User:Éowyn/sandbox2

From Tolkien Gateway
  • Family Tree

Come back to later

He enjoyed exploring Sarehole Mill and Moseley Bog and the Clent Hills and Lickey Hills, which would later inspire scenes in his books along with other Worcestershire towns and villages such as Bromsgrove, Alcester and Alvechurch and places such as his aunt's farm of Bag End, the name of which would be used in his fiction.- combines locations from diff times
He commented in 1965, while editing The Hobbit for a third edition, that he would have preferred to completely rewrite the entire book.[source?]

J.R.R. Tolkien

The name J.R.R. Tolkien refers to more than one character, item or concept. For a list of other meanings, see J.R.R. Tolkien (disambiguation).
The name Tolkien refers to more than one character, item or concept. For a list of other meanings, see Tolkien (disambiguation).
J.R.R. Tolkien
Biographical information
Born3 January 1892
Bloemfontein, Orange Free State
Died2 September 1973 (aged 81 years)
Bournemouth, England
EducationUniversity of Oxford
OccupationAcademic
Author
Philologist
Poet
LocationUnited Kingdom
WebsiteTolkien: The official site of the Tolkien Estate

John Ronald Reuel Tolkien, CBE, (3 January 18922 September 1973) was a philologist and writer, best known as the author of The Hobbit and its sequel The Lord of the Rings. He worked as reader and professor in English language at the University of Leeds from 1920 to 1925; as professor of Anglo-Saxon language at the University of Oxford from 1925 to 1945; and of English language and literature from 1945 until his retirement in 1959. Tolkien was a close friend of C.S. Lewis, and a member of the Inklings, a literary discussion group to which both Lewis and various other celebrated authors belonged.

Tolkien created a legendarium, a fictional mythology about the remote past of Earth, of which Middle-earth in particular is the main stage. Included in his legendarium are The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings along with The Silmarillion and The History of Middle-earth series (both posthumously published by his son, Christopher Tolkien). Tolkien's other published works include philological essays, modern adaptations of medieval literature and other stories not directly related to the legendarium, many of which were originally stories written for his children. Tolkien is often referred to as the "father" of modern fantasy and is widely regarded as one of the most influential authors of all time.

Biography

Family ancestry

See also: Tolkien Family & Suffield Family

Many of Tolkien's paternal ancestors were craftsmen.[1] According to Tolkien's own understanding,[note 1] the Tolkien Family had its roots in Saxony (present-day Germany), but had been living in England since the 18th century, becoming "quickly and intensely English (not British)".[2] Tolkien believed that the name Tolkien was the anglicised form of Tollkiehn (i.e. German: tollkühn, "foolhardy", the etymological English calque would be "dull-keen", a literal translation of "oxymoron").[3] Research by linguist Ryszard Derdziński suggests that the family is of Low Prussian descent and consequently, the name is of Old Prussian origin and probably means "son/descendant of Tolk".[4] Tolkien was dismissive of this theory.[5] Tolkien's name was often misspelt Tolkein, a source of irritation for him.[3][6]

The Suffield Family had its origin in the small town of Evesham, Worcestershire and for that reason he considered Worcestershire to be a home to him.[7] By the time Tolkien was born, most of the family lived in Birmingham.[8] After Arthur Tolkien's death and being raised around the Suffields, he developed a strong affection for them and later wrote "though a Tolkien by name, I am a Suffield by tastes, talents, and upbringing, and any corner of that county [Worcestershire] (however fair or squalid) is in an indefinable way 'home' to me, as no other part of the world is."[8][2][7]

Childhood

Plaque commemorating J.R.R. Tolkien's birthplace on President Steyn Avenue, Bloemfontein.

Tolkien was born on 3 January 1892, in Bloemfontein in the Orange Free State (now the Free State province of South Africa) to Arthur Reuel Tolkien (18571896), an English bank manager, and his wife Mabel, née Suffield (18701904). He was addressed by his family as “Ronald” as it had no history of use in the Tolkien family.[8] He was christened later that month, on 31 January at the Cathedral of St. Andrew and St. Michael.[8]

Around the time he was learning to walk, he was bitten by a large tarantula,[note 2] which many believe echoes in his stories.[8][9] However, Tolkien insisted that he did not develop a particular fear of spiders after this event, and when he was older, recalled picking small spiders up and putting them outside.[10] Tolkien had one sibling, his younger brother, Hilary Arthur Reuel, who was born on 17 February 1894 when Tolkien was age two.[8]

Tolkien's health struggled in the South African environment, and as a result, he was forced to remain inside much of the day because of the heat. Believing that cooler air would help, when he was three, Tolkien's mother brought him and Hilary to England on what was intended to be a lengthy family visit. During this visit, his father died in South Africa of a severe brain haemorrhage before he could join them. This left the family without an income, so Tolkien's mother took him to live with her parents in Birmingham, England. Soon after in 1896, they moved to Sarehole (now in Hall Green), then a Worcestershire village, later annexed to Birmingham. Tolkien later described his years in Sarehole as the most formative of his life.[8]

Mabel tutored her two sons, and Tolkien was a keen pupil. She taught him a great deal of botany, and she awoke in her son the enjoyment of the look and feel of plants. But his favourite lessons were those concerning languages. His mother taught him the rudiments of Latin very early. He could read by the age of four and could write fluently soon afterwards. The first story Tolkien could remember writing was a story about a dragon written at about the age of 7, about a Dragon and later all he could recall of it was being perplexed by the rules regarding English adjective order.[8][10]

After originally failing the entrance exam in 1899, Tolkien was enrolled at King Edward's School in 1900. Trains were too expensive and the trams did not run to their house so the 8-year-old Tolkien was forced to walk 8 miles to school every day. Shortly after they moved to a house in Moseley, a suburb of Birmingham, nearer to the city centre.[8] While a student at King Edward's he helped "line the route" for the coronation parade of King George V, being posted just outside the gates of Buckingham Palace.[11]

His mother converted to Roman Catholicism in 1900, and afterwards raised her sons Catholic, despite vehement protests by her Anglican family. For the rest of his life, Tolkien felt that she had become a martyr for her faith; this had a profound effect on his own Catholic beliefs.[7] In 1902 she enrolled her sons at St Philip's Grammar School, where they could receive a Catholic education with a lower tuition and they moved to a house next door to the school. Tolkien quickly outpaced his classmates so after receiving a scholarship his mother pulled him out and reenrolled him in King Edward's School.[8]

Ronald and Hilary Tolkien in 1905

In April of 1904, Mabel Tolkien was hospitalized and diagnosed with diabetes and Tolkien went to stay with his Aunt Jane. When she was well enough, they moved to a cottage in Rednal where she could recover in the country air. Unfortunately, his mother's health began to deteriorate again and she died on 14 November after six days in a diabetic coma leaving the 10 and 12 year old, Hilary and Ronald.[8]

During his subsequent orphanhood, he was under the guardianship of Francis Xavier Morgan of the Birmingham Oratory. Where they should be raised quickly became an issue; several family members wished to contest Mable Tolkien's will and send them to a protestant boarding school but a few weeks after their mother's death they were sent to live with their aunt Beatrice Suffield. She was not a very caring guardian, at one point burning their mother's letters, not realizing they would want to keep them. As a result, they would end up spending much of their time at the Oratory which they came to view as their true home. In 1908 they moved to 37 Duchess Road where a Mrs Faulkner gave them a room.[8]

Youth

J.R.R. Tolkien in 1911

While living at 37 Duchess Road, Tolkien met and fell in love with Edith Mary Bratt, three years his senior, at the age of sixteen.[8] After learning of their relationship, Father Francis forbade him from meeting, talking, or even corresponding with her until he was twenty-one.[12] They only once tried to disobey this rule but after Father Francis found out they didn't see each other aside from accidental sightings for another three years.[8]

In 1911, while they were at King Edward's School, Tolkien and three friends, Robert Quilter Gilson, Christopher Wiseman, and later Geoffrey Bache Smith, formed a semi-secret society which they called "the T.C.B.S.", the initials standing for "Tea Club and Barrovian Society", alluding to their fondness of drinking tea in Barrow's Stores near the school and, illegally, in the school library. After leaving school, the members stayed in touch, and on 25 December 1914, they held a "Council" in London, at Wiseman's home. For Tolkien, the result of this meeting was a strong dedication to writing poetry.[8]

In the summer of 1911, Tolkien went on holiday in Switzerland, a trip that he recollects vividly in a 1968 letter, noting that Bilbo's journey across the Misty Mountains ("including the glissade down the slithering stones into the pine woods") is directly based on his adventures as their party of twelve hiked from Interlaken to Lauterbrunnen, and on to camp in the moraines beyond Mürren. Fifty-seven years later, Tolkien remembered his regret at leaving the view of the eternal snows of Jungfrau and Silberhorn ("the Silvertine (Celebdil) of my dreams"). They went across the Kleine Scheidegg on to Grindelwald and across the Grosse Scheidegg to Meiringen. They continued across the Grimsel Pass and through the upper Valais to Brig, and on to the Aletsch Glacier and Zermatt.[11]

Tolkien wearing his British Army uniform in a photograph from 1916 (colourized)

On the evening of his twenty-first birthday (1913), Tolkien wrote to Edith a declaration of his love and asked her to marry him. She replied saying that she was already engaged, but had done so because she had believed Tolkien had forgotten her. The two met up and beneath a railway viaduct renewed their love, with Edith returning her ring and choosing to marry Tolkien instead. They were engaged in Birmingham, in January 1913, and married on 22 March 1916.[8][12]

Tolkien and Edith had four children: John Francis Reuel (16 November 1917 - 22 January, 2003)[13], Michael Hilary Reuel (22 October 1920 - 27 February 1984)[13], Christopher John Reuel (21 November 1924 - 16 January, 2020)[14] and Priscilla Anne Reuel (18 June 1929 - 28 February, 2022)[15].

