John Ronald Reuel Tolkien (BloemfonteinOrange Free State3 January 1892 - Bournemouth2 september 1973) was an English professor of English language and literature, poet and philologisttheologian. He was best known as the author of The Hobbitthe Lord of the rings and The Silmarillion, making him the father of modernfantastic literature was. [1]

Tolkien was professor of Anglo-saxon language from 1925 to 1945 at the University of Oxford from 1945 to 1959 and professor of English language and literature atMerton College. He was a good friend of C. S. Lewis, a fellow Member of the informal literary discussion group The Inklings. Tolkien was on 28 March 1972 by QueenElizabeth II appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire.

After Tolkien's death his son Christopher published various works by his father and also his notes and unfinished stories. So appeared The Silmarillionin 1977, to which Tolkien had worked most of his life. Together with The Hobbit and the Lord of the rings is a set of tales, poems, fictional histories, invented languages, and literary essaysabout the world Arda and Middle-Earththe continent. Between 1951 and 1955 Tolkien used the term legendarium to name most of his works to identify with it.

Although many authors had published for Tolkien fantasy , led the success of The Hobbit and the Lord of the rings to a revival of the genre. This ensured that Tolkien the ' father ' of the modern fantastic literature was-or, more specifically, of the high fantasy subgenre . In 2008 The Times placed him in sixth place of The 50 greatest British writers since 1945 and in 2009 he stood in fifth place of highest earning deceased. In 2012, it emerged from the archives of the Nobel Prize, that Tolkien in 1961 was rejected for the Nobel Prize in literature , among other things, because of his "mediocre storytelling" and "lean prose" (poor prose). [2]


[hide]*1 Biography



Tolkien's paternal ancestors were mainly craftsmen. The family originally came from the German Kingdom of Saxony, but lived in England since the 18th century . The name Tolkien is an English corruption ofTollkiehn, of the German tollkühn, what ' reckless ' or ' overconfident ' means.

Tolkien's maternal grandparents, John and Edith Jane Suffield, were Baptists, who lived in Birmingham (England) . They had a store. The Suffield family had since the beginning of the nineteenth century several companies that led from the same building, Lamb House. Since 1810 Tolkien's great-great-grandfather William Suffield had a book shop. Tolkien's great-grandfather, also John Suffield, had since 1826 a clothing store.

Youth Years[Edit]Edit

John Ronald Reuel Tolkien was born in Bloemfontein in 1892 in the then Orange Free State. He was the son of Arthur Reuel Tolkien (1857-1896), an English bank manager and his wife Mabel Suffield (1870-1904).When Arthur was promoted to head of a British bank in Bloemfontein, the couple from England to South Africa. Tolkien had a younger brother, Hilary Arthur Reuel, who was born on February 17, 1894.

Tolkien in the garden as a child was bitten by a large African bird spin. This event would later return in his stories. At the age of three, Tolkien went to England with his mother and his little brother for a lengthy family visit. His father died in South Africa to acute rheumatism, before he could come. As a result, the family was without income, so it pulled in at the grandparents in Birmingham. Short time later, in 1896, the family moved to Sarehole (now in Hall Green), then a village in Worcestershire was. Tolkien went like on research in the mill in Sarehole and also in Moseley Bog (a nature reserve), the Clent Hills and Malvern Hills. These places later formed a source of inspiration for his books, as was the case with the villages in Worcestershire, such as BromsgroveAlcester and Alverchurch. This also applied to his aunts farm Bag End, a name that would return in Tolkien's stories.

Mabel taught her two sons itself. Ronald, as he was called, was a smart student. His mother taught him much about Botany , and kindled his passion for plants in case. The young Tolkien drew like landscapes and trees, but prefer he learned languages. His mother brought him to the principles of the Latin . He could already read when he was four, and not much later he could also write well. His mother showed him a lot of reading. He disliked Treasure Island and The Pied Piper (the Pied Piper of Hamelin) and found Alice in Wonderland Lewis Carroll 's funny but confusing. He liked stories about Indians and the fantasy stories ofGeorge MacDonald. In addition, the Fairy Books of Andrew Lang particularly important for him and his later work.

Tolkien attended King Edward's School in Birmingham, where he was drafted in the Archway of the parade on the occasion of the coronation of King George V. He was standing right at the gate of Buckingham Palace. Later he went to the St. Philip's School.

