J.R.R. TOLKEIN High above the grasslands of South Africa, a full moon played hide-in-seek with the clouds. Somewhere in the shadows below, a pack of wolves howled eerily. A lone lion prowled silently, sniffing the air and searching for pray. Snakes silently slithered in the moonlight.
Meanwhile, in the town of Bloemfontein Mabel and Arthur where excepting a baby. On January 3, 1892 John Ronald Reuel was born. After his father died in February 15,1896, his mother decide to move to England. At the age of 8 John went to King Edward's School, he then enrolled in the St. Philip's Catholic School. In the fall of 1903 John was enrolled back in King Edward's School. When John was 12 his mother died and he became an orphan. Father Francis Morgan, a catholic priest took the boy into his care. John became the head of his class and was always eager to learn more.
Not only did he excel academically, he took his physical talents to the rugby field. In December 1910, John took the Oxford entrance exam and won a scholarship. In 1914 John decided to join the army and go to war against Germany. In 1916 John married Edith Bratt. (collins1-99) Now John had to decide what he wanted to do with his life. He remembered the Old Norse legend of Midgard or Middle-earth and began to write stories about it. On November 17, 1917 John and Edith had their first child whom they named John Francis Reuel Tolkien. After the war John became a teacher at Oxford. He began work on The New English Dictionary with other authors and editors; he was assigned to trace the history of all words starting with W. (collins1-99) Tolkien had written many poems and short stories over the years. This all started with the book, The Hobbit, which came out on the 21st of September 1937. The newspaper reviews of The Hobbit were favorable and the people that read the book loved it. The Hobbit was compared to Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland. By Christmas of 1937, the first edition of The Hobbit had sold out in England. Plans where called to publish the book in the United States the following year. The book became very popular in the U.S. and Stanley Unwin, a publisher was asking Tolkien for a sequel to The Hobbit. After 12 years of work he announced he was done with his book, The Lord of the Rings. The publishers were happy to hear that the book was finally complete, but Tolkien was upset because the publishers where uninterested in The Silmarillion. Unhappy with the publishing company he decided to find another but when he went to the other publishing companys they said he would have to cut down the length of the book because of the cost of paper, so he went back to his old publishers. Tolkien became upset with his publishers once again because they changed the spelling he had in the book and wouldn't print the book with colored ink. Another problem was that he had to cut the book into three different books. Finally in 1954 the first book, The Fellowship of the Ring, was released in America and England. In the summer of 1959 the popular university professor gave his final exam, all the years had finally caught up with him, but now after The Lord of the Ring trilogy had sold millions of copies the publishers wanted to publish The Silmarillion. In 1971 he resumed work on the silmarillion, which was still not finished after 54 years. (collins1-99) John's wife who was a few years older then he, became sick with an inflamed gallbladder and on November 29, 1971 she died. Tolkien moved from his house closer to Oxford. In the spring of 1972 he visited Buckingham Palace and Queen Elizabeth II presented him with a C.B.E. (Commander of the Order of the British Empire) for his contributions to the literary arts. Then on June 4 Oxford gave him an Honorary Doctorate of Letters for his work in philology. As the weeks passed Tolkiens work on the book began to slow and then on September 2, 1973 at the age of 81 J.R.R. Tolkien died. (Kinsmen484) Four years after his fathers death Christopher Tolkien finished his fathers work on, The Silmarillion. It quickly found its place among the other works Tolkine had created during his life. (Hammond50) Bibliography 1. Kinsman, Clare. Contemporary Authors: Copyright 1974 by Gale Research Company.
2. Collins, R, David. J.R.R. Tolkien Master of Fantasy: Copyright 1992 by Lerner Publications Company.
3. Hammond, G, Wayne. J.R.R. Tolkien Artist and Illustrator: Copyright 1995 by Wayne Hammond and Christina Scull.