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 After Tolkien's death, his son Christopher published a series of works based on his father's extensive notes and unpublished manuscripts, including The Silmarillion.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
The term Middle-earth canon called Tolkien's canon, is used to loosely define the published writings of J. R. R. Tolkien regarding Middle-earth as a whole; the term is used in Tolkien fandom to promote and debate the idea of a consistent fictional canon within a given subset of Tolkien's writings. The terms have been used by reviewers, scholars and critics such as John Garth, Tom Shippey, Jane Chance and others to describe the published writings of J. R. R. Tolkien on Middle-earth as a whole. Other writers look to the entire body of work of the author as a "Tolkien canon", rather than a subset defined by the fictional "Middle-earth" setting; the works on Middle-earth published by Tolkien during his lifetime include The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, The Adventures of Tom Bombadil, The Road Goes Ever On. After Tolkien's death his son Christopher published The Silmarillion with many textual changes to knit several unfinished manuscripts together as a coherent narrative. Further posthumous publications include Unfinished Tales, The Letters of J. R. R. Tolkien, Bilbo's Last Song, The Children of Húrin.
Christopher Tolkien published the 12-volume History of Middle-earth, containing many texts and notes by Tolkien, together with Christopher's own extensive notes placing these in context. Further works authorized by the Tolkien Literary Estate include The History of The Hobbit in two volumes by John Rateliff and The Annotated Hobbit by Douglas Anderson, both with notes and early drafts by Tolkien. Linguistic material by Tolkien concerning Middle-earth has been published with the permission of the Estate in two periodical publications; the Qenya and Gnomish Lexicons, in full, appear in Parma Eldalamberon Numbers 11–16. All of this material together constitutes a collection which, much like real-world histories and mythologies, contains numerous points of obscurity, omission, or apparent contradiction. Although Tolkien said that The Hobbit was conceived separately from his mythological stories, early drafts show that it was set in that world, referring explicitly to characters and places which appeared in his Book of Lost Tales which would become The Silmarillion.
The Necromancer was Thû, the precursor of Sauron. When he revised The Hobbit to bring the story of the finding of the Ring in line with The Lord of the Rings, Tolkien retained the original version as the tale Bilbo told to justify his acquisition of the Ring; the Lord of the Rings picks up the story of The Hobbit some sixty years and contains many of the same locations and characters. Tolkien now explicitly linked the story to the Silmarillion tales, but placed it some six thousand years in time; this reframing made some details in The Hobbit, such as the goblins' ready recognition of the ancient swords Orcrist and Glamdring, difficult to reconcile into a single history. Other details from The Hobbit don't quite mesh with The Lord of the Rings. Frodo and his companions, for example, cover much the same territory in the Trollshaws as Bilbo and the Dwarves, but take much longer to reach Rivendell, the geography is described differently. Several adjustments to The Hobbit only increased the discrepancies.
According to Christopher Tolkien, despite J. R. R. Tolkien's desire to bring the older Silmarillion stories to a publishable state, much time was spent instead trying to bring consistency to the works published; the unpublished manuscripts were left in various states of completion. These older stories had existed and changed over many decades in response to The Lord of the Rings. Towards the end of his life, the focus of Tolkien's writing shifted from story telling inspired by his philological pursuits to more philosophical concerns, Tolkien never finished a unified and internally consistent narrative; the Silmarillion was compiled by Christopher Tolkien and published in 1977, four years after Tolkien’s death. It presents an abridged cycle of Tolkien's drafts of his Elvish legends, drawing material from the earliest Book of Lost Tales to drafts written long after The Lord of the Rings. Most of the original texts have subsequently appeared in the History of Middle-earth. Christopher's goal was a version resembling what he thought at the time his father might have produced.
