashire Fusiliers, he made it to the Western Front just before the great Somme offensive.

At first hand, J. Tolkien survived, mainly due to the persistent re-occurrence of trench fever, which saw him invalided back to England. He rarely talked about his experiences directly, but the large-scale horrors of war will undoubtedly have influenced his writings in some way. Perhaps the imagery for the wastelands of Mordor may have had a birth in the muddy horrors of the Western Front. It was back in England, in , that J. The Silmarillion makes hard reading, in that, it is not plot driven, but depicts the history of a universe, through an almost biblical overview.

It moves from the Creation of the Universe to the introduction of evil and the rebellion of the Noldor. It is in The Silmarillion that many roots from the Lord of the Rings stem. It gives the Lord of the Rings the impression of a real epic. It becomes not just a story, but also the history of an entire world and peoples.

He found his time absorbed in teaching and other duties of being a professor. He also found time to write important papers on medieval literature.

In , he was given the Merton professorship and gained additional duties of teaching and lecturing. It was sometime after that Tolkien gained an unexpected inspiration to start writing the Hobbit. Hinting at evil things, it still ends in a happy ending for all and is primarily concerned with a triumph of good over evil. In the course of the next few years friends, including C. Lewis , read his manuscript and gave good reviews. In the course of time, the publisher Allen and Unwin were sent a copy. Rayner, the year-old son of Mr Unwin, gave a glowing reference and the Hobbit was published in to great commercial success.

Tolkien was good friends with C. Tolkien had a strong Catholic faith throughout his life; he often discussed religion with C. Lewis later said that his conversations with Tolkien were a key factor in his decision to embrace Christianity. However, their relationship cooled over the years.

There was a little friction over C. Lewis relationship with Joy Davidson, but they remained firm friends and C.

J. R. R. Tolkien

Though Tolkien was somewhat less enthusiastic about the work of C. Tolkien to write a sequel.

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J.R.R. Tolkien: A Biography [Humphrey Carpenter, J.R.R. Tolkien] on Amazon. com. *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. The authorized biography of the. Born on January 3, , in Bloemfontein, South Africa, J.R.R. Tolkien settled in England as a child, going on to study at Exeter College. While teaching at.

Thus, over a period of many years, J. Philologist, author, mythmaker and creator of "Middle Earth" Professor of Anglo-Saxon at Oxford University, a brilliant philologist, and a self-described "hobbit," J. Tolkien created two of the best-loved stories of the 20th century, " The Hobbit " and " The Lord of the Rings ", recently made into a multiple award-winning movie by the director Peter Jackson for New Line Cinema. At the age of three his mother brought him and his younger brother, Hilary, back to England.

Tolkien's father died soon afterwards in South Africa, so the family stayed in England and by the summer of his mother found them a home in the hamlet of Sarehole, just outside the city Birmingham. Tolkien's family lived in genteel poverty, eventually moving to Moseley a suburb of Birmingham, just north west of Sarehole.

When he was 12, Tolkien's mother died, and he and his brother were made wards of a Catholic priest. They lived with aunts and in boarding homes thereafter. The dichotomy between Tolkien's happier days in the rural landscape of Sarehole and his adolescent years in the industrial centre of Birmingham would be felt strongly in his later works.

Education The young Tolkien attended King Edward's School in Birmingham in the years and , where he excelled in classical and modern languages.

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There are six known contributions he made in the King Edward's School Chronicle. He quickly demonstrated an aptitude for philology and began to create his own languages. In Tolkien published his very first poem, called 'From the many-willow'd margin of the immemorial Thames', in the Stapeldon Magazine of Exeter college. Tolkien enlisted and was commissioned in the Lancashire Fusiliers, but he did not see active duty for months. In this period he wrote the poem 'Gobin Feet' which got published in ' Oxford Poetry '.

When he learned that he would be shipped out in March , he married his longtime friend Edith Bratt, the girl the poem was written for. Tolkien was sent to the Western Front and fought in the Somme offensive. Almost all of his closest friends were killed. After four months in and out of the trenches, he contracted a typhus-like infection and was sent back to England, where he served for the rest of the war.

During this time he began serious work on creating languages that he imagined had been spoken by elves. The languages were based primarily on Finnish and Welsh. He also began his "Lost Tales" a mythic history of men, elves, and other creatures he created to provide context for his "Elvish" languages. He made the first public presentation of his tales when he read "The Fall of Gondolin" to an appreciative audience at the Exeter College Essay Club.

Who was Tolkien?

Tolkien then became a professor in English Language at the University of Leeds, where he collaborated with E. Gordon on the famous edition of 'Sir Gawain and the Green Knight'. Tolkien remained at Leeds until , when he took a position teaching Anglo-Saxon at Oxford University.

Tolkien Biography

Tolkien at Oxford Tolkien spent the rest of his career at Oxford, retiring in Although he produced little by today's "publish or perish" standards, his scholarly writings were of the highest caliber. One of his most influential works is his lecture "Beowulf, the Monsters and the Critics. Another prominent member was C. Lewis, who became one of Tolkien's closest friends.

Biography – The Tolkien Society

Tolkien, a devout Catholic, and Lewis, an agnostic at the time, frequently debated religion and the role of mythology. Unlike Lewis, who tended to dismiss myths and fairy tales, Tolkien firmly believed that they have moral and spiritual value. Said Tolkien, "The imagined beings have their inside on the outside; they are visible souls. And Man as a whole, Man pitted against the Universe, have we seen him at all till we see that he is like a hero in a fairy tale? This grew into a story he told his children, and in a version of it came to the attention of the publishing firm of George Allen and Unwin now part of HarperCollins , who published it as The Hobbit, or There and Back Again, in It become an instant and enduring classic.

Lord of the Rings Stanley Unwin, the publisher, was stunned by The Hobbit's success and asked for a sequel, which blossomed into a multivolume epic. While The Hobbit hinted at the history of Middle-earth that Tolkien had created in his "Lost Tales" which he was now calling "The Silmarillion" , the sequel drew heavily upon it.

So determined was Tolkien to get every detail right that it took him more than a decade to complete the book "Lord of the Rings. The Lord of the Rings appeared in in three parts: