Birmingham is the second-most populous city in the United Kingdom, after London, the most populous city in the English Midlands. It is the most populous metropolitan district in the United Kingdom, with an estimated 1,137,123 inhabitants, is considered the social, cultural and commercial centre of the Midlands, it is the main local government of the West Midlands conurbation, the third most populated urban area in the United Kingdom, with a population of 2,897,303 in 2017. The wider Birmingham metropolitan area is the second largest in the United Kingdom with a population of over 4.3 million. It is referred to as the United Kingdom's "second city". A market town in the medieval period, Birmingham grew in the 18th-century Midlands Enlightenment and subsequent Industrial Revolution, which saw advances in science and economic development, producing a series of innovations that laid many of the foundations of modern industrial society. By 1791 it was being hailed as "the first manufacturing town in the world".
Birmingham's distinctive economic profile, with thousands of small workshops practising a wide variety of specialised and skilled trades, encouraged exceptional levels of creativity and innovation and provided an economic base for prosperity, to last into the final quarter of the 20th century. The Watt steam engine was invented in Birmingham; the resulting high level of social mobility fostered a culture of political radicalism which, under leaders from Thomas Attwood to Joseph Chamberlain, was to give it a political influence unparalleled in Britain outside London, a pivotal role in the development of British democracy. From the summer of 1940 to the spring of 1943, Birmingham was bombed by the German Luftwaffe in what is known as the Birmingham Blitz; the damage done to the city's infrastructure, in addition to a deliberate policy of demolition and new building by planners, led to extensive urban regeneration in subsequent decades. Birmingham's economy is now dominated by the service sector.
The city is a major international commercial centre, ranked as a beta- world city by the Globalization and World Cities Research Network. Its metropolitan economy is the second largest in the United Kingdom with a GDP of $121.1bn, its six universities make it the largest centre of higher education in the country outside London. Birmingham's major cultural institutions – the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, the Birmingham Royal Ballet, the Birmingham Repertory Theatre, the Library of Birmingham and the Barber Institute of Fine Arts – enjoy international reputations, the city has vibrant and influential grassroots art, music and culinary scenes. Birmingham is the fourth-most. People from Birmingham are called Brummies, a term derived from the city's nickname of "Brum", which originates from the city's old name, which in turn is thought to have derived from "Bromwich-ham"; the Brummie accent and dialect are distinctive. Birmingham's early history is that of a marginal area; the main centres of population and wealth in the pre-industrial English Midlands lay in the fertile and accessible river valleys of the Trent, the Severn and the Avon.
The area of modern Birmingham lay in between, on the upland Birmingham Plateau and within the densely wooded and sparsely populated Forest of Arden. There is evidence of early human activity in the Birmingham area dating back to around 8000 BC, with stone age artefacts suggesting seasonal settlements, overnight hunting parties and woodland activities such as tree felling; the many burnt mounds that can still be seen around the city indicate that modern humans first intensively settled and cultivated the area during the bronze age, when a substantial but short-lived influx of population occurred between 1700 BC and 1000 BC caused by conflict or immigration in the surrounding area. During the 1st-century Roman conquest of Britain, the forested country of the Birmingham Plateau formed a barrier to the advancing Roman legions, who built the large Metchley Fort in the area of modern-day Edgbaston in AD 48, made it the focus of a network of Roman roads. Birmingham as a settlement dates from the Anglo-Saxon era.
The city's name comes from the Old English Beormingahām, meaning the home or settlement of the Beormingas – indicating that Birmingham was established in the 6th or early 7th century as the primary settlement of an Anglian tribal grouping and regio of that name. Despite this early importance, by the time of the Domesday Book of 1086 the manor of Birmingham was one of the poorest and least populated in Warwickshire, valued at only 20 shillings, with the area of the modern city divided between the counties of Warwickshire and Worcestershire; the development of Birmingham into a significant urban and commercial centre began in 1166, when the Lord of the Manor Peter de Bermingham obtained a charter to hold a market at his castle, followed this with the creation of a planned market town and seigneurial borough within his demesne or manorial estate, around the site that became the Bull Ring. This established Birmingham as the primary commercial centre for the Birmingham Plateau at a time when the area's economy was expanding with population growth nationally leading to the clearance and settlement of marginal land.
