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5 Elements to Understand… Who Was Tolkien, Author of The Lord of the Rings


J.R.R. Tolkien is a famous writer, poet, and university professor. He is best known for his fantasy novels. the hobbit and others the Lord of the Rings.

troubled childhood

JRR Tolkien was born in South Africa. He is the eldest in the family. His parents, from England, left the country after the promotion of the future writer’s father, Arthur Roel Tolkien. Only 4 years after they moved, Tolkien’s mother and her children decided to return to their country of origin. The mother of the family could not stand the climate of Africa. Tolkien’s father would have joined them later, but Tolkien had died before. At the time, Tolkien was only 4 years old. He and his family moved to his maternal grandparents in Birmingham in the Saarhull area. This place will take inspiration when writing his novels.

edifice mill

life path

Tolkien was educated at King Edward School, a prestigious private school in Birmingham. There he became interested in the philosophy of language and the study of language and literature from written documents. In 1910, the future writer was awarded a scholarship at Oxford University where he studied ancient literature and then English literature. As soon as World War I broke out, Tolkien trained with students in military command. At the same time, he obtained his diploma before he went straight ahead.

During the war, he fell victim to trench fever, a disease transmitted by lice. So he was sent back to England. He was taken back to England where he stayed in hospital. Tolkien wrote during convalescence Gondolin Waterfall, The first text we hear about Middle-earth. The famous land we will find later The the hobbit and others the Lord of the Rings.

Her love for languages ​​comes from her mother. His last knowledge of German, Latin and French is very young. After the war, Tolkien worked inOxford English Dictionary. He is also a teacher at several universities. In 1924, he became Professor of English Literature at the University of Leeds. publish glossary Middle English Vocabulary It is an academic reference.

Only a year later, Tolkien returned to Oxford where he taught Old English until 1945. He then taught English literature at Merton School until his retirement. Parallel to his career as a college professor, Tolkien is passionate about the pure and simple construction of an entire fictional vocabulary. in the Lord of the RingsThere are about ten different dialects. He loves words and invents languages ​​even though they would never be used in real life.

From man to writer

While teaching at Oxford, Tolkien began writing the hobbit. The latter was published in 1937 thanks to one of his students. I convinced him to publish it and linked it to Allen & Unwin Publishing. His first novel was a real success, so his publisher asked him to write something new. It would take Tolkien 10 years to complete all three volumes of The Lord of the Rings. The latter was published between 1954 and 1955 the hobbitIt’s a huge success. the Lord of the Rings It became the second best-selling novel in the world with 150 million copies sold.

Effectde Tolkien

When writing his novels, Tolkien drew inspiration from author William Morris and his novel house of wolves. The story of the latter takes place in the Mirkwood Forest. author Lord of the rings Take the same name for the forest in The hobbit. He also explained that he was inspired by the landscapes of house of wolves To build those dead marshes in it the Lord of the Rings.

Another novel by Maurice that inspired Tolkien: Source at the end of the world. In this work we find the character of Gandalf, an evil king. This character’s name is very similar to that of the wizard Gandalf in the Lord of the Rings. In a letter dating back to 1968, Tolkien recounts one of his trips to Switzerland. This trip would have inspired her to write her wonderful novels. Silberhorn Peak in the Bernese Alps is the true representation of Celebrity, one of the three mountain peaks in the Lord of the Rings.


Le Summit de Silberhorn

the Lord of the Rings

At first, Tolkien didn’t want to bring back the magical episode seen in the hobbit In his story, but in the end, he chose to leave it anyway. However, it is no longer the magical “Beautiful Ring” as interpreted in the hobbit. This time is the terrible episode that Sauron penned. Writing a novel was not easy for the author. On August 12, 1944, he wrote to his son Christopher that What inspiration? [Le Seigneur des anneaux] I completely dried up, and I am in the same place as in the spring, with all the stalemate that must be overcome again. What a relief to finish it“.

Tolkien did not complete his work until 10 years later. In fact, between World War II and his role as a teacher and false beginnings, it took Tolkien more than a decade to write the three parts of Lord of the rings. The novel was published between 1954 and 1955, and has been translated into more than 40 languages.

Between 2001 and 2003, director Peter Jackson turned the novel into three films. On September 2, 2022, Amazon Prime releases new series: rings of strength. It is based on Tolkien’s novels.




Read also: Lord of the Rings: Who are the orcs in Tolkien’s work?


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