Mabel Tolkien was included in the Roman Catholic Church in 1900 despite vehement protests by her Baptist family, which then stopped their financial support to her. In 1904, when Tolkien was 12 years, she died from complications of diabetes (type 1), at Fern Cottage in Rednal at Birmingham, where she then lived. Mabel Tolkien was then about 34 years old at the time, and one had the treatment with insulin not yet invented.Tolkien would his mother for the rest of his life as a martyr of consider her faith.

Just before her death, Mabel Tolkien had the guardianship over her sons assigned to brother Francis Xavier Morgan of the Birmingham oratory , who had to educate them as good Catholics. He lived there in the shadow of Perrott's Folly and the Victorian Tower of Edgbaston Waterworks, which may have affected the image of the dark towers in his work. Also the romantic medieval paintings of Edward Burne-Jones and thePre-raphaelites have had a strong influence on his work.

Later youth[Edit]Edit

In 1911, when he studied at King Edward's School in Birmingham, Tolkien and three friends, Rob Gilson founded, Geoffrey Smith and Christopher Wiseman, a secret society that they called T.C.B.S. . This meanTea Club and Barrovian Society initials and were an allusion to their fondness for drinking tea in BARROW's Storesnear their school and also sneak into the library of the school. After school kept the members contact and in december 1914 they held a meeting in London at Wiseman home, which Tolkien brought to writing poetry .

In the summer of 1911, Tolkien went on holiday to Switzerland, which he still can remember vividly in a 1968 letter. He makes mention of Bilbo's in it travel through the Misty Mountains (including the sliding party over the smooth rocks in the forest) and this is directly derived from his own adventure when their company of Interlaken to Lauterbrunnen walked moray eels and camped in the long run at Mürren. Fifty-seven years later, Tolkien could still remember that he retired with pain in the heart of the views of the eternal snows of Jungfrau and Silberhornthe. They moved further along the Kleine Scheidegg to Grindelwald and along the large Scheidegg to Meiringen. They continued their journey to the Grimsel Pass and by the Valais to Brig. From there they went to the Aletsch Glacier and Zermatt.

In October of the same year, Tolkien went to study at the Exeter College of the University of Oxford. Initially he studied classical languages, but later went to study English language . He graduated in 1915.

Engagement and marriage[Edit]Edit

At the age of 16, Tolkien met Edith Mary Bratt , who was three years older. J. r. r. Tolkien lived then in the same guesthouse and Hilary. Humphrey Carpenter writes about this, that Edith and Ronald arranged to tearooms in Birmingham went, preferably to a tea room with a balcony with street view. They were sitting there sugar cubes in the hats of passers-by to throw and if the sugar bowl was empty they went to the next table. There had to be something beautiful blossom between two so like-minded people. They were both pointed and had both need affection and that they could also give each other. In the summer of 1909 they knew that they were in love. [3]

Brother Francis Morgan, his guardian, found that Edith Tolkien derived too much of his study and it fulfilled him with disgust that his young pupil had a serious relationship with a Protestant girl. He forbade him to see her, to speak or even to write, until he was 21. He kept strictly to this ban, barring a few exceptions, making brother Morgan threatened to put an end to his university career if he is not stopped.

Just before his 21st birthday, he declared her a letter Tolkien wrote Edith and his love and he proposed to her. Edith replied that she had been betrothed to another man; She had done this because she thought Tolkien gave her no longer. They ran into each other again and again their love flourished at a railroad overpass on. Edith gave her engagement ring back and told that they with Tolkien was getting married. After they were engaged, at the insistence of Tolkien to Edith converted to the Catholic faith. They are betrothed In January 1913 in Birmingham and they were married on 22 March 1916 in Warwick in the Saint Mary Immaculate Catholic Church.

