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Tolkien's portrait

John Ronald Reuel Tolkien was born on 3rd January 1892 at Bloemfontein, in South Africa. Scholar and philologist who achieved fame with his richly inventive epic trilogy The Lord of the Rings (1954-55), consisting of The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers and The Return of the King. This remarkable work by the mid-1960s had become, especially in its appeal to young people in the U.S.,a sociocultural phenomenon, selling some 3,000,000 copies in nine languages. Tolkien was a proffesor of Anglo-Saxon (1925-45) and of English language and literature (1945-59) at Oxford University. His scholarly works include Chauncer as a Philologist(1936) and Beowulf : The Monsters and the Critics(1936).

It would be wrong to separate Tolkien the scholar from Tolkien the storyteller. The man who was fascinated by Beowulf and confessed to a childhood love of "the land of Merlin and Arthur...and best of all the nameless North of Sigurd of the Volgsungs", began writing his trilogy as an Oxford undergraduate. While working on it, he wrote The Hobbit(1937), which served as an introduction to it, for his children. He created a world of fantasy, convincing in its precisely imagined detail and inner consistency, written in a prose with the rhythms and strength of Norse saga and Anglo-Saxon poetry.

J.R.R.Tolkien died in Bournemouth, in England, on 2nd. September 1973.

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