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Orange Free State

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"...It is a long tale..." — Aragorn
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The Republic of the Orange Free State (Dutch: Oranje Vrijstaat) was an independent Boer republic in southern Africa, now a province of the Republic of South Africa. J.R.R. Tolkien was born there in 1892—his father Arthur Tolkien headed the Bloemfontein branch of a British bank—but returned to England with his mother at the age of three.

In 1944, Christopher Tolkien spent time in Free State Province, training for the Royal Air Force. During this stay he corresponded extensively with his father about the elder Tolkien's reminiscences of South Africa, as well as newly written chapters of The Lord of the Rings.

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