JRR TOLKIEN

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John Ronald Reuel Tolkien was born in Bloemfontein, South Africa, on January 3, 1892, to Arthur Tolkien and Mabel Suffield Tolkien.

https://www.biography.com/writer/jrr-tolkien

https://www.biography.com/writer/jrr-tolkien

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After Arthur died from complications of rheumatic fever, Mabel settled with four-year-old Tolkien and his younger brother, Hilary, in the country hamlet of Sarehole, in Birmingham, England.

https://www.biography.com/writer/jrr-tolkien

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He fought in the Battle of the Somme, in which there were severe casualties, and was eventually released from duty due to illness. In the midst of his military service, he married Edith Bratt in 1916.

https://www.biography.com/writer/jrr-tolkien

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He joined University of Leeds in 1920. While there he started a writing group called The Inklings, which counted among its members C.S. Lewis and Owen Barfield. It was also at Oxford, while grading a paper, that he spontaneously wrote a short line about "a hobbit."

https://www.biography.com/writer/jrr-tolkien

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Over the years, while working on scholarly publications, Tolkien developed the work that would come to be regarded as his masterpiece — The Lord of the Rings series, partially inspired by ancient European myths, with its own sets of maps, lore and languages.

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Tolkien retired from professorial duties in 1959, going on to publish an essay and poetry collection, Tree and Leaf, and the fantasy tale Smith of Wootton Major. His wife Edith died in 1971, and Tolkien died on September 2, 1973, at the age of 81.

https://www.biography.com/writer/jrr-tolkien

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Mabel died in 1904, and the Tolkien brothers were sent to live with a relative and in boarding homes, with a Catholic priest as their guardian in England. Tolkien went on to get his first-class degree at Exeter College, specializing in Anglo-Saxon and Germanic languages and classic literature.

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Tolkien released part one of the series, The Fellowship of the Ring in 1954; The Two Towers and The Return of the King followed in 1955, finishing up the trilogy. The books gave readers a rich literary trove populated by elves, goblins, talking trees and all manner of fantastic creatures, including characters like the wizard Gandalf and the dwarf Gimli.

While Rings had its share of critics, many reviewers and waves upon waves of general readers took to Tolkien’s world, causing the books to become global bestsellers, with fans forming Tolkien clubs and learning his fictional languages.

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The name “Tolkien” (pron.: Tol-keen; equal stress on both syllables) was believed by the family (including Tolkien himself) to be of German origin; Toll-kühn: foolishly brave, or stupidly clever

https://www.tolkiensociety.org/author/biography/

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Despite all the fuss over The Lord of the Rings, between 1925 and his death Tolkien did write and publish a number of other articles, including a range of scholarly essays, many reprinted in The Monsters and the Critics and Other Essays (see above); one Middle-earth related work, The Adventures of Tom Bombadil; editions and translations of Middle English works such as the Ancrene Wisse, Sir Gawain, Sir Orfeo and The Pearl, and some stories independent of the Legendarium, such as the Imram, The Homecoming of Beorhtnoth Beorhthelm’s Son, The Lay of Aotrou and Itroun—and, especially, Farmer Giles of Ham, Leaf by Niggle, and Smith of Wootton Major.

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