(Above image shows a photograph of J.R.R. Tolkien)
Long before the massively successful The Lord of the Rings films, J.R.R Tolkien’s creations and characters had captured the imagination of millions of readers.
Today, it is difficult to imagine a world without Tolkien’s stories of Middle-earth, elves, wizards and hobbits. But who was the man who dreamt up the intricate languages and perfectly crafted world of Middle-earth?
Colin Duriez has written an engaging and accessible biography examining the man behind the legend.
John Ronald Reuel Tolkien had a difficult life for many years: orphaned and poor, his guardian forbad him to communicate with the woman he had fallen in love with, and he went through the trauma of serving in the Battle of the Somme during the First World War.
An intensely private and brilliant scholar, he spent over fifty years working on the languages, history, people and geography of Middle-earth, with a consistent mythology inspired by a formidable knowledge of early northern European history and culture.
When he sought to get The Lord of the Rings published – after spending a dozen or so years on it – he had difficulty settling on a publisher. When he did, his publisher, though enthusiastic, treated it as a loss-making venture, little realising the wealth it would create both for the company and its author.
You can find further details of J.R.R. Tolkien: the making of a legend on the main catalogue, avaliable in ‘Catalogues’ on the Library’s website.