The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings are two of modern pop culture’s most influential stories. The stories’ cultural impact on society can be understood by many people, regardless of whether or not a person has read the books or watched the films. However, while the stories are highly popular and widely known, their famous author J.R.R. Tolkien’s personal life isn’t as well known in the public sphere, outside of what some of the superfans know. Interested in learning more about the influential J.R.R. Tolkien himself? Well, you’ve come to the right place! Here are 10 fun facts about the author:
- His full name is John Ronald Reuel Tolkein
- Tolkien was born in Bloemfontein, South Africa in 1892 (he later moved to England with his family several years later)
- He was a professor of English language & literature with a specialization in Old & Middle English at Oxford from 1925 to 1959
- Tolkien & C.S. Lewis were close friends, but their relationship became complicated over time
- He considered writing fantasy novels a hobby
- Tolkien served in WW1
- He was a devout Roman Catholic
- Tolkien published The Hobbit in 1937 and, although it was regarded it as a children’s book, he originally didn’t intend it to be a children’s book
- He published the first Lord of the Rings book in 1954, and the following 2 in 1955; while it’s popularly considered to be a trilogy, it’s actually not – the story was split up due to its size & to help lower the publisher’s risk of not getting the story to sell
- Tolkien specialized in English philology & his passion for language & philology led him to his career at Oxford as well as helped him with the languages for LOTR
Interested in learning more about historical figures & other historical fun facts? Check out our History page!
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As an recent college graduate who studied media studies and anthropology in college, Briana Maddox enjoys learning about different cultures, traditions, holidays, historical figures, experiences, and opinions. With a vested interest in sharing such learning experiences, Briana created Life & Anthropology in the hopes of helping other people gain a better understanding and working knowledge of such topics.