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Joel Puncheon

Mr. Bash

English 11

22 October 2018

J.R.R. Tolkien

Early life

John Ronald Reuel Tolkien was born on January 3, 1892 in Bloemfontein, South Africa.

He, his brother, and his mother moved to the United Kingdom and lived there his whole life. His

brother’s name was Hilary. They lived in a good neighborhood and the parents were loving.

Tolkien's dad stayed in Africa to keep his job for one more year, then planned to meet up with

the family, but died by rheumatic fever in 1896. Tolkien's health was not good either. When he

was young he was often sick all the time. (“ J.R.R. Tolkien” St james ) Tolkien always enjoyed

fairy tales and mythical stories so he was determined to right books about fairy tales. ( “J.R.R.

Tolkien” Concise Dictionary )

Personal life

After serving in World War I for France, he came back to the United Kingdom to finish

his studies. Once he finished his studies, he became a reader and professor of English language at

Leeds University. Later he was elected Rawlinson and Bosworth Professor of Anglo-Saxon at

Oxford University. He was a philologist and an author, and his academic career was 39 years

long. All the money made of the sales of his books made Tolkien a very wealthy man and one of

the most famous authors of his time period.(“J.R.R. Tolkien” contemporary) Tolkien retired in

1959 from teaching at the university, but would still write short stories and poems. One of his

goals was to finish the most recent story, The Silmarillion, which he was working on with
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another professor named Clyde Kirby. Then in 1971 his wife Edith became ill, and she died from

an inflamed gallbladder. He told his oldest son Michael that “ She was the source of that story

that in time became the chief part of the Silmarillion.” Tolkien later died on September 2, 1973

and he never got to finish the book. (“J.R.R. Tolkien” Authors and Artists )

Professional life

Tolkien had many famous books, but his most famous were his Lord of the Rings trilogy

and The Hobbit trilogy. There were 40 million of these books published and printed, and they

were very popular in the U.S. and United Kingdom. They were printed in 30 different

languages. These books are still very popular and have all been made into movies. Tolkien was

against this because he didn't want his stories altered by corrupting technology. When his son,

Christopher became the head executor of the estate, he thought it would be a good idea. He felt

that it would really bring out the dramatic masterpieces that his father created. Tolkien has won

many awards for these books such as, the International Fantasy Award, and the Locus Award for

the best fantasy novel in 1978.(Bramlett Perry)

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Works cited

"J. R. R. Tolkien." St. James Encyclopedia of Popular Culture, Gale, 2013. Biography In


"J. R. R. Tolkien." Concise Dictionary of British Literary Biography, vol. 6, Gale,

1991. Biography In Context,

"J. R. R. Tolkien." Authors and Artists for Young Adults, vol. 10, Gale, 1993. Biography In


"J. R. R. Tolkien." Contemporary Authors Online, Gale, 2009. Biography In Context,

Bramlett, Perry. "J. R. R. Tolkien." Encyclopedia of Science, Technology, and Ethics, edited

by Carl Mitcham, Macmillan Reference USA, 2005. Biography In Context

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