Biography Of J.R.R. Tolkien Essay

1109 words - 4 pages

“Not all that glitters is gold, not all who wander are lost…”, this is my favorite quote from my favorite author, the great J.R.R. Tolkien. John Ronald Reuel Tolkien was a bestselling author, professor of Old and Middle English at Oxford, and an incredibly skilled linguist. He was determined, steadfast, and a firm defender of his artistic integrity. J.R.R. Tolkien was an inspirational Englishman because he created a modern mythology, sparking the creation of a new genre of modern fiction.
Tolkien’s childhood and studies had a large impact on his later life. Tolkien was born in Bloemfontein, South Africa on January 3, 1892. Tolkien lived in South Africa until the death of his father in February of 1896. His time there would influence his later writings. An encounter with a large Baboon Spider at the age of three, would inspire future characters in his writings (Doughan). After that he moved back to England with his mother and younger brother. Living in the West Midlands, Tolkien often moved between the urban blight of Birmingham and the idyllic countryside of Worcestershire. The harsh contrast between these two extremes, would be reflected in later works. After the death of his mother in 1904, Tolkien lived with a Catholic priest, Father Francis Morgan. At the age of 16, while still under the care of Father Morgan, Tolkien met his future wife, three years his senior, Edith Bratt. However, Father Morgan prohibited Tolkien from having any sort of relationship with her while under his care. Tolkien attended Exeter College and later Oxford University, graduating in the summer of 1915 with a degree in English Language and Literature. Upon graduation Tolkien joined the army. His experiences while fighting in the trenches of France would have a profound effect on his writings. Most notably in his epic poem The Fall of Gondolin, describing the fall of the great elvish city of Gondolin. After the Armistice was signed, Tolkien began work as a professor of Old and Middle English at several universities, most notably Oxford. Continuing his work as a professor and lecturer until his death in 1973. Tolkien’s experiences came to have a major influence on his life’s work, the world of Middle-Earth.
Tolkien was fascinated by languages, mainly Germanic and English. While growing up he created several of his own. Two of these languages, Qenya and Sindarin, inspired him to create a world and mythology to support them, Middle-Earth. Tolkien’s Middle-Earth is best known as the setting of his four most famous works of literature. First created in the late 1930s, the world of Middle-Earth became the setting of stories he wrote for his young children. The name was taken from the ancient Norse word for the land between heaven and hell. (Carter). Tolkien spent at least 10 years creating the mythology and history of Middle-Earth. The Hobbit was first published in 1937 and the Lord of the Rings Trilogy was first published in 1954 (Tolkien: A Biography). The Hobbit was...

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