Within a century of the charter Birmingham had grown into a prosperous urban centre of merchants and craftsmen. By 1327 it was the third-largest town in Warwickshire, a position it would retain for the next 200 years; the principal governing institutions of medieval Birmingham – including the Guild of the Ho
Birmingham Conservation Trust
Birmingham Conservation Trust is a charity which saves and restores historic buildings in the city of Birmingham, England. In 2004 it completed the conservation and restoration of the last surviving court of Back to Back houses on Hurst Street in the city; these are now run by the National Trust. Birmingham Conservation Trust moved on to a short term project managing the protection of Perrott's Folly — a tower in the city which has close associations with J. R. R. Tolkien. Work has been taking place to ensure. Another project is a family-run factory in Birmingham's unique Jewellery Quarter; the firm made some of the world's finest coffin furniture, including the fittings for the funerals of Winston Churchill, Joseph Chamberlain and Diana, Princess of Wales. The last sets of cast brass gothic handles from this factory were used on the coffins of Cardinal Basil Hume and of Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother. Birmingham Conservation Trust Birmingham Back to Backs at National Trust Charity Commission.
Birmingham Conservation Trust, registered charity no. 1063124
Birmingham Snow Hill railway station
Birmingham Snow Hill is a railway station in Birmingham City Centre, England. It is one of the three main city-centre stations in Birmingham along with Birmingham New Street and Birmingham Moor Street. Snow Hill was once the main station of the Great Western Railway in Birmingham, at its height it rivalled New Street station, with competitive services to destinations including London Paddington, Wolverhampton Low Level, Birkenhead Woodside and South West England; the station has been rebuilt several times since the first station at Snow Hill. The electrification of the main line from London to New Street in the 1960s saw New Street favoured over Snow Hill, which saw most of its services withdrawn in the late 1960s; this led to the station's eventual closure in 1972, demolition five years later. After fifteen years of closure a new Snow Hill station, the present incarnation, was built. Today, most of the trains using Snow Hill are local services on the Snow Hill Lines operated by West Midlands Railway, serving Worcester Shrub Hill, Stourbridge Junction, Stratford-upon-Avon, Solihull.
The only long distance service into Snow Hill is to London Marylebone operated by Chiltern Railways, via the Chiltern Main Line. The present Snow Hill station has three platforms for National Rail trains; when it was reopened in 1987 it had four, but one was converted in 1999 for use as a terminus for Midland Metro trams on the line from Wolverhampton. This tram terminus closed in October 2015, in order for the extension of the Midland Metro through Birmingham city centre to be connected; this included a dedicated embankment for trams alongside the station, included a new through stop serving Snow Hill. The site of the station was occupied by Oppenheims Glassworks; this was demolished, but many parts of the building and machinery are believed to be buried underneath the station and car park, during recent development work alongside the station the area was designated as a site of archaeological importance by Birmingham City Council. The station was opened in 1852 on the Great Western Railway main line from London Paddington to Wolverhampton Low Level and Birkenhead Woodside.
Called Birmingham Station, its name was changed to Great Charles Street station, Livery Street Station. It was renamed Snow Hill in 1858, the Great Western Hotel was added in 1863, it was never intended to be the main station, but the railway was prevented from reaching its original intended terminus at Curzon Street. The original station was a simple temporary wooden structure, consisting of a large wooden shed covering the platforms. In 1871 it was rebuilt, replaced with a permanent structure; the 1871 station had two through platforms, bay platforms at the Wolverhampton end, covered by an arched roof. Access to the station was from Livery Street from the side. Trains from the south arrived through Snow Hill Tunnel, built by the cut-and-cover method, in a cutting from Temple Row to Snow Hill; the cutting was roofed over in the Great Western Arcade built on top. To cope with expanding traffic. Snow Hill station was rebuilt again on a much larger scale between 1906 and 1912; the new station building was intended to compete with New Street, which at the time was a much grander building than it is today.
The rebuilt station contained lavish facilities, such as a large booking hall with an arched glass roof, lavish waiting rooms with oak bars. The main platform area was covered by steel overall roof, it consisted of two large Island platforms, containing four through platforms, four bay platforms for terminating trains at the northern end. The through platforms were long enough to accommodate two trains at a time, scissors crossings allowed trains to pull in front, or out from behind of other trains stood in a platform creating a 10 platform station; the line north from Snow Hill towards Hockley was quadrupled at the same time, however the cost of widening the twin track Snow Hill tunnel at the southern end was considered prohibitive. There was not enough capacity through the tunnel to accommodate all of the services, so, as a solution, Birmingham Moor Street was built as an "overflow" station at the opposite end of the tunnel to take terminating local trains towards Leamington Spa and Stratford-upon-Avon.