First World War[Edit]Edit

Meanwhile, the United Kingdom was involved in the first world war. Tolkien took voluntary service in the British army and became a second lieutenant in the Lancashire Fusiliers. His training with the 13th (reserve) battalion in Cannock ChaseStaffordshire lasted eleven months. He was then transferred to the 11th battalion of the British Expeditionary Force and he came to France on 4 June 1916 in. He later wrote about this: "Young officers were killed there in clumps. To be separated from my wife ... I was going to pass out. "

During the battle of the Somme was Tolkien liaison officer. He also took part in the battle of Thiepval. He got on 27 October 1916 suffering from trench fever, a disease that was transmitted by lice, which swarmed in the trenches. On 8 november 1916 Tolkien returned invalided to England. Many of his close friends, including Gilson and Smith t.c.b.s., were killed. Years later Tolkien said about this indignant, that those who were looking for similarities between his books and the Second World War there were completely besides:

"One must really under the shade of the war hit its full feel the pressure; but as the years go by, it seems to have forgotten that it is now often no less nasty experience was to be seized in your youth by 1914, then in 1939 and the following years at the war get involved. By 1918 were all my best friends, but one death. [4]

A weakened and emaciated Tolkien-he was rejected for the front spent the rest of the war in military hospitals or in garrison service. When also became the first son of Edith and j.r.r. born, John Francis Reuel Tolkien.

Home front[Edit]Edit

During his recovery in a cottage in Great Haywood, Staffordshire Tolkien began writing what he called The Book of Lost Tales . He began writing the fall of Gondolin. In 1917 and 1918 his illness kept recurring, but he had recovered sufficiently to in their own country to serve in various barracks and was promoted to Lieutenant.

When he was stationed in Kingston upon Hull, he and Edith went walking in the woods near rose and Edith danced there for him in a clearing among the flowering hemlock.

"We walked in a wood where hemlock was growing, in a sea of white flowers." [5]

This event formed the inspiration for the acquaintance between Beren and Lúthien. Tolkien called Edith often my Lúthien. [6]

University career and writers career[Edit]Edit

After the first world war, Tolkien initially for the Oxford English Dictionary , where he mainly worked on the history and etymology of the originally German words, beginning with the letter w. In 1920 he was a lecturer in the English language at the University of Leeds and 1924 he was appointed to Professor there. In Leeds appeared of his hand "A Middle English Vocabulary" and together with e. v. Gordon an authoritative edition ofSir Gawain and the Green Knight, both becoming academic standard works for decades. In 1925 he returned to Oxford and became a Professor of old English language at the University.

In that time he began writing "The Hobbit (The Hobbit)" and the first two parts of "the Lord of the rings (The Lord of The Rings)".

[1][2]20 northmoor Road, former home of j. r. r. Tolkien in Oxford.

Tolkien's treatise from 1936 "Beowulf: the Monsters and the Critics", is of a lasting influence on Beowulfresearch. Lewis e. Nicholson said that Tolkien's article is considered a turning point in the criticism of Beowulf. According to him, put the emphasis on the poetic nature of the Tolkien story instead of on the more linguistic elements. At the time, Beowulf by scholars generally scorned as a childish story about battles with monsters rather than a realistic story about tribal warfare.Tolkien stated that the author of Beowulf the human fate raised in general terms and not limited to tribal warfare and that therefore the samples necessary for the poem. In his essay also see how much respect he had let Tolkien for Beowulf: "Beowulf is one of my most valuable sources". This influence is reflected in the Lord of the rings.

In 1945, Tolkien Professor of English language and literature at the Merton College of the University of Oxford and that he remained until his retirement in 1959. In1948 Tolkien completed the Lord of the rings, nearly ten years after he had started for the first time to.

Tolkien also participated in translating the "Bible of Jerusalem", which appeared in 1966.


J. r. r. and Edith Tolkien had four children: John Francis Reuel Tolkien (17 november 1917 – 22 January 2003), Michael Hilary Reuel Tolkien (22 October 1920 – 27 February 1984), Christopher John Reuel Tolkien (born 21 november 1924) and Priscilla Mary Anne Reuel Tolkien (born 18 June 1929). Tolkien was fond of his children and when they were little, he sent them letters with drawings of the Santa Claus. Each year, there are more characters, such as the polar bear, the sidekick of Santa Claus, the snowman, the gardener, Ilbereth the elf, his Secretary and other characters.The main characters were telling stories about the struggle of Santa Claus against goblins who bats and about the jokes that the polar bear who benefited most.


Tolkien learned know C.S. Lewis at Oxford. This was probably his best friend and colleague, although their relationship ended as they grew older. They shared the love for a good conversation, laughter and beer made in may 1927 Tolkien and Lewis member of the "Coalbiters club", which in the original old NorseIcelandic sagas las. This was, as Humphrey Carpenter put it "the beginning of a long and complicated friendship."Tolkien and Hugh Dyson brought back closer to the c. s. Lewis Christianity. During their meetings with the Inklings with Lewis at home, but also private, las Tolkien at his request, with parts from The SilmarillionThe Hobbit and the Lord of the rings to Lewis.