By late 1914, his final year at the University of Oxford, he joined the Officer's Training Corps. After his graduation (Exeter College, Oxford) with a first-class degree in English language in 1915, Tolkien joined the British Army effort in World War I. In late 1915 he received military training at Rugeley Camp in Staffordshire[16] and served as a second lieutenant in the eleventh battalion of the Lancashire Fusiliers.[8]

Tolkien's battalion was moved to France on 4 June 1916 where Tolkien served as a communications officer during the Battle of the Somme, until he came down with trench fever on 27 October, and was moved back to England on 8 November. Many of his fellow servicemen, as well as many of his closest friends, were killed in the war. During his recovery in a cottage in Great Haywood, Staffordshire, England, he began to work on what he called The Book of Lost Tales, beginning with The Fall of Gondolin. Throughout 1917 and 1918, his illness kept recurring, but he had recovered enough to do home service at various camps, and was promoted to lieutenant. While he was stationed at Thirtle Bridge, East Yorkshire, he and Edith went on a walk in the woods at nearby Roos, and Edith began to dance for him in a clearing thick with hemlock plants in bloom. This incident inspired the account of the meeting of Beren and Lúthien.[17][18] Tolkien would later write in a letter to his son Christopher that he considered Edith to be his Lúthien.[19]

Leeds and Oxford

Tolkien's first civilian job after World War I was at the Oxford English Dictionary.[20] He later said of this, "I learned more in those two years than in any other equal period of my life".[17] In 1920 he took up a post as Reader in English language at the University of Leeds,[21] and in 1924 was made a professor there.[17] The start was rough: though Gordon found Tolkien a room in Leeds,[22] Edith and young John still lived in Oxford. Not until 1921 did Tolkien get full housing for his family, first at 5 Holly Bank[23] and then at 11 St. Mark's Terrace.[17] They later moved to 2 Darnley Road.[17]

Since 1920, Tolkien dedicated his time, even vacations, to finding extra work to supplement his family's income, especially for doctor bills[note 3] and to educate his children. He "stole" some free time for himself and his personal hobby of writing his own mythology.[24]

In 1925, William Craigie resigned from the post of Rawlinson and Bosworth Professor of Anglo-Saxon at Pembroke College, Oxford and Tolkien wrote a letter expressing his desire to return there,[21] and was offered the position. During this time some of Tolkien's writings were published in local magazines such as The Gryphon and he had several poems published in Northern Venture.[8]

While at a Pembroke College faculty meeting, Tolkien met fellow professor C.S. Lewis. While initially wary of each other, the two men would become close friends. Their discussions, which often centred around religion, were an influence on Lewis's conversion to Christianity, though it would upset Tolkien when Lewis converted to Anglicanism rather than Catholicism.[25] After Tangye Lean graduated Oxford, Tolkien and several friends took over the Inklings forming it into the group it is known as today. The informal literary discussion group consisted of Tolkien, C.S. and Warren Lewis, Owen Barfield, Hugo Dyson, Robert Havard and other writers.[25] The Inklings were often the first to read Tolkien's manuscripts and their feedback was influential on his writing.

The Hobbit

It was during his time as Professor of Anglo-Saxon at Pembroke College, in the late 1920s, that he semi-randomly scribbled the words "In a hole in the ground, there lived a hobbit" on the back of a School Certificate paper that he was marking. These words evolved into a story like the ones he was making up for his children. He did not go any further than that at the time, although in the following years, he drew up Thrór's Map.[10]

The tale itself he wrote in the early 1930s. It was mostly enjoyed by his eldest son John (13) than the younger ones.[26] His peers at Oxford also "forced" him to lend copies to read.[26] Eventually he lent it to the Reverend Mother Superior of the Cherwell Edge girl's hostel and to his former pupil Elaine Griffiths who was staying at Cherwell Edge, and it was seen by her student, Susan Dagnall, who worked at Allen & Unwin. The book was given to 10-year-old Rayner (son of Sir Stanley Unwin) who wrote an enthusiastic review of the book, encouraging his father to publish it.[27]

The 1936 lecture "Beowulf: The Monsters and the Critics" has had a lasting influence on Beowulf research.[28] By January of 1937 Tolkien was corresponding with Allen & Unwin (who also showed interest in Mr. Bliss).[29] Around the time The Hobbit was published (1937) Tolkien suffered from an ailment and had to use crutches, the only time he was free from examining work.[30]

The Lord of the Rings

See also: The Lord of the Rings § Writing process

The success of The Hobbit and a request by publishers for its sequel, was an opportunity for Tolkien to combine his personal desire for writing and financial needs, and he agreed to write a sequel.[24]

In the turn of 1939, and in the midst of writing The Lord of the Rings, Tolkien faced financial stress and was obliged to do exams and lectures: his son, Michael was preparing for university, and Christopher, being home-schooled for health reasons, wanted to go to school.[31] In the summer of that year, while gardening, Tolkien fell and suffered a concussion which required stitches.[32] This, along with his fatigue, worries, obligations, Edith's illness, his loss of his chief assistant and understudy, prevented him from continuing his writing, including a foreword to Beowulf as had promised.[31] At the outbreak of WWII, his academic duties increased.[33] Juggling between work, "Civil Defence" and writing in intervals, he doubted that, because of the War, completing the book had any use.[34] Failing to progress during Christmas vacations, he resumed only two years later. It was the enthusiasm of his friends and Christopher (to whom he was sending copies by mail to South Africa) who encouraged him to continue.[35]

Cover design for the three volumes of The Lord of the Rings designed by J.R.R. Tolkien

In 1945, he moved to Merton College, Oxford, becoming the Merton Professor of English Language and Literature, in which post he remained until his retirement in 1959.

Tolkien spent the late summer (August-September) of 1948, at the home of Michael at Payables Farm, Woodcote. As Michael and his family were on holiday, Tolkien found the time and quiet he needed to finish The Lord of the Rings, close to a decade after the first sketches.[36]

After a disagreement with Allen & Unwin concerning "The Silmarillion", and failing to reach an agreement with Collins, he settled the dispute with the Unwins. He reported to Rayner Unwin that he had been unwell (having recovered from "a terrible bout" of fibrositis and neuritis of the arm) burdened and downhearted. In the prospect of a nearing retirement of poverty, during which he would work as an examiner to survive, and the rising paper costs, he had modified his views ("Better something than nothing!").[37] Tolkien readily agreed to the 'profit-sharing' arrangement, where Tolkien would not receive an advance or royalties until the books had broken even.[38] Between 1953 and 1955 Tolkien worked closely with Allen & Unwin on the production of The Lord of the Rings, agreeing on the division of volumes, their titles, correcting proofs that arrived at intervals, complete and correct artwork, the maps and the dust-jacket designs.[39]

In 1954 Tolkien was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Letters from both the National University of Ireland and the University of Liège for his work in his field of philology and medieval literature which delayed his work on the appendices,[40] which then delayed the publication of The Return of the King.[41]

Later life and recognition

The last known photograph of Tolkien, taken 9 August 1973, next to one of his favourite trees (a Pinus nigra) in the Botanic Garden, Oxford

During the 1950s, Tolkien spent many of his long academic holidays at the home of his son John Francis in Stoke-on-Trent, visiting his brother Hilary while he was there.[42]

In 1959 Tolkien went to compulsory retirement, which he found "both distressing, and extremely laborious", especially with his less than desirable pension.[43] For him, 1963 was a "dreadful year", including the death of C.S. Lewis (22 November), an illness that prevented Tolkien and Edith from celebrating Christmas, and after that, Faith Faulconbridge leaving Christopher; Tolkien expressed "fear they have left their allegiance to our Mother [the Church]".[44] In the 1960s he complained about the effects of old age, and other difficulties and anxieties, some of which were caused by his own family.[45]

By the time of his retirement, Tolkien increasingly turned into a figure of public attention and literary fame. The sale of his books was so profitable that Tolkien regretted he had not taken early retirement.[source?] While at first, he wrote enthusiastic answers to reader inquiries, he became more and more suspicious of emerging fandom, especially in the USA.[source?] In a 1965 letter, he warned W.H. Auden not to join the New York Tolkien Society, believing them to be "real lunatics",[46] and shortly after declined to join the Tolkien Society of America but wrote that he was complimented and would be happy to help them in an informal capacity.[47]

