Tolkien Gateway

J.R.R. Tolkien/temp

< J.R.R. Tolkien
Revision as of 19:06, 6 November 2008 by Ederchil (Talk | contribs)
Photograph of J.R.R. Tolkien.jpg
J.R.R. Tolkien
Biographical information
BornJanuary 3, 1892
DiedSeptember 2, 1973
EducationUniversity of Oxford
OccupationProfessor of Old and Middle English
LocationOxford, Leeds, England
WebsiteThe Tolkien Estate
"I felt that Tolkien was like an iceberg, something to be reckoned with above water in both its brilliance and mass and yet so much more below the surface."
Clyde Kilby[1]

Professor Dr. John Ronald Reuel Tolkien CBE (1982 - 1973) is the subject of Tolkien Gateway. His life, his works, his family: everything about the man whom fans have named affectionately the Professor can be found here.

Besides creating Arda, The Little Kingdom, and many other wonderful worlds, Tolkien's reading of Beowulf was groundbreaking, and stands as the interpretation of the epic poem to this day[source?].




South Africa



The War

Young Adult

Oxford English Dictionary

University of Oxford

Academics and Fantasy

University of Leeds

The Hobbit

The Lord of the Rings

Back in Oxford

The Price of Fame

The Silmarillion

Voluntary "Hiding"







The name John was a custom in the Tolkien family. It was usually given to the eldest son of the eldest son. Tolkien's father, Arthur, was the first son of John Benjamin's second marriage; the first son of his first marriage, John, died with only three daughters. As of that moment, the name John went to Arthur's descendants.[2] It passed to Tolkien's first son, John, who became a priest and left no children,[3] so the name John has effectively lost its hereditary signififance.

The name, though Romish in nature, had at first no religious connotations. However, because his birthday (January 3) wasthe Octave of John the Evangelist, Tolkien chose him as his patron.[2]


Arthur Tolkien's first choice for his eldest son's second child was Benjamin, after his father. Tolkien's mother, Mabel, who was confident she would receive a daughter, chose Rosalind. This would become Ronald when the child turned out to be a boy.[2] Tolkien often used this name as his first name; most of his letters to Edith were signed Ronald, or simply R..[4]


Despite its obvious biblical connotations, the name Reuel does not come from any of the people mentioned in the Bible; instead, it was the surname of a friend of John Benjamin.[2] He gave it to his son Arthur, and both his sons, John and Hilary had it. Even most their male children and grandchildren have it. Though this family friend was never identified, Tolkien recalled the name being of Norman origin.[2] In this light, it might be an early anglification of the surname Rouel, which means "(maker of) small wheels/circular objects".[5] The "biblical" Reuel means "Friend of God".[6]


Other Names


As an Author

The Philologist

The Veteran

The Christian

Portrayal in Adaptations

2004: The Question of God: Sigmund Freud & C.S. Lewis:

Ian Bellman plays Tolkien in this film about C.S. Lewis. It stars Simon Jones (of Hitchhiker's Guide fame) as Lewis.

2005: C.S. Lewis: Beyond Narnia:

In this film, also about Lewis, Ben Lambert and Robert Hickson play the younger and older Tolkien.



Other fiction

Academic Works

Posthumous Publications

Audio Recordings

See Also


  1. Clyde Kilby, Tolkien and The Silmarillion, Preface
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 J.R.R. Tolkien, Humphrey Carpenter, Christopher Tolkien (eds.), The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien, Letter 309 (dated January 2, 1969)
  3. Humphrey Carpenter, J.R.R. Tolkien: A Biography, page 202
  4. J.R.R. Tolkien, Humphrey Carpenter, Christopher Tolkien (eds.), The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien, Letter 1, note 7 (dated October 1914)
  5. Marie-Thérèse Morlet, Dictionnaire étymologique des noms de famille (1991), translated from the French: "en général « petite roue », a désigné en anc[ien] fr[ançais] et moy[en] fr[ançais] différents objets en forme de roue, peut être un surnom de fabricant."
  6. Patrick Hanks, Kate Hardcastle, Flavia Hodges, A Dictionary of First Names", Oxford University Press (2003)