J.R.R Tolkien Facts

30 Interesting Facts About J. R. R. Tolkien

A list of interesting facts about acclaimed fantasy author, J. R. R. Tolkien, who wrote the Lord of The Rings trilogy and the The Hobbit.

His full name was John Ronald Reuel Tolkien.

He was born on 3rd January, in 1892, in Bloemfontein, Orange Free State, South Africa.

He died on 2nd September, in 1973, in Oxford, England.

He had a younger brother, Hilary Arthur Reuel Tolkien.

His father, Arthur Reuel Tolkien, was an English bank manager who died of rheumatic fever.

Whilst living in South Africa, Tolkien was bitten by a baboon spider. Many believe this accident would echo in his future works.

Tolkien, his brother and their mother traveled around England, where he was inspired by his aunt Jane’s farm, Bag End.

Mabel Tolkien (his mother) home schooled her children. Tolkien had a natural aptitude for art, botany and languages.

Tolkien could read and write fluently by the age of four.

The first language he created by himself was Naffarin.

While attending King Edward’s school, he was one of a number of cadets who helped line the route for the coronation of King George V.

At college, he was a member of the T.C.B.S (the Tea Club and Barrovian Society). Many of the members had a fondness for drinking tea by the school, and in the school library.

He graduated from Exeter College, Oxford with a first-class honors degree in English Language and Literature.

He was greatly influenced by his travels in Switzerland and its landscapes. This features heavily in Bilbo’s travels over the Misty Mountains in The Hobbit (1937).

In 1916, he married Edith Mary Bratt.

During World War I, he was assigned the role of signal officer. During his time, he contracted trench foot on numerous occasions and finally arrived back in England in 1916.

He wrote The Book of Lost Tales in Staffordshire, whilst recovering from his time at the Somme.

Whilst walking in Kingston Upon Hull, Edith danced by a river bank, and this inspired Tolkien for his future characters, Beren and Lúthien’s, first meeting.

Tolkien and his wife had four children: John Francis Reuel Tolkien (1917), Michael Hilary Reuel Tolkien (1920), Christopher John Reuel Tolkien (1924), and Priscilla Mary Anne Reuel Tolkien (1929).

While The Hobbit was written for children, The Lord of the Rings became darker, and took a more serious tone.

Tolkien wrote The Hobbit (1937), The Fellowship of the Ring (1954) and The Two Towers (1954) while living at 20 Northmoor Road in North Oxford.

During World War II, he was earmarked as a codebreaker.

Queen Elizabeth II gave Tolkien the Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 1972.

Tolkien was a devout Roman Catholic.

With his aptitude of languages, Tolkien had learnt: Danish, Dutch, French, German, Gothic, Greek, Italian, Latin, Lombardic, Middle and Old English, Old Norse, Norwegian, Russian, Serbian, Spanish, Swedish, Welsh and Medieval Welsh.

After Tolkien’s death, his son Christopher published many of his father’s works and manuscripts, including The Silmarillion (1977).

The first signed edition of The Hobbit reportedly went for $85,000 at auction.

In 2003, 25th March was announced as Tolkien Reading Day in schools.

In 2001, director Peter Jackson began filming for the three The Lord of the Rings films in New Zealand. It had such stars as Christopher Lee as Saruman, Sir Ian McKellan as Gandalf and Elijah Wood as Frodo Baggins. The cast features many more.

In 2012, Peter Jackson released the first of a three-part series of The Hobbit. It features such stars such as Martin Freeman as Bilbo Baggins, Sir Ian McKellan (reprising his role as Gandalf) and Andy Serkis (who reprized his role of Sméagol/Gollum).

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