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"All that is gold does not glitter, Not all those who wander are lost; The old that is strong does not wither, Deep roots are not reached by the frost."--John Ronald Reuel "J.R.R." Tolkien, CBE, FRSL
(03 January 1892 - 02 September 1973)
--Legendary Writer, Poet, Philologist, Professor and British Army Lieutenant
From being bitten by a large baboon spider as a child, losing his father and other imposing obstacles, John Ronald Reuel Tolkien, better known as JRR Tolkien, had to overcome much throughout his life...
His father's death left his family without an income, forcing them to move to England. Playing and exploring in the surrounding outdoors, for example at his aunt Jane's farm interestingly named "Bag End" would inspire iconic settings in his later works. His mother homeschooled him and his brother and instilled a love of art, languages, reading and botany. By age four Tolkien could read. And, could write fluently soon after. At age 12, his mother died of acute diabetes.
Tolkien would eventually become a Legendary writer and poet. In World War I, he took part in the Battle of the Somme, via trench warfare, where he would contract trench fever, a disease carried by lice. He would spend the rest of the war between hospitals and garrison duties -writing all the while. His battalion was almost completely wiped out following his return to England.
Tolkien would go on to publish the Lord of the Rings series, partially inspired by ancient myths, with its own sets of maps, lore and languages. The Hobbit reached over 150 million copies sold (in 2019), making it the third bestselling individual book of all-time.
The Times ranked him sixth on a list of "The 50 greatest British writers since 1945." In 1972, Tolkien was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth II. Tolkien's works continue to inspire, notably Mount Gandalf and Mount Aragorn in Canada as well as multi-billion dollar companies such as Palantir Technologies. Since 2003, the Tolkien Society has organized Tolkien Reading Day, which takes place every year on 25 March in schools around the world. Tolkien is considered amongst the most influential authors of modern history.
Learn more about this Legend (below).