However, there was so much more to him than just his fiction. Tolkien was a pioneering expert on medieval literature and language, a veteran of World War 1, and a talented illustrator.
So who was this enigmatic chap? As will become abundantly clear in this list, Tolkien never saw himself as just a writer of fiction. His first great success, The Hobbit , actually began as a bedtime story for his young children.
Instead of reading from books, Tolkien would regale his children with wonderful yarns about strange creatures and adventures. Over the course of many nights, and egged on by his fascinated children, the character of the hobbit, Bilbo Baggins, emerged. Tolkien enlisted as a lieutenant in the Lancashire Fusiliers and served in World War I, making sure to continue writing as well.
J. R. R. Tolkien
He fought in the Battle of the Somme, in which there were severe casualties, and was eventually released from duty due to illness. Continuing his linguistic studies, Tolkien joined the faculty of the University of Leeds in and a few years later became a professor at Oxford University. While there he started a writing group called The Inklings, which counted among its members C. Lewis and Owen Barfield.
It was also at Oxford, while grading a paper, that he spontaneously wrote a short line about "a hobbit. He also created more than drawings to support the narrative. 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.
Tolkien retired from professorial duties in , 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 , and Tolkien died on September 2, , at the age of He was survived by four children. Jackson also directed a three-part Hobbit movie adaptation starring Martin Freeman, which was released from to The Art of the Hobbit was published in , celebrating the novel's 75th anniversary by presenting Tolkien's original illustrations.
New J.R.R. Tolkien book may be Lord of the Rings author's last
Underscoring the enduring popularity of Tolkien's famed fantasy world, in November , online retail and entertainment behemoth Amazon announced that it had acquired the TV rights for the book series. In its statement, the company revealed plans to "explore new storylines preceding J. The author's life was the subject of the feature Tolkien , a biopic starring Nicholas Hoult and steeped with references to The Lord of the Rings.
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