The Great Western Hotel was closed at the same time and converted into railway offices, a passenger entrance was provided on Colmore Row, which became the station's main entrance. At its height, many trains that now run into New Street station ran into Snow Hill, along with some that no longer run. Services included: London Paddington – service transferred to New Street in 1967, abandoned altogether; the London service was restored in the early 1990s, but now to London Marylebone - making this Snow Hill's only long-distance service. Wolverhampton Low Level, Dudley. A Snow Hill-Wolverhampton service was resumed in 1999, when the Midland Metro tram line, which now runs along the former route to Wolverhampton was opened, although this does not serve the former Low Level station, instead leaving the former trackbed and running on-street to a t
Birmingham Moor Street railway station
Birmingham Moor Street is one of three main railway stations in the city centre of Birmingham, along with Birmingham New Street and Birmingham Snow Hill. Today's Moor Street station is a combination of the original station, opened in 1909 by the Great Western Railway as a terminus for local trains, a newer Moor Street station with through platforms, a short distance from the original, which opened in 1987, replacing the original; the two were combined into one station in 2002, when the original was reopened and restored, the newer station rebuilt in 1930s style. Moor Street has become more important in recent years, it is now the second busiest railway station in Birmingham. At the turn of the 20th Century, suburban rail traffic into Birmingham was growing rapidly; the Great Western Railway expanded their facilities in the city at that time to cope with the demands. Snow Hill station, their main station in Birmingham, was extensively expanded. However, the twin tracked Snow Hill tunnel, which ran underneath the city centre into Snow Hill from the south, did not have enough capacity to accommodate all of the traffic, widening the tunnel was considered impractical.
In order to solve the capacity problem therefore, Moor Street station was built at the opposite end of the tunnel to take terminating local trains from the south and relieve traffic. It was a terminus for local trains from Leamington Spa, local trains from Stratford-upon-Avon via the opened North Warwickshire Line, it was opened with temporary buildings in July 1909, the permanent buildings were completed in 1914. The station was located south of the entrance to Snow Hill tunnel, at the end of a short branch which connected the station to the main line, it had a single 700 ft long island platform with two platform faces, a third side platform, 600 ft long was added in 1930; the through tracks to Snow Hill running alongside however were not provided with platforms. Because the station was built on a confined site, it was equipped with two electrically operated traversers at the buffer end of the platforms as a space saving measure, in order to allow locomotives to move sideways between tracks, instead of having to reverse through crossovers.
The traversers were removed from service in 1967, when all services to the station switched to diesel multiple unit operation. Trains only used Moor Street during Mondays to Saturdays, on Sundays, Snow Hill station was quiet enough to allow the train to terminate there instead. In 1948, upon nationalisation, Moor Street came under the control of the Western Region of British Railways, transferring to the London Midland Region, in 1963. Snow Hill station was run down during the late 1960s, on 4 March 1968 the line between the junction with the Moor Street branch and Birmingham Snow Hill, including Snow Hill tunnel closed, leaving Moor Street as an isolated terminus for local trains. Moor Street itself came under threat of closure in 1969, however five local authorities objected and took the case to the High Court, which sided with the local authorities, preventing closure. From 1967 until the mid-1970s, Moor Street was at its lowest ebb. In the 1970s, local services from the station came under the control of the West Midlands Passenger Transport Executive under whose auspices service frequencies were improved.
From 1975, a regular interval half hourly service was introduced between Moor Street and Dorridge and Shirley. Moor Street was provided with a large goods station situated adjacent to the passenger station, which opened in 1914, it was built using the rare Hennebique technique for re-inforced concrete of which few examples still exist in the UK. This took many goods trains; because it was built in a confined space on a steep gradient, the goods station was built on two levels, with one high level, two low level sheds. Three wagon lifts were provided to transfer wagons to and from the low level sheds; the low level sheds were equipped with electric traversers to move wagons between the lifts and sidings where they would be loaded and unloaded. A major source of traffic at the goods station was fresh fruit and vegetables, which would arrive at the station in the mornings, be taken straight to the nearby market in the Bull Ring; the goods station was closed on 6 November 1972, the main high-level shed was demolished three years later.
