A Brief Introduction to J.R.R. Tolkien
& The Hobbit
John Ronald Reuel Tolkien (1892-
Spent a happy childhood in the English
His sensibility to the rural landscape
can clearly be seen both in his writings
and in his pictures.
Sample Tolkien Drawings…
Ronald was twelve when his mother died
He and his brother became wards of a kindly priest.
They both attended Kind Edward's School,
Ronald achieved distinction in Classics, and also
encountered Anglo-Saxon and Middle English.
At this time also, he began to develop his linguistics
abilities by inventing languages which he related to
'fairy' or 'elvish' people.
He was also commissioned in the Lancashire
Fusiliers and served in the battle of Somme
(World War I, 1916)
Two of his three closest friends were killed.
After the war, he obtained a post on the New
English Dictionary, and began to write the
mythological and legendary cycle which he
originally called "The Book of Lost Tales“
This book eventually became known as The
In 1920 Tolkien was appointed as Reader in the
English Language at the University of Leeds
This post was converted to a Professorship four years later.
He distinguished himself by his lively and imaginative
teaching, and in 1925 was elected Rawlinson and Bosworth
Professor of Anglo-Saxon at Oxford
Meanwhile, his family, now numbering four children, encouraged
Tolkien to use his mythological imagination to deal with more
For his children, Tolkien wrote and illustrated The
Father Christmas Letters, and to them he told the
story of The Hobbit published some years later in
At first, Tolkien applied himself only unwillingly to
the requests for sequels to The Hobbit
However, soon he was inspired, and what meant to be another
book for children grew into The Lord of the Rings, truly a
sequel to the Silmarillion than to the Hobbit.
This huge story took twelve years to complete, and it was not
published until Tolkien was approaching retirement.
When it did reach print, its extraordinary popularity took him by
After his wife's death in 1971, Tolkien returned to
Oxford and died after a very brief illness on 2nd
He left his great mythological legendary cycle The Silmarillion
to be edited for publication by his son.
J.R.R.Tolkien's fantasy classic, originally told to his
The Hobbit is Bilbo Baggins, a hobbit of substance
and somewhat sedentary habits.
One day he is visited by a wizard, Gandalf, and a gaggle of
By supper time he has accepted a challenge to go on an
expedition to steal back a fortune from a live dragon, and
liberate the ancient home of his companions.
Fire and swords lie before him - but, fortunately, he doesn't