Fan attention became so intense that he and Edith moved to Woodridings in Branksome, Poole near Bournemouth to escape his fame in Oxford in June 1968,[48] and got two phone numbers, one a private number only given out to friends and family.[49] While preparing to move house, Tolkien fell down a set of stairs and had to stay in an Oxford hospital, leaving behind his obligations. He was expected to use crutches for all summer.[50]

Queen Elizabeth II appointed J.R.R. Tolkien a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the New Year Honours of 1 January 1972 "For services to English Literature".[51] Tolkien received the insignia of the Order at Buckingham Palace on 28 March.[52] Later that year, he was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Letters from Oxford University for his contributions to the field of philology.[42]

The Tolkiens lived in Poole until Edith's death on November 1971.[48] The widowed professor moved back to 21 Merton Street, Oxford in March 1972.[53][54] Tolkien had the name Luthien engraved on the stone at Wolvercote Cemetery, Oxford. When Tolkien died 21 months later of pneumonia on 2 September 1973, at the age of 81, he was buried in the same grave, with Beren added to his name,[55] so that the engraving now reads:

Edith Mary Tolkien, Luthien, 1889 – 1971
John Ronald Reuel Tolkien, Beren, 1892 – 1973

Appearance

It has beautiful hands and ears (very long fingers) very light hair, ‘Tolkien’ eyes and very distinctly a ‘Suffield’ mouth. In general effect immensely like a very fair edition of its Aunt Mabel Mitton.

The early images of J.R.R. Tolkien in school and university show a serious young man, average height, slender, clean-shaven, and with his hair parted in the middle. At school he was considered too light for the rugby team, and in order to join he tried to make it up with ferocity during the game, and eventually he was accepted.[56] By 1916 Tolkien had joined the army he had changed to a more conventional haircut, as well as a moustache for a short period of time.[17]

Richard Plotz, who visited Tolkien in 1966, described him as

...a medium-sized man ... [who] looks much younger than his seventy-four years. Like one of his creations, the Hobbits, he is a bit fat in the stomach ...

In a letter on 8 February 1967, to inter­viewers Charlotte & Denis Plimmer, Tolkien stated that he was not "tall, or strongly built. I now measure 5 ft 8 1/2, and am slightly built, with notably small hands. For most of my life I have been very thin and underweight. Since my early sixties I have become 'tubby'. Not unusual in men who took their exercise in games and swimming, when opportunities for these things cease".[27] In "The Man Who Understands Hobbits", the Plimmers also noted that Tolkien had 'grey eyes, firm tanned skin, silvery hair and quick decisive speech'.[57]

Clyde S. Kilby, who spent some time with Tolkien in the summer of 1966, noted that he "was always neatly dressed from necktie to shoes. One of his favourite suits was a herringbone with which he wore a green corduroy vest [waistcoat]. Always there was a vest, and nearly always a sports coat. He did not mind wearing a very broad necktie which in those days was out of style".[58] Tolkien had a particular liking for decorative waistcoats: he told one correspondent that he had "one or two choice embroidered speci­mens, which I sometimes wear when required to make a speech, as I find they so fascinate the eyes of the audience that they do not notice if my dentures become a little loose with excitements of rhetoric"[59] During Tolkien's time at King Edward's School he was noted for his choice in coloured socks.[60]

Interviewers have noted that Tolkien almost clung to his smoking pipe, cradling it in his hand, or speaking with it in his mouth, sometimes making him difficult to understand. One of these, Richard Plotz, wrote that Tolkien "took out a pipe as he entered his study, and all during the interview he held it clenched in his teeth, lighting and relighting it, talking through it; he never removed it from his mouth for more than five seconds".[61]

Character, personality, views

Tolkien attempted to describe himself for Deborah Rogers:

I am in fact a Hobbit (in all but size). I like gardens, trees and unmechanized farmlands; I smoke a pipe, and like good plain food (unrefrigerated), but detest French cooking; I like, and even dare to wear in these dull days, ornamental waistcoats. I am fond of mushrooms (out of a field); have a very simple sense of humour (which even my appreciative critics find tiresome); I go to bed late and get up late (when possible). I do not travel much. I love Wales (what is left of it, when mines, and the even more ghastly sea-side reasons, have done their worst), and especially the Welsh language. But I have not in fact been in W. for a long time (except for crossing it on the way to Ireland). I go frequently to Ireland (Eire: Southern Ireland) being fond of it and of (most of) its people; but the Irish language I find wholly unattractive.

Tolkien was a devout Roman Catholic. While his parents were both raised Anglican, his mother converted to Catholicism when Tolkien was 8 years old. His mother's death had a profound impact on his religious beliefs and he came to view her as a martyr, citing stress from persecution (in large part from her intolerant family) as a root of her health issues.[8][62] While his writings were not an allegory for Christianity, they contained religious elements.[63]

Tolkien had a great love for nature. He was especially fond of plants, and trees most of all,[2] which may have been inspired by his father's garden and tree grove which Tolkien spent much time in as a child along with his mother's teaching of botany. He was saddened to learn that others didn't share his love for trees, one event that stuck with him was when as a child, a willow tree he enjoyed climbing was cut down only for the log to remain there unused.[8] Tolkien had an intense dislike for the side effects of industrialization, which he considered a devouring of the English countryside. For most of his adult life, aside from a short period in which he owned a car (in which his driving was described as terrible, to the point that Edith refused to be in the car with him), he eschewed automobiles, preferring to ride a bicycle.[25] This attitude is perceptible in some parts of his work, such as the forced industrialization of The Shire in The Lord of the Rings.

In retrospect, Tolkien claimed that from the age of seven or eight, two interests dominated his subsequent perception of everything: elves and orcs.[note 4] Throughout his life he collected every detail related to it, which, along with the "Atlantis complex" dream, was the embryo of his legendarium.[64]

Jesting on the name of Puffin Books, Tolkien said he disliked penguins and puffins for eating other birds's eggs.[65] He considered that Siamese cats "belong to the fauna of Mordor"[66] He also disliked spiders[67] although not that much as to kill them. He refused that this has anything to do with being bitten by a tarantula as a toddler.[10]

Tolkien was insecure and lacked confidence in his own work, even when he was assured that it had value for others.[68] Father Robert Murray, Tolkien's personal friend, considered the professor "a complex and depressed man" and his work "projects his very depressed view of the universe".[69]

Tolkien boasted of himself to be "a world-class niggler".[70] He wrote The Lord of the Rings laboriously, preoccupied with detail, consistency and careful consideration of every word.[71][31] In his lecture On Fairy-Stories, he discussed the importance of “the inner consistency of reality” in creating realistic secondary worlds.[72] Christopher Tolkien said of his father's perfectionist tendencies, "However much my father desired to achieve consistency at every level of his work, from capital letters to the dates of dynasties, he was bound to fail. [...] His life was a perpetual battle against time (& tiredness) [...] But he 'niggled' on a grand and noble conception, & indeed its coherence in fine detail is a part of its power."[70]

Tolkien often overestimated the knowledge of those he was speaking to, to the extent that he was often described as talking more to himself than anyone else. He was also often difficult to understand due to his fast way of fast way of speaking, and unclear articulation. He was prone to long, parenthetical sentences which only grew more extreme with age. Despite this, he was described as a good listener and conversationalist. He was liked like by his students who felt he gave more regard to his audience than other lecturers and appreciated his sense of humor. Humphrey Carpenter commented on his ability to make others feel valued in conversations, making interesting conversation out of what Carpenter had felt were trivial comments.[73][25][42]

Defining his own political opinions, Tolkien stated that leaned more towards anarchy or 'unconstitutional' monarchy without the existence of a State.[74] He disliked leftist ideas[75] and Communism[76] and considered Joseph Stalin "a bloodthirsty old murderer".[77] He accused Nazism of perverting and staining the noble northern spirit through its "Nordic propaganda"[78] and called Adolf Hitler a "ruddy little ignoramus" while in the same time he criticised anti-German propaganda.[79] He also rejected socialism, as "the ‘planners’, when they acquire power, become so bad".[80] He retained an interest in South Africa, his birthplace, and as a child heard about apartheid from his mother[81] which he hated profoundly.[82] Due to his emotional connection with Fr. Francis Xavier Morgan, he was affected by the Spanish Civil War, and like many British Catholics,[75] he supported the Franco movement; although this support was based on religious grounds, due to the persecution during that time caused by the republicans.[75][83]

Writing

Legendarium

Main article: Legendarium

In a 1951 letter to Milton Waldman, Tolkien wrote of his intention to create a "body of more or less connected legend", of which:

The cycles should be linked to a majestic whole, and yet leave scope for other minds and hands, wielding paint and music and drama.

Tolkien's legendarium is the entirety of his works concerning his imagined world of Arda. Much of Tolkien's life was spent developing the legendarium.

