John Ronald Reuel Tolkien was born in Bloemfontein in the Orange Free State on 3 January 1892. After his father died, Tolkien and his mother went to England settling in Birmingham. On 14 November 1904 his mother died leaving him orphaned and Father Francis looked after them through a forster family.

Dring his days at school Tolkien showed keen interest in learning Latin and Greek.Later in 1911 he was admitted to Exeter College in Oxford where studied Classics, Old English, Germanic languages, (especially Gothic), Welsh and Finnish until 1913. That same year he took a job as tutor and escort to two Mexican boys in France. At the outbreak of the World War 1, Tolkien enlisted as a second lieutenant in the Lancashire Fusiliers. During the war he fell sick and was sent back to recuperate in Birmingham. On 22 March 1916 he married his long time girlfriend Edith Bratt in Warwick. He applied for work as an academic at Oxford where upon being accepted he became one of the founder members of a group known as the "The Inklings".

In 1945 Tolkien changed his position to that of Merton Professorship of English Language and Literature, a post he retained until his retirement in 1959. After his retirement he and his wife moved to Bournemouth, but after the death of his wife on 22 November 1971, he moved back to Oxford. Tolkien died on 02 September 1973. After his death, his unpublished work continued to be pubilshed in 1977, 1980 and 1997.


Mr. Bliss, Roverandom,

The Hobbit (1937).

The Silmarillion

The Lord of the Rings ( three parts 1954 and 1955).


Doughan, D, Who Was Tolkien?, from the Tolkien Society, [online], Available at  [Accessed 08 September 2011]

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