Christopher observed that absolute consistency among the Middle-earth tales could only be achieved by losing much, good in them: "a complete consistency is not to be looked for, could only be achieved, if at all, at heavy and needless cost." He went on to say: "My father came to conceive The Silmarillion as a compilation... and it is to some extent a compendium in fact and not only in theory." Throughout his commentaries in Unfinished Tales and the twelve volumes of The History of Middle-earth, Christopher Tolkien points out differences between various versions of the original texts and the final editorial sele
Evil, in a general sense, is the opposite or absence of good. It can be an broad concept, though in everyday usage is used more narrowly to denote profound wickedness, it is seen as taking multiple possible forms, such as the form of personal moral evil associated with the word, or impersonal natural evil, in religious thought, the form of the demonic or supernatural/eternal. Evil can denote profound immorality, but not without some basis in the understanding of the human condition, where strife and suffering are the true roots of evil. In certain religious contexts, evil has been described as a supernatural force. Definitions of evil vary. Elements that are associated with personal forms of evil involve unbalanced behavior involving anger, fear, psychological trauma, selfishness, destruction or neglect. Evil is sometimes perceived as the dualistic antagonistic binary opposite to good, in which good should prevail and evil should be defeated. In cultures with Buddhist spiritual influence, both good and evil are perceived as part of an antagonistic duality that itself must be overcome through achieving Nirvana.
The philosophical questions regarding good and evil are subsumed into three major areas of study: Meta-ethics concerning the nature of good and evil, Normative ethics concerning how we ought to behave, Applied ethics concerning particular moral issues. While the term is applied to events and conditions without agency, the forms of evil addressed in this article presume an evildoer or doers; some religions and philosophies deny evil's usefulness in describing people. The modern English word evil and its cognates such as the German Übel and Dutch euvel are considered to come from a Proto-Germanic reconstructed form of *ubilaz, comparable to the Hittite huwapp- from the Proto-Indo-European form *wap- and suffixed zero-grade form *up-elo-. Other Germanic forms include Middle English evel, ufel, Old Frisian evel, Old Saxon ubil, Old High German ubil, Gothic ubils; the root meaning of the word is of obscure origin though shown to be akin to modern German Das Übel with the basic idea of transgressing.
Main: Confucian Ethics and Taoist EthicsAs with Buddhism, in Confucianism or Taoism there is no direct analogue to the way good and evil are opposed although reference to demonic influence is common in Chinese folk religion. Confucianism's primary concern is with correct social relationships and the behavior appropriate to the learned or superior man, thus evil would correspond to wrong behavior. Still less does it map into Taoism, in spite of the centrality of dualism in that system, but the opposite of the cardinal virtues of Taoism, compassion and humility can be inferred to be the analogue of evil in it. Benedict de Spinoza states 1. By good, I understand that which we know is useful to us. 2. By evil, on the contrary, I understand that which we know hinders us from possessing anything, good. Spinoza assumes a quasi-mathematical style and states these further propositions which he purports to prove or demonstrate from the above definitions in part IV of his Ethics: Proposition 8 "Knowledge of good or evil is nothing but affect of joy or sorrow in so far as we are conscious of it."
Proposition 30 "Nothing can be evil through that which it possesses in common with our nature, but in so far as a thing is evil to us it is contrary to us." Proposition 64 "The knowledge of evil is inadequate knowledge." Corollary "Hence it follows that if the human mind had none but adequate ideas, it would form no notion of evil." Proposition 65 "According to the guidance of reason, of two things which are good, we shall follow the greater good, of two evils, follow the less." Proposition 68 "If men were born free, they would form no conception of good and evil so long as they were free." Friedrich Nietzsche, in a rejection of Judeo-Christian morality, addresses this in two works Beyond Good and Evil and On the Genealogy of Morals where he says that the natural, functional non-good has been transformed into the religious concept of evil by the slave mentality of the weak and oppressed masses who resent their masters. Carl Jung, in his book Answer to Job and elsewhere, depicted evil as the dark side of God.
People tend to believe evil is something external to them, because they project their shadow onto others. Jung interpreted the story of Jesus as an account of God facing his own shadow. Though the book may have had a sudden birth, its gestation period in Jung's unconscious was long; the subject of God, what Jung saw as the dark side of God, was a lifelong preoccupation. An emotional and theoretical struggle with the core nature of deity is evident in Jung's earliest fantasies and dreams, as well as in his complex relationships with his father, his mother, the Christian church itself. Jung's account of his childhood in his quasi-autobiography, Dreams, provides deep, personal background about his early religious roots and conflicts. In 2007, Philip Zimbardo suggested that people may act in evil ways as a result of a collective identity; this hypothesis, based on his previous experience from the Stanford prison experiment, was published in the book The Lucifer Effect: Understanding How Good People Turn Evil.