Beginning with The Book of Lost Tales, written while recuperating from illness during World War I, Tolkien devised several themes that were reused in successive drafts of his legendarium. The two most prominent stories, the tales of Beren and Lúthien and that of Túrin, were carried forward into long narrative poems (published in The Lays of Beleriand). Tolkien wrote a brief summary of the mythology these poems were intended to represent, and that summary eventually evolved into "The Silmarillion", an epic history that Tolkien started three times but never published. The story of this continuous redrafting is told in the posthumous series The History of Middle-earth. From around 1936, he began to extend this framework to include the tale of The Fall of Númenor, which was inspired by the legend of Atlantis.[8]

Tolkien never expected his fictional stories to become popular, but he was persuaded by a former student to publish a book he had written for his own children called The Hobbit in 1937.[10] However, the book attracted adult readers as well, and it became popular enough for the publisher, George Allen & Unwin, to ask Tolkien to work on a sequel.

This request prompted Tolkien to begin what would become his most famous work: the epic three-volume novel The Lord of the Rings (published 1954–55). Tolkien spent more than ten years writing the primary narrative and appendices for The Lord of the Rings, during which time he received the constant support of the Inklings, in particular his closest friend C.S. Lewis, the author of The Chronicles of Narnia. Both The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings are set against the background of "The Silmarillion", but in a later age. The book was originally intended to be published in a single volume but due to the cost of paper during war paper rationing and the length of the story, it was divided into three volumes, each containing two books.[84][note 5]

Tolkien at first intended The Lord of the Rings as a children's tale like The Hobbit, but it quickly grew darker and more serious in the writing.[85] Though a direct sequel to The Hobbit, it addressed an older audience, drawing on the immense back story of Beleriand that Tolkien had constructed in previous years, and which eventually saw posthumous publication in The Silmarillion and other volumes. Tolkien originally felt uninspired, feeling he had used all his good ideas in The Hobbit,[86] which had not been written with a sequel in mind,[87] and struggled to account for the discrepancies between The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, specifically in the role of The One Ring.[88] This led to the publication of a revised edition of The Hobbit with changes made to the chapter "Riddles in the Dark".[89]

Tolkien continued to work on the history of his legendarium until his death. His son Christopher, with some assistance from fantasy writer Guy Gavriel Kay, organised some of this material into one volume, published as The Silmarillion in 1977.[90] In 1980, Christopher Tolkien followed this with a collection of more fragmentary material under the title Unfinished Tales, and in subsequent years he published a massive amount of background material on the creation of Middle-earth in the twelve volumes of The History of Middle-earth. All these posthumous works contain unfinished, abandoned, alternative and outright contradictory accounts, since they were always a work in progress, and Tolkien only rarely settled on a definitive version for any of the stories. There is not even complete consistency to be found between The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit, the two most closely related works, because Tolkien was never able to fully integrate all their traditions into each other. To account for some of these inconsistencies he portrayed himself as a "translator" of texts and that any mistakes could be translation errors or errors made by characters while documenting events.[91]

Other writings

In addition to his mythological compositions, Tolkien enjoyed inventing fantasy stories to entertain his children. He wrote annual Christmas letters from Father Christmas for them, building up a series of short stories (later compiled and published as The Father Christmas Letters). Other stories included Mr. Bliss, Roverandom, Smith of Wootton Major, Farmer Giles of Ham and Leaf by Niggle. Roverandom and Smith of Wootton Major, like The Hobbit, borrowed ideas from his legendarium.

Unpublished materials and manuscripts

The John P. Raynor, S.J. Library at Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, preserves many of Tolkien's original manuscripts, notes and letters; other original material survives at Oxford's Bodleian Library. Marquette has the manuscripts and proofs of The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit, and other manuscripts, including Farmer Giles of Ham, while the Bodleian holds much of Tolkien's art, "The Silmarillion" papers and Tolkien's academic work.[92][93] Much of Tolkien's work remains unpublished and can be viewed only by Tolkien scholars and researchers.[94]

Influences

Tolkien was strongly influenced by Anglo-Saxon literature, Germanic and Norse mythologies, Finnish mythology, the Bible, and Greek mythology. The works most often cited as sources for Tolkien's stories include Beowulf, the Kalevala, the Poetic Edda, the Völsunga saga and the Hervarar saga. Tolkien himself acknowledged Homer,[95] Oedipus,[96] and the Kalevala,[10] as influences or sources for some of his stories and ideas. His borrowings also came from numerous Middle English works and poems. It has been suggested that a major philosophical influence on his writing is King Alfred's Anglo-Saxon version of Boethius' Consolation of Philosophy known as the Lays of Boethius. Characters in The Lord of the Rings, such as Frodo Baggins, Treebeard and Elrond make noticeably Boethian remarks.[97]

It is commonly accepted that Tolkien was influenced by World War I.[98] Despite denying this in one letter,[99] in an earlier letter to his son Christopher, he revealed that his experience in the war had influenced him to write about Morgoth and the history of the Gnomes. Connections have also been drawn between Samwise Gamgee and batmen.[100]

Tolkien acknowledged the interest many would have in his influences and the difficulty there would be in analyzing it, writing in 1971:

I fear you may be right that the search for the sources of The Lord of the Rings is going to occupy academics for a generation or two. I wish this need not be so. To my mind it is the particular use in a particular situation of any motive, whether invented, deliberately borrowed, or unconsciously remembered that is the most interesting thing to consider

Languages

See also: Languages

Both Tolkien's academic career and his literary production are inseparable from his love of language and philology. Aside from English (Modern, Old and Middle), Tolkien knew (with varying levels of fluency) Hebrew, Finnish, French, Gothic, Greek, Icelandic (Including Old Icelandic), Latin, Spanish, Welsh (including medieval Welsh).[8][21][10][101]

He could read by the age of four and could write fluently soon afterwards. His mother taught him the rudiments of Latin very early. He took to this quickly, especially enjoying Latin phonetics. His mother, realizing his aptitude for languages then taught him French which he enjoyed much less. While living in Moseley he discovered Welsh which would become one of his favorite languages.[8]

In the early 1900s, he was introduced to a secret "code" created by his Incledon cousins, called Animalic replacing words with animal names. Soon after, with Mary they created Nevbosh, a more sophisticated language, with Tolkien contributing to the vocabulary and influencing the spelling.[102]

In 1909 he wrote the Book of the Foxrook in a notebook, with notes in Esperanto,[103] describing Privata Kodo Skauta ("Private Scout Code").[104] "consisting of a rune-like phonetic alphabet and a sizable number of ideographic symbols".[103] In the 1910s he composed Naffarin, a private language,[105]

Heavy emphasis was put on Latin and Greek at King Edward's School. It was here that Tolkien was introduced to Old English though he disliked Shakespeare's works and begrudged the usage of them to teach English.[8] He specialised in Greek philology in college, and in 1915 graduated Exeter College with a first-class degree in English language with Old Icelandic as a special subject.[21] While at Exter he discovered a Finnish grammar and focused intensely on learning the language. By the time of his military training in 1915 he was working on a "mad hobby": a "nonsense fairy language"[106] which would become his "elvenlatin",[107] the first seed of his legendarium.[8]

He worked for the Oxford English Dictionary from 1918 specifically on entries beginning with the letter W.[20] In 1920, he went to Leeds as Reader in English Language, where he claimed credit for raising the number of students of linguistics from five to twenty and even formed a "Viking Club". He gave courses in Old English heroic verse, history of English, various Old English and Middle English texts, Old and Middle English philology, introductory Germanic philology, Gothic, Old Icelandic, and Medieval Welsh. In 1925, aged 33, Tolkien applied for the Rawlinson and Bosworth Professorship of Anglo-Saxon.[21]

In the 1960s, while working on The Jerusalem Bible as a translator, Tolkien prepared himself by learning a great amount of Hebrew.[108] He explained to his grandson Michael George: "I am at present immersed in Hebrew. If you want a beautiful but idiotic alphabet, and a language so difficult that it makes Latin (or even Greek) seem footling but also glimpses into a past that makes Homer seem recent - that is the stuff! (I am hoping when I retire to get included in a new Bible-translation team that is brewing. I have passed the test: with a version of the Book of Jonah. Not from Hebrew direct!)".[109]

Privately, Tolkien was attracted to "things of racial and linguistic significance",[110] and he entertained notions of an inherited taste of language, which he termed the "native tongue" as opposed to "cradle tongue" in his 1955 lecture English and Welsh, which was crucial to his understanding of race and language.[111] He considered west-midland Middle English his own "native tongue", and as he wrote to W.H. Auden in 1955, "I am a West-midlander by blood (and took to early west-midland Middle English as a known tongue as soon as I set eyes on it)".[10]

Parallel to Tolkien's professional work as a philologist, and sometimes overshadowing this work, to the effect that his academic output remained rather thin, was his affection for the construction of artificial languages. The best developed of these are Quenya and Sindarin, the etymological connection between which is at the core of much of Tolkien's legendarium. Language and grammar for Tolkien were a matter of aesthetics and euphony, and Quenya in particular was designed from "phonæsthetic" considerations. It was intended as an "Elvenlatin", and was phonologically based on Latin, with ingredients from Finnish and Greek.[107] A notable addition came in late 1945 with Adûnaic, a language of a "faintly Semitic flavour",[112] connected with Tolkien's Atlantis myth, which by The Notion Club Papers ties directly into his ideas about inheritability of language, and via the "Second Age" and the Eärendil myth was grounded in the legendarium, thereby providing a link of Tolkien's 20th-century "real Primary World" with the mythical past of his Middle-earth.

