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Orange Free State

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"...It is a long tale..." — Aragorn
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Oranje-Vrijstaat (Dutch: Republic of the Orange Free State) was an independent Boer republic in southern Africa, now the province Vrystaat (Afrikaans: Free State) of the Republic of South Africa. Orginally founded as Transoranje on 17 February 1854 by former Dutch collonists of the Cape Colony. 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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