Chandler’s Pamela photo. Ms. Diana Willson. This is a sanctioned use.
Chandler’s Pamela photo. The late Diana Willson.
This is a sanctioned use.The English language scholar John Ronald Reuel Tolkien (1892–1973) was a leading expert on Old and Middle English.
Both The Hobbit (1937) and The Lord of the Rings (1954–1955), his most famous works, are set in a fictional, prehistoric version of our globe that he named Middle-earth after the Middle English word for “middle.”
Tolkien was twice a professor of Anglo-Saxon (Old English) at the University of Oxford. Men and women lived here alongside elves, dwarves, trolls, orcs, and, of course, Hobbits. The English have been extremely critical of him. Lit.
With A Few Notable Exceptions,
The Establishment, Yet Beloved By Millions Of Readers Throughout The World.
His emphasis on environmental issues resonated with the emerging “counter-culture” of the 1960s, which embraced him enthusiastically.
In 1997, he topped three separate British polls asking sophisticated readers to choose the best book of the 20th century.
These polls were conducted by Channel 4 / Waterstone’s, the Folio Society, and SFX, the UK’s foremost science fiction media magazine. Tolkien, not Tolkein, is how his name should be spelled.
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Early And Middle Years
however, this was quite likely a German rationalization of an originally Baltic Tolkyn, or Tolkn. John (Johann) Benjamin Tolkien, his great-great-grandfather, emigrated to Britain from Gdask with his brother Daniel in 1772 and was quickly and completely Anglicized.
Sure Enough, Arthur Reuel Tolkien Sr. Identified Strongly As An Englishman.
To advance in his career as a bank clerk, Arthur moved to South Africa in the 1890s. There he wed Mabel Suffield, whose ancestors had lived in the West Midlands of England since the dawn of time.
John Ronald (known as “Ronald” to his early circle of friends and family) was born on January 3, 1892, in Bloemfontein, South Africa. Slight, because on 15 February 1896
his father died and he, his mother, and his younger brother Hilary returned to England, or more specifically, the West Midlands; vivid, involving a frightening encounter with a giant hairy spider, and impacted his subsequent writing.
Tolkien’s childhood West Midlands were a fascinating hybrid of the grimly industrial Birmingham conurbation and the stereotypically rural England of Worcestershire and the surrounding areas (Severn country, the land of composers Elgar, Vaughan Williams, and Gurney; and further afield, the poet A. R.. ).
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Housman, E. (It Is Also Just Across The Border From Wales).
Tolkien spent time in both the rural community of Sarehole, with its mill just south of Birmingham, and the more urban setting of Birmingham, where he attended King Edward’s School.
After relocating to King’s Heath, the young Ronald was inspired to learn Welsh after watching coal trucks with names like “Nantyglo,” “Penrhiwceiber,” and “Senghenydd” pass by every day as they made their journey to and from South Wales.
Later They Relocated To Edgbaston,
A District Of Birmingham That They Found To Be Slightly More Agreeable.
Then, in 1900, Mabel and her sister May were accepted into the Roman Catholic Church, a life-altering event that drove a wedge between them and their extended families.
Since that time, Ronald and Hilary have been taught the Catholic faith by Pio Nono and have remained lifelong believers. The family’s parish priest was Father Francis Morgan, a half-Spaniard and half-Welsh man.
Life In The Tolkien Household Was On The More Affluent Side Of Obscurity.
In 1904 though, things took a turn for the worse when Mabel Tolkien was diagnosed with diabetes, a disease that often proved fatal in the days before insulin.
Mom passed away on November 14 of that year, effectively leaving the two little boys penniless.
At this point, Father Francis took charge of the boys’ care, seeing to both their physical and spiritual well-being even though they were temporarily housed with an uncaring aunt-by-marriage, Beatrice Suffield, and later, a Mrs. Faulkner.
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Already At This Point, Ronald Was Demonstrating Impressive Verbal Abilities.
He was already fluent in Roman and Greek, the backbone of any arts education at the time, and was quickly becoming so in a variety of other languages, both modern and ancient, most notably Gothic and then Finnish.
He had already begun inventing languages for his own amusement.