Cover image for J.R.R. Tolkien : a biography
J.R.R. Tolkien : a biography
Jones, Leslie, 1959-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Westport, Conn. : Greenwood Press, [2003]

Physical Description:
xvi, 156 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PR6039.O32 Z6616 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

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This meticulous biography traces Tolkien's life from his boyhood in South Africa to his formative school years in England, his college years at Oxford, and his career as an influential scholar and revolutionary writer. His immensely popular books are discussed in great detail, from their inception as ideas through their publication and remarkable legacy. This biography will appeal to students who are fans of Tolkien's books, as well as those who are new to the world of Middle Earth. Included are an extensive bibliography of poems, fiction, and scholarly work written by Tolkien, and a further reading section listing important biographies, letter collections, and critical studies of Tolkien's works. A timeline provides the reader with a comprehensive list of the events of his life and career.

Tolkien's outer life was relatively calm, yet his scholarship and stories are remembered as one of the 20th century's most astonishing achievements. First as a student at Oxford University, then as a professor, Tolkien was fascinated with languages and philology and used the worlds he studied to shape the one he was creating. After years of nominal success, The Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings erupted into popularity, bringing fantasy fiction to the forefront of popular culture in America, and ultimately the world.

Author Notes

Leslie Ellen Jones received her PhD in folklore and mythology Studies from the University of California, Los Angeles, in 1992. She has published essays on many aspects of Celtic mythology, and the representation of folklore and mythology in film and television. She is the author of Happy Is the Bride the Sun Shines On: Wedding Beliefs, Traditions, and Customs (Contemporary Books) and Druid Shaman Priest: Metaphors of Celtic Paganism (Hisarlik Press), and the forthcoming Myth and Middle-earth: Exploring the Medieval Legends Behind J.R.R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings (Cold Spring Press).

Table of Contents

Series Forewordp. vii
Acknowledgmentsp. ix
Introductionp. xi
Timelinep. xiii
Chapter 1 Birmingham to Bloemfontein ... and Back Again (1892-1904)p. 1
Chapter 2 Grammars and a Girl (1904-1910)p. 13
Chapter 3 Oxford (1911-1914)p. 25
Chapter 4 The End of the Third Age (1914-1918)p. 41
Chapter 5 The Young Academic (1918-1925)p. 53
Chapter 6 Getting Some Inklings (1926-1932)p. 65
Chapter 7 Life in a Hobbit Hole (1933-1937)p. 79
Chapter 8 The War of the Rings (1937-1955)p. 93
Chapter 9 The Quest to Overthrow Evilp. 103
Chapter 10 Doubles and Kingsp. 115
Chapter 11 Fame and Fortune (1955-1973)p. 125
Appendix The Published Works of J. R. R. Tolkienp. 139
Further Readingp. 147
Indexp. 149