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 After Tolkien's death, his son Christopher published a series of works based on his father's extensive notes and unpublished manuscripts, including The Silmarillion.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 Lay of Aotrou and Itroun
The Lay of Aotrou and Itroun is a poem of 508 lines, written by J. R. R. Tolkien in 1930 and published in Welsh Review in December 1945. Aotrou and Itroun are Breton words for "lord" and "lady"; the poem is modelled on the genre of the "Breton lay" popular in Middle English literature of the 12th century, it explores the conflict of heroic or chivalric values and Christianity, their relation to the institution of marriage. A major source for the poem has been identified as the Breton song'An Aotrou Nann hag ar Gorigann', which Tolkien knew through Wimberly's Folklore in the English and Scottish Ballads. Tolkien adds to his source a stern moral - repudiation of all traffic with the supernatural. In the poem and Itroun are a couple of Breton nobility, they are childless, Aotrou seeks the help of a witch. When Itroun is with child, the witch reappears, revealing herself as the Corrigan, asks for Aotrou's love as payment. Aotrou sacrifices his knightly honour to Christian values, breaks his word. "I gave no love.
My love is wed. Aotrou died followed by his wife with a broken heart, they are buried together, they do not live to see their offspring grow up - something, interpreted as a judgement on Aotrou for excessive family pride. The lay was published in The Welsh Review in 1945 but had been unavailable for decades. A book form, edited by Tolkien scholar Verlyn Flieger, was published on 3 November 2016. Flieger edited Tolkien's The Story of Kullervo. A. Lewis ed. Leaves from the Tree T. Keightly, The Fairy Mythology
The Adventures of Tom Bombadil
The Adventures of Tom Bombadil is a collection of poetry written by J. R. R. Tolkien and published in 1962; the book contains 16 poems, two of which feature Tom Bombadil, a character encountered by Frodo Baggins in The Fellowship of the Ring. The rest of the poems are an assortment of bestiary fairy tale rhyme. Three of the poems appear in The Lord of the Rings as well; the book is part of Tolkien's Middle-earth legendarium. The volume includes The Sea-Bell, subtitled Frodos Dreme, which W. H. Auden considered Tolkien's best poem, it is a piece of metrical and rhythmical complexity that recounts a journey to a strange land beyond the sea. Drawing on medieval'dream vision' poetry and Irish'immram' poems the piece is markedly melancholic and the final note is one of alienation and disillusion; the book was illustrated by Pauline Baynes and by Roger Garland. The book, like the first edition of The Fellowship of the Ring, is presented as if it is an actual translation from the Red Book of Westmarch, contains some background information on the world of Middle-earth, not found elsewhere: e.g. the name of the tower at Dol Amroth and the names of the Seven Rivers of Gondor.
There is some fictional background information of those poems, linking them to Hobbit folklore and literature and to their actual writers. The book uses the letter "K" instead of "C" for the /k/ sound in Sindarin, a spelling variant Tolkien used many times in his writings; the Adventures of Tom Bombadil Bombadil Goes Boating Errantry Princess Mee The Man in the Moon Stayed Up Too Late* The Man in the Moon Came Down Too Soon The Stone Troll* Perry-the-Winkle The Mewlips Oliphaunt* Fastitocalon Cat Shadow-bride The Hoard The Sea-Bell The Last Ship*Poems featured in The Lord of the Rings The Adventures of Tom Bombadil was first published as a stand-alone book in 1962. Some editions, such as the Unwin Paperbacks edition and Poems and Stories, erroneously state that it was first published in'1961'. Tolkien's letters confirm. Beginning with The Tolkien Reader in 1966, it was included in a number of anthologies of Tolkien's shorter works; this trend continued after his death with Tales from the Perilous Realm.
In 2014 Christina Scull and Wayne G. Hammond edited a new stand-alone edition, which includes for each poem detailed commentary, original versions and their sources. Barrow-wight Farmer Maggot Goldberry Old Forest Old Man Willow The Adventures of Tom Bombadil
The Road Goes Ever On
The Road Goes Ever On is a song cycle, published as a book of sheet music, as an audio recording. The music was written by Donald Swann, the words are taken from poems in J. R. R. Tolkien's Middle-earth writings The Lord of the Rings; the title of this opus is taken from "The Road Goes Ever On". The songs form a song cycle, designed to fit together. With Tolkien's approval, Donald Swann wrote the music for this song cycle, much of the music resembles English traditional music or folk music; the sole exception is the Quenya song "Namárië", based on a tune by Tolkien himself and which has some affinities to Gregorian chant. This book has been valued by those uninterested in the music, since it helps Tolkien's readers to better understand the cultures of the various mythological beings presented in Middle-earth, helps linguists analyse Tolkien's poetry. For example, it contains one of the longest samples of the language Quenya, as well as the Sindarin prayer "A Elbereth Gilthoniel" with grammatical explanations.