By the arrival of Charles Williams, who worked for the Oxford University Press, changed the relationship between Tolkien and Lewis. Lewis ' enthusiasm shifted almost imperceptibly from Tolkien to Williams, especially when Lewis was working on writing his third novel, "That Hideous Strength".

Tolkien made itself long been very busy about what he considered the anti-Catholic attitude of Lewis. In a letter to his son Christopher , he said:

"The hatred of our Church is ultimately the only real foundation of the Anglican Church – this is so strong that it remains even when the umbrella seems to have disappeared (C.S.L. respects the Holy Sacramentand admires nuns!). But ends up as a Lutheran in prison he is combat-ready; But if Catholic priests are being slaughtered, he believes it's not (and I believe that he thinks that they have asked for it[7)."

Lewis ' growing reputation as a Christian apologist and his return to the Anglican Church annoyed Tolkien, who had a deep dislike of the Anglican Church. In the mid-forties was made Tolkien that Lewis got too much publicity.

Tolkien and Lewis had perhaps a more cohesive band can get when she stayed in Headington, but Lewis ' marriage to Joy Davidman prevented this. Tolkien noted that Lewis expected his friends would visit him and his wife. When he was still single and in the 1930s the Inklings held their meetings, he went over to the fact that his friends themselves were married. It helped even though not that Lewis Tolkien initially told nothing about his marriage to Davidman and when Tolkien there eventually had to learn, he also came to know that Lewis had married a divorced woman. This went against Tolkien's Catholic faith. He described the marriage as "very weird".

In the 1950s came to an end to the regular visits by Tolkien to Lewis, and this also meant the end of Tolkien's "cosy" period, which had begun with the T.C.B.S. at school and ended up with the Inklings at Oxford.

His friendship with Lewis later lived on Tolkien said in a letter to Priscilla after Lewis ' death in november 1963:

"So far, I've felt normal things for a man of my age – like an old tree that loses all its leaves one by one-this feels like an axe blow to my roots." [8]

W. h. Auden, who as a student had gotten of Tolkien, les was on occasion also journalist and was from mid-1950s until Tolkien's death on friendly terms with him. The friendship was caused by Auden was enthralled by "the Lord of the rings". Auden was one of the first and most important critics who found themselves full of praise about the book work. Tolkien wrote in a letter from 1971: I have had many in recent years due to Auden. His support and interest in my work have to a large extent stimulated me. From the beginning, he wrote me good reviews, notes and letters, at a time when that was still not at all obvious. He was there even mocked. [9]

Retirement and later life[Edit]Edit

During his retirement, from 1959 until his death in 1973, Tolkien gradually came more and more in the public eye and grew its fame on literary creation. His books were selling so well that he was sorry that he had not previously retired. Initially he answered still like to questions from his fans, but he harbored a certain suspicion towards the emergence of fan clubs, especially among the hippie movement in the United States. In a letter from 1972 he laments that he has become an Idol , but he admits that: ... even the nose of a very modest Idol [...] not quite insensitive to the sweet smell of incense! [10]

Due to the increasing attention of fans saw Tolkien had an unlisted phone number and eventually he moved together with Edith to Bournemouth on the South coast of England.

On 1 January 1972 became Tolkien by Queen Elizabeth II made a Knight in the Order of the British Empire and on 28 March 1972 he was awarded the distinction awarded on Buckingham Palace.


[3][4]Headstone of j. r. r. Tolkien

Edith Tolkien died on 29 november 1971, at the age of 82. Tolkien had the name Lúthien engraved in the tombstone in the cemetery of Wolvercote in Oxford. When Tolkien 21 months later, on 2 september 1973, died at the age of 81, he was buried in the same grave and Bears the name was engraved on the headstone. The epitaph reads:

Dame Edith Mary Tolkien
John Ronald Reuel Tolkien


Tolkien was a devout Roman Catholic and he had mainly conservative religious and political views. He preferred instead of old habits and customs modernisationand innovation. He also had a horrible hate the side effects of industrialization, which, according to him, the British countryside devastated. Almost his entire adult life he had an aversion to cars and went he would prefer cycling.This attitude is also reflected in his books, with the most famous example the imagination of the forced industrialization of the Shire in the Lord of the rings.

