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J. R. R. Tolkien

British philologist and author, creator of classic fantasy works

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
Tolkien, aged 24, in military uniform, while serving in the British Army during World War I, 1916.
Tolkien, aged 24, in military uniform, while serving in the British Army during World War I, 1916.
BornJohn Ronald Reuel Tolkien
(1892-01-03)3 January 1892
Bloemfontein, Orange Free State
Died2 September 1973(1973-09-02) (aged 81)
Bournemouth, England
OccupationAuthor, academic, philologist, poet
GenreFantasy, high fantasy, translation, criticism
Notable worksThe Hobbit
The Lord of the Rings
The Silmarillion
SpouseEdith Bratt (1916–1971)


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 March 22, 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. He made The Hobbit while making The Lord of the Rings. He made The Hobbit for his grandson.[2]


Fiction and poetryEdit

  • 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 worksEdit


  1. Biography, page 86.
  2. Baron, Xavier (2019). [EBSCOhost, Press Biographical Encyclopedia]. EBSCOhost, 

Other websitesEdit