@Educators, Family and Family
J. R. R. Tolkien born at
When he was 16, he got romantically involved with Edith Mary Bratt, but was asked not to see her until he turned 21 by his guardian, Father Morgen. At 21, he renewed his relationship with Edith and got engaged to her in 1913, with marriage following in 1916 at St. Mary Immaculate Roman Catholic Church, Warwick.
The couple had four children – son John Francis Reuel Tolkien (1917), son Michael Hilary Reuel Tolkien (1920), son Christopher John Reuel Tolkien (1924), and daughter Priscilla Mary Anne Reuel Tolkien (1929).
His wife, Edith, died in 1971 and was buried at Wolvercote Cemetery, Oxford. He died 21 months later in 1973 and was put to rest in his wife’s grave.
John Ronald Reuel Tolkien was born on January 3, 1892 in Bloemfontein, Orange Free State, to English bank manager Arthur Reuel Tolkien and Mabel nee Suffield.
His father died of rheumatic fever when he was three, and hence, started living with his maternal grandparents in Kings Heath, Birmingham, along with his mother and younger brother, Hilary.
After initial education at home, he went to King Edward’s School and St. Philip’s School. He returned back to King Edward’s through a Foundation Scholarship in 1903.
His mother died in 1904, due to acute diabetes, and was thereafter, brought up by her friend, Fr. Francis Xavier Morgan of the Birmingham Oratory.
In 1911, he enrolled into Classics at Exeter College, Oxford, but changed the subject to English Language and Literature in 1913, and graduated with first-class in 1915.
He was enrolled as a Second Lieutenant in the Lancashire Fusiliers, in 1916, and fought in the Battle of the Somme on the Western Front. He contracted trench fever, a typhus-like infection, due to which he was sent back to England.
In 1918, he started working as an assistant lexicographer at The Oxford English Dictionary. Subsequently, in 1920, he joined the University of Leeds as a Reader in English Language.
He produced the popular edition of ‘Sir Gawain and the Green Knight’, along with E.V. Gordon, and ‘A Middle English Vocabulary’ single-handedly.
In 1925, he joined Oxford University as Rawlinson and Bosworth Professor of Anglo-Saxon, where he essayed the philological lecture ‘Nodens’ in 1932, based on the 1928 unearthing of Roman Asclepeion at Lydney Park, Gloucestershire.
The first three parts of his ‘The Lord of the Rings’ – ‘The Fellowship of the Ring’, ‘The Two Towers’, and ‘The Return of the King’, received mixed reviews from the readers, ranging from straightforward narrative to fantasy setting to ecstatic.
He translated the Old English epic poem ‘Beowulf: A Translation and Commentary’ in 1926; however, it was edited and published by his son posthumously in 2014.
He wrote the award-winning novel ‘The Hobbit’ – an interpretation of the history of Middle-earth, in 1937, supported by over 100 drawings, which became more popular as a children’s book, though it was originally written for adult readers.
While writing a sequel to ‘The Hobbit’, he produced the highly-successful 12-book ‘The Lord of the Rings’, completed over a period of ten years, with the first three parts published during 1954-55 as a trilogy.