In addition to the sheet music, the book includes an introduction that contains additional information about Middle-earth. Prior to the publication of The Silmarillion, this introduction was the only publicly available source for certain information about the First Age of Middle-earth; the first edition of The Road Goes Ever On: a Song Cycle was published on 31 October 1967, in the United States. An LP record of this song cycle was recorded on 12 June 1967, with Donald Swann on piano and William Elvin singing. Side one of this record consisted of Tolkien himself reading five poems from The Adventures of Tom Bombadil; the first track on side two was Tolkien reading the Elvish prayer "A Elbereth Gilthoniel". The remainder of side two contained the song cycle performed by Elvin; this LP record, entitled Poems and Songs of Middle Earth and released by Caedmon Records, is long out of print and difficult to find. The second edition of The Road Goes Ever On, published in 1978, added music for "Bilbo's Last Song."
This song was published separately. The third edition, published in 1993, added music for "Lúthien Tinúviel" from The Silmarillion, which had earlier appeared in The Songs of Donald Swann: Volume I; the third edition of The Road Goes Ever On was packaged with a CD that duplicated the song cycle from the 1967 LP record. The CD included two new recordings; the third edition was reprinted in hardcover in 2002 by Harper Collins. On 10 June 1995, the song cycle was performed in Rotterdam under the auspices of the Dutch Tolkien Society, by the baritone Jan Krediet together with the chamber choir EnSuite and Alexandra Swemer on the piano. A CD of this concert was published in a limited edition; the complete list of songs in this song-cycle is as follows: "The Road Goes Ever On". From The Lord of the Rings vol. 1, The Fellowship of the Ring, Book 1, Chapter 1 and Chapter 3. "Upon the Hearth the Fire Is Red". From The Lord of the Rings vol. 1, The Fellowship of the Ring, Book 1, Chapter 3. "In the Willow-meads of Tasarinan".
From The Lord of the Rings vol. 2, The Two Towers, Book 3, Chapter 4. "In Western Lands". From The Lord of the Rings vol. 3, The Return of the King, Book 6, Chapter 1. "Namárië". From The Lord of the Rings vol. 1, The Fellowship of the Ring, Book 2, Chapter 8. "I Sit beside the Fire". From The Lord of the Rings vol. 1, The Fellowship of the Ring, Book 2, Chapter 3, including the text of "A Elbereth Gilthoniel", from The Lord of the Rings vol. 1, The Fellowship of the Ring, Book 2, Chapter 1. "Errantry". From The Adventures of Tom Bombadil; the following additional songs were added after the first edition, but do not form part of the song cycle itself: "Bilbo's Last Song". Given to Donald Swann after Tolkien's death. Only in the second and third editions of the book. On the CD but not the LP. "Lúthien Tinúviel". From The Silmarillion, Chapter 19. Only in the third edition of the book. On the CD but not the LP; the Donald Swann website
The Father Christmas Letters
The Father Christmas Letters known as Letters from Father Christmas, are a collection of letters written and illustrated by J. R. R. Tolkien between 1920 and 1942 for his children, from Father Christmas, they were released posthumously by the Tolkien estate on 2 September 1976, the 3rd anniversary of Tolkien’s death. They were edited by second wife of his youngest son, Christopher; the book was warmly received by critics, it has been suggested that elements of the stories inspired parts of Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings. The stories are told in the format of a series of letters, told either from the point of view of Father Christmas or his elvish secretary, they document the adventures and misadventures of Father Christmas and his helpers, including the North Polar Bear and his two sidekick cubs and Valkotukka. The stories include descriptions of the massive fireworks that create the northern lights and how Polar Bear manages to get into trouble on more than one occasion; the 1939 letter has Father Christmas making reference to the Second World War, while some of the letters feature Father Christmas' battles against Goblins which were subsequently interpreted as being a reflection of Tolkien's views on the German Menace.
The letters themselves were written over a period of over 20 years to entertain Tolkien's children each Christmas. Starting in 1920 when Tolkien's oldest son was aged three, each Christmas Tolkien would write a letter from Father Christmas about his travels and adventures; each letter was delivered in an envelope, including North Pole stamps and postage marks as designed by Tolkien. Prior to publication, an exhibition of Tolkien's drawings was held at the Ashmolean Museum; these included works from The Hobbit, Lord of the Rings, The Father Christmas Letters. The first edition was by Allen and Unwin on 2 September three years after Tolkien's death; the Houghton Mifflin edition was released that year on 19 October. It was the third work by Tolkien to be released posthumously, after a collection of poems and the Guide to the Names in The Lord of the Rings. Edited by Baillie Tolkien, the second wife of Christopher Tolkien, it includes illustrations by Tolkien for nearly all the letters; when the book was republished in 1999 it was retitled Letters from Father Christmas and several letters and drawings not contained in the original edition were added.
