Hilary Tolkien

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Hilary Tolkien
Biographical information
Born17 February 1894
Died25 January 1976

Hilary Arthur Reuel Tolkien (17 February 189425 January 1976) was J.R.R. Tolkien's younger brother and the son of Arthur Tolkien and Mabel Tolkien (née Suffield).

Biography[edit | edit source]

Hilary Tolkien was born in Bloemfontein, South Africa. While on a family visit to England his father died of a brain haemorrhage and his mother moved him and his brother to Birmingham, England. He was homeschooled by his mother until the age of eight when he and his brother were enrolled in St Philip’s School, shortly after Mabel pulled them out and enrolled them in King Edward's School, Hilary not having passed the entrance exam was homeschooled for the next few years by Mabel and would later pass the entrance exam and be enrolled. When Hilary was ten years old his mother died of diabetes, in her will she made Father Francis Xavier Morgan their guardian.[1]

Hilary became involved in agriculture, leaving school early to take it up. After his military service (he began as a bugler, and received "multiple minor shrapnel wounds" in the process of moving materiel in support services[source?]) he bought a small orchard and farm at Evesham, Worcestershire, where he spent the rest of his life. J.R.R. Tolkien's wife and children stayed with him on occasion.

He married Ann Madeline (Magdalen) Matthews in 1928. Their first son, Gabriel, was born in 1931, followed by Julian in 1935 and Paul in 1938. Hilary Tolkien had a dog which he called Bilbo when it was good, and Baggins when it was bad.[2]

Hilary died on 25 January 1976 at the age of 81.

In 2009, Black & White Ogre Country: The Lost Tales of Hilary Tolkien was published. It contained unpublished stories written by Hilary along with previously unpublished photographs, illustrations and a letter from J.R.R. Tolkien to Hilary.

Actor James MacCallum portrays him in the biographical drama film about J.R.R. Tolkien, called Tolkien.

Family tree[edit | edit source]

Mabel Suffield
Arthur Reuel Tolkien
Edith Bratt
J.R.R. Tolkien
Hilary Tolkien
Magdalen Matthews
Gabriel Tolkien
Julian Tolkien
Paul Tolkien

Bibliography[edit | edit source]