The only authorised biography, and the only one written by an author who actually met J.R.R. Tolkien, with a redesigned cover to match the distinctive paperback editions of The Lord of the Rings, The Silmarillion and Unfinished Tales. In the 25 years since Tolkien's death in September 1973,... show more
The only authorised biography, and the only one written by an author who actually met J.R.R. Tolkien, with a redesigned cover to match the distinctive paperback editions of The Lord of the Rings, The Silmarillion and Unfinished Tales. In the 25 years since Tolkien's death in September 1973, millions have read The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings and The Silmarillion and become fascinated about the very private man behind the books. Born in Bloemfontein in January 1892, John Ronald Reuel Tolkien was orphaned in childhood, brought up in near-poverty and almost thwarted in adolescent romance. He served in the First World War, surviving the Battle of the Somme, where he lost some of his closest friends, and returned to academic life, achieving high repute as a scholar and university teacher, eventually becoming Merton Professor of English at Oxford. Then suddenly his life changed dramatically. One day while marking essay papers he found himself writing 'In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit' -- and worldwide renown awaited him. Humphrey Carpenter was given unrestricted access to all Tolkien's papers, and interviewed his friends and family. From these sources he follows the long and painful process of creation that produced The Lord of the Rings and The Silmarillion and offers a wealth of information about the life and work of the twentieth century's most cherished author.
Publish date: January 1st 2002
Pages no: 384
Edition language: English
I always enjoy reading about the lives of my favorite authors. I found this one particularly sad because of Tolkien's courtship of his wife; the willful obstruction of his mentor, a Catholic priest; and his acquiescence to the situation.
This review is based upon the first edition which was written in 1977. This biography is fair and gives a vivid detail of not only the life of Tolkien but also the times and events that shaped the man. I would have liked to have seen more into the light of his religion as well as the depth of his re...
This book was a pleasure to read. I read it sometime after completing the LOTR volumes, and it comforted me to linger just a bit in Tolkien's world.