Tolkien considered languages inseparable from the mythology associated with them, and he consequently took a dim view of auxiliary languages. In 1930 a congress of Esperantists was told as much by him, in his lecture A Secret Vice, "Your language construction will breed a mythology",[113] but by 1956 he concluded that "Volapük, Esperanto, Ido, Novial, &c &c are dead, far deader than ancient unused languages, because their authors never invented any Esperanto legends".[114]

Tolkien's often unusual and archaic way of writing led to frequent erroneous corrections from editors, most famously dwarfs to dwarves and elvish to elfish.[115]. Tolkien's linguistic influence can be seen in the once rare spellings being now the most prevalent.[116]

Art

Taniquetil by J.R.R. Tolkien

From as young as the age of three, Tolkien enjoyed creating art. He was taught to draw and paint by his mother. He in particular enjoyed drawing landscapes and trees.[8] Tolkien was quite modest about his artwork, at one point telling his publisher that he "cannot draw".[117]

The first British edition of The Hobbit included ten drawings by Tolkien and the American edition had 4 watercolour paintings.[118]

Tolkien often provided sketches to help artists illustrating his works.[119][120] He was often critical of the artists chosen by Allen & Unwin to design covers for his books.[121][122] Many illustrations for his books were done by Pauline Baynes whose artwork Tolkien was quite fond of.[123]

Tolkien (helped at times by his son Christopher) created several maps of Middle-earth and Arda, two of which were published in The Hobbit, two in The Silmarillion and three in The Lord of the Rings.

Many of the Letters from Father Christmas featured art "made" by Father Christmas and the North Polar Bear, depicting landscapes and happenings in the North Pole. Tolkien was also the illustrator of Mr. Bliss.

From 1973 to 1979 (except for 1975), Allen & Unwin released calendars featuring art by Tolkien. Many of these, along with previously unpublished art were published in Pictures by J.R.R. Tolkien. In 1976 the Ashmolean Museum had an exhibit featuring Tolkien's art. Wayne G. Hammond and Christina Scull have published 3 books about Tolkien's art, The Art of The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien (2011), The Art of The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien (2015) and J.R.R. Tolkien: Artist and Illustrator (2018). Tolkien's art was also published in Tolkien: Maker of Middle-earth by Catherine McIlwaine, whose 2018 publication coincided with an art exhibit of the same name, also curated by McIlwaine.[124][118]

Christopher Tolkien has stated that Tolkien research is incomplete without the study of Tolkien's artwork but despite this, early Tolkien scholarship focused on his writings with little attention given to his art. John R. Holmes writes in J.R.R. Tolkien Encyclopedia: Scholarship and Critical Assessment that "Tolkien’s pictures and designs are nearly as important a window into his imagination as is his fiction."[118]

Influence on fantasy

--VERY ROUGH DRAFT-- Tolkien is often referred to as the "father" of modern fantasy,[125][126] specifically high fantasy.[127] Tolkien's influence on the fantasy genre was described in The Oxford Companion to English Literature as "the greatest influence within the fantasy genre".[128]

Tolkien has been credited with cementing fantasy as a respected genre. Prior to the publication of The Lord of the Rings, fantasy was viewed by publishers as light reading or for children, and as a result, fantasy and science fiction stories were rarely longer than 130,000 words (around 130 pages). The popularity and commercial success of The Hobbit and especially The Lord of the Rings proved to readers and publishers that fantasy could have fully fleshed out stories and explore ethics in the same depths as any other genre.[129] At the same time, he defended children's stories...~[find in letters~

Tolkien's lecture On Fairy-Stories, in which he discusses the fantasy genre (fairy-stories) has been described as one of the most influential explorations of fantasy. Many of the ideas he put forth have since become common fantasy elements. This includes the concepts of primary and Secondary worlds, Subcreation and eucatastrophe. One element heavily touched on in this lecture was the concept of secondary belief. In Tolkien's words, "the story-maker's success depends on his ability to make a consistent Secondary World which your mind can enter. Inside it, what he relates is 'true', it accords with the laws of that world. You therefore believe it, while you are, as it were, inside".[72] For Tolkien, this meant complex languages, geographies and general world-building which have since become synonymous with the fantasy genre.[129]

The popularity of Tolkien's books has had a small but lasting effect on the use of language in fantasy literature in particular, and even on mainstream dictionaries, which today commonly accept Tolkien's revival of the spellings dwarves and elvish (instead of dwarfs and elfish), which had not been in use since the mid-1800s and earlier.

Adaptations and inspired works

The hands and minds of many artists have indeed been inspired by Tolkien's legends. Personally known to him were Pauline Baynes (Tolkien's favourite illustrator of The Adventures of Tom Bombadil and Farmer Giles of Ham) and Donald Swann (who set the music to The Road Goes Ever On). Queen Margrethe II of Denmark created illustrations for The Lord of the Rings in the early 1970s. She sent them to Tolkien, who was struck by the similarity to the style of his own drawings.

There have been many adaptations of Tolkien's works into films, tv shows and video games. The first film adaptation of The Hobbit, was the short film, The Hobbit which was released by William Lawrence Snyder in order to retain film rights for The Hobbit.[130] Ralph Bakshi's The Lord of the Rings (1978) was the first film adaptation of The Lord of the Rings. The screenplay was written by the fantasy writer Peter S. Beagle. This first adaptation, however, only contained the first half of the story.

Other well-known adaptations include The Lord of the Rings by Rankin/Bass, Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit film trilogies, and Amazon's The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power.[131]

Names and pseudonyms

For an explanation of the name 'Tolkien' see § Family ancestry.
JRRT monogram

It was tradition in Tolkien's family to name the first-born son John. His father Arthur Tolkien wanted to name him John Benjamin Reuel and his mother, confident he would be a girl, liked the name Rosalind.[132] In a letter written by Arthur Tolkien his family after Tolkien's birth he describes the inspiration behind Tolkien's name:

The boy’s first name will be ‘John’ after its grandfather,[note 6] probably John Ronald Reuel altogether. Mab wants to call it Ronald and I want to keep up John and Reuel." Ronald had no familial precedent but Reuel was Arthur's middle name.[8]

He went by the name Ronald only with close family and others referred to him as John or John Ronald.[132]

Pseudonyms

Family Tree

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Mabel Suffield
 
Arthur Reuel Tolkien
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Edith Bratt
 
J.R.R. Tolkien
 
Hilary Tolkien
 
Magdalen Matthews
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
John Tolkien
 
Michael Tolkien
 
Christopher Tolkien
 
Priscilla Tolkien

Bibliography

For a complete list of all of Tolkien's published writings, see Writings by J.R.R. Tolkien.

Fictional and poetic works

Academic works

Posthumous publications

1975—1990

1990—today

Artwork

Audio recordings

Note: for a detailed listing of all recordings of Tolkien, see Audio recordings of J.R.R. Tolkien

See also

Further reading

A small selection of books about Tolkien and his works:

External links

Notes

  1. As Ryszard Derdziński points out, Tolkien's knowledge of his family history came primarily from family legends.
  2. Likely a baboon spider as they are the only tarantula species native to South Africa.
  3. Christopher Tolkien suffered from a heart ailment.
  4. It is not clear what he meant by this; possibly he understood the world as a struggle between people and elements who create beauty and do good; and those people or forces who defile and destroy nature or the "elves'" works.
  5. As a result, The Lord of the Rings is often referred to as a "trilogy", but Tolkien always considered it to be one novel.
  6. Both of Tolkien's grandfather's were named John (John Tolkien & John Suffield). He was named after John Tolkien as it was custom in the Tolkien family for the oldest son to be named John.