Much has been said and written about possible matches between Middle-Earth[11and Tolkien's own life. Of the Lord of the rings is often claimed to be England during and immediately after the Second World Warshould propose. Tolkien draws against this aggressive in the preface of the second edition of the novel and says he prefers applicability above allegory. This theme is further developed in his essay on fairy stories, in which he argues that fairy tales are so well, because sometimes they are consistent with the reality. He comes to the conclusion that Christianity also follows this pattern of inner consistency and outer truth.

His belief in the fundamental truths of Christianity and their place in mythology to see some critics to bring Christian themes in the Lord of the rings, despite a remarkable lack of overt religious references. This is not surprising, because the phenomena that lead to religious impulses in our own world, Middle-earth are a normal and natural part of the natural environment. Tolkien had great difficulty with the use of religious references in the stories of C.S. Lewis, who were often openly allegorical in nature. Tolkien wrote, however, that the place of performance of Mount doom an explanation formed on the Lord's prayer.

His love of myths and his devout faith came together in his assertion that he believed that mythology is the divine echo of the truth. This view came to expression in his poem Mythopoeia and his view that myths contain basic truths in general terms was a central theme of the Inklings.


Tolkien's faith played an important role in the conversion of C.S. Lewis from atheism to Christianity, but Tolkien was very disappointed that Lewis chose to align themselves with the Anglican Church, which Tolkien, in contrast to the Roman Catholic Church, a pathetic and dark mixture of half-forgotten traditions and mutilated beliefs was made.

In the last years of his life Tolkien was very disappointed with the reforms and changes that were made after the Second Vatican Council and his grandson Simon Tolkien says:

"I remember well that I went to church with him in Bournemouth. He was a devout Roman Catholic and it happened not long after the Church in the liturgy had replaced the Latin by the English. My grandfather was here clearly do not agree and answered loudly in Latin, while the rest of the parish in English replied. I found it all rather painful, but my grandfather was aware of no harm. He did just as he found that heard it. "[12]


Tolkien's opinion was led by his strict Catholicism. When he found out that Republican death squads during the Spanish civil war devastated churches and murdered priests and nuns on a large scale, he supportedFrancisco Franco's regime. After an introduction in 1944 he had admiration for the South African poet Roy Campbelland fellow Catholic. Campbell would have fought in Spain on the side of Franco's army, and so Tolkien regarded him as a defender of the Catholic faith. C. s. Lewis on the other hand, denounced in his poems openly Campbells "mix of Catholicism and fascism".

Scholars do not agree on whether there racist or racial elements in Tolkien's views can be found. Christine Chism distinguishes accusations in three categories: intentional racism, unconscious Eurocentric bias, and latent racism in Tolkien's earlier work (which is by the way to a conscious rejection of racist tendencies developing in his later work). It is known that Tolkien the "breeds learn" and the anti-Semitism of the Naziscondemned as "utterly pernicious and unscientific". About the racial segregation in South Africa he said:

"The treatment of coloured people scares everyone off that almost always comes from Great Britain." [13]

In 1968, he objected to the characterisation of Middle-Earth as "Nordic", because he said hate to have to use that term because of its relation to racist theories. Tolkien knew only disdain for Adolf Hitler, which he accused of "degenerating ... and the curse of the noble Nordic spirit forever", which was so loved him.

In a 1944 letter to his son Christopher, he wrote:

"It is distressing to see how much the press turned to the same questionable level lowers as Goebbels in his heyday and with screaming headlines States that every German commander that stands firm in a desperate situation (when he is forced to soldier) is a drunkard and a crazy fanatic. There was an important article in the local paper, in which seriously advocated was that the systematic eradication of the whole German nation, the only right solution was after military victory: for it is, if I may be so bold, rattlesnakes and they not know the difference between good and evil! (And the writer then?) The Germans have just as much right to claim that Poland and Jews are vermin and less than human, if we have to condemn the Germans: in other words, we have no right, what they did may have. " [14]

The atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki horrified he describes the creators of the atom bomb as "these lunatic physicists" and as "builders of Babel".

Writers Career[Edit]Edit

For "The Book of Lost Tales", which Tolkien wrote when he recovered from illnesses contracted during the battle of the Somme, he devised several themes that were later used in the successive versions of his "Legendarium". The two most prominent stories, the legend of Bears and Lúthien and that of Túrin, were carried forward into long narrative poems (published in "The Lays of Beleriand").



