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James Ronald Reuel Tolkien. Tolkien Reading Day: March 25 th 2014. Background. January 3, 1892 – September 2, 1973 Writer, poet, philogist , & university professor

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james ronald reuel tolkien

James Ronald Reuel Tolkien

Tolkien Reading Day: March 25th 2014


January 3, 1892 – September 2, 1973

Writer, poet, philogist, & university professor

Known as the “father of modern fantasy literature” due to the connected works of The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, & The Silmarillion, which form a complete tale

Tolkien also wrote fictional histories, created languages, and poems set in the fictional world of Arda, of which Middle Earth is a part

teaching career
Teaching Career

Widely recognized for his work with the epic poem Beowulf (soon to be released)

Tolkien delivered a lecture arguing that the Old English epic was not simply about fighting monsters, but rather about the ideals of human destiny

W.H. Auden, a famous poet and former student of Tolkien, stated of Tolkien’s impassioned recitation of Beowulf that he heard the “voice of Gandalf”

the inklings
The Inklings

Literary discussion group that met at The Eagle and Child to discuss writing, the use of narrative, and the production of fantasy writing

Possibly the two most famous members of The Inklings were C. S. Lewis & J.R.R. Tolkien

The Inklings met from the early 1930s to late 1949

First time and place that such famous works such as The Chronicles of Narnia & The Lord of the Rings were read

early work
Early Work

Tolkien had never expected any of his writings to become popular

By accident, a book that he had written for his children was discovered by a publishing house and Tolkien was persuaded to submit the work for publication

That book was titled The Hobbit

Due to the popularity of this work, Tolkien was asked to write a sequel …

the lord of the rings
The Lord of the Rings

Tolkien spent 10 years constructing the back story, main narrative, and appendices for LOTR

In a 1999 Amazon.com poll, LOTR was voted as Favorite Book of the Millennium