References

  1. Ryszard Derdziński, "On J.R.R. Tolkien's Roots in Gdańsk" dated 1 November 2017, (accessed 24 February 2024)
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 J.R.R. Tolkien; Humphrey Carpenter, Christopher Tolkien (eds.), The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien, Letter 165, (undated, written June 1955)
  3. 3.0 3.1 J.R.R. Tolkien; Humphrey Carpenter, Christopher Tolkien (eds.), The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien, Letter 324, (dated 4-5 June 1971)
  4. Ryszard Derdziński, Z Prus do Anglii. Saga rodziny J. R. R. Tolkiena
  5. J.R.R. Tolkien; Humphrey Carpenter, Christopher Tolkien (eds.), The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien, Letter 349, (dated 8 March 1973)
  6. J.R.R. Tolkien; Humphrey Carpenter, Christopher Tolkien (eds.), The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien, Letter 347, (dated 17 December 1972)
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 J.R.R. Tolkien; Humphrey Carpenter, Christopher Tolkien (eds.), The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien, Letter 44, (dated 18 March 1941)
  8. 8.00 8.01 8.02 8.03 8.04 8.05 8.06 8.07 8.08 8.09 8.10 8.11 8.12 8.13 8.14 8.15 8.16 8.17 8.18 8.19 8.20 8.21 8.22 8.23 8.24 8.25 8.26 8.27 Humphrey Carpenter, J.R.R. Tolkien: A Biography, "II. 1892-1916: Early years"
  9. Emmet Asher-Perrin, "We Can Probably Blame the Tarantula That Bit J.R.R. Tolkien For Most Giant Spiders in Fantasy" dated 4 November 2016, Reactor Magazine (accessed 31 March 2024)
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 10.4 10.5 10.6 10.7 J.R.R. Tolkien; Humphrey Carpenter, Christopher Tolkien (eds.), The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien, Letter 163, (dated 7 June 1955)
  11. 11.0 11.1 J.R.R. Tolkien; Humphrey Carpenter, Christopher Tolkien (eds.), The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien, Letter 306, (undated, late 1967 - early 1968)
  12. 12.0 12.1 J.R.R. Tolkien; Humphrey Carpenter, Christopher Tolkien (eds.), The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien, Letter 43, (dated 6-8 March 1941)
  13. 13.0 13.1 Danielle Burgos, "How J.R.R. Tolkien’s Children Dealt With Their Legendary Father’s Legacy" dated 9 May 2019, Bustle (accessed 22 March 2024)
  14. Katharine Q. Seelye; Alan Yuhas, "Christopher Tolkien, Keeper of His Father's Legacy, Dies at 95" dated 16 January 2020, The New York Times (accessed 22 March 2024)
  15. Daniel Helen, "Priscilla Tolkien has died" dated 2 March 2022, The Tolkien Society (accessed 22 March 2024)
  16. J.R.R. Tolkien; Humphrey Carpenter, Christopher Tolkien (eds.), The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien, Letter 3, (dated 26 November 1915)
  17. 17.0 17.1 17.2 17.3 17.4 17.5 Humphrey Carpenter, J.R.R. Tolkien: A Biography, "III. 1917-1925: The making of a mythology"
  18. Bill Cater, "We talked of love, death and fairy tales" dated 4 December 2001, (accessed 13 January 2024)
  19. J.R.R. Tolkien; Humphrey Carpenter, Christopher Tolkien (eds.), The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien, Letter 340, (dated 11 July 1972)
  20. 20.0 20.1 Peter M. Gilliver, Mythlore 80, "At the Wordface: J.R.R. Tolkien's Work on the Oxford English Dictionary"
  21. 21.0 21.1 21.2 21.3 21.4 J.R.R. Tolkien; Humphrey Carpenter, Christopher Tolkien (eds.), The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien, Letter 7, (dated 27 June 1935)
  22. J.R.R. Tolkien; Humphrey Carpenter, Christopher Tolkien (eds.), The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien, Letter 46, (dated 26 November 1941)
  23. Christina Scull and Wayne G. Hammond (2006), The J.R.R. Tolkien Companion and Guide: I. Chronology, "1921"
  24. 24.0 24.1 J.R.R. Tolkien; Humphrey Carpenter, Christopher Tolkien (eds.), The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien, Letter 17, (dated 15 October 1937)
  25. 25.0 25.1 25.2 25.3 Humphrey Carpenter, J.R.R. Tolkien: A Biography, "IV. 1925-1949(i): 'In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit'"
  26. 26.0 26.1 J.R.R. Tolkien; Humphrey Carpenter, Christopher Tolkien (eds.), The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien, Letter 15, (dated 31 August 1937)
  27. 27.0 27.1 J.R.R. Tolkien; Humphrey Carpenter, Christopher Tolkien (eds.), The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien, Letter 294, (dated 8 February 1967)
  28. Patrick Ringwalk, The Times of Bede: Studies in Early English Christian Society and its Historian
  29. J.R.R. Tolkien; Humphrey Carpenter, Christopher Tolkien (eds.), The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien, Letter 9, (dated 4 January 1937)
  30. J.R.R. Tolkien; Humphrey Carpenter, Christopher Tolkien (eds.), The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien, Letter 105, (dated 21 July 1946)
  31. 31.0 31.1 31.2 J.R.R. Tolkien; Humphrey Carpenter, Christopher Tolkien (eds.), The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien, Letter 35, (dated 2 February 1939)
  32. Wayne G. Hammond and Christina Scull (eds), The Lord of the Rings: A Reader's Companion, p. 21
  33. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, "Foreword to the Second Edition"
  34. J.R.R. Tolkien; Humphrey Carpenter, Christopher Tolkien (eds.), The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien, Letter 47, (dated 7 December 1941)
  35. Wayne G. Hammond and Christina Scull (eds), The Lord of the Rings: A Reader's Companion, p. 25
  36. Wayne G. Hammond and Christina Scull (eds), The Lord of the Rings: A Reader's Companion, p. 27
  37. J.R.R. Tolkien; Humphrey Carpenter, Christopher Tolkien (eds.), The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien, Letter 133, (dated 22 June 1952)
  38. Wayne G. Hammond and Christina Scull (eds), The Lord of the Rings: A Reader's Companion, p. 32
  39. Wayne G. Hammond and Christina Scull (eds), The Lord of the Rings: A Reader's Companion, p. 34
  40. Humphrey Carpenter, J.R.R. Tolkien: A Biography, "VI. 1949-1966: Success"
  41. Patricia Reynolds, "The Lord of the Rings: The Tale of a Text", The Tolkien Society (accessed 12 June 2024)
  42. 42.0 42.1 42.2 Humphrey Carpenter, J.R.R. Tolkien: A Biography, "VII. 1959-1973: Last years"
  43. J.R.R. Tolkien; Letter to Przemyslaw Mroczkowski (December 1959)
  44. J.R.R. Tolkien; Letter to Przemyslaw Mroczkowski (20–26 January 1964)
  45. J.R.R. Tolkien; Letters to Przemyslaw Mroczkowski (unknown date)
  46. J.R.R. Tolkien; Humphrey Carpenter, Christopher Tolkien (eds.), The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien, Letter 275, (dated 4 August 1965)
  47. J.R.R. Tolkien; Humphrey Carpenter, Christopher Tolkien (eds.), The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien, Letter 276, (dated 12 September 1965)
  48. 48.0 48.1 Pieter Collier, "Here is your chance to own a piece of Tolkien history" dated 9 July 2008, TolkienLibrary.com (accessed 14 June 2024)
  49. J.R.R. Tolkien; Humphrey Carpenter, Christopher Tolkien (eds.), The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien, Letter 332, (dated 24 January 1972)
  50. J.R.R. Tolkien; Humphrey Carpenter, Christopher Tolkien (eds.), The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien, Letter 305, (dated 26 June 1968)
  51. "Supplement to the London Gazette, p. 9" dated 1 January 1972, The London Gazette (accessed 14 June 2024)
  52. J.R.R. Tolkien; Humphrey Carpenter, Christopher Tolkien (eds.), The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien, Letter 334, (dated 30 March 1972)
  53. Rodney Legg, "Tolkien in Bournemouth and Dorset" dated 1 November 2009, Dorset Life (accessed 14 June 2024)
  54. J.R.R. Tolkien; Humphrey Carpenter, Christopher Tolkien (eds.), The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien, Letter 333, (dated 16 March 1972)
  55. Humphrey Carpenter, J.R.R. Tolkien: A Biography, "VIII. The Tree"
  56. J.R.R. Tolkien; Humphrey Carpenter, Christopher Tolkien (eds.), The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien, Letter 16, (dated 3 October 1937)
  57. Charlotte and Denis Plimmer, "JRR Tolkien: 'Film my books? It's easier to film The Odyssey'" dated 19 April 2016, The Telegraph (accessed 26 January 2020)
  58. Clyde S. Kilby, Tolkien and the Silmarillion (1976), p. 24
  59. J.R.R. Tolkien; Letter to Nancy Smith (Christmas 1963)
  60. J.R.R. Tolkien; Humphrey Carpenter, Christopher Tolkien (eds.), The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien, Letter 58, (dated 3 April 1944)
  61. Christina Scull and Wayne G. Hammond (2006), The J.R.R. Tolkien Companion and Guide: II. Reader's Guide
  62. J.R.R. Tolkien; Humphrey Carpenter, Christopher Tolkien (eds.), The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien, Letter 267, (dated 9-10 January 1965)
  63. J.R.R. Tolkien; Humphrey Carpenter, Christopher Tolkien (eds.), The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien, Letter 211, (dated 14 October 1958)
  64. J.R.R. Tolkien; Letter to Maria Mroczkowska
  65. J.R.R. Tolkien; Humphrey Carpenter, Christopher Tolkien (eds.), The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien, Letter 225, (dated 10 December 1960)
  66. J.R.R. Tolkien; Humphrey Carpenter, Christopher Tolkien (eds.), The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien, Letter 219, (dated 14 October 1959)
  67. J.R.R. Tolkien; Letter to Richard Lupoff
  68. J.R.R. Tolkien; Humphrey Carpenter, Christopher Tolkien (eds.), The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien, Letter 282, (dated 18 December 1965)
  69. Richard C. West, "A Letter from Father Murray", Tolkien Studies 16, pp. 135-6
  70. 70.0 70.1 Wayne G. Hammond and Christina Scull (eds), The Lord of the Rings: A Reader's Companion, p. 43, quoting a letter of Christopher Tolkien
  71. J.R.R. Tolkien; Humphrey Carpenter, Christopher Tolkien (eds.), The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien, Letter 199, (dated 24 June 1957)
  72. 72.0 72.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Monsters and the Critics and Other Essays, "On Fairy-Stories"