William Morris the centipede was of great influence on Tolkien. He wanted to imitate Morris ' prosaic and poetic adventure stories and putte there for the Ring In the Ban , among other things, for example, the inspiration for the names of "dead marshes (Dead Marshes)" and the "Mirkwood (Mirkwood)".

Edward Wyke-Smith Marvelous Land of the Snergs, with its typical characters, has had a major influence on the events, themes and description of Bilbo's people in The Hobbit. Tolkien wrote that he was very impressed as a child by s. r. Crocketts historical novel The Black Douglas and that Sauron on its villain, Gilles de Retz, was based.

Germanic inspiration[Edit]Edit

Tolkien is also strongly influenced by the Germanic languages, mainly due to the old English literature, poetry and mythology. These sources of inspiration included as BeowulfSir Gawain and the Green Knight '(Sir Gawain and the Green Knight) and Norse sagassuch as the Volsunga saga and the Hervarar saga, the Poetic Edda, the Nibelungenlied and other similar cultural works.

Despite the similarities between his work and the Volsunga saga and the Nibelungenlied, which formed the basis for Richard Wagner's operas, critics find that direct agreements are small. As his publisher said: "both rings were round, that is what the similarity on." Other critics believe that Tolkien the idea of a Ring that gives its wearer dominion over the world owes to Wagner and his Der Ring des Nibelungen. Two characteristics of the one Ring, the hostile nature and corrupting power on thoughts and will, were not present in the mythical sources but play a central role in Wagner's opera. Tolkien himself admitted he HomerSophocles and the Finnish Kalevala has used as inspiration for his stories or ideas.

Celtic inspiration[Edit]Edit

From Tolkien's work shows that he aspects to the Celtic history and legends has derived. But after the Silmarillion manuscript was rejected for, among other things for its Celtic names, Tolkien dismissed their Celtic origin:

"It is needless to say that they are not Celtic! The stories are that either. I know Celtic things and feel a certain dislike it: mainly because of their fundamental lack of logic. They have bright colors, but its like a broken glass window, affected which again sloppy was put together. They are in fact ' crazy ', such as your reader says – but I do not believe that I am. " [15]

The Silmarillion[Edit]Edit

J. r. r. Tolkien wrote a brief sketch about the ' Mythology ', where the stories of Túrin and Beren and Lúthien 's part of. Eventually grew the ' Sketch ' to the Quinta Silmarillion, an epic history that Tolkien started three times to, but that he had never finished. He hoped to publish it along with the trilogy the Lord of the rings, but publishers (both Allen & Unwin and Collins) dared not to. In addition, the cost of the printing of a book were very high in the first years after the second world war. This was also one of the reasons that the Lord of the rings in three volumes was published. These three concept stories are published posthumously under the name of the history of Middle-Earth, by his son Christopher Tolkien, who has his father's scratch versions modified and explained. From 1936 he began to expand the history by adding a new story, the fall ofNúmenor, a story based on the legend of Atlantis.

Children's Books[Edit]Edit

In addition to writing poetry, also loved Tolkien mythological fantasy stories to entertain his children to think of. Here was the book The Hobbit from resulted. He wrote Santa Claus letters every year for them, with which he built a series of short stories. These were later merged and published. Other stories were Mr. Bliss"Roverandom"The Blacksmith of Wootton major and Farmer Gilles van Ham. For these stories he used, as for The Hobbit ideas from his Legendarium .

The Hobbit[Edit]Edit

Tolkien never expected his stories would be so popular, but by chance the Hobbit pulled the book that he had written for his children years earlier, in 1936 the attention of Susan Dagnall, an employee of the London publishing house George Allen & Unwin, who convinced him to let it spend. The book also attracted the attention of adults and it became so popular that the Publisher Tolkien asked for a sequel to write.

The Lord of the rings[Edit]Edit

Although he was not initially inspired felt for such a topic, made this request sure Tolkien began his most famous work: the epic, three-part novel the Lord of the rings (published 1954-1955). Tolkien did more than a decade to create the background for the trilogy. During this period in j. r. r. Tolkien got support from his friends of the Inklings, especially of his best friend c. s. Lewis, the author of the Chronicles of NarniaThe Hobbit and the Lord of the rings are both based on the stories from The Silmarillion, but take off much later.