One edition in 1995 featured the letters and drawings contained in individual envelopes to be read in the manner they were conceived to be. The reception to the first two works published posthumously had been warm, subsequently thought to be due to Tolkien's recent death; the response to The Father Christmas Letters was much more balanced. Jessica Kemball-Cook suggested in her book Twentieth Century Children's Writers that it would become known as a classic of children's literature, while Nancy Willard for The New York Times Book Review received the book positively, saying "Father Christmas lives, and never more merrily than in these pages." In 2002, an article in The Independent on Sunday described the work as rivalling "The Lord of the Rings for sheer imaginative joy". Paul H. Kocher, whilst writing for the journal Mythprint, suggested that the creatures in The Father Christmas Letters may have been a precursor to those which appeared in Tolkien's works such as the Lord of the Rings, a view, shared by Laurence and Martha Krieg in a review in the journal Mythlore.
For example, the 1933 letter features an attack on Polar Bear by a band of goblins. The Kriegs suggested; the Life and Adventures of Santa Claus, authored by L. Frank Baum, author of the first 14 Oz books Sources
Poems and Stories (J. R. R. Tolkien)
Poems and Stories is a posthumous anthology of some of the published short fiction of J. R. R. Tolkien, it includes the literary essay "On Fairy Stories", the illustrations of Pauline Baynes, which have appeared in other publications. In this volume, the illustrations are in colour. Poems and Stories was first published in the UK in a boxed, hardcover "deluxe edition" by Allen & Unwin in 1980, it was reissued in hardcover by HarperCollins in 1992. Houghton Mifflin published a hardcover edition for the United States in 1994; the Adventures of Tom Bombadil, 16 poems "of hobbit origin" about Tom Bombadil The Homecoming of Beorhtnoth Beorhthelm's Son, a play in alliterative verse about the historical Battle of Maldon "On Fairy Stories", an essay in which Tolkien discusses the fairy-story as a literary form "Leaf by Niggle", an allegorical short story concerning a painter and his neighbour "Farmer Giles of Ham", a novella about an English farmer who encounters a dragon "Smith of Wootton Major", a short story about the people in a village near Oxford, of one man's immersion in the world of Faerie The Tolkien Reader Tales from the Perilous Realm
The Fall of Gondolin
The Fall of Gondolin is, in the writings of J. R. R. Tolkien, one of the original Lost Tales which formed the basis for a section in his work, The Silmarillion. A stand-alone, book-length version of the story was published on 30 August 2018; the Fall of Gondolin tells of the founding of the secret Elven city of Gondolin. It relates the flight of the fugitives to the Havens of Sirion, the wedding of Tuor and Idril, as well as the childhood of Eärendil. Tolkien began writing the story that would become "The Fall of Gondolin" in 1917 in an army barracks on the back of a sheet of military marching music, it is the first traceable story of his Middle-earth legendarium. While the first half of the story "appears to echo Tolkien's creative development and slow acceptance of duty in the first year of the war," the second half echoes his personal experience of battle. Tolkien was revising his First Age stories; the narrative in The Silmarillion was the result of the editing by his son Christopher using that story and compressed versions from the different versions of the Annals and Quentas as various sources.
The Quenta Silmarillion and the Grey Annals of Beleriand, the main sources for much of the published Silmarillion, both stop before the beginning of the Tuor story. A partial version of "The Fall of Gondolin" was published in the Unfinished Tales under the title "Of Tuor and his Coming to Gondolin". Titled "Of Tuor and the Fall of Gondolin," this narrative shows a great expansion of the earlier tale. Christopher Tolkien retitled the story before including it in Unfinished Tales, because it ends at the point of Tuor's arrival in Gondolin, does not depict the actual Fall. There is an unfinished poem, The Lay of the Fall of Gondolin, of which a few verses are quoted in The Lays of Beleriand. In 130 verses Tolkien reaches the point. On 30 August 2018, the first stand-alone version of the story was published by HarperCollins in the UK and Houghton Mifflin in the US; this version, illustrated by Alan Lee, has been curated and edited by Christopher Tolkien, J. R. R. Tolkien's son, who edited The Silmarillion, The Children of Húrin, several other works that were published after the author's death.
Composer Paul Corfield Godfrey wrote a cycle of operatic works based upon The Silmarillion during the 1980s and 1990s with the permission of the Tolkien Estate. "The Fall of Gondolin" is the fourth part. On the 1st September 2018, Prima Facie Records in conjunction with Volante Opera Productions released a Demo Recording of the work. Armies and hosts of Middle-earth warfare Glorfindel Húrin List of Middle-earth weapons Middle-earth canon "The Fall of Gondolin". Tolkien Gateway