The site of the former goods station is now occupied by the Selfridges Building, some of the former low-level goods sheds are now used as a car-park. In the mid-1980s funding became available to reopen a station at Birmingham Snow Hill, along with Snow Hill tunnel; as part of the reopening scheme, a new Moor Street station with through platforms was built at the southern portal of the restored tunnel. On completion of this project, the original Moor Street terminus became redundant, closed down; the final train, on 26 September 1987, was a steam special hauled by a locomotive from Birmingham Railway Museum, Clun Castle. The original station, now a Grade II listed building, was not demolished but, by the late 1990s, the former platforms were overgrown and dilapidated, cracks in the wall were visible from the road side including some caused by the impact of a runaway bus. After a public meeting called by the Tyseley Railway Museum and held at the station in March 1988 the
Historic England is an executive non-departmental public body of the British Government sponsored by the Department for Culture and Sport. It is tasked with protecting the historical environment of England by preserving and listing historic buildings, ancient monuments and advising central and local government; the body was created by the National Heritage Act 1983, operated from April 1984 to April 2015 under the name of English Heritage. In 2015, following the changes to English Heritage's structure that moved the protection of the National Heritage Collection into the voluntary sector in the English Heritage Trust, the body that remained was rebranded as Historic England. Historic England has a similar remit to and complements the work of Natural England which aims to protect the natural environment; the body inherited the Historic England Archive from the old English Heritage, projects linked to the archive such as Britain from Above, which saw the archive work with the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales and the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland to digitise and put online 96,000 of the oldest Aerofilms images.
The archive holds various nationally important collections and the results of older projects such as the work of the National Buildings Record absorbed by the Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England and the Images of England project which set out to create a accessible online database of the 370,000 listed properties in England at a snapshot in time at the turn of the millennium. Historic England inherits English Heritage's position as the UK government's statutory adviser and a statutory consultee on all aspects of the historic environment and its heritage assets; this includes archaeology on land and under water, historic buildings sites and areas, designated landscapes and the historic elements of the wider landscape. It monitors and reports on the state of England's heritage and publishes the annual Heritage at Risk survey, one of the UK Government's Official statistics, it is tasked to secure the preservation and enhancement of the man-made heritage of England for the benefit of future generations.
Its remit involves: Caring for nationally important archive collections of photographs and other records which document the historic environment of England and date from the eighteenth century onwards. Giving grants national and local organisations for the conservation of historic buildings and landscapes. In 2013/14 over £13 million worth of grants were made to support heritage buildings. Advising central UK government on which English heritage assets are nationally important and should be protected by designation. Administering and maintaining the register of England's listed buildings, scheduled monuments, registered battlefields, World Heritage Sites and protected parks and gardens; this is published as an online resource as'The National Heritage List for England'. Advising local authorities on managing changes to the most important parts of heritage. Providing expertise through advice and guidance to improve the standards and skills of people working in heritage, practical conservation and access to resources.
In 2009–2010 it trained around 200 professionals working in local authorities and the wider sector. Consulting and collaborating with other heritage bodies and national planning organisations e.g. the preparation of Planning Policy statement for the Historic Environment Commissioning and conducting archaeological research, including the publication of'Heritage Counts' and ‘Heritage at Risk’ on behalf of the heritage sector which are the annual research surveys into the state of England's heritage. It is not responsible for approving alterations to listed buildings; the management of listed buildings is the responsibility of local planning authorities and the Department for Communities and Local Government. It owns the National Heritage Collection of nationally important historic sites in public care; however they do not run these sites as this function is instead carried out by the English Heritage Trust under licence until 2023. English Heritage Historic England Archive Cadw Historic Scotland Northern Ireland Environment Agency Manx National Heritage Department for Culture and Sport Conservation in the United Kingdom Heritage at Risk Historic houses in England National Trust Properties in England Heritage Open Days List of Conservation topics List of heritage registers List of museums in England Heritage film Official website The Historic England Archive: Search over 1 million catalogue entries describing photographs and drawings of England's buildings and historic sites, held in the Historic England Archive.