The intention was that of Tolkien In the Lord of the rings would be a children's story in the same style as The Hobbit, but it soon became darker and more serious in terms of writing style. Although it was a follow-up on The Hobbit, it was aimed at an older audience and expanded it on the huge background stories of Beleriand, which Tolkien had written earlier. These stories were published only after Tolkien's death, among other things in The Silmarillion. Tolkien left itself a great influence on the Fantasy genre, after that arose after the success of the Lord of the rings .

The Lord of the rings became extremely popular in the 1960s and is that remained since then. It is one of the most popular fiction works from the 20th century, which both from sales from polls among readers shows.

  • 1999: "book of the Millennium ', according to a poll of
  • 2003: the Lord of the rings is the most beloved British book ', according to a survey by the BBC.
  • 2004:  favorite book , according to research by the Australian Broadcasting Channel.
  • 2002: Tolkien is the  greatest Briton , according to a poll by the BBC.
  • 2004: Tolkien was 35th in the list of Largest South Africans and was the only figure who appeared in both lists.

The books are not only extremely popular in English-speaking countries. In a 2004 poll found 250,000 Germans In the Lord of the rings their favorite literary work.

Posthumous publications[Edit]Edit

J. r. r. Tolkien had his son Christopher designated as literary executor. This published (with help from Guy Gavriel Kay) in 1977 when unpublished material under the title The Silmarillion. His father had in 1937 tried to publish a collection ' Silmarillion' material, before the Lord of the rings he had written.

In 1980, Christopher still a collection under the title unfinished tales. In the following years (1983-1996) he published a large part of the remaining material, including notes from Tolkien himself in a series of twelve pieces entitled the history of Middle-Earth. These contain unfinished, alternative and conflicting stories. Between the Lord of the rings and The Hobbit, the most closely related works, there is no immediate connection, because Tolkien never fully connect the stories has in terms of traditions and background information. When Tolkien in 1965 was working on the third edition of The Hobbit, he said that he would like to rewrite the entire book, because he no longer liked the style of the prose.

In 2007, the publication of the children of Húrin. The novel tells the story of Túrin Turambar and his sister Nienor, the children of Húrin Thalion. The material was compiled by Christopher Tolkien from The Silmarillion,unfinished talesthe history of Middle-Earth and unpublished work.

The most recent work that was issued is The Legend of Sigurd and Gudrún that appeared in February 2009.

The ' Department of Special Collections and the library of the Marquette University in Milwaukee store many of Tolkien's manuscripts. Other original material is kept in the Bodleian Library of the University of Oxford.

Languages and Philology[Edit]Edit

Linguistic career[Edit]Edit

Tolkien's academic career and his literary production are inseparable from his love of language and Philology. He specialized in ancient Greek Philology at the University, and in 1915 he succeeded with old Norse as an extra box. He worked for the Oxford English Dictionaryfrom 1918. In 1920 he went to the University of Leeds and began examination of the English language. He gave lectures on Philologyold English, the history of England and over several old English and Middle English texts. He also introduced the Germanic, Gothic, old Icelandic and medieval Welsh Philology. In 1925 at the age of 33 to Tolkien applied on the job of Professor Anglo-Saxon, in which he reported that some of his students at the University of Leeds a Viking Club were started. In addition, he also had a certain knowledge of the Finnish language.

Language Building[Edit]Edit

See also languages of Arda

In addition to his professional work as a philologist, Tolkien had a great love for coming up with artificial languages. This sometimes overshadowed his work so he little academic work has produced. The best developed artificial languages Quenya and Sindarinare, these languages were used by the Elves. The etymological connection between these formed the core of his Legendarium. Language and grammar for Tolkien was a matter of aesthetics and fonoësthetica (the sound beauty of a language). Especially Quenya was from fonoësthetische considerations and was intended as a kind of ' Elves ' Latin. Therefore it wasphonologically based on Latin, with ingredients from Finnish, Welsh, English and ancient Greek. In 1945 a language at: Adûnaisch or Númenoriaans, a Semitic language with a touch. This language was connected with Tolkien's Atlantis legend, which matches his ideas that languages cannot be inherited. Along with the second age and the story of Eärendil formed this much of Tolkien's Legendarium.