Most monotheistic religions posit that the singular God is all-powerful, all-knowing, good. The problem of ev
J. R. R. Tolkien's influences
While creative, the fiction of J. R. R. Tolkien was influenced by a number of sources. Tolkien was inspired by his academic fields of philology and early Germanic literature poetry and mythology, as well as a wide range of other beliefs and experiences; the Lord of the Rings is a sequel to The Hobbit and so shares influences with it. At the same time, it is a novel, much greater in scale and scope and so encompasses many other influences as well. Tolkien once described The Lord of the Rings to his friend, the English Jesuit Father Robert Murray, as "a fundamentally religious and Catholic work, unconsciously so at first, but consciously in the revision." Many theological themes underlie the narrative, including the battle of good versus evil, the triumph of humility over pride, the activity of grace, as seen with Frodo's pity toward Gollum. In addition the epic includes the themes of death and immortality and pity, salvation, self-sacrifice, free will, fellowship and healing. Tolkien mentions the Lord's Prayer the line "And lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil" in connection with Frodo's struggles against the power of the One Ring.
Tolkien has said "Of course God is in The Lord of the Rings. The period was pre-Christian, but it was a monotheistic world" and when questioned, the One God of Middle-earth, Tolkien replied "The one, of course! The book is about the world that God created – the actual world of this planet." Tolkien was influenced by Norse mythology. During his education at King Edward's School in Birmingham, the young Tolkien read and translated from the Old Norse on his own time. One of his first Norse purchases was the Völsunga saga, it is known that while a student, Tolkien read the only available English translation of the Völsunga saga, that by William Morris of the Victorian Arts and Crafts Movement and Icelandic scholar Eiríkur Magnússon. The Old Norse Völsunga saga and the Old High German Nibelungenlied were coeval texts made with the use of the same ancient sources. Both of them provided some of the basis for Richard Wagner's opera series, Der Ring des Nibelungen, featuring in particular a magical golden ring and a broken sword reforged.
In the Völsunga saga, these items are Andvarinaut and Gram, they correspond broadly to the One Ring and the sword Narsil. The Volsunga Saga gives various names found in Tolkien. Tolkien wrote a book entitled The Legend of Sigurd and Gudrún, in which he discusses the saga in relation to the myth of Sigurd and Gudrún; the figure of Gandalf is influenced by the Norse deity Odin in his incarnation as "The Wanderer", an old man with one eye, a long white beard, a wide brimmed hat, a staff. Tolkien, in a 1946 letter, nearly a decade after the character was invented, wrote that he thought of Gandalf as an "Odinic wanderer". Much like Odin, Gandalf promotes justice, knowledge and insight; the Balrog and the collapse of the Bridge of Khazad-dûm in Moria, is a direct parallel of the fire jötunn Surtr and the foretold destruction of Asgard's bridge in Norse myth. Tolkien's Elves and Dwarves are by and large based on the elves and dwarfs of Germanic mythology Two sources that contain accounts of elves and dwarfs that were of interest to Tolkien were the Prose Edda and the Elder or Poetic Edda.
The descriptions of elves and dwarves in these works are ambiguous and contradictory, however. Within the contents of the Völuspá in stanza 9, the creation of Dwarves predates Man, the formula Tolkien uses for Middle-earth; the names of Gandalf and the dwarves in The Hobbit were taken from the "Dvergatal" section of Völuspá in the Poetic Edda and the "Gylfaginning" section of the Prose Edda. Tolkien was a Professor of Old English/Anglo-Saxon and Middle English language and literature, this literature Beowulf, influenced his own writings; as Tolley tells us in his Old English Influences on The Lord of the Rings, the ideas of heroism and masculinity that inform the character of Beowulf, can be seen in Aragorn. Both Aragorn and Beowulf have questionable family lines, both take on kingship only for the good of the people. Other themes, such as the conversation in The Hobbit between Bilbo Baggins and Smaug the dragon, as well as the antagonism created by the mere mention of gold and the concept of riddles, are reflected in Beowulf.