  73. Humphrey Carpenter, J.R.R. Tolkien: A Biography, "I. A visit"
  74. J.R.R. Tolkien; Humphrey Carpenter, Christopher Tolkien (eds.), The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien, Letter 52, (dated 29 November 1943)
  75. 75.0 75.1 75.2 José Manuel Ferrández Bru, "Tolkien and the Spanish Civil War" dated 14 June 2011, josemanuelferrandez.com (accessed 1 June 2024)
  76. J.R.R. Tolkien; Humphrey Carpenter, Christopher Tolkien (eds.), The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien, Letter 83, (dated 6 October 1944)
  77. J.R.R. Tolkien; Humphrey Carpenter, Christopher Tolkien (eds.), The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien, Letter 53, (dated 9 December 1943)
  78. ,J.R.R. Tolkien; Humphrey Carpenter, Christopher Tolkien (eds.), The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien, Letter 49, (undated, written ca. 1943)
  79. J.R.R. Tolkien; Humphrey Carpenter, Christopher Tolkien (eds.), The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien, Letter 45, (dated 9 June 1941)
  80. J.R.R. Tolkien; Humphrey Carpenter, Christopher Tolkien (eds.), The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien, Letter 181, (undated, written January or February 1956)
  81. J.R.R. Tolkien; Humphrey Carpenter, Christopher Tolkien (eds.), The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien, Letter 61, (dated 18 April 1944)
  82. Valedictory Address to the University of Oxford
  83. J.R.R. Tolkien; Humphrey Carpenter, Christopher Tolkien (eds.), The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien, Letter 83, (dated 6 October 1944)
  84. Robert T. Tally Jr., "Three Rings for the Elven-kings: Trilogizing Tolkien in Print and Film" dated 14 June 2017, (accessed 12 June 2024)
  85. J.R.R. Tolkien; Humphrey Carpenter, Christopher Tolkien (eds.), The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien, Letter 34, (dated 13 October 1938)
  86. J.R.R. Tolkien; Humphrey Carpenter, Christopher Tolkien (eds.), The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien, Letter 23, (dated 17 February 1938)
  87. J.R.R. Tolkien; Humphrey Carpenter, Christopher Tolkien (eds.), The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien, Letter 24, (dated 18 February 1938)
  88. J.R.R. Tolkien; Humphrey Carpenter, Christopher Tolkien (eds.), The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien, Letter 25, (dated February 1938)
  89. J.R.R. Tolkien; Humphrey Carpenter, Christopher Tolkien (eds.), The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien, Letter 128, (dated 1 August 1950)
  90. Alison Flood, "Guy Gavriel Kay: I learned a lot about false starts from JRR Tolkien" dated 29 October 2014, The Guardian (accessed 12 June 2024)
  91. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix F, "On Translation"
  92. "J.R.R. Tolkien collection", Marquette University (accessed 24 March 2024)
  93. "Special collections at the English Faculty Library", Bodleian Library (accessed 24 March 2024)
  94. "Frequently Asked Questions and Links", The Tolkien Estate (accessed 24 March 2024)
  95. J.R.R. Tolkien; Humphrey Carpenter, Christopher Tolkien (eds.), The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien, Letter 156, (dated 4 November 1954)
  96. J.R.R. Tolkien; Humphrey Carpenter, Christopher Tolkien (eds.), The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien, Letter 131, (undated, written late 1951)
  97. Kathleen E. Dubs, Twentieth Century Literature 27, no. 1 “Providence, Fate, and Chance: Boethian Philosophy in The Lord of the Rings.”
  98. John Garth, "Why World War I Is at the Heart of ‘Lord of the Rings’" dated 29 July 2014, The Daily Beast (accessed 25 March 2024)
  99. J.R.R. Tolkien; Humphrey Carpenter, Christopher Tolkien (eds.), The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien, Letter 226, (dated 31 December 1960)
  100. John Garth, Tolkien and the Great War
  101. J.R.R. Tolkien; Humphrey Carpenter, Christopher Tolkien (eds.), The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien: Revised and Expanded edition, Letter 196a
  102. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Monsters and the Critics and Other Essays, "A Secret Vice"
  103. 103.0 103.1 Arden R. Smith, Patrick Wynne, "Tolkien and Esperanto", in SEVEN, Volume 17, p. 29
  104. Arden R. Smith, "Writing Systems", tolkienestate.com (accessed 27 December 2016)
  105. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Monsters and the Critics and Other Essays, p. 141
  106. J.R.R. Tolkien; Humphrey Carpenter, Christopher Tolkien (eds.), The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien, Letter 4, (dated 2 March 1916)
  107. 107.0 107.1 J.R.R. Tolkien; Humphrey Carpenter, Christopher Tolkien (eds.), The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien, Letter 144, (dated 25 April 1954)
  108. Clyde S. Kilby, Tolkien and The Silmarillion, "4. Tolkien as a Christian writer", p. 54
  109. J.R.R. Tolkien; Humphrey Carpenter, Christopher Tolkien (eds.), The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien: Revised and Expanded edition, Letter 196a
  110. J.R.R. Tolkien; Humphrey Carpenter, Christopher Tolkien (eds.), The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien, Letter 95, (dated 18 January 1945)
  111. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Monsters and the Critics and Other Essays, "English and Welsh"
  112. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Sauron Defeated, "Part Two: The Notion Club Papers Part One: Notes"
  113. J.R.R. Tolkien; A Secret Vice
  114. J.R.R. Tolkien; Humphrey Carpenter, Christopher Tolkien (eds.), The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien, Letter 180, (dated 14 January 1956)
  115. J.R.R. Tolkien; Humphrey Carpenter, Christopher Tolkien (eds.), The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien, Letter 183, (undated, probably written 1956)
  116. "How Tolkien Invented Dwarves (it Used to be “Dwarfs”)", Roguish (accessed 24 March 2024)
  117. J.R.R. Tolkien; Humphrey Carpenter, Christopher Tolkien (eds.), The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien, Letter 10, (dated 17 January 1937)
  118. 118.0 118.1 118.2 John H. Holmes, "Art and Illustrations by Tolkien" in Michael D.C. Drout, J.R.R. Tolkien Encyclopedia: Scholarship and Critical Assessment
  119. J.R.R. Tolkien; Humphrey Carpenter, Christopher Tolkien (eds.), The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien, Letter 12, (dated 13 April 1937)
  120. J.R.R. Tolkien; Humphrey Carpenter, Christopher Tolkien (eds.), The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien, Letter 14, (dated 28 May 1937)
  121. J.R.R. Tolkien; Humphrey Carpenter, Christopher Tolkien (eds.), The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien, Letter 277, (dated 12 September 1965)
  122. J.R.R. Tolkien; Humphrey Carpenter, Christopher Tolkien (eds.), The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien, Letter 116, (dated 5 August 1948)
  123. J.R.R. Tolkien; Humphrey Carpenter, Christopher Tolkien (eds.), The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien, Letter 120, (dated 16 March 1949)
  124. Denis Bridoux, "Tolkien: Maker of Middle-earth by Catherine McIlwaine, and: Tolkien Treasures by Catherine McIlwaine (review)", (accessed 1 June 2024)
  125. Felix Schlagwein, "How Tolkien became the father of fantasy" dated 1 March 2022, Deutsche Welle (accessed 25 March 2024)
  126. Catherine Dent, "J.R.R. Tolkien: The Beloved Father of Fantasy" dated 17 March 2023, The Collector (accessed 25 March 2024)
  127. Debadrita Sur, "How J.R.R. Tolkien’s ‘Lord of the Rings’ changed the high fantasy genre" dated 2 December 2021, Far Out Magazine (accessed 25 March 2024)
  128. Paul Harvey, The Oxford Companion to English Literature, "Fantasy Fiction"
  129. 129.0 129.1 Diana Paxson, Mythlore 39, "The Tolkien Tradition"
  130. Gene Deitch, "Hobbit-alized: The First Attempt At Animating The Hobbit" dated 11 December 2001, awn.com (accessed 1 June 2024)
  131. Russell Holly, "'The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power': Everything You Need to Know Before Watching" dated 1 September 2022, CNET (accessed 1 June 2024)
  132. 132.0 132.1 132.2 J.R.R. Tolkien; Humphrey Carpenter, Christopher Tolkien (eds.), The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien, Letter 309, (dated 2 January 1969)
  133. Ryszard Derdziński, "Arcastar means 'Translator'?" dated 16 June 2017, tolkniety.blogspot.com (accessed 22 March 2022)
  134. John Garth, Tolkien and the Great War, "Part One: The immortal four", p. 19
  135. J.R.R. Tolkien; Christina Scull & Wayne G. Hammond (eds), The Adventures of Tom Bombadil, "Commentary", pp. 224
  136. Christina Scull and Wayne G. Hammond (2006), The J.R.R. Tolkien Companion and Guide: II. Reader's Guide, "From the Many-Willow’d Margin of the Immemorial Thames"
  137. Christina Scull and Wayne G. Hammond (2006), The J.R.R. Tolkien Companion and Guide: I. Chronology, p. 99
  138. Holly Ordway, "What’s in a Name? Tolkien and St. Philip Neri" dated 26 May 2023, Word on Fire (accessed 27 April 2024)
  139. J.R.R. Tolkien, "The Qenya Alphabet", in Parma Eldalamberon XX (edited by Arden R. Smith), p. 70
  140. David Bratman, Mallorn "Tolkien and the Counties of England"
  141. J.R.R. Tolkien; Dimitra Fimi, Andrew Higgins (eds.), A Secret Vice, p. 40-1 [note 19];
  142. J.R.R. Tolkien; Humphrey Carpenter, Christopher Tolkien (eds.), The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien, Letter 272, (dated 20 July 1965)
  143. Christina Scull and Wayne G. Hammond (2006), The J.R.R. Tolkien Companion and Guide: II. Reader's Guide, pp. 624-627
  144. Christina Scull and Wayne G. Hammond (2006), The J.R.R. Tolkien Companion and Guide: II. Reader's Guide
  145. Christina Scull and Wayne G. Hammond (2006), The J.R.R. Tolkien Companion and Guide: I. Chronology, "1937"
Éowyn/sandbox2
None
Position created
President of The Tolkien Society
27 June 1972 - In perpetuo
Followed by:
None; perpetual title