The popularity of Tolkien's books had a small but lasting effect on language use in fantasyliterature in General. Many spelling dictionaries accept Tolkien's dwarves and dwarvish (dwarves) (dwergs), next to the original spelling dwarfs and dwarfish, words that were hardly used anymore. [source?]



Illustrations and music[Edit]Edit

In a letter to Milton Waldman from 1951 Tolkien writes about his intentions to be a ' skeleton of to create more or less coherent legends ', of which:

"... the cycle to a majestic whole had to be made, but still had to hold an opening for other thoughts and hands, who could write about painting, music and drama." [16]

The hands and minds of many artist are indeed inspired by Tolkien's legends. Baynes as he knew personally. It was Tolkien's favourite illustrator of the adventures of Tom Bombadil and Farmer Gilles van Ham. But he knew Donald Swann, who composed music to The Road Goes Ever On. Queen Margrethe II of Denmark In the Lord of the rings illustrated at the beginning of the seventies. They sent her work to Tolkien, who was surprised by the agreement between her drawings and sketches.

However, Tolkien was not happy with all the artistic work based on his work and part he accepted off. In 1946 he assigned the illustrations by Horus English for the German edition of The Hobbit because he they "toDisney-like" were:

"...Bilbo with a runny nose, and Gandalf as someone with vulgar humor, instead of Odin-like strolling what I have in my mind. " [17]

Tolkien was skeptical about the origin of the Tolkien-fan club in the United States, and in 1954 he returned the proposals for the cover of the American edition of the Lord of the rings:

"Thank you for sending the proposed ' blurbs ', which I have returned. The Americans are in fact not at all open to criticism or improvement. But I think their commitment so lousy is that I feel inclined to improve it yourself. " [18]


In 1958, after he had received a script for a proposed film derived from the Lord of the rings by Morton Grady Zimmerman, Tolkien wrote:

"I would like to ask to them to try to understand the irritation of an author, which is becoming stronger will find his work carelessly, and here and there is treated recklessly and without clear evidence of understanding what it is all about." [19]
[5][6]Tolkien's blue plaque at Sarehole Mill, inBirmingham.[7][8]Tolkien's blue plaque at Plough and Harrow hotel, in Birmingham

Tolkien went on to criticize the script scene for scene. He was In principle open to the idea of a film adaptation. In 1968, he sold the rights of The Hobbit and the Lord of the rings to United Artists. But Tolkien explicitly forbade that The Walt Disney Company would be involved in the production, because he harbored an intense hatred for their work.

United Artists never made a film and in 1976 the rights were sold to Tolkien enterprises. The first film adaptation of the Lord of the rings appeared a year later. However, the animated filmcovered only the first half of the story. In 1977 came a animated production of The Hobbit and in 1980 an animated the return of the King, which is somewhat matched the unfinished production in 1977.

From 2001 to 2003, New Line Cinema the The Lord of The Rings trilogy , and in 2012 the movie The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. These were filmed in New Zealand and produced byPeter Jackson. The movies were very successful and won several Oscars.

Tolkien Society Unquendor[Edit]Edit

Tolkien Society Unquendor is a Dutch Association that deals with promoting the interest in the work of j. r. r. Tolkien.


See Tolkien Estate.


After his death his called to Tolkien:

  • Asteroid 2675 Tolkien discovered in 1982.
  • Tolkien Road in EastbourneEast Sussex
  • Tolkien Way in Stoke-on-Trent is named after Tolkien's eldest son, John Francis Tolkien, who was a priest at the nearby Roman Catholic Church of Our Lady of the Angels and St. Peter in Chains.
  • Laan van Tolkien and a full district named after characters and names from the works of Tolkien. This district is located in the North Brabant place Geldrop.

Blue plaques[Edit]Edit

There are six blue plaques, which indicate places where Tolkien has been. There's one in Oxford, one in Harrogate and four in Birmingham.

  • The plaques mark three places in Birmingham where he lived as a child, until he went to the University of Oxford , and the fourth is a hotel where Tolkien in 1916 was staying.
  • The Oxford plaque marks the place where j. r. r. Tolkien's The Hobbit and most of the Lord of the rings wrote.
  • The plaque in Harrogate indicates where Tolkien recovered from trench fever.


[9][10]Tomb of Edith (d. 29 november 1971) and j. r. r. Tolkien (d. 2 september 1973), Wolvercote Cemetery in Oxford*Published during his lifetime