Tolkien based the people of Rohan, the Rohirrim, on the historical Anglo-Saxons, giving them Anglo-Saxon names and poetry. The Anglo-Saxon poem, "The Wanderer," is paraphrased by Aragorn as an example of Rohirric verse. Another major influence on Tolkien is riddle poetry from Anglo-Saxon England; some of the oldest surviving Old English manuscripts contain riddle poems, such as the Leiden Riddle in the Leiden MS. The contest between Bilbo and Gollum is a good example of this. Finnish mythology and more the Finnish national epic Kalevala were acknowledged by Tolkien as an influence on Middle-earth. In a manner similar to The Lord of the Rings, the Kalevala centres around a magical item of great power, the Sampo, which bestows great fortune on its owner, but never makes clear its exact nature. Like the One Ring, the Sampo is fought over by forces of good and evil, is lost to the world as it is destroyed towards the end of the story. In another parallel, the work's wizard character, Väinämöinen, is similar to Gandalf in his immortal origins and wise nature, both works end with the wizard character departing on a ship to lands beyond the mortal world.
Tolkien based elements of his Elvish language Quenya on Finnish. The extent of Celtic influence is debatable. Tolkien wrote that he gave the Elvish langua
The Kalevala is a 19th-century work of epic poetry compiled by Elias Lönnrot from Karelian and Finnish oral folklore and mythology. It is regarded as the national epic of Karelia and Finland and is one of the most significant works of Finnish literature; the Kalevala was instrumental in the development of the Finnish national identity, the intensification of Finland's language strife and the growing sense of nationality that led to Finland's independence from Russia in 1917. The first version of The Kalevala was published in 1835; the version most known today was first published in 1849 and consists of 22,795 verses, divided into fifty folk stories. Elias Lönnrot was a physician, botanist and poet. During the time he was compiling the Kalevala he was the district health officer based in Kajaani responsible for the whole Kainuu region in the eastern part of what was the Grand Duchy of Finland, he was the son of a tailor and Ulrika Lönnrot. At the age of 21, he entered the Imperial Academy of Turku and obtained a master's degree in 1826.
His thesis was entitled De Vainamoine priscorum fennorum numine. The monograph's second volume was destroyed in the Great Fire of Turku the same year. In the spring of 1828, he set out with the aim of poetry. Rather than continue this work, though, he decided to complete his studies and entered Imperial Alexander University in Helsinki to study medicine, he earned a master's degree in 1832. In January 1833, he started as the district health officer of Kainuu and began his work on collecting poetry and compiling the Kalevala. Throughout his career Lönnrot made a total of eleven field trips within a period of fifteen years. Prior to the publication of the Kalevala, Elias Lönnrot compiled several related works, including the three-part Kantele, the Old Kalevala and the Kanteletar. Lönnrot's field trips and endeavours not only helped him to compile the Kalevala, but brought considerable enjoyment to the people he visited. Before the 18th century the Kalevala poetry was common throughout Finland and Karelia, but in the 18th century it began to disappear in Finland, first in western Finland, because European rhymed poetry became more common in Finland.
Finnish folk poetry was first written down in the 17th century and collected by hobbyists and scholars through the following centuries. Despite this, the majority of Finnish poetry remained only in the oral tradition. Finnish born nationalist and linguist Kaarle Akseli Gottlund expressed his desire for a Finnish epic in a similar vein to The Iliad and the Nibelungenlied compiled from the various poems and songs spread over most of Finland, he hoped that such an endeavour would incite a sense of nationality and independence in the native Finnish people. In 1820, Reinhold von Becker founded the journal Turun Wiikko-Sanomat and published three articles entitled Väinämöisestä; these works were an inspiration for Elias Lönnrot in creating his masters thesis at Turku University. In the 19th century, collecting became more extensive and organised. Altogether half a million pages of verse have been collected and archived by the Finnish Literature Society and other collectors in what are now Estonia and the Republic of Karelia.
The publication Suomen Kansan Vanhat Runot published 33 volumes containing 85,000 items of poetry over a period of 40 years. They have archived 65,000 items of poetry that remain unpublished. By the end of the 19th century this pastime of collecting material relating to Karelia and the developing orientation towards eastern lands had become a fashion called Karelianism, a form of national romanticism; the chronology of this oral tradition is uncertain. The oldest themes have been interpreted to have their roots in distant, unrecorded history and could be as old as 3,000 years; the newest events seem to be from the Iron Age. Finnish folklorist Kaarle Krohn proposes that 20 of the 45 poems of The Kalevala are of possible Ancient Estonian origin or at least deal with a motif of Estonian origin, it is understood that during the Finnish reformation in the 16th century the clergy forbade all telling and singing of pagan rites and stories. In conjunction with the arrival of European poetry and music this caused a significant reduction in the number of traditional folk songs and their singers.