Britain from Above: presents the unique Aerofilms collection of aerial photographs from 1919-1953. Images of England website Heritage Explorer: Education site for teachers Department for Culture Media and Sport
Birmingham City University
Birmingham City University is a university in Birmingham, England. Established as the Birmingham College of Art with roots dating back to 1843, it was designated as a polytechnic in 1971 and gained university status in 1992; the university has three main campuses serving four faculties, offers courses in art and design, the built environment, education, English, law, the performing arts, social sciences, technology. A £125 million extension to its campus in the city centre of Birmingham, part of the Eastside development of a new technology and learning quarter, is opening in two stages, with the first phase having opened in 2013, it is the second largest of five universities in the city, the other four being Aston University, University of Birmingham, University College Birmingham, Newman University. It is ranked third of the five according to the Complete University Guide, below both the University of Birmingham and Aston University. Half of the university's full-time students are from the West Midlands, a large percentage of these are from ethnic minorities.
The university runs access and foundation programmes through an international network of associated universities and further education colleges, has the highest intake of foreign students in the Birmingham area. The Birmingham Institute of Art and Design was the art and design faculty of Birmingham City University, it has now been merged into the university's Faculty of Arts and Media, is based at the Birmingham City University City Centre Campus and the Birmingham School of Art on Margaret Street. The main BIAD campus and library is located at The Parkside Building, just north of Birmingham city centre, about three-quarters of a mile from both Birmingham New Street station and the Custard Factory quarter, it is adjacent to Aston University. BIAD reached its full maturity in the 1890s, as the Birmingham Municipal School of Art at Margaret Street, under the leadership of Edward R. Taylor. BIAD's archives hold extensive records on the history of art & design in Birmingham, 20 similar collections have been deposited with the archives.
The Birmingham School of Art was a municipal art school but was absorbed by Birmingham Polytechnic in 1971 and became a part of the BIAD in 1988. Its Grade I listed building located on Margaret Street remains the home of the university's Department of Fine Art and is still referred to by its original title, it houses the Centre for Fine Art Research. The Birmingham School of Architecture facility was opened in 1908. In the 1960s, changes were made to the higher education system creating an expansion of polytechnics as a more vocationally orientated alternative to the typical university; the City of Birmingham Education Committee was invited to submit a scheme for the establishment of a polytechnic bringing together a number of different colleges in the city in 1967. Late in 1969, the post of director of the polytechnic was advertised. Although the city lagged behind other parts of the country, Birmingham gained a polytechnic in 1971—then the 27th in the UK—designated by the Education Secretary Margaret Thatcher as the City of Birmingham Polytechnic.
This was the second polytechnic in Birmingham, the first – Birmingham Polytechnic Institution – having existed in the mid-19th century for ten years. It was formed out of five colleges; some of the colleges' staff fought against the merger but changed their minds. The colleges were: Birmingham College of Design; the latter's new Perry Barr campus became the centre of the new Polytechnic, although the institution continued to have a number of different campuses spread across the city. This has sometimes been seen as a weakness of the polytechnic, with the dispersal of sites considered confusing to visitors. In the early 1970s, the Perry Barr campus was the site of building work for what became the centrepiece of the polytechnic: the Attwood and Baker buildings. In the 1970s, the campus was increased in size with the building of what became the Cox, Edge and Galton buildings. In the early 1980s, the William Kenrick Library was added to the site. Other, smaller buildings were subsequently constructed, the estate became known as the City North Campus of Birmingham City University.
From its opening, the polytechnic was considered strong in the field of art and design. As early as 1972, fashion and textile courses were oversubscribed. In that year, the polytechnic held the Design in a Polytechnic exhibition, opened at a reception hosted by Sir Duncan Oppenheim, the chairman of the Council of Industrial Design. Arts courses remained strong at the polytechnic through the 1970s, with twice as many arts students compared to those doing engineering or technology courses. In 1975, three more colleges were added to the polytechnic: Anstey College of Physical Education.
