J. R. R. Tolkien

English writer and philologist (1892–1973)
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John Ronald Reuel Tolkien (3 January 1892 – 2 September 1973) was a British philologist, university professor, and writer. Tolkien is best known for his most famous works, The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings.

J. R. R. Tolkien

Colourised version of a photograph of J. R. R. Tolkien taken around 1925
Colourised version of a photograph of J. R. R. Tolkien taken around 1925
BornJohn Ronald Reuel Tolkien
(1892-01-03)3 January 1892
Bloemfontein, Orange Free State (modern-day South Africa)
Died2 September 1973(1973-09-02) (aged 81)
Bournemouth, England
OccupationAuthor, academic, philologist, poet
Alma materExeter College, Oxford
GenreFantasy, high fantasy, translation, literary criticism
Notable works
(m. 1916; d. 1971)
Allegiance United Kingdom
Service/branch British Army
Years of service1915–1920
UnitLancashire Fusiliers
Battles/warsFirst World War



He was born in Bloemfontein, South Africa but his parents were both from England. He lost much of his family at an early age. He fought in World War I, and after the war he found a job helping to produce the Oxford English Dictionary. Tolkien was very interested in languages, and he had studied at Oxford University. Soon he became a professor of English Language at the University of Leeds. He was then a professor at the University of Oxford until 1959, when he retired. He also was good friends with many other writers and scholars, most notably C. S. Lewis, who wrote the Narnia books, The Screwtape Letters, and many essays on Christian theology. Tolkien himself was a devout Catholic.

Tolkien married Edith Mary Bratt on 22 March 1916 in England, at the age of 24.[1] They had four children, three sons and a girl: John, Michael, Christopher, and Priscilla.



He created and worked on the fictional fantasy world of Middle-earth for most of his life, and his most famous books are set in that world. Because of his Middle-earth books he is often considered the "father of high fantasy" which made the fantasy genre very popular.

Tolkien wrote other books, for example Farmer Giles Of Ham, and also illustrated (drew the pictures and maps for) The Lord of the Rings. The Lord of the Rings was published in three parts and has been made into several motion pictures. The Lord of the Rings took 12 years to write.[2]

Until 1930, the Tolkiens lived at 22 Northmoor Road, Oxford. Then they moved a house further to 20 Northmoor Road.



Fiction and poetry

  • The Hobbit or There and Back Again, ISBN 978-0-618-00221-4 (HM). (1937)
  • Leaf by Niggle (1945, short story)
  • Farmer Giles of Ham (1949, medieval fable)
  • The Lord of the Rings (1954–1955)
  • The Adventures of Tom Bombadil and Other Verses from the Red Book (1962)
  • Smith of Wootton Major (1967)
  • The Road Goes Ever On (1967)
  • The Silmarillion (1977)
  • Unfinished Tales (1980)
  • The History of Middle-earth (1983–1996)
  • Bilbo's Last Song (1990)
  • The Children of Húrin (2007)
  • The History of The Hobbit (2007)

Academic and other works



  1. Biography, page 86.
  2. Baron, Xavier (2019). Press Biographical Encyclopedia – via Explora for Middle School Students (Grades 6-8) - Ebsco.

Other websites