Thus the tradition faded somewhat but was never eradicated. In total, Lönnrot made eleven field trips in search of poetry, his first trip was made in 1828 after his graduation from Turku University, but it was not until 1831 and his second field trip that the real work began. By that time he had published three articles entitled Kantele and had significant notes to build upon; this second trip was not successful and he was called back to Helsinki to attend to victims of the Second cholera pandemic. The third field trip was much more successful and led Elias Lönnrot to Viena in east Karelia where he visited the town of Akonlahti, which proved most successful; this trip yielded over copious notes. In 1833, Lönnrot moved to Kajaani where he was to spend the next 20 years as the district health officer for the region, his fourth field trip was undertaken in conjunction with his work as a doctor. This trip resulted in 49 poem
Masterpiece, magnum opus or chef-d’œuvre in modern use is a creation, given much critical praise one, considered the greatest work of a person's career or to a work of outstanding creativity, profundity, or workmanship. A "masterpiece" was a work of a high standard produced to obtain membership of a guild or academy in various areas of the visual arts and crafts; the form masterstik is recorded in English or Scots in a set of Aberdeen guild regulations dated to 1579, whereas "masterpiece" is first found in 1605 outside a guild context, in a Ben Jonson play. "Masterprize" was another early variant in English. In English, the term became used in a variety of contexts for an exceptionally good piece of creative work, was "in early use applied to man as the'masterpiece' of God or Nature"; the term masterpiece referred to a piece of work produced by an apprentice or journeyman aspiring to become a master craftsman in the old European guild system. His fitness to qualify for guild membership was judged by the masterpiece, if he was successful, the piece was retained by the guild.
Great care was therefore taken to produce a fine piece in whatever the craft was, whether confectionery, goldsmithing, leatherworking, or many other trades. In London, in the 17th century, the Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths, for instance, required an apprentice to produce a masterpiece under their supervision at a "workhouse" in Goldsmiths' Hall; the workhouse had been set up as part of a tightening of standards after the company became concerned that the level of skill of goldsmithing was being diluted. The wardens of the company had complained in 1607 that the "true practise of the Art & Mystery of Goldsmithry is not only grown into great decays but dispersed into many parts, so as now few workmen are able to finish & perfect a piece of plate singularly with all the garnishings & parts thereof without the help of many & several hands...". The same goldsmithing organization still requires the production of a masterpiece but it is no longer produced under supervision. In Nuremberg, between 1531 and 1572, apprentices who wished to become master goldsmith were required to produce columbine cups, dice for a steel seal, gold rings set with precious stones before they could be admitted to the goldsmiths' guild.
If they failed to be admitted they could continue to work for other goldsmiths but not as a master themselves. In some guilds, apprentices were not allowed to marry. In its original meaning the term was restricted to tangible objects, but in some cases, where guilds covered the creators of intangible products, the same system was used; the best-known example today is Richard Wagner's opera Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, where much of the plot is concerned with the hero's composition and performance of a "masterpiece" song, to allow him to become a meistersinger in the Nuremberg guild. This follows the surviving rulebook of the guild; the practice of producing a masterpiece has continued in some modern academies of art, where the general term for such works is now reception piece. The Royal Academy in London uses the term "diploma work" and it has acquired a fine collection of diploma works received as a condition of membership. In modern use, a masterpiece is a creation in any area of the arts, given much critical praise one, considered the greatest work of a person's career or to a work of outstanding creativity, profundity, or workmanship.
For example, the novel David Copperfield is considered by many as a masterpiece written by author Charles Dickens. Artistic merit Classic Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity Painting the Century: 101 Portrait Masterpieces 1900–2000 Virtual Collection of Masterpieces Western canon Masterpieces at the Louvre
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt is a publisher of textbooks, instructional technology materials, reference works, fiction and non-fiction for both young readers and adults. The company is based in Boston's Financial District; the company was known as Houghton Mifflin Company but changed its name following the 2007 acquisition of Harcourt Publishing. Prior to March 2010, it was a subsidiary of Education Media and Publishing Group Limited, an Irish-owned holding company registered in the Cayman Islands and known as Riverdeep. In 1832, William Ticknor and John Allen purchased a bookselling business in Boston and began to involve themselves in publishing. James Thomas Fields joined as a partner in 1843 and with Tickner gathered an impressive list of writers, including Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Henry David Thoreau; the duo formed a close relationship with Riverside Press, a Boston printing company owned by Henry Oscar Houghton. Houghton founded his own publishing company with partner Melancthon Hurd in 1864, with George Mifflin joining the partnership in 1872.