J. R. R. Tolkien
John Ronald Reuel Tolkien, was an English writer, poet and academic, best known as the author of the classic high fantasy works The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, The Silmarillion. He served as the Rawlinson and Bosworth Professor of Anglo-Saxon and Fellow of Pembroke College, from 1925 to 1945 and Merton Professor of English Language and Literature and Fellow of Merton College, from 1945 to 1959, he was at one time a close friend of C. S. Lewis—they were both members of the informal literary discussion group known as the Inklings. Tolkien was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth II on 28 March 1972. After Tolkien's death, his son Christopher published a series of works based on his father's extensive notes and unpublished manuscripts, including The Silmarillion. These, together with The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, form a connected body of tales, fictional histories, invented languages, literary essays about a fantasy world called Arda and Middle-earth within it.
Between 1951 and 1955, Tolkien applied the term legendarium to the larger part of these writings. While many other authors had published works of fantasy before Tolkien, the great success of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings led directly to a popular resurgence of the genre; this has caused Tolkien to be popularly identified as the "father" of modern fantasy literature—or, more of high fantasy. In 2008, The Times ranked him sixth on a list of "The 50 greatest British writers since 1945". Forbes ranked him the 5th top-earning "dead celebrity" in 2009. Tolkien's immediate paternal ancestors were middle-class craftsmen who made and sold clocks and pianos in London and Birmingham; the Tolkien family originated in the East Prussian town Kreuzburg near Königsberg, where his first known paternal ancestor Michel Tolkien was born around 1620. Michel's son Christianus Tolkien was a wealthy miller in Kreuzburg, his son Christian Tolkien moved from Kreuzburg to nearby Danzig, his two sons Daniel Gottlieb Tolkien and Johann Benjamin Tolkien emigrated to London in the 1770s and became the ancestors of the English family.
In 1792 John Benjamin Tolkien and William Gravell took over the Erdley Norton manufacture in London, which from on sold clocks and watches under the name Gravell & Tolkien. Daniel Gottlieb obtained British citizenship in 1794, but John Benjamin never became a British citizen. Other German relatives joined the two brothers in London. Several people with the surname Tolkien or similar spelling, some of them members of the same family as J. R. R. Tolkien, live in northern Germany, but most of them are descendants of recent refugees from East Prussia who fled the Red Army invasion and subsequent ethnic cleansing. According to Ryszard Derdziński the Tolkien name is of Low Prussian origin and means "son/descendant of Tolk." Tolkien mistakenly believed his surname derived from the German word tollkühn, meaning "foolhardy", jokingly inserted himself as a "cameo" into The Notion Club Papers under the translated name Rashbold. However, Derdziński has demonstrated this to be a false etymology. While J. R. R. Tolkien was aware of the Tolkien family's German origin, his knowledge of the family's history was limited because he was "early isolated from the family of his prematurely deceased father".
John Ronald Reuel Tolkien was born on 3 January 1892 in Bloemfontein in the Orange Free State to Arthur Reuel Tolkien, an English bank manager, his wife Mabel, née Suffield. The couple had left England when Arthur was promoted to head the Bloemfontein office of the British bank for which he worked. Tolkien had one sibling, his younger brother, Hilary Arthur Reuel Tolkien, born on 17 February 1894; as a child, Tolkien was bitten by a large baboon spider in the garden, an event some think echoed in his stories, although he admitted no actual memory of the event and no special hatred of spiders as an adult. In another incident, a young family servant, who thought Tolkien a beautiful child, took the baby to his kraal to show him off, returning him the next morning; when he was three, he went to England with his mother and brother on what was intended to be a lengthy family visit. His father, died in South Africa of rheumatic fever before he could join them; this left the family without an income, so Tolkien's mother took him to live with her parents in Kings Heath, Birmingham.
Soon after, in 1896, they moved to Sarehole a Worcestershire village annexed to Birmingham. He enjoyed exploring Sarehole Mill and Moseley Bog and the Clent and Malvern Hills, which would inspire scenes in his books, along with nearby towns and villages such as Bromsgrove and Alvechurch and places such as his aunt Jane's farm of Bag End, the name of which he used in his fiction. Mabel Tolkien taught her two children at home. Ronald, as he was known in the family, was a keen pupil, she taught him a great deal of botany and awakened in him the enjoyment of the look and feel of plants. Young Tolkien liked to draw landscapes and trees, but his favourite lessons were those concerning languages, his mother taught him the rudiments of Latin early. Tolkien could write fluently soon afterwards, his mother allowed him to read many books. He disliked Treasure Island and The Pied Piper and thought Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll was "amusing but disturbing", he liked stories about "Red Indians" and the fantasy wor