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J.R.R. Tolkien

Army life

Tolkien's work was very much influenced by his service in the army and his participation in World War I. After the outbreak of war, he was called up to a unit of Lancashire riflemen, where he dealt with communications and translations. In 1916, he took an active part in the Battle of the Somme, one of the bloodiest clashes of World War I. Tolkien fought almost to the very end of the battle, but on November 8 he had to leave the front due to symptoms of trench fever and returned to England for treatment. 1)

Just one book

“The Lord of the Rings” is one closed story, so Tolkien wanted to publish it as one book. Because of its excessive length, publishers forced him to split the story into three volumes. The price of paper rose dramatically during the war, so splitting the book made it easier to publish. It was also commercial — each volume could be bought for a lower price. 2)

A poet

Tolkien is widely known as the creator of the story of Middle-earth, namely “The Lord of the Rings,” “The Hobbit” and “The Silmarillion.” Like another prominent 20th-century fantasy writer, H.P. Lovecraft, Tolkien began with poetry and never really parted with it. His first surviving poems are dated 1911. 3)

A polyglot

Tolkien was a polyglot — he knew over thirty languages. In a letter to his son in 1944, he wrote that he also learned Polish, but could not use it fluently. His linguistic abilities helped him create his fictional languages, which were used by the characters in his novels. 4)

Tolkien Reading Day

Since 2003, The Tolkien Society has organized Tolkien Reading Day every year on March 25. On this day, group readings of his most important works are organized in many places around the world, special screenings of “The Lord of the Rings” are held in cinemas and people brag on social media about their libraries and unique items related to the writer. 5)

j.r.r._tolkien.txt · Last modified: 2021/09/20 12:25 by rapidplatypus