In 1878, Ticknor and Fields, now under the leadership of James R. Osgood, found itself in financial difficulties and merged its operations with Hurd and Houghton; the new partnership, named Houghton and Company, held the rights to the literary works of both publishers. When Osgood left the firm two years the business reemerged as Houghton and Company. Despite a lucrative partnership with Lawson Valentine, Houghton and Company still had debt it had inherited from Ticknor and Fields, so it decided to add partners. In 1884 James D. Hurd, the son of Melancthon Hurd, became a partner. In 1888, three others became partners as well: James Murray Kay, Thurlow Weed Barnes, Henry Oscar Houghton Jr. Shortly thereafter, the company established an Educational Department, from 1891 to 1908 sales of educational materials increased by 500 percent; the firm incorporated in 1908. Soon after 1916, Houghton Mifflin became involved in publishing standardized tests and testing materials, working with such test developers as E. F. Lindquist.
By 1921, the company was the fourth-largest educational publisher in the United States. In 1961, Houghton Mifflin famously passed on Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking, giving it up to Alfred A. Knopf who published it in 1962, it is considered by many to be the bible of French cooking. Houghton Mifflin's strategic error was depicted in the 2009 film Julia. In 1967, Houghton Mifflin became a publicly traded company on the New York Stock Exchange under the stock symbol HTN. In 1979, Houghton Mifflin acquired the children's division of Seabury Press. Under president Nader F. Darehshori Houghton Mifflin acquired McDougal Littell in 1994 for $138 million, an educational publisher of secondary school materials, the following year acquired D. C. Heath and Company, a publisher of supplemental educational resources. In 1996, the company created their Great Source Education Group to combine the supplemental material product lines of their School Division and these two companies. In 1998, HMH announced a sub-brand called LOGAL Software, to release a new line of interactive science software called Science Gateways, to support the United States curriculum.
As of 2017, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt is offering the "Logal Science" brand as a licensing opportunity on its website. In 2017, it was announced that Houghton Mifflin Harcourt would be getting involved in TV production with a planned 2019 Netflix series that will revive the Carmen Sandiego franchise. Mergers and acquisitions activities have had major effects on this company. In 2001, Houghton Mifflin was acquired by French media giant Vivendi Universal for $2.2 billion including assumed debt. In 2002, facing mounting financial and legal pressures, Vivendi sold Houghton to private equity investors Thomas H. Lee Partners, Bain Capital, Blackstone Group for $1.66 billion, including assumed debt. On December 22, 2006, it was announced that Riverdeep PLC had completed its acquisition of Houghton Mifflin; the new joint enterprise would be called the Houghton Mifflin Riverdeep Group. Riverdeep paid $1.75 billion in cash and assumed $1.61 billion in debt from the private investment firms Thomas H. Lee Partners, Bain Capital and Blackstone Group.
Tony Lucki, a former non-executive director of Riverdeep, remained in his position as the company's chief executive officer until April 2009. Houghton Mifflin sold its professional testing unit, Promissor, to Pearson plc in 2006; the company combined its remaining assessment products within Riverside Publishing, including San Francisco-based Edusoft. On July 16, 2007, Houghton Mifflin Riverdeep announced that it signed a definitive agreement to acquire the Harcourt Education, Harcourt Trade and Greenwood-Heinemann divisions of Reed Elsevier for $4 billion; the expanded company would become Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. McDougal Littell was merged with Harcourt's Rinehart & Winston to form Holt McDougal. On December 3, 2007, Cengage Learning announced that it had agreed to acquire the assets of the Houghton Mifflin College Division for $750 million, pending regulatory approval. On November 25, 2008, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt announced a temporary freeze on acquisition of new trade division titles in response to the economic crisis of 2008.
The publisher of the trade division resigned in protest. Many observers familiar with the publishing industry saw the move as a devastating blunder. Harcourt Religion was sold to Our Sunday Visitor in 2009. On July 27, 2009, the Irish