A J.R.R. Tolkien book guide
Books by or mainly by Tolkien
On Arda Authored by
J.R.R. Tolkien
The Hobbit · The Lord of the Rings
(i.The Fellowship of the Ring · ii.The Two Towers · iii.The Return of the King) ·
The Adventures of Tom Bombadil · The Road Goes Ever On · Bilbo's Last Song
Edited by Christopher Tolkien The Silmarillion · Unfinished Tales · The History of Middle-earth series
(i.The Book of Lost Tales: Part One · ii.The Book of Lost Tales: Part Two · iii.The Lays of Beleriand · iv.The Shaping of Middle-earth · v.The Lost Road and Other Writings · vi.The Return of the Shadow · vii.The Treason of Isengard · viii.The War of the Ring · ix.Sauron Defeated · x.Morgoth's Ring · xi.The War of the Jewels · xii.The Peoples of Middle-earth · Index) ·
The Children of Húrin · Beren and Lúthien · The Fall of Gondolin
Edited by others The Annotated Hobbit · The History of The Hobbit · The Nature of Middle-earth · The Fall of Númenor
Not on Arda Short stories
and others
Leaf by Niggle · Farmer Giles of Ham · Smith of Wootton Major · Letters from Father Christmas ·
Mr. Bliss · Roverandom · Tree and Leaf (compilation) · Tales from the Perilous Realm (compilation)
Fictional works The Legend of Sigurd and Gudrún · The Fall of Arthur · The Story of Kullervo · The Lay of Aotrou and Itroun
Translations and academic works Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Pearl, and Sir Orfeo · The Old English Exodus · Finn and Hengest ·
The Monsters and the Critics, and Other Essays · Beowulf and the Critics · Tolkien On Fairy-stories ·
Beowulf: A Translation and Commentary · A Secret Vice · The Battle of Maldon
Letters & poems The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien · The Collected Poems of J.R.R. Tolkien
Other
academic works
A Middle English Vocabulary · Sir Gawain and the Green Knight · Ancrene Wisse
Books by other authors
Books on Arda The Complete Guide to Middle-earth · The Lord of the Rings: A Reader's Companion ·
The Maps of Middle-earth
Tolkien biographies J.R.R. Tolkien: A Biography · The Inklings · Tolkien and the Great War
Scholarly books The Road to Middle-earth · The Keys of Middle-earth · The J.R.R. Tolkien Companion and Guide ·
The Ring of Words · A Companion to J.R.R. Tolkien · Tolkien's Lost Chaucer · Tolkien's Library · Tolkien on Chaucer, 1913-1959
Scholarly journals Tolkien Studies · (The Chronology)
Other works by Tolkien
Linguistic journals Vinyar Tengwar various issues · Parma Eldalamberon issue 11-22
Collections of artwork
and manuscripts
Pictures by J.R.R. Tolkien · J.R.R. Tolkien: Life and Legend · J.R.R. Tolkien: Artist and Illustrator ·
The Art of The Hobbit · The Art of The Lord of the Rings · Tolkien: Maker of Middle-earth ·
Tolkien: Treasures · J.R.R. Tolkien: The Art of the Manuscript
This list is only a selection, for a fuller bibliography of Tolkien see here or here. See also a timeline and an index.
The Inklings
J.R.R. Tolkien · Owen Barfield · J.A.W. Bennett · Lord David Cecil · Nevill Coghill · James Dundas-Grant · Hugo Dyson · Adam Fox · Colin Hardie · Robert Havard · C.S. Lewis · Warren Lewis · Gervase Mathew · R.B. McCallum · C.E. Stevens · Christopher Tolkien · John Wain · Charles Williams · Charles Leslie Wrenn
The Tolkien Society
President: J.R.R. Tolkien · Vice-president: Priscilla Tolkien · Chair: Shaun Gunner
Topics History (Letter to Vera Chapman and the Tolkien Society) · Archives · Awards · Enyalië · Smials · Tolkien to the World · Tolkien fandom
Chairs Vera Chapman (1970) · Keith Bridges (1970-1973) · Hartley Patterson (1973-1974) · Jonathan Simons (1974-1984) · Brin Dunsire (1984-1988) · Alex Lewis (1988-1992) · Amanda Fingleson (1992-1996) · Chris Crawshaw (1996-2008) · Matthew Vernon (2008-2009) · Sally Kennett (2009-2013) · Shaun Gunner (2013-present)
Annual Events Birthday Toast (3 January) · Tolkien Reading Day (25 March) · AGM and Springmoot (April) · Seminar (July) · Oxonmoot (September)
Conferences Oxonmoot (annual, 1974-present) · J.R.R. Tolkien Centenary Conference (1992) · Tolkien 2005: The Ring Goes Ever On (2005) · The Return of the Ring (2012) · Tolkien 2019 (2019)
Publications Journals Belladonna's Broadsheet (1969-1970) · Mallorn (1970-present) · The Tolkien Society Bulletin (1970-1971) · Andúril (1972) · Amon Hen (1972-present) · Quettar (1980-1995)
Books An Extrapolation on The Silmarillion (1975) · The Trees, the Jewels and the Rings (1977) · Tolkien in Oxford: The Tolkien Society Guide (1978) · The Tolkien Society Songbook (1985) · Tolkien and Romanticism (1988) · Proceedings of the J.R.R. Tolkien Centenary Conference (1995) · The Oxonmoot Songbook (1997) · The Filking Songbook (2001) · The Tolkien Society Guide to Oxford (2005) · Proceedings of the Tolkien 2005 Conference (2008) · Tolkien 2005 Souvenir Book (2009) · Proceedings of the Tolkien Society Conference 2012 (2016)
Peter Roe Books 1. Some Light on Middle-earth (1985) · 2. Leaves from the Tree (1991) · 3. The First and Second Ages (1992) · 4. Travel and Communication in Tolkien's Worlds (1996) · 5. Digging Potatoes, Growing Trees, vol. 1 (1997) · 6. Digging Potatoes, Growing Trees, vol. 2 (1998) · 7. Tolkien, the Sea and Scandinavia (1999) · 8. The Ways of Creative Mythologies (2000) · 9. Tolkien: A Mythology for England? (2000) · 10. The Best of Amon Hen, vol. 1 (2000) · 11. Digging Potatoes, Growing Trees, vol. 3 (2001) · 12. Sindarin Lexicon (2001) · 13. The Best of Amon Hen, vol. 2 (2002) · 14. Tolkien: Influenced and Influencing (2005)· 15. Freedom, Fate and Choice in Middle-earth (2012) · 16. Journeys & Destinations (2015) · 17. Death and Immortality in Middle-earth (2017) · 18. Poetry and Song in the works of J.R.R. Tolkien (2018) · 19. Tolkien the Pagan? (2019) · 20. Adapting Tolkien (2021) · 21. Twenty-first Century Receptions of Tolkien (2022) · 22. Tolkien and Diversity (2023)