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J. R. R. Tolkien was the wildly imaginative author of The Lord of The Rings fame. One of the greatest writers of the 20th century, Tolkien’s talents were not limited to writing novels. He was also a poet, philologist, scholar, and university professor.
See the fact file below for more information on the J. R. R. Tolkien or alternatively, you can download our 23-page J. R. R. Tolkien worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
Key Facts & Information
- John Ronald Reuel Tolkien was born on January 3, 1892 in Bloemfontein, South Africa to parents Arthur and Mabel Tolkien.
- After his father died from complications of rheumatic fever, Tolkien, then four years old, moved to Birmingham, England together with his mother and brother, Hilary. His mother died in 1904 and the Tolkien brothers were sent to live with a relative and a Catholic priest who assumed guardianship.
- Tolkien went to King Edward’s School and later studied English and German languages and literature in Exeter College – Oxford,where he received his bachelor’s degree in 1915 and masters degree in 1919.
- Tolkien later served as a second lieutenant in the Lancashire Fusiliers during World War I and married his long time love Edith Bratt in the midst of military service in 1916.
- After the War, Tolkien worked on the history of words of German origin at The New English Dictionary (now Oxford English Dictionary).
- Continuing his linguistic studies, Tolkien joined the faculty of the University of Leeds in 1920, and a few years later became a professor at Oxford University, where he taught English language and literature.
- During his stay at the university, he founded a literary group called The Inklings, which counted among its members C.S. Lewis and Owen Barfield.
- Greatly fascinated by myths and legends, Tolkien spent lots of energy writing ingenious fantasy stories and he even came up with new languages to be spoken by the elfish characters in his tales. It was also at Oxford, while grading a paper, that he spontaneously wrote a short line about “a hobbit”.
- His highly acclaimed fantasy novel, The Hobbit, was published in 1937. It tells the story of a small, furry-footed hobbit Bilbo Baggins and his quest for treasure.
- Although regarded as a children’s book, Tolkien would argue that The Hobbit was not originally intended for children. Gaining immense following, the book was published again, this time with more than 100 illustrations drawn by Tolkien to support the narrative.
- The book’s publisher had also convinced Tolkien to write a sequel to The Hobbit, which came after 17 long years in the form of The Lord of the Rings.
- Regarded as Tolkien’s masterpiece, it was partially inspired by ancient European mythologies, with its own sets of maps, lore, and languages.
- The series was published in three volumes namely The Fellowship of the Ring (1954), The Two Towers, and The Return of the King (1955). The books gave readers a rich literary trove populated by elves, goblins, talking trees, and all manner of fantastic creatures, including the wizard Gandalf and the dwarf Gimli.
- ‘The Rings’ trilogy has topped many lists and was named The Nation’s Best Loved Book by the BBC in 2003.
- The books were later adapted to film by New Zealand director Peter Jackson into a highly popular, award-winning trio of films starring Ian McKellen, Elijah Wood, Cate Blanchett, and Viggo Mortensen, among others from 2001 to 2003.
- Jackson also directed a three-part Hobbit movie adaptation starring Martin Freeman, which was released from 2012 to 2014.
- Many reviewers and waves upon waves of general readers took to Tolkien’s world, causing the books to become global best sellers, with fans forming Tolkien clubs and learning his fictional languages.
Last Years and Legacy
- J.R.R. Tolkien retired from his professorial duties in 1959, going on to publish an essay and poetry collection, Tree and Leaf, and the fantasy tale Smith of Wootton Major.
- His wife Edith died in 1971 and Tolkien passed on September 2, 1973 at the age of 81. He was survived by four children.
- Tolkien’s noted works further include Farmer Giles of Ham (1949), and The Adventures of Tom Bombadil and Other Verses from the Red Book (1962).
- Some of his incomplete work was finished by his son, Christopher, and was published posthumously including the Unfinished Tales of Numenor and Middle-Earth (1980) and The Children of Húrin.
- The prequel to The Lord of the Rings, The Silmarillion, was completed and published in 1977. It was the depiction of young Tolkien’s thirst for learning early languages and making up his own fantasy language.
- An anthology of Tolkien’s original illustration was also published in 2012 to celebrate the novel’s 75th anniversary.
- Underscoring the enduring popularity of Tolkien’s famed fantasy world, in November 2017, online retail and entertainment behemoth Amazon announced that it had acquired the TV rights for the book series.
- In its statement, the company revealed plans to “explore new storylines preceding J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Fellowship of the Ring,” with the potential for a spinoff series, thereby exciting fans with the promise of a prequel to the familiar deeds of Bilbo Baggins, Gandalf, and the rest.
J. R. R. Tolkien Worksheets
This is a fantastic bundle which includes everything you need to know about J. R. R. Tolkien across 23 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use J. R. R. Tolkien worksheets that are perfect for teaching students about J. R. R. Tolkien was the wildly imaginative author of The Lord of The Rings fame. One of the greatest writers of the 20th century, Tolkien’s talents were not limited to writing novels. He was also a poet, philologist, scholar, and university professor.
Complete List Of Included Worksheets
- Authors Online
- Meet The Hobbits
- Judge By The Book
- Tolkien and Friends
- Ancient ABCs
- The Hobbit’s Evolution
- Tolkien Talks
- Maps 101
- A Lack Of Color
- Secret Message
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Use With Any Curriculum
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